Hakim al-Umma Shaykh Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) narrates the following story in one of his discourses,
A junior policeman was doing his daily rounds. He saw a dervish humbly walking by. Just to make a point and assert his rank on the people surrounding him the policeman slapped the dervish telling him to be watchful and not to mess around.
Rubbing his cheek, the dervish supplicated “O Allah! Make him a Sheriff.”
The policeman felt reassured that this person is insane. I slapped him and he is praying for my promotion.
It so happened that the Governor of the state came for visit and being pleased with this policeman promoted him directly to the post of a sheriff.
This reminded him of the dervish. He thought to himself, ‘I should go and ask forgiveness from him for my mistake and also present some gift to him.’ So he went with the sweets and said, “’Sir, from your supplication I actually got that exact position which you prayed for and due to this good news I have brought these sweets for you. I am ashamed of my behavior. I made a big mistake. I was not aware of your exalted position. And you still prayed in my favor. I apologize and offer my services to you. Please, ask for something specific and I will get it for you.’
Initially the dervish refused. There was nothing that he wanted. However, the constable continued to pester him. The dervish told him, “Okay! Bring me some scorpions. But make sure that they are black in color and each one is the size of human hand.”
The sheriff searched in despair for such scorpions. He even involved his whole police department and they failed. All the scorpions they found were of smaller size.
Eventually he returned to the dervish saying, “Sir, these kinds of scorpions are nowhere to be found.”
The dervish replied, “Come with me, I will show you.” He led him to the graveyard. Digging at a particular grave, he told him to look inside. There were thousands of black and human hand sized scorpions gripping onto a skeleton. The sheriff was horrified.
The dervish asked him, ‘Would you care to know whose grave is it? This is the grave of a Sheriff.
You thought I prayed in favor of you but that was not the case.”
Not all progress and promotion is guaranteed to be a blessing. Sometimes it may be a Divine plan to punish us for our wrong doings.
May Allah save us. Amin!