The Accepted Hajj

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It is related that a noted Muslim scholar Abdullah bin Mubarak, had a dream while he was sleeping near the Holy Kaaba in Makkah. Abdullah bin Mubarak saw two angels’ descend from the sky, and start talking to each other.
One of the angels asked the other: “Do you know how many people have come for Hajj this year?”

The other angel replied: “Six hundred thousand have come for Hajj.” Abdullah bin Mubarak had also gone for Hajj that year.
The first angel asked: “How many people’s Hajj has been accepted?”
The second angel replied: “I wonder if anyone’s Hajj has been accepted at all.”

Abdullah bin Mubarak was grieved to hear that. He thought, “So many people have come from all over the world, crossing so many obstacles like rivers, jungles, desert and mountains, suffered so many hardships, and meeting so many expenses. Would their effort be wasted? Allah (SWT) does not let anyone’s effort go to waste.”

Abdullah bin Mubarak had thought only so far when he heard the other angel speak: “There is a cobbler in Damascus. His name is Ali bin al-Mufiq. He could not come for Hajj, but Allah (SWT) has accepted his intention of Hajj. Not only will he get the reward for Hajj, but because of him, all the Hajjis will be rewarded.”

When Abdullah bin Mubarak woke up, he decided he would go to Damascus and meet that cobbler whose Hajj intentions carried such a lot of weight.  
When Abdullah bin Mubarak asked Ali bin al-Mufiq to tell him if he had made any plans to go for Hajj. Ali bin al-Mufiq replied, “For thirty years I have lived in the hope of performing the Hajj. This year I had saved enough to go for Hajj, but Allah (SWT) did not will it, so I couldn’t make my intention translate into action.”

Abdullah bin Mubarak further asked: “Why could you not go on Hajj?” In order not to disclose the reason, Ali bin al-Mufiq again replied “It was Allah’s (SWT) will.”

When Abdullah bin Mubarak persisted, Ali bin al-Mufiq revealed: “Once I went to see my neighbor’s house. His family was just sitting down for dinner. Although I was not hungry I thought my neighbor would invite me to sit down for dinner out of courtesy but I could see that my neighbour was grieved about something and wanted to avoid inviting me for dinner.”

After some hesitation the neighbor told me: “I am sorry I cannot invite you for food. We were without food for three days and I could not bear to see the pain of hunger of my children. I went out looking for food today and found a dead donkey. In my desperation I cut out some meat from the dead animal, and brought it home so that my wife could cook this meat. It is Halal (lawful or permitted) for us because of our extreme condition of hunger, but I cannot offer it to you.”

Ali bin al-Mufiq continued: “On hearing this, my heart bled with tears. I got up and went home, collected the three thousand dinars I had saved for Hajj, and gave my neighbor the money. I too had to go hungry but that was to save money for Hajj, but I thought helping my neighbor during his difficult times was more important. Although I still desire to go for Hajj if Allah (SWT) wills.”