Bismillahi wal Alhamdulillahi wa solatu was salaamu ‘ala Rasulillah
The following are two excerpts from Tadhkiratul ‘awliya (Memorial of Muslim Saints), the first story depicts the spirit of sacrifice and futuwwa that is often emphasized during Eid ul Adha. The second also revolves around sacrifice but has deeper significance, read on =)
‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak a saint of his time was living in Mecca. One year after having completed the rites of the pilgrimage, he fell asleep. In a dream, he saw two angels descend from heaven. “How many have come this year?” one asked the other.
“Six hundred thousand,” the other replied.
“How many have had their pilgrimage accepted?”
“When I heard this,” ‘Abdullah reports, “I was trembling. ‘What?’ I cried. ‘All these people have come from afar out of the distant ends of the earthand with great pain and weariness from every deep ravine traversing wide deserts, and all their labour is in vain?’
‘There is a cobbler in Damascus called ‘Ali ibn Mowaffaq,’ said the angel. ‘He has not come on the pilgrimage , but his pilgrimage is accepted and all his sins have been forgiven.’ “When I heard this,” Abdullah continued, “I awoke saying, ‘I must go to Damascus and visit that person.’ So I went to Damascus and looked for where he lived.
I shouted, and someone came out. ‘What is your name?’ I asked. ‘Ali ibn Mowaffaq,’ he replied. ‘I wish to speak with you,’ I said. ‘Say on,’ he replied. ‘What work do you do?’ ‘I cobble.’ I then told him of my dream. ‘What is your name?’ he enquired when I had done. ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mobarak,’ I replied. He uttered a cry and fell in a faint. When he recovered I said to him, ‘Tell me your story.’
“The man told me, ‘For thirty years now I have longed to make the pilgrimage. I had saved up three hundred and fifty dirhams from my cobbling. This year I had resolved to go to Mecca. One day the good lady within becoming pregnant, she smelt the smell of food coming from next door. “Go and fetch me a bit of that food,” she begged me. I went and knocked on the neighbour’s door and explained the situation. My neighbour burst into tears. “My children have eaten nothing for three days together,” she said. “Today I saw a donkey lying dead, so I hacked off a piece and cooked it. It would not be lawful food for you.” My heart burned within me when I heard her tale. I took
out the three hundred and fifty dirhams and gave them to her. “Spend these on the children,” I said. “This is my pilgrimage.” ‘ “The angel spoke truly in my dream,” Abdullah declared, “and the Heavenly King was true in His judgment.”
The next story goes on about Imam Sufyan ath-thawri r.a.
A youth missed the pilgrimage, and he sighed. “I have performed forty pilgrimages,” Sofyan told him. “I bestow them all on you. Will you bestow this sigh on me?” “I do,” said the youth. That night Sofyan dreamed that a voice said to him,
“You have made such a profit on the transaction that, if it were divided up amongst all the pilgrims at Arafat, they would be rich indeed.”