In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Narrated Abdullah ibn Omar (may Allah be pleased with him): ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) saying: “Three men from among those who were before you, set out together until they reached a cave at night and they entered it. A big rock rolled down the mountain and closed the mouth of the cave. They said (to each other): ‘Nothing can save us from this rock but to invoke Allah by mentioning the righteous deeds that we have done (for Allah’s sake only).” So, one of them said: ‘O Allah! I had old parents (whom I used to provide with milk) and I never provided my family (wife, children, etc.) with milk before them. One day, by chance I was delayed, and I arrived late (at night) after they had slept. I milked the sheep for them and then took the milk to them, but I found them sleeping. I did not like to offer my family the milk before them, so I waited for them and the bowl of milk was in my hand and I kept on waiting for them to get up until dawn. Then they got up and drank the milk. O Allah! If I did that for Your sake only, I invoke You to relieve us from our critical situation that has been caused by this rock.’ So, the rock moved a little, but they could not get out. The Prophet (SAWS) added: “The second man said: ‘O Allah! I had a cousin who was the dearest of all people to me and I wanted to have sexual intercourse with her, but she refused. Later she came across hard times during a year of famine and she came to me, and I gave her one hundred and twenty dinars on the condition that she would not resist my desires, and she agreed. When I was about to fulfill my desires, she said: “It is illegal for you to violate my chastity except through legitimate marriage.” So, I realized it was a sin to have sexual intercourse with her and left her, though she was the dearest of all people to me. I also left the gold I had given her. O Allah! If I did that for Your sake only, please relieve us from the present calamity.’ So, the rock moved a little more, but still they could not get out from the cave. The Prophet (SAWS) added: “Then the third man said: ‘O Allah! I employed few laborers and I paid them all of them their wages, with the exception of one man who did not take his wages and went away. I invested his wages and I gained much profit from this. (Then after some time) he came and said to me: “O Allah’s servant! Pay me my wages.” I said to him: “All the camels, cows, sheep, and slaves that you see here, are yours.” He said: “O Allah’s slave! Don’t mock me.” I said: “I am not mocking you.” So, he took the herd and drove them away and left nothing. O Allah! If I did that for Your sake only, please relieve us from the present suffering.’ So, the rock moved completely and they walked out. (Bukhari)
SAWS: May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection
Riyaadiss-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous) (Abridged)
By Imam An Nawawi Vol. (1)
Publisher: Dar Al-Manarah
Chapter 1, Page 77, Number 12