In the Hadith there is an incident mentioned regarding a man from the Bani Israaeel who was a devoted worshipper and an ascetic; who night and day was engrossed in the worship of Allah Ta’ala. However, since he had a family, he had to also earn a living; therefore he had a small business which he used to run. Nevertheless, his heart was not attached to the business and he desired that he was free from all these responsibilities only to be in the Ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala. One day his emotions got the better over him and he handed over his business and all his wealth to his wife and children. He left everything behind and divorced himself from the world. He built himself a small hut on a hillock in the centre of a small island wherein he could always be engaged in the Ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala. (It was permissible for previous nations to abandon everything and live an ascetic life. However Islam does not permit this). It was only through the grace of Allah Ta’ala and the sincerity of this person that Allah Ta’ala allowed a stream of sweet water to flow and a pomegranate tree to grow nearby on an island where no ship or boat could reach. This person spent his day and night only in the Ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala. He used to eat only one pomegranate and take only a sip of water for the entire day. He lived for approximately five hundred years, and all his time was spent in this manner. When the time of his death was near, he requested Allah Ta’ala thus: “O Allah, it is only through Your mercy that You kept me in your worship all these years. However, it is my desire that I pass away while I am in sajdah so that my end will also be in Your worship. My second request is that my body remain intact in the position of sajdah until the day of Qiyaamah, neither the earth nor the insects should consume my body so that I may be in Your worship until the day of Qiyaamah.”
Allah Ta’ala accepted his two duaas and as per his request, he had passed away in the position of sajdah and his body is preserved up to this day. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) testifies that Allah Ta’ala had ordered large trees and a dense bush to grow on that hillock in order that no person attempts to even approach that place. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) also testifies that his body will remain in the position of sajdah and in this very position he will be presented before Allah Ta’ala for reckoning. Allah Ta’ala will address him saying, “O My servant, it is only through My grace and mercy that I have forgiven you and elevated your status. Enter into Jannah and be at ease and make yourself comfortable.” That person will say, “O Allah, despite spending my entire life in Your worship, yet You are entering me into Jannah due to Your grace and mercy. I wish to enter Jannah in lieu of all my ibaadat and worship.” Once more Allah Ta’ala will tell him, “I am sending you to Jannah purely out of My mercy.” Yet again this person will say, “O Allah, my ‘ibaadat and worship will be of no avail. Enter me into Jannah in lieu of my worship.”
A command will be given for this person to be taken to a place which is in close proximity to Jahannum. He would not be made to enter Jahaanum, rather he would be made to stand approximately 500 years before the entrance of Jahannum. Nevertheless, the angels will escort him to that point. A blazing wind and scorching heat will engulf him in such a way that his entire body, from head to toe will dry up and he will become extremely thirsty. As a result of the intense heat he will call out for water. At that moment, a hand will appear from the unseen presenting a glass of water before him. He will seek the water, however it will be told to him, “You will definitely receive the water. However, there is a price to pay. Whoever can present before us five hundred years of worship that was carried out solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala will receive this glass of water.” Without hesitation he will say, “I have five hundred years of worship to my credit.” He will thereafter present it in exchange of the glass of water and drink it.
Allah Ta’ala will then summon him to His court. He will be brought before Allah Ta’ala by the angels and Allah Ta’ala will question him saying, “O My servant, you have been recompensed for your five hundred years of worship in exchange for the glass of water. Now how will you account for all those pomegranates We provided you through which you had gained the strength and ability to perform so many salaah and sajdahs. Similarly how will you account for each drop of water that We blessed you through which you were able to carry out all the ‘ibaadat. How will you account for each breath of the sweet, fresh air that you breathed in by which you carried out so much worship. How will you account for the vision that we had given you by means of which you could carry out your ‘ibaadat. Five hundred years of worship was in exchange of one glass of water, how are you going to give an account for all the other bounties and favours We bestowed upon you?” The worshipper will tremble and shake. Realising his folly, he will say, “O Allah, undoubtedly attaining salvation is only by means of Your grace and mercy and not by means of any of my actions.” (Jawaahir Paare)
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : إن لله مائة رحمة أنزل منها رحمة واحدة بين الجن والإنس والبهائم والهوام فبها يتعاطفون وبها يتراحمون وبها تعطف الوحش على ولدها وأخر الله تسعا وتسعين رحمة يرحم بها عباده يوم القيامة. (مسلم رقم 2752)
Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The mercy of Allah Ta’ala is divided into one hundred parts. One part of the mercy was sent to this world and distributed amongst the Jinnaat, humans, animals and insects. On account of this one mercy all the creatures show affection and mercy to one another, and due to it a predatory animal shows compassion to its young. And Allah Ta’ala has held back ninety nine mercies by Him, through which He will show mercy and compassion on His slaves on the day of Qiyaamah.