The Silent Charity: From Gems & Jewels
Muhammad bin ‘Isa narrated that once there was a man who would go to the famous Imam Abdullah ibn Mubarak. He would study under him, keep his company and run his errands and would sometimes sit in his company and listen to the narration of the Tradition of the Prophet (pbuh). Then there came a day when Abdullah ibn Mubarak made journey to the city where the young man used to live. He searched all around but could not find this man to his grief, so he asked around. Then it came to his knowledge that the young man was actually imprisoned for a loan he could not repay.
“And how much does he owe?” Asked Abdullah ibn Mubarak. He was shocked to learn that the young man was 10,000 dirhams in debt. ‘Abdullah wasted no time and searched out for the creditor and upon finding him, paid the young man’s debt from his own pockets and took from him an solemn oath that none but the two of them present should know of the exchange that had just happened.
The man was released from prison and eagerly sought out Abdullah ibn Mubarak upon being told that the Sheikh had come to the city in search of him. When he found him, Abdullah asked nonchalantly, “Young man, where were you? I could not find you.”
He said, “Yes, I was imprisoned because of a debt that I could not pay.” Abdullah feigned a surprised look. “Then how were you able to get out?” he asked.
“A man came and paid my debt for me, yet I do not know who he is.” replied the puzzled young man.
“Praise Allah for the blessing of having your debt repaid young man.” replied Abdullah ibn Mubarak and he spoke of the matter no more. The creditor informed no one of what really happened that day until Abdullah’s death.
Foul deeds done in the dark are the most foul.
Yet good deeds hidden from the eyes of the world are the most superior.
Ibn ‘Uyainah once said “…If your inner reality is better that your outward appearance, then that is superiority…”