I was a young man, and truth be told, I sinned whenever any opportunity to sin arose. One day, a young girl caught my attention. She had the most beautiful face that I had ever seen, and I was bent on having her. I signaled for her to come to me, and when she drew nearer, I saw a look of terror on her face.
“Do not fear, for I will not harm you,” I reassured her. But my words did nothing to allay her terror; in fact, she began to tremble like the long leaf of a date-palm tree trembles on a windy day. “Tell me your story,” I said.
“By Allah,” she began, “You must know, my brother, that I have never before done anything like this. But I have three daughters, and it has been three days since any of them has tasted any food. Today, hunger and compassion for them caused me to come out like this.”
For the first time in my life, I felt pity; her story truly moved me, and I no longer entertained the intention of taking advantage of her. After finding out from her where she lived, I went there with as much money, clothing, wheat, and other items as I could carry. I then returned home and told my mother what had occurred.
It so happened that I kept a journal; in it, I would (proudly) record all of my evil exploits. My mother, who knew about my journal, said, “My son, this is the first good deed that you have ever performed. You have a journal in which you record your evil deeds, so get up and record in it this good deed.” Upon opening my journal, I was shocked to see that all of the pages in it were blank, except for the first page, on which was written a single line:
إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّـيِّئَاتِ
“Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins).” [Quran 11:14]
I immediately raised my hands towards the sky and said “BY Your Might and Your Majesty, I will never again disobey You.”