Abdullah Ibn Mubaarak and the little girl

Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak Rahimahullah was a pious scholar, jurist and saint. He was born in the Marw, present day Turkmenistan in the year 118 Hijri. Amongst his many good qualities he was also very generous. He performed Haj many times and would frequently pay for all the expenses of his fellow Haajis, including their transport expenses as well as any gifts they wanted to purchase from the blessed lands of Makkah and Madinah.

Once he was on his way to perform Haj when a bird that they had been carrying died. He ordered that it be disposed off at the dumps as it could not be consumed (because it was carrion). This was accordingly done. However, as he continued his journey he noticed a little girl approaching from a nearby house. She picked up the dead bird,  wrapped it in a piece of cloth and rushed home with it. He approached her and asked why she had done so.

She replied : “My brother and I have but one piece of clothing. We have no food except that which we find thrown at the dumps. Carrion has become permissible for us to consume for a number of days now (due to abject poverty). Our father was a rich man but his wealth was taken from him oppresively and he was killed.”

Ibn al-Mubarak ordered that from the thousand Dinaars he had with him for the journey, twenty Dinaars be kept aside for his return journey to Marw. The remainder he handed over to the girl saying : “This is better than our (Nafl) Haj for this year.” (Al Bidaayah Wan Nihaayah, vol. 10, p 178).


A Nafl Haj carries great reward but seeing to the needs of the poor and destitute sometimes carries an even greater reward and is more pleasing to Allah.

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