Do You Have the Entrance Fee for Paradise?
Excerpted from Love is the Wine by Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak
One day Ibrahim Ad'ham tried to enter a public bath. The bath attendant stopped him and asked for the entrance fee. He hung his head and admitted he had no money.
The attendant replied, "If you have no money, you can't enter the bath."
Ibrahim Ad'ham cried out and sank to the ground, weeping bitterly. Passersby stopped to comfort him. Someone offered him money so he could get into the public bath.
Ibrahim Ad'ham said: "I'm not weeping because I was refused entrance to the bath. When the bath attendant demanded an admission fee I was reminded of something which led me to weep. If I am not allowed to enter the bath in this world unless I pay the fee, what hope do I have of being allowed to enter Paradise? What will happen to me when they demand, 'What good deeds have you brought? What have you done worthy of being let into Paradise?' Just as I was kept out of the bath because I could not pay, I will surely be kept out of Paradise if I have no good deeds to my credit. That is why I weep and moan."
As they reflected on their own lives and deeds, all his listeners began to cry with Ibrahim Ad'ham