I was coming back from a long journey & Allαh Subhana Ta'ala decreed that my seat in the airplane should be beside a group of carefree young men whose loud laughter & voices were excessive, & the air was filled with clouds of their cigarette smoke.

By the wisdom of Allαh Subhana Ta'ala, the plane was completely full & I could not change my seat.

I tried to escape from the problem by sleeping but it was impossible. When I got fed up with their noise, I took out my copy of the Qur’an, &  started to read what I could in a soft voice. Soon after that, these young men started to become quiet. Some of them started to read newspapers & others fell asleep.

Suddenly one of them said in a loud voice, even though he was sitting right next to me, “Enough! Enough!”

I thought that I had disturbed him because my voice was too loud, so I apologized to him & carried on reading in a whisper that only I could hear. I saw him holding his head in his hands, then fidgeting in his seat, & moving a lot. Then he raised his head & said to me angrily, “Please, stop it, I can’t stand it!!”

Then he got up from his seat &  went away for a while, he came back, greeted me with salaams, &  apologized. He fell silent- I did not know what was going on. But after a while, he turned to me with his eyes full of tears & said to me in a whisper, “For 3 years or more I have not put my forehead on the ground, & have not read even one ayah!”

For a whole month, I have been on this trip, & there is no evil action that I did not indulge in. Then I saw u reading Qur’an & my world turned black & my heart was filled with despair. I felt as if someone was strangling me. I felt every ayah that u read coming down on my body like a whip.

I said to myself, “For how long will this negligence go on? Where will this path lead u? What will happen after all this foolish play?”

Then I went to the washroom, do u  know why? I had the strong urge to weep & I could not find anywhere else to hide from the people’s sight!

I spoke to him in general terms about repentance & turning back to  Allαh Subhana Ta'ala, then he fell silent. When the plane landed he stopped me & it seemed that he wanted to keep away from his companions. He asked me with a serious expression on his face, “Do u think that Allah will accept my repentance?” I said, “If u are sincere & serious in ur repentance, then Allah will forgive all our sins.”

He said, “But I have done terrible things, very terrible.”

I said, “Have u not heard what Allah says:

Say: O My servants! who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; surely He is the Forgiving the Merciful?} (Az-Zumar 39: 53)

I saw him smiling with joy. His eyes filled with tears then he bade me farewell & left.

No matter how great a man's evil &  sin, in his heart there is a seed of goodness. If only we can reach it &  make it grow, it will bear fruit

in sha’ اللَّهُ.

This seed of goodness is always fighting in man's heart, even when it is covered with layers of whims &  desires. When Allαh Subhana Ta'ala  Wills good for His slave, He causes the light of guidance to shine in his heart & guides him to the path of those who are guided.

Allah says:

{Therefore (for) whomsoever Allah intends that He would guide him aright, He expands his breast for Islam, and (for) whomsoever He intends that He should cause him to err, He makes his breast straight and narrow as though he were ascending upwards; thus does Allah lay uncleanness on those who do not believe.} (Al-An`am 6: 125)

 استغفر الله الذي لا إله الا هو الحي القيوم وأتوب اليه 

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The 11-20 days of this blessed month are the days of forgiveness. Let us read the following abundantly:

اللهم اغفر ذنوبي يا رب العالمين

Allahum-magh-fir-li dhunoobi Ya Rabbal Alameen

 "I ask forgiveness of my sins from Allah who is my Lord and I turn towards Him."