A burglar scaled the fence of Malik bn Dinars home and easily managed to get inside. Once inside the house, the burglar was disappointed to see that there was nothing inside actually worth stealing. The owner of the home was inside at that time; he was busy performing prayer. After discovering that he was not alone, Malik quickly ended his prayer and turned around to face the burglar. Without showing any signs of being shocked or afraid, Malik calmly extended greetings of peace and they said, my brother, may Allaah forgive you. You entered my home and found nothing that is worth taking, yet I do not want you to leave my home without taking away some benefit. He stood up, went to another part of the room, and came back with a jug full of water.
He looked into the burglars eyes and said Make ablution and perform two units of prayer, for if you do so, you will leave my home with a greater treasure that you had initially sought when you entered it. Humbled by Malik's manner and words, the burglar said, Yes, that is a generous offer indeed. After making ablution and performing two units of prayer, the burglar said, O Malik, would you mind if I stayed for a while, for I want to, perform two more units of prayer? Malik said, Say for whatever amount of prayer Allaah decrees for you to perform now. The burglar ended up spending the entire night at Malik's house; he continued to pray until the morning. Then Malik said, leave now and be good. But instead of leaving, the burglar said, Would you mind if I stayed here with you today, for I have here with you today, for I have made an intention to fast the today? Stay as long as you wish, said Malik.
The burglar ended up staying for a number of days, praying during the late hours of each night and fasting throughout the duration of each day. When he finally decided to leave, the burglar said, O Malik, I have made a firm resolve to repent from my sins and for my former way of life. Malik said that is indeed in the hands of Allaah. True to his word and promise, the burglar repented. Later on, he met up with one of his former burglar friends, who said to him, Have you found your treasure yet? He said, my brother, what I found is Malik bin Dinar: I went to steal from him, but it was he who ended up stealing [my heart]. I have indeed repented to Allaah, and I will continue to strive until I achieve what the righteous ones have achieved.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited