There was once a very pious and knowledgeable scholar whose son passed away at the tender age of 6. The scholar was deeply affected by his loss. He would go to the masjid for Salah and would return home immediately afterwards, not giving any lectures or evening dars, as he would usually do. Outside of his home he had stopped talking to people who lived in his neighbourhood.
Upon seeing this routine for several weeks, the people of the town were severely concerned. They wished to help the Alim but did not know how to approach him.
A woman who was witnessing all of this came up with a plan, using her wisdom which Allah had blessed her with. She decided to take matters into her own hands and pay the scholar a visit.
Upon reaching his house she asked permission to enter. The Alim’s wife told the woman to wait and went to her husband. Hearing this, the Alim was very disturbed. He told his wife to go back and tell the woman he wished not to speak to her. He told her to ask someone else. The woman was very reluctant in leaving. She continuously pleaded with the Alim that there was no one else who had studied Ilm and that she needed a specific question answering.
The Alim gave in and told the woman to go ahead and ask the question. The woman began speaking. “The question I wanted to ask has to be answered in accordance to Islamic law.”
The Alim nodded and gestured her to carry on. “A friend of mine was given a Amanat (a possession which needed to be kept safe). She had the Amanat for a few years and grown fond of it. On the return to the owner she became upset and didn’t want to give the Amanat back. Should she keep it or return it?”
The Alim answered with ease and told her that the answer was to simply return the item as it did not belong to her friend in the first place. The woman asked again to make sure she had the right answer. “So even though my friend looked after the possession for so long, she still has to return it?”
The Alim repeated the answer again and added, “Your friend should be grateful to the owner that the Amanat had been taken back so its not in her care anymore.” Then the woman spoke. “In the same way Allah had blessed you with a son. But he returned to Allah who was ultimately the owner.”
With saying that the woman left. The Alim thanked Allah for opening his eyes. He raised his hands in Dua. The Scholar then returned to his normal self much to the happiness of all the townspeople.
مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَىٰ
‘From the (earth) did We create you, and into it shall We return you, and from it shall We bring you out once again.’
(Surah Ta’ha 20:55)