He said, ‘There used to be a Shaikh, who would enjoin the good and forbid the evil, hoping for Allaah’s reward in that and not seeking any material gain from it. He would go out to the marketplace along with some of his keen students. Every time he saw an evil in the market [perpetrated] by a merchant, by a store owner, by a spice dealer, he would advise and remind them.
Until one day he stopped by a store owner and saw him selling hashish to another person so he criticised him strongly, ‘O disobedient one! O criminal! You sell that which harms and does not benefit …’ and so on. So this Azhari Shaikh said to them that this noble scholar who used to enjoin the good and forbid the evil had not completed his sentence except that he became just like an animal that doesn’t understand anything.
[Little did he know that] the store-owner was a Shaikh and one of the major Allies of Allaah and righteous people. For this reason, when that noble Shaikh criticised him, the store-owner-Shaikh stole and took away his intellect and reasoning.
His students were now perplexed regarding their Shaikh so they started to ask about the remedy to this problem which they did not know the cure for. They asked one person and another, going from one place to the next, until [finally] they came to a person who told them that no one could tell them [anything] about this person’s problem except so and so, for he is someone who has ‘two wings’, i.e., has gathered both the [knowledge of the] Sharee’ah and the ‘Reality,’ so go to him.
They did and told him the story. So he said that the store keeper–and I [Shaikh al-Albaani] am going to call him the ‘Hashish Wali’–is from the major Allies of Allaah [Awliyaa’ullaah] and from the major righteous people, ‘Your Shaikh’s cure is that you take him to that Hashish Wali and try to appease him so that he becomes pleased with this Shaikh [of yours, and when that happens,] the Shaikh will return to being just as he was.’
They went to him, they went to him and said, ‘Our master, don’t blame the Shaikh, the Shaikh didn’t know your rank and standing …’ –i.e., just as the alleged two-winged one had directed them, the one who had gathered between the Sharee’ah and the Reality–they kept on trying to please him in this manner until the Hashish Wali became pleased with the Shaikh, the Shaikh who would enjoin the good and forbid the evil.
And just like one asleep, [behold] the Shaikh awoke and the group [of students] felt that, truly, what the two-winged one had said was correct, i.e., the Shaikh returned to being just as he was.
And thus, the Shaikh, in turn, started to apologise and excuse himself before the Hashish Wali, ‘Don’t blame us for we did not know your rank and standing and your station before Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.’
So where is the lesson?
The Hashish Wali said to this scholar, ‘You, O Shaikh, think that I sell Hashish, the drug. [But] I sell hashish which looks just like hashish but its effect is the opposite to hashish. No one buys this from me except that he is cured from smoking hashish.’
In this way they dispensed with the laws of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic and the intellect of the people so as to enslave and subjugate them.
And I know shaikhs in Damascus, in Syria, and a man in Aleppo who openly declare in their general lessons in big Jaami mosques, ‘If you see a Shaikh and he has hung a cross around his neck, then do not criticise him. For he sees what you do not, and knows that which you know not.’
And the proof for that is the following story …