Imam Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak was one of the greatest warrior scholars ever. He had so much heart that he was loved by everyone, soldiers, and the common alike.
It is related, “Let’s sit and count the good traits that Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak, Allah sanctify his secret, has.
He has “Knowledge of knowledge in general, knowledge of Fiqh, literature, grammar, language, he was a Zaahid, he had such eloquence, a masterful poet who composed beautiful poetry, he was always praying at night, he loved to worship, he was a Hajji, he was a literal soldier who spent 6 months of the year in service, a man of such bravery, instinct, strength, he was always speaking little regarding what doesn’t concern him, such a fair man, and he was never involved in a conflict with his companions, family, and friends.”
(Siyar A’lam al-Nubala – The Lives of the Noble Figures)
The great Maliki scholar – al-Qadi ‘Iyad, Allah sanctify his secret, mentioned that Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak was asked about the circumstances in which he began studying.
He replied: “I was a youth who drank wine and loved music and singing while engaging in these filthy acts.
So, I gathered some friends to one of my gardens where there were sweet apples, and we ate and drank until we passed out while drunk.
At the end of the night, I woke up and picked up the stringed oud and began singing:
Isn’t it time that you had mercy on me, and we rebel against those who criticize us? And I was unable to pronounce the words as I intended. When I tried again, the oud began speaking to me as if it were a person, saying the verse:
“Isn’t it time for the hearts of those who believe to be affected by the remembrance of Allah?” [Surah Al-Hadid 57:16]
أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَن تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّـه} الحديد: 16
So I said yes O Lord!” And I smashed the oud, spilled the wine, and my repentance with all its realities came by the grace of Allah, and I turned towards knowledge and worship.”
(Tartib al-Madarik – Volume 1) <3