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Story of Abdullahi al-Mubarak and the dead chicken


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Author Topic: Story of Abdullahi al-Mubarak and the dead chicken  (Read 62 times)
Mehr-un-nissa Safeer
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« on: November 11, 2021, 09:26:39 pm »
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Salam.  Sharing a good story

It is said that the great Tabi’i and great scholar Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak would perform Hajj regularly and would often pay the expenses of the members accompanying him for Hajj.  During one such trip, someone of another caravan ahead of his threw a dead chicken in the roadside trash.  Moments later a little girl emerged from a nearby house, picked up the dead chicken from the garbage and rushed back home with it. Ibn Al-Mubarak was curious.  He requested the caravan to stop and followed the little girl.  He discovered she lived with her widowed mom. They were very poor, no source of income and were starving for many days.  She wanted to cook and eat the dead bird.  Abdullahi Al-Mubarak was very saddened. Only keeping a little of money for the return journey from Hajj, he gave rest of the money he had for the Hajj trip to this poor family. For Ibn Al-Mubarak, Hajj was voluntary as he had already performed it many times before. When he saw the state of the destitute family, he immediately knew what to do. His commitment was not to the rituals of the Hajj itself, but to the pleasure of Allah, and it is related that he saw someone in his dream saying: "Your pilgrimage has been accepted, and your sins forgiven."  The spirit of the Hajj is the interpretation of this story. It's not the ritual itself, but the devotion to piety that Allah SWT sees in His slaves. Too often the focus is on the ritual act of worship.  But actually like salah the performance of Hajj also goes much deeper than just the practical rituals.

Labbaykallahumma labbayk. Labbayka laa shareekalaka labbayk.
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2021, 10:12:43 pm »
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Walaykum Salam.  Thank you, nice story, though the authenticity of it is known to Allah alone.
  
Presuming it's true, it must have also been upsetting for the other people in the caravan to learn that their organizer who had kindly paid for their journey, suddenly got emotional and gave away nearly all of that money to a poor family.  While Adullahi bin Mubarak might have performed Hajj several times before, many of those folks in the caravan might have undertaken this journey for the first time.  It was made possible for them because a charitable person like Abdullahi agreed to pay for them.  But then half way through the journey, the emotions of the charitable person shifted to someone else.  In the process many who were performing Hajj first time were deprived.  

So, how do we balance the ethics in this story?


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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2021, 10:19:46 pm »
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😀
Thoughtful question. 

Generally, if someone organizing Hajj or any other tour made such a decision at this point, a lot of people to whom that person had pledged earlier would be too upset.

For this reason the Noble Quran always encourages us to be rational and discerning with our money so not to go to either extremes.

Making a decision suddenly after being overcome with emotions would benefit some but hurt others.  Moreover, it also amounted to breaking his promise to those other folks in the caravan, right?   My humble take:  A better way to handle it would be with more careful planning.  He could have given a little money to the poor family to get by for the next couple of weeks or so.  After completing Hajj with everyone and returning home, he could have later on re-visited the poor family again with whatever superfluous money he had and given it to them.
 
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2021, 10:26:44 pm »
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That does sound more balanced for sure .....  Alhumdulilah.
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2021, 10:37:10 pm »
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.. Only keeping a little of money for the return journey from Hajj, he gave rest of the money he had for the Hajj trip to this poor family.   ......



If true, that was immensely kind of him, but also impetuous.  It's a bit like thinking "it's my money and I'll give it to whoever I wish and whenever I wish" and in the process disregarding an earlier commitment. 

Actually I've heard this story before.  It has two versions.  One says the poor little girl lived with her brother, the other, she lived with her mother. 

Well reminds me ....  there are stories of the Sahabahs on charity from narrations and sources outside the Noble Quran that say some of them spent all their wealth in charity and by the time they passed away they had no belongings left.  Can this method of spending be in accordance with the principles of the Noble Quran?


"And those who, when they spend, are neither prodigal nor grudging; and there is ever a firm station between the two;"  25:67

"And let not your hand be chained to your neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest you sit down rebuked, denuded."  17:29

"And Allah has favored some of you above others in provision. Now those who are more favored will by no means hand over their provision to those (slaves) whom their right hands possess, so that they may be equal with them in respect thereof.  Then is it the favor of Allah they reject?"  16:71

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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2021, 10:48:41 pm »
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  ......

