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10 Lessons Ibn Al-Mubarak Taught Us

10/15/2009 22:04


Abdullah Bin Al-Mubarak was a scholar known for simultaneously combining numerous traits of virtue. In fact, his friends would sit and count all of the good things that were part of his character and personality. Reading through his life story, one cannot help but derive brief yet heavy lessons from how this man lived:


1- No matter how bad you think you are, you can always become better.

In Tartib Al-Madarik (1/159), Al-Qadi ‘Iyad mentioned that Ibn Al-Mubarak was asked about the circumstances in which he began studying. He replied: “I was a youth who drank wine and loved music and singing while engaging in these filthy acts.

So, I gathered some friends to one of my gardens where there were sweet apples, and we ate and drank until we passed out while drunk. At the end of the night, I woke up and picked up the stringed oud and began singing: Isn’t it time that you had mercy on me; and we rebel against those who criticize us?

“And I was unable to pronounce the words as I intended. When I tried again, the oud began speaking to me as if it were a person, saying the verse: ‘Isn’t it time for the hearts of those who believe to be affected by Allah’s reminder?’ (Qur’an, al-Hadid:16) So, I said: ‘Yes, O Lord!’ And I smashed the oud, spilled the wine, and my repentance with all its realities came by the grace of Allah, and I turned towards knowledge and worship.”


2 – Associate with honorable people.

In Sifat As-Safwah (2/323), Ibn Al-Jawzi mentioned: “Ibn Al-Mubarak’s home in Marw was vast. It measured 50 square yards. There was no person known for knowledge, worship, manhood, or high status in Marw except that you saw him in this house.”


3 – Be a helpful guest.

In Sifat As-Safwah (2/324), it is narrated that when An-Nadr Bin Muhammad’s son got married, he invited Ibn Al-Mubarak, “and when he arrived, Ibn Al-Mubarak got up to serve the guests. An-Nadr did not permit him and swore that he would tell him to leave until Ibn Al-Mubarak finally sat down.”


4 – Give money to the poor.

In Sifat As-Safwah (2/327), Ibn Al-Jawzi mentions that Ibn Al-Mubarak “would spend a 100,000 dirhams a year on the poor.”


5 – Return the borrowed items to their owners.

In Sifat As-Safwah (2/329), Al-Hasan Bin Arafah said that Abdullah Bin Al-Mubarak told him: “I borrowed a pen from someone in Sham, and I intended to return it to its owner. When I arrived in Marw (in Turkmenistan!), I saw that I still had it with me. Abu Ali (Al-Hasan’s kunyah), I went all the way back to Sham to return the pen to its owner!”


6 – Be brave, and hide your good deeds.

In Sifat As-Safwah (2/329), Abdah Bin Sulayman said: “We were on an expedition in the lands of the Romans with Abdullah Bin Al-Mubarak. When the two armies met, a man came out from their side calling for a duel. One of our men went out to him and dueled with him for an hour, injuring him and killing him. Another came out, and he killed him. He called for another duel, and another man came out. They dueled for an hour, and he injured and killed him as well. The people gathered around this man, and I was with them, and saw that he was covering his face with his sleeve. I took the edge of his sleeve and pulled it away to find that it was Abdullah Bin Al-Mubarak,” and in the version reported by Adh-Dhahabi, he made him swear not to reveal his identity until the day he died.


7 – Have a tender heart.

In Sifat As-Safwah (2/330), Al-Qasim Bin Muhammad said: “We were on a journey with Ibn Al-Mubarak, and I was always asking myself: what is so special about this man that he is so famous? If he prays, so do we. If he fasts, so do we. If he fights, so do we. If he makes Haj, so do we.

“One night, we spent the night in a house traveling on the way to Sham. The lamp went out, and some of us woke up. So, he took the lamp outside to light it, and stayed outside for a while. When he came back in with the lamp, I caught a glimpse of Ibn Al-Mubarak’s face, and saw that his beard was wet with his tears. I said to myself: “This fear of Allah is what has made this man better than us. When the lamp went out and we were in darkness, he remembered the Day of Resurrection.””


8 – Be generous to your friends.

In Sifat As-Safwah (2/329), Isma’il Bin Ayyash said: “I don’t know of a single good trait except that Allah has placed it in Abdullah Bin Al-Mubarak. My friends told me that they were traveling with him from Egypt to Makkah, and he was serving them khabis (a sweet flour dish) while he was fasting the entire trip.”


9 – Don’t give in to Satan’s whispers.

In Tartib Al-Madarik (1/159), it is related that Ibn Al-Mubarak was making ablution, and Satan came to him and said: “You did not wipe over this part of your body.” Ibn Al-Mubarak said: “I did.” Satan said: “No, you didn’t.” So, Ibn Al-Mubarak said: “You are the one making the claim, and you must therefore bring proof to back the claim up.”


10 – Sincerely pray for people.

In Tartib Al-Madarik (1/162), it is related that Al-Hasan Bin Isa Bin Sirjis would walk by Ibn Al-Mubarak, and he was a Christian. Ibn Al-Mubarak asked who he was, and was told: “He is a Christian.” So, Ibn Al-Mubarak said: “O Allah, grant him Islam.” So, Allah answered his supplication and Al-Hasan became an excellent Muslim, and he traveled to seek knowledge and became one of the scholars of the Ummah.”


Topic: 10 Lessons Ibn Al-Mubarak Taught Us

Date 10/26/2009
By Ali
Subject cool

Wow very good.

Date 10/25/2009
By Not knowing
Subject Nice

Sorry, I didn't know who Ibn Al-Mubarak was, but I really liked the article, and I'm going to learn more about him, Inshallah.


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