Concern of Accountability in the Hereafter

On one occasion, Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) entered his animal pen and found his slave feeding fodder to a camel. On inspecting the fodder, Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was not pleased with the manner in which the slave had prepared it and thus twisted his ear. After a little while, taking stock of his actions, Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) became concerned and feared that he should not be taken to task for this action in the Hereafter.

Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thus addressed the slave saying, “Take retribution from me,” but the slave refused to do so. Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) continued to insist, until the slave agreed and began to twist his ear. Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then instructed him, “Twist it harder!” until he was satisfied that the slave had inflicted on him the same pain that he had inflicted on the slave.

Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then exclaimed, “How wonderful is the retribution which is taken in this world, before it can be claimed in the next world!”

(Al-Ahwaal libni Abid Dunya #264, Akhbaar-ul-Madinah #1777)

Note: Disciplining the slave was permissible for Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). However, he asked the slave to take retribution from him as he feared that he could have overstepped the mark in disciplining the slave. This conduct of Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was, in actual fact, a reflection of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala within him, and the concern of accountability in the Hereafter. May Allah Ta‘ala bless us with the taufeeq of being concerned about our spiritual reformation and the accountability of the Hereafter.

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