Sh. Hasan Al-maydani

Shaykh Hasan Habankah al-Maydani al-Dimashqi al-Shafi`i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

As I was returning to my home one day, one hour before Maghrib prayers, during one of the days of Ramadan, a poor man stopped me from among those who used to occasionally attend the lectures I used to give at my home and in the mosque.

He greeted me with great passion that caused my eyes to tear and said to me: “I ask you, by Allah, to break your fast with me today”.

The Shaykh said: The manner he greeted me with prevented my tongue from refusing, and my neck felt chained by his eagerness, and my heart lit up with the mention of He whom he asked me by, so I said to him: My brother, my family is waiting for me, and my condition does not allow me … but nay, I found myself following him to his home. A home which I do not know where it is, nor do I know how prepared he is for such an invitation this close to the time of Iftar!

Sh. Hasan in a meeting 2

The Shaykh said: When we reached his home, I found it to be nothing more than a tiny room with a kitchen, along with it was a small open space in front of that room on top of a roof, which he had bought from one of his friends!!

The house had an entrance and a private staircase made from wood, that could not bear the weight of two people ascending it at the same time. It was as if the wood of the staircase was calling out for help from the weakness it faced as a result of this poverty and aging.

However, the happiness had filled that man’s heart and the statements of a thankfulness and appreciation was flowing from his lips.

“See Shaykh, this house belongs to me, I own it and do not owe any person a single Franc … Look over there O Shaykh, the sun shines on my room in the morning from that direction as it rises, and then sets at this other direction … And that spot over there, O Shaykh, is where I sit and read Quran at the time of Fajr and also before the Sun sets … and my wife, O Shaykh, may Allah be pleased with her, she sits by that window and supplicates to Allah for me … By Allah, O Shaykh, it is as if I am living in Heaven”

The Shaykh continues saying: He continued and I listened as I followed him carefully, taking each step with great caution, fearing that the stairs may collapse at any moment.

As the Shaykh arrived at the room, he heard a faint voice of the house owner coming from the kitchen, as he spoke to his wife, saying: “Prepare the breakfast for us … Shaykh Hasan Hanbaka will have breakfast with us today".

The wife said to him: “My shame! We have nothing to eat except some beans … and it’s only half an hour till Maghrib time, and we have nothing else to prepare!!! … Even if we have anything, there isn’t enough time to prepare it!”

As the Shaykh heard this, he called the owner of the house and said to him: My brother, [I forgot to tell you], I have one condition … The man said: Order me with whatever you want, O Shaykh.

The Shaykh said: “I usually do not break my fast except with water and some dates … and I do not eat after that except after half an hour from the time of Maghrib, so that I have time to digest the water and the dates and pray and finish my daily Wird (supplications and remembrance).

I am also following a special diet, so I do not eat except beans and potatoes with some parsley and garlic, and other than that I do not eat anything else … Now you can leave me so that I can be alone with my Lord”.

(The Shaykh said to us: And it is known that potatoes here are the food of the poor, thus I knew it would be available with them).

The man said to the Shaykh: As you wish, Shaykh.

What the Shaykh asked was done and he broke his fast with them and left …

The Shaykh said: I left and was filled with joy and happiness, and felt a love of this life after what I had heard from that man, whose tongue did not stop from remembering Allah and praising Him for the blessings He had bestowed upon him, and thanking Him for this house which He had blessed him with and for this beautiful life which he finds himself in.

The Shaykh says: After a few days, I was invited along with a group of dignitaries to have Iftar in the house of one of the wealthy traders, and he was one of those whom Allah has abundantly blessed with wealth, children, and a distinguished family … That invitation was in one of his fancy farms, and in it was all what one can desire. In the middle of the farm was a huge villa, rather it was more like a palace than a villa … That villa oversaw a big pool and barn filled with horses from among the rarest of horses!!!

The Shaykh said: We broke our fast with that man and as I was departing, the man who invited us walked with me, and then started to complain to me about how difficult his life was!!

He started to tell me about all the problems he is facing with his business, the trouble his children are causing him, how ill mannered his wife was with him, and how greedy all those around him are, he told me about his increasing expenses, and how exhausted he is trying to please all those around him!!!

He told me how tired he is of this life and how he hopes his death would come soon so that he can get away of all these worries and difficulties!!

The Shaykh said: “From the door of that man’s villa to the door of my car, that man made this life appear so gloomy in my eyes and I felt my chest is congested and my breathing became difficult!

I looked at the skies as I sat in my car and I said to myself:

Praise be to Allah for the gift of content, for happiness is attained not through having plenty which we would pay its price, rather happiness is through having a good connection with Allah and with being content and satisfied with what which He had decreed for you.



[1] The story was found in several pages unreferenced.

[2] Biography of the Sh. Hasan Habankah Al-Maydani in Arabic: Wikipedia, Islamstory (nice bio by Dr. Musa al-Shareef), Tafsir forum,

[3] A powerful Khutbah he gave in 1967 in response to a Baa’thist journalist who wrote an article mocking aspects of the religion.

