Salaam and Greetings of Peace:
This incident of the old lady is narrated by Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA).
An elderly Arab lady was sitting with her back against the trunk of a tree on road, which was the way to Hajj. Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) happened to pass that way. He was also heading for Baitullah, for Hajj, and to the Sacred tomb of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu layhi Wasallam). Seeing this lady very disturbed and in a state of despair, he spoke to her.
Their discussion is recorded as follows:
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah
The lady: “The word from a merciful Lord is Peace” (Surah 36 Aayat 58).
She meant that the reply of salaam is from Allah, Most High, Himself. She said further: “Those whom Allah sendeth astray, there is no guide for them.” (Surah 7 Aayat 186).
She meant that she had lost her way.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Where are you coming from?
The lady: “Glorified be He who carried His servant by night from the Musjid-e-Aqsa (inviolable place of worship) to the Musjid-e-Haraam” (Far distant place of worship) (Surah17 Aayat1).
She meant that she had come from Musjid-e-Aqsa.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): How long are you in this place?
The lady: “For three nights” (Surah 19 Aayat10).
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): What arrangements are made for your food?
The lady: “And who (Allah) feedeth me and watereth me” (Surah 26 Aayat 79).
She meant that somehow or the other, her food is provided to her by Allah.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Is there any water for Wudhu (ablutions)?
The lady: “And ye find not water, then go to high clean soil and (make tayammum) rub your faces and hands.” (therewith) (Surah 4 Aayat 43).
She meant that she makes tayammum, uses clean sand or soil, due to not finding water.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Here is some food. Partake of it.
The lady: “Strictly observe the fast till nightfall” (Surah 2 Aayat 187). She indicated that she is fasting.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): This is not the month of Ramadaan.
The lady: “And he who does good of his own accord (for him) lo! Allah is responsive, aware”. (Surah 2 Aayat158), meaning that I have observed an optional (nafl) fast.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): It is permitted to break the fast when in a journey.
The lady: “And that ye fast is better for you, if you did but know.” (Surah 2 Aayat 184)
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Speak like how I speak.
The lady: “He (man) uttereth no word but there is with him an observer ready” (Surah 50 Aayat 18). She meant that since every word of a person is observed and recorded, she is taking precaution by speaking only in the words of the Holy Quran.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Which clan do you belong to?
The lady: “Follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge, lo! The hearing and the sight and heart of each of these it will be asked” (Surah 17 Aayat36).
She meant those things that you have no knowledge of, nor do they concern you, you are wasting your strength (senses) by enquiring about them.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Forgive me. I have certainly made a mistake.
The lady: “Have no fear this day. May Allah forgive you” (Surah 12 Aayat 92)
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Would you like to travel on my camel and meet your caravan?
The lady: “And whatsoever good ye do Allah knoweth it” (Surah 2 Aayat 197).
Meaning that if you will do this good deeds towards me, Allah will recompense you for it.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Well, then you may mount it. Saying this he made the camel to sit down.
The lady: “Tell the believing men (when confronted by women) to lower their gaze”. (Surah 24 Aayat 30). Hadhrat Abdullah understood and (turned) looked away. While she was mounting, the camel jerked and her clothes got entangled in the saddle and she proclaimed: “whatever of misfortune striketh you, it is what your hands have earned.” (Surah 42 Aayat 30).
In other words she was drawing Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak’s (RA) attention towards this mishap.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) understood and he tied the legs of the camel and he straightened the straps of the saddle (or dorser). She applauded him for his proficiency and capability by saying “And we made Sulaiman to understand” (Surah 21 Aayat 79). When the journey was about to begin, the lady recited the Aayats which are read when undertaking a journey
“Glorified be he who hath subdued these unto us, and we were not capable (of subduing them). And lo, unto our Lord we are returning.” (Surah 43 Aayat 13).
Hadhrat Abdullh bin Mubarak (RA) held the bridle (or nose string) of the camel. He began to hum the Huddi, a famous Arabic song for traveling, and started walking very fast.
The lady: “Be modest in thy bearing and subdue thy voice” (Surah 31 Aayat 19).
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) understood. He began walking slower and he lowered his voice. The lady: “Recite of the Quran that which is easy for you.” She meant that instead of humming the Huddi, he should rather recite the Holy Quran.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) began reciting the Holy Quran.
The lady became very pleased and said “but none remember (accept advice) except men of understanding” (Surah 2 Aayat 269).
After reciting the Holy Quran for a while, Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) asked, “O Aunt, have you a husband? (meaning is he living)
The lady: “O you who believe, ask not of things which if they were made known unto you, would trouble you” (Surah 5 Aayat 101). She meant that no questions should be asked regarding this matter, which indicated that her husband has most probably passed away. Finally they caught up with the caravan.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Do you have any son or relatives in this caravan who has connection (contact) with you?
The lady: “Wealth and children are an ornament of life of the world” (Surah 18 Aayat 46). She meant that her sons were with this caravan and had provisions with them.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): What work are your sons doing for the caravan? (Hadhrat Abdullah’s object for asking was to make it easy for him to recognize her son).
The lady: “And landmarks, and by the star they find a way” (Surah 16 Aayat 16). She meant that he is a guide for the caravan.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Can you tell me their name?
The lady: “Allah chose Ibrahim as (for) a friend” (Surah 4 Aayat 125). And Allah spoke directly unto Musa” (Surah 19 Aayat 12). By reciting these Aayats the lady informed him that her sons names were Yahya, Ibrahim and Musa.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) called out these names in the caravan and immediately three young men came forward.
The lady: (addressing her children) “Now send one of you with this your silver coin unto the city. And let him see what food is purest there and bring you a supply thereof” (Sura 18 Aayat 19) In other words, she instructed them to feed Hadhrat Abdullah (RA).
When the food was brought, she told Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): “Eat and drink at ease for that which ye sent on before you in the past days.” (Surah 69 Aayat 24),
and with this Aayat she recited another Aayat, the object of which was to convey her gratitude to him for his good conduct and courtesy.
The Aayat was: “Is the reward of goodness aught save goodness?” (Surah 55 Aayat 60).
Their conversation terminated on this Aayat.
The lady’s son informed Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) that his mother has been speaking in this manner, i.e. using only the Aayats of the Holy Quran in her speech, for the last forty years.