Mahmud Ghaznavi and Ayaz
It is written in the book “Adad ussin” that when Ayaz became a close confidante of Mahmud Ghaznavi, the powerful Muslim ruler, his detractors began to try to pull him down from this position.
And one day two of the ministers came to the sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi and said, “Ayaz has stolen a lot of ornaments and treasure and he has kept all of them in a room which he has locked. Every morning he visits that room and does not allow anyone else.
Thereupon hearing this, the sultan fell into doubt and said when Ayaz comes to me tomorrow you people go there, open the door and bring here whatever he has stored in that room.
The next morning these people took tools and broke the lock of the door and stepped into the room of Ayaz. They, however, did not find anything except a cotton sheet and a pair of leather slippers. They thought that the treasure must be buried underground otherwise what was the need for him to visit this room everyday if it contained only a torn sheet and old slippers.
They dug the floor of the room but did not find anything. They informed the ruler and he asked Ayaz that except for a sheet and a pair of slippers there was nothing else in the room. So, why did he keep the room locked and pay a private visit everyday?
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Ayaz said, “Before I became your slave I had worn that particular garb. But after joining your service I got everything. Since man is prone to disobedience and pride, I frequently visit the room and see my old dress so that I may not fall into vanity. I should always remember that whatever I have is due to the favour of the king and it is all given to me as a loan. After that I begin my job of the day.
Indeed, there are countless weaknesses of man that do not allow him to reach his desires. Just as man desires to have knowledge about a lot of things, but it is not possible for him. He wants to remember something but he forgets it. He prefers to forget a particular sin but he could not do so. He tries to concentrate on something and to get rid of worries and doubts, but he does not succeed. And he is attracted towards those things in which there is destruction for him, and dislikes those things which are beneficial to him.
Apart from this he is in constant dread of losing something which is dear and precious to him, like wealth or children or his physical powers.
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The Almighty Allah (S.w.T.) says:
“And they control not for themselves any harm or profit, and they control not death nor life, nor raising (the dead) to life.”
(Surah al-Furqān 25: 3)
In brief, man is a mortal who has no control over his capabilities or susceptibilities. It is a fact that he is always in fear of death and there is none that can save him from death.