‘Abdullah bin Marzooq (rahimahullah) was a person who lived during the rule of the Abbasid ruler, Al-Mahdi. He initially lived a life filled with entertainment and luxury but subsequently repented and reformed to live a life of piety and simplicity. Hereunder follows the story of his repentance:

One day, while ‘Abdullah bin Marzooq (rahimahullah) was occupied drinking wine and enjoying the entertainment of amusement and songs, he missed performing the Zuhr, ‘Asr and Maghrib Salaahs! Whenever the salaah time set in, one of his slave girls would unsuccessfully attempt to draw his attention and alert him to the salaah.

When even the time for the ‘Esha Salaah had elapsed, the slave girl finally seized a glowing ember from the fire and placed it on the leg of ‘Abdullah bin Marzooq (rahimahullah). As soon as the glowing ember burnt his skin, ‘Abdullah bin Marzooq (rahimahullah) yelled in pain and shouted, “What are you doing!?” The slave girl calmly replied, “This is an ember from the fire of this world. Will you be able to tolerate an ember from the fire of Jahannam?” 

When he heard the chastisement of the slave girl, he immediately began to weep profusely and stood to perform the salaahs which he had missed.

On completion of his salaah, he began to ponder over his slave girl’s statement which had created a deep, indelible impression upon his heart. He eventually reached the conclusion that the only way to change his life and reform his condition would be for him to forgo his luxuries, entertainment and wealth. He therefore freed all his slaves, released all his employees and gave all his wealth in sadaqah. To support himself, he thereafter engaged in selling vegetables. It was only the slave girl who had inspired him to change his life who now remained with him.

One day, Sufyaan bin ‘Uyainah (rahimahullah) and Fudhail bin ‘Iyaadh (rahimahullah) came to visit ‘Abdullah bin Marzooq (rahimahullah). They found him resting with his head on a brick instead of a pillow and without a mattress or blanket beneath him. Noticing this state of simplicity, Sufyaan (rahimahullah) asked, “Whenever someone abandons something for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, Allah Ta‘ala gives him something far better in return. What has Allah Ta‘ala granted you in exchange of all that you have abandoned?” ‘Abdullah bin Marzooq (rahimahullah) replied, “Happiness and contentment.”

(Kitaabut Tawwaabeen – Ibnu Qudaamah pg. 162)


1. We need to create such a bond with salaah that regardless of circumstances, whether we are attending a wedding or a funeral, or whether we feel motivated or lethargic, we will not be able to tolerate missing our salaah.

2. How fortunate is that person who inspires their fellow Muslim to change his life! For as long as that person remains on guidance thereafter, the one who was the means of reformation will continue to receive the reward.

3. If there is anything in our lives that is an obstacle between us and our Creator; it prevents us from fulfilling our obligations to Allah Ta‘ala and causes us to fall into sin, then we should immediately remove it from our lives. When this is done for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, He will most definitely grant us something far greater in exchange.

4. The only true wealth is the wealth of the heart i.e. contentment. It is only when a person turns his gaze away from his own wealth and that of others and directs it to the infinite treasures of Allah Ta‘ala that Allah Ta‘ala grants him the invaluable wealth of contentment.