A saint was once walking on the bank of a river when he saw a scorpion moving hastily towards the water. Knowing that a scorpion cannot swim he was surprised and decided to watch what happened.
In the meantime a tortoise emerged from the water and came close to the bank. The scorpion jumped onto the back of the tortoise and the tortoise began swimming. Very surprised he decided to follow the tortoise and scorpion. Finally, the tortoise reached the other end of the river and the scorpion jumped onto the bank. The scorpion then continued on its way. The saint continued to follow the scorpion.A while later he saw a young man sleeping beneath a tree and the scorpion was headed in his direction. Thinking that the scorpion would sting the sleeping man he prepared himself to kill it just as it was about to sting the man. As he went forward he saw a snake quickly moving towards the man. He was more surprised than ever. When the snake was close to the man the scorpion ran straight to the snake and bit it. The snake began to toss and turn and died on the spot. The scorpion then returned from the direction it had come.
The saint explained: “I was amazed at this spectacle of fate and began to think. O Allah, Your servant was sleeping here. A snake was about to bite him and You sent a scorpion from such a distance to save him! I went close to the man and awakened him only to find the stench of liquor emanating from his mouth!
I said to him: ‘O young man, you were asleep but Your sustainer was protecting you all along.’ When he rose to see the snake and he heard my story he began to cry, saying: ‘O Allah, I was astray and did not fear You. O Helper of the helpless! O Listener of those who call out for help! O Remover of calamities! O Being who is seventy times more loving than a mother! I had broken Your commands but You did not turn away from me. You showered me with so many bounties to protect me.’ The young man sincerely repented and changed his life.”
What man regards as a coincidence is a carefully worked-out plan from Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala showers His mercy upon us every second of the day. Only He knows of the countless occasions on which He has saved us from a calamity, disease, accident or misfortune. In return the least we can do is to obey His commands.