Skip to main content

The Story of the Temptress and the Tābʿī

A reminder for the Muslim about the temptations of this fleeting dunyā and the importance of focussing on the Hereafter.

There once lived a beautiful married woman in the city of Makkah. One day, while looking at the reflection of her face in the mirror, she said to her husband: Do you know anyone who could possibly see this face of mine and not be tempted?

He replied: Yes.

She asked: Who?

He said: ʿUbayd b. ‘Umayr.1

She replied: Then grant me permission, for indeed I will cause him temptation!

He replied: I grant you permission.

She then made her way to Masjid al-Ḥaram and approached him as a questioner in need of a verdict. They then isolated themselves in one of the corners of Masjid al-Ḥaram. She then unveiled her face which was (bright) like the moon.

ʿUbayd b. ʿUmayr replied: O’ servant of Allāh, cover yourself.

She replied: I have been tempted by you, so look at me [i.e. my face].

ʿUbayd replied: I will ask you concerning some matters, if you answer truthfully, I will look at you.

She replied: I will be truthful in answering your questions.

ʿUbayd then asked: If the angel of death came to seize your soul, let me know, would it please you that I fulfill this request of yours [to look at you]?

She said: By Allāh, no.

He replied: You have spoken the truth.

He then asked: When you are put into your grave and sat up for questioning, would it please you that I fulfilled this request of yours?

She said: By Allāh, no.

He replied: You have spoken the truth.

He then asked: When the people are given their book (of records), and you do not know whether you will take it with your right hand or your left hand, would it please you that I fulfill this request of yours?

She said: By Allāh, no.

He replied: You have spoken the truth.

He then asked: When the scales are brought out and you are brought forth, not knowing whether you will be light or heavy, would it please you that I fulfill this request of yours?

She said: By Allāh, no.

He replied: You have spoken the truth.

He then asked: When you are made to stand before Allāh for questioning, would it please you that I fulfill this request of yours?

She said: By Allāh, no.

He replied: You have spoken the truth.

ʿUbayd b. ʿUmayr then said: Fear Allāh O’ servant of Allāh, for indeed Allāh has blessed you and favored you.

She then returned to her husband who asked her what happened?

She told him: You have a lot of time on your hands, rather, we both do.

She then devoted herself to praying, fasting and worship.

Her husband would say: What should I do with ʿUbayd b. ʿUmayr, he ruined my woman! She was a newlywed every single night2 and now he turned her into a devout worshiper.

Endnotes:

[1] Abū ʿĀṣim ʿUbayd b. ʿUmayr al-Laythī was from the senior tābiʿīn. He narrated from ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb, ʿAlī, Abū Dharr, ʿĀʾishah and others. Imām al-Dhahabī mentions that he was an admonisher who would give strong reminders so much so that ʿAbdullah b. ʿUmar would attend his gatherings. He once visited ʿĀʾishah along with ʿAṭāʾ b. Abī Rabāḥ and ʿĀʾishah said to him, “not too much, for indeed the remembrance (of Allāh) is heavy”, meaning when he admonished.
[2] She was devoted more to her own appearance than to Allāh such that it consumed her thoughts.

Source: Al-Muntadham fī tārīkh al-Mulūk wa-al-ʾUmam, vol. 6, pg. 197-198.
Translated by: Munīb al-Ṣumālī

Published: July 19, 2023
Edited: July 19, 2023

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Most Popular: Last 30 Days

wp-content/uploads/2024/02/exposed_awrah_salah-scaled.jpg

The Ruling on Exposed ʿAwrah During Ṣalāh

Imām Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al…
wp-content/uploads/2024/02/card_howtoshowgratitudetoallah-1_intro-scaled.jpg

How to Show Gratitude to Allāh

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Nā…
wp-content/uploads/2024/02/card_thesalafiisnotamuqallid_intro-scaled.jpg

The Salafī Is Not a Muqallid

Imām Muqbil al-Wādi’ī
wp-content/uploads/2024/02/legislated_forms_ruqyah-scaled.jpg

Legislated Forms of Ruqyah

Imām ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz
wp-content/uploads/2024/02/refuting_foundations_tabligh-scaled.jpg

Refuting the Six Foundations of Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh

Al-ʿAllāmah Muḥammd Taqī a…
wp-content/uploads/2024/02/changing_intention_prayer-scaled.jpg

The Various Rulings on Changing Intentions in Prayer

Imām Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al…

The Ruling on Exposed ʿAwrah During Ṣalāh

Imām Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al…

The ʿAwrah of Men and Women Inside and Ou…

Imām Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al…

How to Show Gratitude to Allāh

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Nā…