THE STORY OF BARSEESAH
Barseesah was a Raahib (Buzroog) during the time of Bani Israaeel. He had renounced the world and had devoted himself to the ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala. He was the most pious saint in Bani Israaeel. During his time there were three brothers who had one young sister. The three sons planned to join a Jihaad expedition. However, they were concerned about their sister. They had no relatives with whom they could leave their sister. They did not trust anyone. Finally they decided to leave her in the care of Raahib Barseesah. They held him in the highest esteem.
They approached Barseesah and requested that he takes custody of their sister until they return. Barseesah refused and sought refuge with Allah Ta’ala from them and from their sister. But, the brothers pleaded with him. Finally, Barseesah submitted to their appeals and instructed them to leave their sister in the room which was opposite his sauma’ah (place of worship).
Every day Barseesah would descend from his ibaadat khaanah to leave food for her outside the door of his sauma’ah. He would then lock the door of the sauma’ah and ascend the stairs. From inside he would call the girl and she would come to collect her food. This continued for quite some time.
Then Shaitaan began with his talbees. He started to whisper into the heart of Barseesah that the girl’s emergence from her room was improper. People passing by would see her, and perhaps some evil man would even molest her. He then developed the idea that it would be better if he left the food at the door of her room. That would be even more rewardable by Allah Ta’ala. This ‘logic’ whispered into his heart by Shaitaan appealed to Barseesah. He would then place the food at the door of her room without speaking to her. Some time went by in this manner.
Then Iblees approached him with exhortations of virtue and reward. The argument developed in his mind that if he placed the food inside her room, it would be better. This logic appealed to him. He submitted to this ploy of Shaitaan and for some time thereafter he would deliver the food inside the room.
Iblees then whispered into him: ‘She is extremely lonely and scared of living all alone. She will be comforted if at least you say a few words of naseehat (advice) to her. However, he would not speak to her inside the room. He would speak to her from the window in his sauma’ah which was upstairs. Then Iblees whispered that it would be better if he descended from his sauma’ah and spoke to her from outside the door of his sauma’ah. Thus, he submitted to this satanic ‘logic’ and daily sat outside by the door of his place of worship and conversed with her while the girl sat outside by the entrance of her room. By this time mutual conversation had become the norm, and this pattern continued for quite some time.
Iblees then tempted him to go a step further. Barseesah began sitting near to her by the entrance of her room. Iblees, pursuing his pernicious plot, whispered to him that it is more in conformity with modesty if he sat inside the room to converse with her so that passers by do not see her. Barseesah by this time was fully in the clutches of Iblees. He submitted to the satanic logic and would spend the whole day talking with her inside her room. At night time he would leave, ascend into his sauma’ah, and engage in ibaadat.
Talbeesul Iblees had thoroughly eroded the spiritual fibre of Barseesah. Now the process leading to the ultimate act of fornication was quite simple for Iblees. Soon Barseesah committed fornication and the girl became pregnant. She gave birth to a baby boy.
Now came Iblees again and whispered to him: ‘What will you do when her brothers return? You will be utterly disgraced and punished. The best option is to kill the baby and bury him. And, this is what Barseesah did. He murdered the baby.
After he had killed the baby, Iblees again appeared to him and said: ‘She has seen what you had done with her baby. Do you think that she will conceal this from her brothers? It is best that you kill her as well so that your deeds remain a secret. Submitting to the shaitaani command, Barseesah killed the girl. Then he threw her body and the body of the baby in a pit and covered it with a huge slab of stone. Then he ascended into his sauma’ah and once again engaged in worship.
When finally the brothers returned, they came to fetch their sister and questioned Barseesah about her. He praised her much, expressed grief and sorrow. He pointed to a grave, saying: ‘That is her grave. She had died.” The brothers went to the grave and remained there for a long time making dua. They grieved and cried much. They stayed at the place for many days, and then departed for their home.
When they arrived home and went to sleep, Shaitaan appeared to the eldest brother in a dream. He assumed the form of a traveller. In the dream, Iblees explained the entire episode of his sister, mentioning where her body and the baby’s body were. Then Shaitaan appeared in a dream to the other two brothers as well. He informed them precisely as he had informed the eldest brother.
In the morning when the three brothers met, they related their dreams. They were very surprised to learn that all three had seen identical dreams. The eldest said that the dreams were most probably false and satanic, and they should ignore them. The youngest brother, however, insisted that they visit the place to check. This they did.
They went directly to the spot indicated to them in the dream and found the two slaughtered bodies. When they questioned the Raahib, he now had no alternative but to make a confession. The brothers apprehended him and took him to the king. Barseesah was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.
When he was mounted on the scaffold for execution, Iblees appeared to him and said: “Do you know that I was your companion who had trapped you into fornicating with her and killing her and her baby? If today you obey me, and reject (commit kufr) Allah Who has created you, I shall save your life. Baseerah, panicking and utterly bereft of any spirituality, in desperation obeyed and committed kufr.
After he committed kufr, Iblees abandoned him. Baseerah was executed. In relation to this episode of Talbeesul Iblees, the following Qur’aanic aayat was revealed: “…..Just like Shaitaan when he says to a person: ‘Commit kufr.’ After the person commits kufr, Shaitaan says:
‘Verily, I am free from you. Verily, I fear Allah, The Rabb of all the worlds.’” (Surah Hashr, Aayat 16)
This anecdote is an excellent illustration of Talbeesul Iblees. It demonstrates how Iblees confuses and deceives people. Even a Saint who had devoted his life to ibaadat became the victim of Shaitaan’s deception. By degrees Iblees eroded the spiritual fibre and defences of Barseesah who had fallen into the satanic trap and became the victim of his carnal emotions. Shaitaan is an exceedingly cunning enemy. He was aware that it would have been a futile exercise to attempt to lure and ensnare Barseesah into fornication and the ensuing crimes by making a direct appeal to his nafs. He spun his plot and with great patience he unfurled his deception gradually. Degree by degree he succeeded in desensitizing Barseesah and eroding his spiritual fibre and moral inhibition to sin.
This is the way in which Iblees lays his traps and ensnares many learned men – molvis and sheikhs – in perpetration of the most heinous crimes against Allah Ta’ala. He appears in religious hues and raiments, and whispers religious ideas and altruistic ideals into the minds of the shallow-minded ‘scholars’, who quickly fall prey to their nafsaani instincts. He presents to them ‘cogent’ reasons for ignoring Shar’i rulings and prohibitions for the sake of ‘long term’ benefits which in reality are nothing but figments of their imagination – satanic mirages. Any act which brings in its wake violations of the Shariah is pure Shaitaani and a classic example of Talbeesul Iblees regardless of the perceived benefits and virtues. There can never be virtue and benefit in an act which is accompanied by haraam misdeeds.