Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said: “There is some kind of shadow upon my heart, so I ask Allah for forgiveness one hundred times a day.” [Sahih Muslim]
Reading beautiful stories always mesmerizes once's soul, I have found this story very delicate and true to my nature.
Once Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, was traveling and felt the need to stay somewhere during the night. He went to the Masjid, the guard not recognizing him, denied him entrance. The Imam tried many times making requests, but the guard stood firmly not letting him stay.
The Imam feeling frustrated decided to spend the night in the Masjid yard. Watching him in the yard, the guard became furious and dragged him away not caring of Imam Ahmad’s old age and debility. Nearby, there was a baker shop, the baker witnessed the scene. He took pity on the Imam and invited him to stay at his home for the night. The Imam agreed. During the time with the baker, Imam Ahmad noticed the baker who continuously made Astaghfaar (asking for Allah’s forgiveness) while working.
Imam stayed for the night, in the morning he eagerly asked his host why he made Astaghfaar continually. The baker replied it had become his second nature. The Imam asked if his practice bore any rewards.
The baker answered, “By Allah! No Duaa (supplication) have I made except that it has been answered; except one.”
“And what is that exception?” asked Imam Ahmad.
“To be able to see the famed Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal!” said the baker
Hearing this, Imam interjected, “I am Ahmad Ibn Hanbal! By Allah! I was dragged to your place so that you could have your wish come true.
Note: This is a true story, the blogger intentionally left some phrases in their true form to delineate its true meaning.