Abdullaah bin Mubaarak - may Allah have mercy upon him - said:
I sat out for hajj to the sacred house of Allah and visiting the masjid of His Prophet may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. As I was in the road, I suddenly saw a black figure and when I managed to distinguish it I realised it was an old woman wearing a garment and a headscarf made out of cotton, I said to her:
"Assalaamu 'Alyka Warahmatullahi Wabaraktuh"
She replied, "Salaamun qawlan min rabi-Raheem [Peace: a word from a Merciful Lord.]"
He [ibn Mubaarak] said: I said to her, may Allah have mercy upon you! What are you doing here [lost]? She replied: "Wa man yudlililAllah fa la haadiya lah [Whomsoever Allah causes to err, there is no guide for him]" So from that I understood that she was lost, so I asked her where do you want to go? She replied: "Subhaanalathee asraa bi 'abdihi laylan minal masjid-il-haraami ilal masjid al-aqsaa [Glory be to Him Who made His servant go on a night from Masjid al-Haraam to Masjid al-Aqsaa] I understood that she had finished her hajj and wanted to return to Masjid al-Aqsaa.
Then I asked her how long had she been in this place? She replied, "Thalaatha layaalin sawiyya [three nights while in sound health.]"
I told her I do not see any food with you that you eat? She replied "Huwa yut'imunee wa yasqeen [He (Allah) gives me to eat and gives me to drink]
So I asked her what do you use for wudhu? She said, "Fa inlam tajiduu maa-an fatayamamu sa'eedan tayyiba [and if you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith]
I told her I have some food with me, would you like to eat? She replied "Thumma atimuu as-siyaama ila al-layl [then complete your fasting until the night] I said to her this is not the month of Ramadan, she replied "wa man tadawa'a khayraan fa inAllaha shaakirun 'aleem [and whoever volunters in goodness then verily Allah is thankful, knowing]
I told her it is permissible to break your fast during travel, she replied "wa an tasuumu khayrun lakum in kuntum ta'lamuun [and fasting is better for you if you but knew]
I said, why do you not talk to me in the same way i speak to you [i.e meaning without Qur'aan] she replied "ma yalfidu min qawlin ila ladeyhi raqeebun 'ateed [he utters not a word but there is by him a watcher at hand(meaning the angels are with the human recording his speech and deeds all the time.)]
I said from what people are you? She replied "wala taqfu ma laysa laka bihi 'ilmun inna sam'a wal basara wal-fu'aada kul olaaika kaana 'anhu mas uulah [and follow not that of which you have not the knowledge; surely the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned about that.]" I said I have made a mistake so please forgive me, she replied "la tathreeba 'alykum al-yawma yaghfirulllahu lakum [no blame shall be upon you this day may Allah forgive you]
I said will you allow me to carry you on my camel? She said "wa maa taf'aluu min khayrin ya'lamhulAllah [whatever good you do Allah is aware] so my camel sat down. She said "Qul lil mu'mineena yaghudhu min absaarihim [tell the believing men to lower their gaze] so I lowered my gaze and told her climb up on the camel and as she was about to climb up on it the camel rose up and tore her clothes where upon she said "Wa ma asaabakum min museebatin fabima kasabat aydeekum [and whatever calamity afflicts you it is due to your own deeds] I told her wait until I tie the camel and she replied "Fa fahamnaaha Suleymaan [so We made Sulaiman to understand it]
After I tied the camel I told her climb ontop of it, when she did she said "Subhaanalathee sakhara lana haatha wa ma kunna lahu mugrineen wa inna ila Rabina lamunqalibun [Glory be to Him Who made this subservient to us and we were not able to do it and surely to our Lord we must return.]
I grabbed hold of the reigns of the camel and started to walk quickly and making loud noise, she said "Waqsid fee mashyika waghdud min sawtik [And pursue the right course in your going about and lower your voice] then I started walking slowly and humming poetry, she said "Faqra'uu maa tayasara min al-Quraan" [Recite whatever is easy for you from the Quraan]
I told her I have been given goodness in plenty, she said "Wa maa yatathakaru ila olul al-baab [and none but those with understanding comprehend this] After having walked with her for a bit I asked her, do you have a husband? She replied "Yaa ayyuha al-latheena aamanu laa tasa'alu 'an ashyaa-a inn tubda lakum tasu'kum [o you who believe do not ask about matters if made plain to you may cause you harm] So I remained silent and did not speak to her until we reached her caravan.
I said to her who do you have [from family] amongst this caravan? She replied "Al-maalu wal-banuuna zeenatul hayaati dunya [Wealth and children are the beauty of this world] So I understood that she had children, I asked her what are their duties in hajj? She replied "Wa 'alaamaatin wa bi najmi hum yahtaduun [And as signs and through the stars they are guided] So I understood that they must be guides for the people. Then I saw small huts and buildings so I asked her about her children's names, she replied "WattakhadaAllahu Ibraheema khaleela [Allah took Ibraheem as his khaleel] "WakalamAllahu Muusa takleema" [And Allah spoke directly to Muusa] "Ya Yahya khudil kitaaba bi quwwa [o Yahya grab hold of the scripture firmly]
So then I called out O Ibraheem, Muusa, Yahya! And suddenly three young boys looking like moons [in beauty] came towards us and when they got ready to sit down their mother said "Fab'athuu ahadakum biwariqikum haathihi ilal madeenati falyanthur ayuha azka ta'aaman falyatikum birizqin minhu [send one of you with this money to the town and let him look for the best food and let him then bring that food] One of the boys went and came back with the food putting it infront of me, his mother told me "Kuluu washrabu hanee-an bima aslaftum fee al-ayyaam al-khaaliyyah [Eat and drink joyfuly because of what you used to do in days past]
I said, right now your food is haraam upon me until you inform me about her affair [i.e why she only speaks through the Quraan] They said:
This is our mother, she has been like this since 40 years back, not speaking anything but Quraan, fearing that she might otherwise err and thus cause ar-Rahmaan [Allah] to be displeased with her. So Glory be to al-Qaadir [Allah] for this.
Then I said:
"Thaalika fadhlulAllahi yu-teehi man yashaa-a waAllahu du fadhlin 'atheem [That is the bounty of Allah, He bestows it upon whomever He wishes and Allah is the owner of great bounty]
[Translated from: Jawaahir al-Adab fee adabiyyaat wa inshaa lughat-ul-'arab]
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