Hadith on Tawassul: Story of three men in the cave

Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “While three men were walking, they were overcome by rain and took refuge in a cave in a mountain. A boulder fell over the mouth of their cave, blocking them inside. One of them said to the others, ‘Look at the good deeds you have done for Allah that you may call upon Allah Almighty by them, for perhaps He will relieve you.’ One of them said, ‘O Allah, I had two old parents with my wife and young child. I tended to a flock and when evening came, I milked them and served my parents first before my child. One day I went in search of fodder and I did not come back until it was evening. I found them both sleeping, so I milked as I had done before. I brought the milk and stood by their heads, for I hated to disrupt their sleep or to serve my child before both of them. My child was crying at my feet, yet I continued standing over them until the approach of dawn. If You know I had done that seeking Your countenance, then relieve us of this distress that we might see the sky!’ Allah shifted the boulder until they could see the sky. Another man said, ‘O Allah, I had a cousin whom I loved more than any man could love women. I presented myself to her and she refused unless I could give her one hundred coins. I worked hard until I gathered one hundred coins and brought them to her. When I prepared myself between her legs, she said: O servant of Allah, fear Allah and do not break the hymen without right to do so! I stood and left her. If You know I had done that seeking your Face, then relieve us of this distress!’ The boulder was again shifted for them. The last man said, ‘O Allah, I employed a worker for a portion of rice. When he finished his work, he said: Give me what I deserve! I offered his share to him but he did not accept it. I continued planting his share until I had amassed cows and flocks. Then he came to me and he said: Fear Allah and do not violate my rights! I said: Go to this cow and its flocks and take them. He said: Fear Allah and do not mock me! I said: I do not mock you, take that cow and its flocks. So he took them and he left. If You know I had done that seeking Your face, then relieve us of what remains!’ Then Allah relieved them of what remained.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 3465, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2473

Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ بَيْنَمَا ثَلَاثَةُ نَفَرٍ يَتَمَشَّوْنَ أَخَذَهُمْ الْمَطَرُ فَأَوَوْا إِلَى غَارٍ فِي جَبَلٍ فَانْحَطَّتْ عَلَى فَمِ غَارِهِمْ صَخْرَةٌ مِنْ الْجَبَلِ فَانْطَبَقَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ انْظُرُوا أَعْمَالًا عَمِلْتُمُوهَا صَالِحَةً لِلَّهِ فَادْعُوا اللَّهَ تَعَالَى بِهَا لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ يَفْرُجُهَا عَنْكُمْ فَقَالَ أَحَدُهُمْ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّهُ كَانَ لِي وَالِدَانِ شَيْخَانِ كَبِيرَانِ وَامْرَأَتِي وَلِي صِبْيَةٌ صِغَارٌ أَرْعَى عَلَيْهِمْ فَإِذَا أَرَحْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ حَلَبْتُ فَبَدَأْتُ بِوَالِدَيَّ فَسَقَيْتُهُمَا قَبْلَ بَنِيَّ وَأَنَّهُ نَأَى بِي ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ الشَّجَرُ فَلَمْ آتِ حَتَّى أَمْسَيْتُ فَوَجَدْتُهُمَا قَدْ نَامَا فَحَلَبْتُ كَمَا كُنْتُ أَحْلُبُ فَجِئْتُ بِالْحِلَابِ فَقُمْتُ عِنْدَ رُءُوسِهِمَا أَكْرَهُ أَنْ أُوقِظَهُمَا مِنْ نَوْمِهِمَا وَأَكْرَهُ أَنْ أَسْقِيَ الصِّبْيَةَ قَبْلَهُمَا وَالصِّبْيَةُ يَتَضَاغَوْنَ عِنْدَ قَدَمَيَّ فَلَمْ يَزَلْ ذَلِكَ دَأْبِي وَدَأْبَهُمْ حَتَّى طَلَعَ الْفَجْرُ فَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنِّي فَعَلْتُ ذَلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِكَ فَافْرُجْ لَنَا مِنْهَا فُرْجَةً نَرَى مِنْهَا السَّمَاءَ فَفَرَجَ اللَّهُ مِنْهَا فُرْجَةً فَرَأَوْا مِنْهَا السَّمَاءَ وَقَالَ الْآخَرُ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّهُ كَانَتْ لِيَ ابْنَةُ عَمٍّ أَحْبَبْتُهَا كَأَشَدِّ مَا يُحِبُّ الرِّجَالُ النِّسَاءَ وَطَلَبْتُ إِلَيْهَا نَفْسَهَا فَأَبَتْ حَتَّى آتِيَهَا بِمِائَةِ دِينَارٍ فَتَعِبْتُ حَتَّى جَمَعْتُ مِائَةَ دِينَارٍ فَجِئْتُهَا بِهَا فَلَمَّا وَقَعْتُ بَيْنَ رِجْلَيْهَا قَالَتْ يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ اتَّقِ اللَّهَ وَلَا تَفْتَحْ الْخَاتَمَ إِلَّا بِحَقِّهِ فَقُمْتُ عَنْهَا فَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنِّي فَعَلْتُ ذَلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِكَ فَافْرُجْ لَنَا مِنْهَا فُرْجَةً فَفَرَجَ لَهُمْ وَقَالَ الْآخَرُ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي كُنْتُ اسْتَأْجَرْتُ أَجِيرًا بِفَرَقِ أَرُزٍّ فَلَمَّا قَضَى عَمَلَهُ قَالَ أَعْطِنِي حَقِّي فَعَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ فَرَقَهُ فَرَغِبَ عَنْهُ فَلَمْ أَزَلْ أَزْرَعُهُ حَتَّى جَمَعْتُ مِنْهُ بَقَرًا وَرِعَاءَهَا فَجَاءَنِي فَقَالَ اتَّقِ اللَّهَ وَلَا تَظْلِمْنِي حَقِّي قُلْتُ اذْهَبْ إِلَى تِلْكَ الْبَقَرِ وَرِعَائِهَا فَخُذْهَا فَقَالَ اتَّقِ اللَّهَ وَلَا تَسْتَهْزِئْ بِي فَقُلْتُ إِنِّي لَا أَسْتَهْزِئُ بِكَ خُذْ ذَلِكَ الْبَقَرَ وَرِعَاءَهَا فَأَخَذَهُ فَذَهَبَ بِهِ فَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنِّي فَعَلْتُ ذَلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِكَ فَافْرُجْ لَنَا مَا بَقِيَ فَفَرَجَ اللَّهُ مَا بَقِيَ

3465 صحيح البخاري كتاب أحاديث الأنبياء باب حديث الغار

2473 صحيح مسلم كتاب الرقاق باب قصة أصحاب الغار الثلاثة والتوسل بصالح الأعمال