Powerful khutbah

[4] Arabic text:

يقول الشيخ حسن حبنّكه الميداني رحمه الله: كنتُ عائدا إلى بيتي قبل المغرب بساعه في يومٍ من أيّام رمضان … فاستوقفني رجلٌ فقيرٌ من الذين يتردّدون على درسي في البيت والمسجد تردُّدَ الزائر …… سلّم عليّ بلهفةٍ أدْمَعت عيني وقال لي : أسْتَحـلِفكَ بوجه الله أن تَفْطَرْ عندي اليوم ….. يقول الشيخ : عقدتْ لساني لهفته وطوّقت عنُقي رغبتُه وأشرق في قلبي وجهٌ استحلفني به ….. فقلتُ له : يا أخي الأهل بانتظاري وظروفي لا تسمح … ولكنْ !!!! يقول الشيخ : وجدتُ نفسي أتبعه إلى بيته الذي لا أعرف مكانه ولا أعرف ظرْفه في هذا الوقت الحرج من موعد الإفطارْ !!!!

يقول الشيخ : وصلنا إلى بيته فإذا هو غرفةٌ ومطبخٌ وفناءٌ مكشوفٌ صغيرْ على سطحٍ اشتراه من أصحابه !! وهذا البيت له مدخلٌ ودرجٌ خاص من الخشب لا يحتمل صعود شخصين فخشباته تستغيثُ من وهَنٍ خلَّفَهُ بها الفقرُ والقِدَمْ ..
كانت السعادةُ تملؤ قلب هذا الرجل ، وعباراتُ الشكر والإمتنان تتدفّق من شفتيه وهو يقول للشيخ : شوف سيدي هذا البيت مِلكي ( الملك لله ) ماحدا إلو عندي فرَنْكْ … شوف سيدي : الشمس بتشرق على غرفتي الصبح وبْتغرُب من الجهه التانيه .. وهَيْ المشْرَأَهْ بقرأ فيها القرآن عند الفجر وقبل المغيب … وزوجتي الله يرضى عليها بتعُّدْ على هادا الشبّاك وبْتدْعيلي … والله يا سيدي كأني عايش بالجنّه !!

يتابع الشيخ ويقول : كل هذا يجري على مسامعي وأنا أصعد على الدرج بحذر خِشْيَةَ السقوط !!!
لحظات والشيخ يسمع بعد أن وصل إلى الغرفه صوتاً خافتاً من صاحب الدار يقول لزوجته في المطبخ : حضّريلنا فطور .. الشيخ حسن حبنّكه حيفْطَرْ عندي !!! فقالت له زوجته : يا فضيحتي ما عندي أكل غير فول مدمّس ، وبقيان لأذان المغرب نص ساعه .. لا عنا شي نطبخو !! ولو عندنا شي ما بلحّق إطبخ !!!!
بالكاد سمع الشيخ هذا الحوار … فنادى على صاحب الدار وقال له : يا أخي لي شرط عندك … فقال الرجل إمرْني سيدي … فقال الشيخ : أنا لا أفطر مع أذان المغرب إلا ماء ومعي التمر .. ولا أفطر إلاّ بعد نصف ساعه من الأذان بعد ما أهضم الماء والتمر وصلّي وأُنهي وِرْدي اليومي ..

ولا آكل إلاّ فول مدمّس ومْقَلاّيهْ ببطاطا مع الكزبره والتوم وغير ذلك لا آكل شيء فأنا على حمْيَةِ البطاطا … والآن دعني لأختلي مع ربّي ( يقول لنا الشيخ : البطاطا زادُ الفقراء وأحسبها عندهم ) .. فقال الرجل : أمرك سيدي
وتمّ ما أراده الشيخ وأفطر عنده وغادر .. يقول الشيخ خرجتُ وكلّي سعادةٌ وبهجه وأحببتُ الدنيا على لسان هذا الرجل الذي مانَزَلَتْ من فمه عباراتُ الثناء والحمد على نعم الله وعلى هذا البيت الذي ملّكَهُ الله إيّاه وعلى هذه الحياة الجميلة التي يتغنّى بها !!!!

يقول الشيخ : دُعيت بعد أيام مع مجموعةٍ من الوجهاء على الإفطار عند أحد التجّار الأثرياء وكان من الذين أنعم الله عليهم بالمال والجاه والأولاد والأسرةِ المرموقه … كانت الدعوه في مزرعةٍ فخمه فيها مما لذّ وطاب تتوسّطها ڤيلا أقرب ما تكون للقصر منها إلى الڤيلا … تُطلُّ على مسبحٍ ومرْبَطْ خيل فيه نوادر الخيل الأصيله !!! يقول الشيخ : أفطرنا عند الرجل ، وأثناء المغادره انفرد صاحب الدعوةِ بالشيخ حسن وشكى له من ضيق الحياة وهموم التجاره ومتاعب الأولاد وسوء طباع زوجته وطمع من حوله به ، وكَثرَةِ المصاريف وجرْيه المُتْعِبْ لإرضاء الجميع …وسأَمِه من هذه الحياة ورغبته بالموت ليتخلّص من هذه الهموم !!!!!!!
يقول الشيخ : من باب ڤيلَةِ صاحب الدعوه إلى باب سيارتي سَوَّدَ هذا الرجل الدنيا في عيوني … وأطبق عليَّ صدري وأنفاسي ، فنظرتُ إلى السماء بعد أن ركبتُ بسيّارتي وأنا أقول في قلبي : الحمد لله على نعمةِ الرضا …
ليست السعادةُ بكثيرٍ ندفع ثمنه !!! السعادةُ حُسنُ صِلَةٍ بالله ورضاً بما قَسَمَ الله