On the occasion when Nabi Musaa (alayhis salaam) was on his way to Mount Tur to observe I’tikaaf of 40 days, to commune with Allah Ta’ala, and to receive the revelation of the Tauraah, he met an old man sitting on a rock crying profusely. Pitying the old man, Nabi Musaa (alayhis salaam) enquired of the reason for his grief.
The old man replied that he was Shaitaan and he was crying because Allah’s mercy extended on all beings except him. Although he too was Allah’s creature, he is being excluded from Allah’s mercy, hence he was shedding so many tears. Nabi Musaa (alayhis salaam) promised to raise the matter with Allah Ta’ala on Mount Tur.
Meanwhile on Mount Tur, Hadhrat Musaa (alayhis salaam) had forgotten about the promise he had made to Shaitaan. After spending forty days on Mount Tur and being favoured with the wonderful treasures of communion and speech with Allah Ta’ala, when he was departing, Allah Ta’ala reminded him of his promise. It was then that Nabi Musaa (alayhis salaam) recalled the episode. He explained the circumstances and plight of Shaitaan. Allah Ta’ala responded that His mercy would enshroud even Shaitaan. However, he had become accursed on account of his refusal to prostrate for Nabi Aadam (alayhis salaam). While Nabi Aadam (alayhis salaam) was no longer alive, his qabr (grave) still existed. Shaitaan only has to go to Nabi Aadam’s qabr and perform one prostration, and he will be forgiven. Bygones will be bygones, and he too will be the recipient of Allah’s rahmat (mercy).
Nabi Musaa (alayhis salaam) was absolutely delighted. He had secured forgiveness for even Shaitaan. This forgiveness was dependent on a very simply act. He only had to make one Sajdah at the grave of Nabi Aadam (alayhis salaam), and Allah’s mercy will be bestowed to him. When Nabi Musaa (alayhis salaam) on his return journey reached the place, he found Shaitaan still crying. Nabi Musaa (alayhis salaam) announced the glad tidings and explained the simple method of Taubah (repentance) and gaining forgiveness and the mercy of Allah Ta’ala.
When Shaitaan heard that he had to prostrate to the grave of Nabi Aadam (alayhis salaam), his tears suddenly dried up. He stood up and said with pride: “When I had refused to prostrate to Aadam when he was alive, how can I ever prostrate to his grave?” So saying, he walked away arrogantly with a huff.