Mansûr bin ‘Ammar narrates: I went out at the end of one night, mistakenly thinking that the morning had begun. Seeing that it was still dark, I sat down beside a small door [of a house]. While I was sitting there, I heard the voice of a young man crying; he was saying: “By Your Might, and by Your Majesty, with my sin I did not intend to oppose You. When I disobeyed You, I was not ignorant of Your punishment, nor was I seeking it out. And I did not take lightly the fact that You are All-Seeing. It is just that my soul enticed me, and my wretchedness overcame me; also, I became deluded into feeling safe by the fact that You cover me with your screen [protecting me from the sight of others when I sin]. I disobeyed You through my ignorance, and I went against Your [commands] through my own fault. Now who will save me from Your punishment? And if Your rope has been cut from my [hand], then whose rope can I cling to? Alas for the days I have spent disobeying my Lord! O, woe unto me! How often do I repent, yet how often do I then return to sinning! Is not the time near when I will be shy of my Lord [i.e., shy of disobeying Him]?”
After I heard his words, I said: “I seek refuge in Allâh from the accursed Shaytân [Devil]. In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful:
‘O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire [Hell] whose fuel is men and stones, over which are [appointed] angels stern [and] severe.’ [At-Tahrîm 66:6].”
I heard a muffled, yet terrified sounding voice; [but since it was not my business to barge into the house] I got up and went on my way. When I returned in the morning, I passed by the same house, and there was a dead body being led out of the house; in the midst of that scene, an old woman kept on coming and going. I asked her: “Who is the dead person?”
“Go away from me,” she said. “Do you want to renew for me my sadness?”
“I am a stranger here,” I said.
“This dead person is my son,” she said. “Last night, a man – may Allâh not reward him well – recited a Verse in which the Hell-fire is mentioned. My son, having heard him, continued to cry and shake with terror until he died.”
That is indeed the description of one who truly fears Allâh.
By Majdi Muhammad ash-Shahâwi
Glimpses at the Loves of the Righteous People, Pgs. 105-106