In one of the battles waged against the Romans, Muslims – under the commandment of Maslamah – surrounded a city that had a tall and well-fortified wall. The siege went on for months.

Then one night, one of the Muslim soldiers informed General Maslamah that he managed to make a hole in the wall. “It is only large enough for a slim soldier.” He knelt closer. “Quickly, send with me someone who can squeeze through and fight the army on the inside until he has opened the gates for all of us to enter.”

Maslamah sent out the news and that night someone volunteered. In a sweeping assault, the gate was opened and Muslims were victorious.

Maslamah, overwhelmed with happiness, sought the soldier who entered the hole. No one came forward. The announcements were repeated. Three days passed and no one took credit.

On the fourth day, a soldier approached Maslamah; his face wrapped in a scarf. He said to him, “I have news of the soldier that entered the hole.”

Maslamah sat up sharp, “Tell me who it is?”

“He has three conditions before exposing himself. Do you agree to this?” said the soldier.

“Of course,” Maslamah said.

“The first is you do not compensate him for what he did. The second is you do not tell anyone who he is. And the third is you shall not ask for his presence ever again. Do you agree?” asked the soldier.

“Agreed,” Maslamah replied.

The soldier uncovered his scarf and said, “It is I. I went through that hole only for the sake of Allah.” He then turned and walked away.

After that day, Maslamah was often heard praying, “O Allah, (on the Day of Judgment) grant me companionship with the soldier of the hole.”