While climbing the hill, to meet his beloved, the highwayman heard someone recite, "Has not the time come for those who believe, that their hearts be humbled and submitted to Allah?" (Surah Hadid)
For some unknown reason, the highwayman felt weak in his knees, and found himself uttering, "Indeed my Lord, it is time", and so he decided to not meet the girl that night. He tried to find shelter in the ruins, in the darkness of the night, whereupon, he overheard some travelers making plans. One said, "We should move on". The other counseled, "Wait till the morrow. Al-Fudayl operates in the area, and he will rob us."
Torn by guilt, the highwayman proclaimed, "I spend the night in sin, and there are Muslims who fear me. I think Allah only led me to them so that I may take heed, and stop what I am doing. O Allah! I have repented, and as part of my tawbah, I will live next to Al Bayt Al Haram in Makkah". He spent the next few years repaying every one of his victims, and when drained of wealth, he sought forgiveness from them.
In the years to come, Allah willed that the highwayman - whose name sent shivers down travelers' spines - would become one of the most well known masters of the science of the heart.