Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, to Whom belongs the endowments and generosities and Whom we commend out of exaltation. May Allah raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, the master of all the Prophets and Messengers, and protect his nation from what he feared for them and likewise his pure family members and kind Companions. Ameen.
Thereafter, it was said:
In the past, when two armies met to fight, they would first have a duel. One soldier from the Muslim army and one from the enemy’s army would go out and they would have a duel. One time, a knight came out from the enemy’s army and asked, “Who will fight me?” One from the army of the Muslims stepped up and fought against him. This Muslim was killed. So this man asked again, “Who will fight me?” Another one came out from the Muslim army and fought him. Again, the Muslim was killed. He asked again, “Who will fight me?!” A third one appeared and again, he was killed. He asked again, “Who will fight me?!” Then people started to hesitate. No one was firm to go out and fight him.
Then, one soldier from the Muslim army appeared and he covered his face so he wouldn’t be known, except for his eyes. He fought this knight and he killed the knight. Then this Muslim, who defeated the knight, said, “Who will fight me?” An enemy soldier appeared and fought this Muslim. They fought and the enemy soldier was killed by this mysterious Muslim soldier. He asked again, “Who will fight me?” When he found that no one else appeared to fight him again, he disappeared. Some man wanted to know who this mysterious soldier was; so he followed the disguised Muslim and took the covering off of his face. He found that this mysterious soldier was ^Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak.
Imam ^Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak, raDi Allahu ^anhu, has a very high status, amazing attributes, and amazing criteria. In the level of knowledge, he reached ^ijtihad; he reached level of hafiZ, an expert in the area of hadith. He memorized the Qur’an and he knew the interpretation of the Qur’an. He was a great scholar in the area of Arabic language. He was also very wealthy and had people who worked with his money in trading. At the end of the year, he gave away his profits and distributed them. He used to know people of knowledge who did not have money and he would send them to different countries to spread the knowledge. This is how he spent his life. He was a brave person; he use to fight also, as we mentioned. However, when they wanted to share the spoils of the battle, he would disappear. He didn’t want to have his share of the spoils. Wherever he resided, even when he was traveling, he would teach the knowledge. He was also one of the students of the great Imam Abu Hanifah, raDi Allahu ^anhu.
May Allah bless him and raise his rank and enable us to be more like these great Imams. Ameen!