Well reminds me ....  there are stories of the Sahabahs on charity from narrations and sources outside the Noble Quran that say some of them spent all their wealth in charity and by the time they passed away they had no belongings left.  Can this method of spending be in accordance with the principles of the Noble Quran?


"And those who, when they spend, are neither prodigal nor grudging; and there is ever a firm station between the two;"  25:67

"And let not your hand be chained to your neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest you sit down rebuked, denuded."  17:29

"And Allah has favored some of you above others in provision. Now those who are more favored will by no means hand over their provision to those (slaves) whom their right hands possess, so that they may be equal with them in respect thereof.  Then is it the favor of Allah they reject?"  16:71




Very correctly perceived Sister.   I too wondered about this point.  Those Quranic Verses you quoted have made it ample clear.   If a person is giving away so much money in charity that he or she is left with nearly nothing at the time of their death, and if they have heirs, wouldn't it be unfair on them? 

However, I'll tell you what.  I observe this as a comparatively recent approach of Hadithists to justify large amounts of donations during one's lifetime.   I think Sister Ruhi had once brought up this point for discussion earlier.  As for inheritance, the clerics cannot interfere with it because the Quran has highlighted inheritance law by default.  So the only way to acquire large donations is to encourage people giving in their lifetime with the explanation that it's your money and you can spend it as you like.  They forget that even then, one needs to be cautious and balanced as clearly asserted in the Noble Quran in order to keep to the middle path in regard to spending.

Also for guest readers' reference: 
Sharing wealth with slaves V.16:71
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2021, 10:58:12 pm »
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Thanks brother.  I couldn't have said it better.   Also thanks for the link, yeah Sister Ruhi did raise this issue earlier .... about some ustada going nuts.  Really I don't understand how some of these folks can so comfortably ignore the Quran.
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2021, 10:59:25 pm »
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Yeah the nutty ustada and her talks ....
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2021, 11:08:09 pm »
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ha ha haa ha  😃   Though once in a while certain things they say make sense, primarily I watch and listen to them not to learn .... for little have they said so far that has helped me to learn a lot more than before ..... I watch and listen mainly to monitor how far they have deviated from the Noble Quran by preferring to embrace those spicy human-written fictions & thrillers that frequently contradict Quranic instructions and values.  Unfortunately the extent of this deviation is quite a bit, I say this with a very broken heart  💔

What makes it still more pathetic is that you can ask them queries on how to handle matters in your personal life (by discreetly ignoring their stories 😑).  But if you ask questions on the incongruent nature of their stories with the facts confirmed in the Noble Quran, that's one thing they cannot take.  It just gets them mad!

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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2021, 11:20:40 pm »
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😅

Right Sister.   You've assessed their psychology with precision.    I too am well acquainted with this scenario.  We have several such ones in our fortnightly virtual meetings.   One just needs to have the insight and patience to ignore them.
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2021, 02:43:56 pm »
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He kept some money for Hajj to pay all expenses and gave the remaining to the family in poverty.  Dinars were gold coins and stronger than dirham which is silver.  Even few dinars could go long way meeting costs.
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2021, 03:01:07 pm »
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He kept some money for Hajj to pay all expenses and gave the remaining to the family in poverty.  Dinars were gold coins and stronger than dirham which is silver.  Even few dinars could go long way meeting costs.

As I said, I've heard this story before from one of the sheikhs of our centre.  He mentioned that Ibn Mubarak was carrying 1,000 dinars out of which he kept 20 dinars for the total Hajj expenses and gave the rest to the poor family.  Maybe you're right.  Dinars back then were of gold and more precious than dirhams; it's  possible  20 dinars would be enough to meet the total cost.  Regardless, his welfare strategy could have been more insightful.  Imagine how much of his money he gave away only to one family .. 980 dinars.  Wouldn't it be a better idea to divide that huge amount and give some to other needy families as well?  Poverty has been perpetual in all times of history and everywhere in the world. I'm sure there must have been several other families as poor as this little girl and her mom.   Unless one would say, Abdullahi ibn Mubarak was a very, very rich man with thousands more dinars to spend.  In that case it should be clarified in this moral story otherwise it might be a bit misleading or confusing. 
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