A man named Fudayl ibn Iyad had the worst job in the morning and the worst job at night. In the morning, he used to be a highway robber where he steals and attacks caravans that are passing his area. And at night, he commits adultery (Zina) behind a valley.
One night when he was travelling to the valley to commit adultery, he heard another man who was reciting the following verse:
"Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? And let them not be like those who were given the Scripture before, and a long period passed over them, so their hearts hardened, and many of them are defiantly disobedient" (Quran 57:16)
And these words touched his heart and he responded, "Indeed yes my lord. This is the time."
Then Fudayl left that area and walked away. As he was walking, he saw a group of travelers who were disputing amongst themselves on whether to take the route where the highway Robber (Fudayl ibn Iyaad) was living as they fear that he might attack the caravan.
On hearing this, Fudayl began to cry, and grabbed his beard and says the following words:
"During the night I soil myself in the disobedience of Allah and in the morning, there are believers who fear my presence. I don't see that Allah (SWT) made me hear that conversation except that He (SWT) wants to me to come back to the right path. O Allah I have repented to you and made my decision to live in Majid-ul-Haraam in accompany with the scholars of Makkah"
And then years passed where he learnt more about Islam and eventually became the Imaam of Makkah!
This is the story of Imaam Fudayl ibn Iyaad who is known to be the "Imaamul Haramain" (The Imaam of the 2 holy mosques in Madinah and Makkah)
Let us all have hope and turn towards the right path.
Written by Zaid Siddique