azharmasjidShaykh Ali Tantawi (may Allah have mercy on him) in his memoir about Shaykh Ahmad Al-Zayaat (May Allah have mercy on him) (1/252) narrated,

Shaykh Ali Tantawi said:

“The Shaykh (Ahmad Al-Zayaat) was a teacher, who did not know anything of this world except the Azhar where he used to teach, the house he used to live in, and the road between them.

As years passed by and he got older, his health started to deteriorate and he needed to rest.

So the doctor forced him to take some time off and suggested that he goes somewhere away from his place of work and residence, and advised him to enjoy the quietness and calmness of the parks next to the Nile.

That is why one day, the Shaykh went out and stopped a carriage (as cars were not that available at the time). He told the driver,

'My son, take me to a nice place were I can enjoy the view and relax.'

The driver of the carriage, however, was a wicked person, and took the Shaykh to a place in Egypt, which at the time had several prostitution houses.

After arriving he told the Shaykh, "Here [we are]."

The Shaykh said,

'O son, Maghrib prayer is drawing near, where can I pray? Take me first to the Masjid.'

The Driver (pointing towards one of those houses) said, "The Masjid is over there."

The door of the place was open, and the lady running that house was sitting, in the manner those like her usually sit.

When the Shaykh saw her, he lowered his gaze. He saw a seat and so he headed towards it and sat, waiting for the Call to Prayer (Adhaan).

The woman in confusion, just stared at him.

What brought that man here?

He doesn’t look like any of her regular customers.

She kept thinking to herself, but did not dare ask him what he was doing here.

What kept her from asking was the shyness that remained in her heart, even as a prostitute. However, that shyness only appears in front of people of piety.

He, on the other hand, kept doing Tasbeeh (saying Subhaan Allah), whilst looking at his watch, until he heard the Adhaan of Maghrib from far away.

He asked her,

'Where is the Muadh-dhin (person who calls to prayers) here? Why didn’t he call for prayer when the time entered...are you his daughter?'

She … remained silent.

He waited for a while, and then said,

'My daughter, Maghrib time is short, and it is not permissible to delay it, and I do not see anyone here, so if you have your Wudhoo' (ablution) then pray behind me Jama’ah.'

He gave the call for prayer, and without looking at her, as he was about to give the Iqaamah, he noticed stillness behind him?!

He asked,

'What is wrong? Don’t you have your Wudhoo'?'

All of a sudden, it was as if her Eemaan (Faith) had woken up and she remembered the old days. The days when she was filled with purity, and was away from sin, she started to cry loudly and threw herself at his feet.

The Shaykh surprised, did not know in what way he could calm her.

She then began narrating her story.

He saw in her words great regret, and felt the truth in her repentance. He realized the sincerity in what she was saying, so he told her:

'Listen, my daughter, to what the Lord of all creation says: {Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the Mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah forgives all sins …”} (39:53).

All sins my daughter, all sins …

The door of repentance is open to every sinner and it is so wide that it can encompass them all no matter how heavy their load of sins is … even kufr (disbelief).

So whoever disbelieves in the all Mighty, after he was a believer, but repents before the hour of his death comes, and he was sincere in his repentance, and he renewed his Islam, Allah will accept him.

Allah, my dear daughter, is the most Generous of all. Did you ever hear of anyone generous shutting the door in the face of those who come seeking him?

Stand up and go wash yourself, and cover yourself. Go and clean your skin with water and your heart with repentance and regret. Approach your Lord, and I will wait for you.

But do not delay, so that we do not miss Maghrib prayer.'

She did as he asked, and returned to him with a new dress and a new heart. She stood behind him and prayed. She felt and tasted the sweetness of that prayer, and felt that this prayer purified her heart.

When the prayer was over, he told her,

'Come with me, and try to cut every relation you have with this place and everyone in it. Try to erase the time you spent here from your memory.
Consistently ask Allah for his forgiveness, and increase in doing righteous deeds.
Verily, adultery is not as big a sin as disbelief, and Hind (bint ‘Utbah – May Allah be pleased with her), was a disbeliever and had animosity in her heart to the Prophet of Allah. After that she became from the righteous believers, so much so that we say, 'Allah is well-pleased with her.'

The Shaykh then took her to a house of righteous ladies, and then found her a righteous husband and advised him to take good care of her.