I read the book Al-Mutawaareen, by ‘AbduI-Ghani al-Azdi. An interesting book, it relates the stories of those who went into hiding because they feared being captured and taken to Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf; the ruthless despot of his time.
Abu ‘Umar ibn al-‘Ulaa said of his difficulties, "When Al-Hajjaj threatened me, I fled to Yemen and stayed in a house in As-Sana’a.
At night, I would sit on the roof; during the day I remained concealed inside." One night, while on the roof, he heard a man recite:
“Perhaps the soul is terrified and troubled by a matter, For which there is a solution like the untying of a knot."
Abu ‘Umar further said, "When the man said ‘solution’, I felt a spark of hope and became happy. Then I heard another man explain the words of the first by announcing that Al-Hajjaj had died. By Allah, I don’t know which of the two things made me joyful: the word ‘solution’, or the words, ‘Hajjaj has died’."
There is only one decision that is binding and must come forth into existence, and that is the decision of the One in Whose Hand is the control of the heavens and the earth.
(Every day He has a matter to bring forth [such as giving honor to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some, etc.]!) (Qur’an 55: 29)
Al-Hasan al-Basri also had to hide from Al-Hajjaj. When the news came of the latter’s death, Al-Hasan thanked Allah by prostrating to Him.
(And the heavens and the earth wept not for them, nor were they given a respite.) (Qur’an 44: 29)
Ibraheem an-Nakha’ee was yet another who went into hiding because of Al-Hajjaj. When the news of Al-Hajjaj’s death came to him, he wept tears of joy and said:
"Joy has overcome me to the point that from the greatness of what caused me joy, I was made to cry."
(And we have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? And your Lord is Ever All-Seer (of everything).)
(Qur’an 25: 20)
On one occasion, a bird called Al-Hummarah flapped its wings and flew over the head of the Messenger of Allah (bpuh). It was complaining against someone; the Messenger of Allah (bpuh) said:
"Who has tormented this one by (taking its) chicks? Return to it its chicks."
Commenting on this, someone said:
"A pigeon came to you with hope in you, Complaining with a disturbed and trembling heart, who was it that informed it that your place is a sanctuary, and that you are a shelter for the wronged."
Sa’eed ibn Jubayr said, "By Allah, I continued to flee from Al-Hajjaj for a period of time until I felt ashamed.” Shortly after saying this, he was brought before Al-Hajjaj. When the sword was unsheathed and was raised over his head, he smiled. Alâ-Hajjaj asked,
"Why are you smiling?" He answered, “While I was in (deep) reflection, a thought entered my mind; I became amazed at your impudence towards Allah and at His Mercy towards you." To put things in that light while being in those circumstances showed a great deal of fortitude, faith, and trust in Allah’s promise!