Imam Al-Layth Bin Saad relates that the popular companion by the name of Zaid Bin Harithah (RA) rented a mule from a man in the city of Taif. The owner stipulated that he be permitted to rest the mule wherever he pleases. So the owner decided to lead the mule into a deserted valley. Therein, Zaid found numerous dead bodies.
Realizing what he was in for, Zaid requested from this man to allow him to pray two Rakahs (units of prayer). The man replied, “Pray; for all these [dead] people prayed before you and their prayers did not benefit them in the least!”
When he finished praying the man stepped forward to kill him. Zaid screamed,
“يا أرحم الراحمين”
“Oh Most Merciful of all those who show mercy!”
Instantaneously the man heard a caller saying, “Do not kill him!” He (the murderer) then began to search around for the caller. Not finding anyone, the man returned to Zaid and the same event occurred.
After the event recurred three times a knight appeared with an iron spear which had a flame of fire in the spearhead. The knight struck this man with his spear in his back, and the man dropped dead.
The knight then turned to Zaid and said, “When you screamed ‘Oh Most Merciful of all those who show mercy’ the first time, I was by the seventh heaven, when you called the second time I was by the lowest heaven, and when you called the third time I appeared before you!”
[Al-Istiaab Fi Ma’rifatil-As-haab by: Ibn Abdil-Barr]
Abdul Wahab Saleem
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Thursday, June 28th, 2011