An Incident of Love of Laila vs. Love of Maula
Abdullah ibn Mubarak (rahmatullahi alaihi) was the student of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) and the teacher of Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah). Prior to his reformation and entry into the path of Deen, he was intensely in love with a beautiful slave-girl. His love for her continued for a great length of time.
Once during a winter night, he stood near her home in the hope of seeing her. He stood waiting the entire night until the morning, but in vain.
In the morning he was struck by remorse for having wasted the night. He said to himself: “If I had spent the night in worshipping Allah, it would have been a thousand times better than what I have done.”
Allah’s fadhl opened up his heart. His perishable love was replaced by Divine Love. He repented and engrossed himself in Allah’s remembrance.
(Extracted from Scattered Pearls: “Stories of the Auliya”)