‘Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak: ‘I was in Makkah when the people were afflicted with a drought. So they all came out to Masjid al-Haram for Istisqaa’ (prayer for rain) but they were not granted rain, and to my side was a black slave.
He said, ‘O Allah, O Allah. They have surely called You but You did not respond. I swear to You and take an oath by You that You will indeed provide water for us.’
Ibn al-Mubarak said, ‘By Allah, it was only a short moment before we were granted rain.‘
He continued saying, ‘The black slave departed and I followed him until he entered a house in Hanatin. I put a mark on it and in the morning, I took some money and went to the house.
A man came to the door and I said to him, ‘I want to see the owner of this house.’
He said, ‘It’s me.’
I said, ‘There is a slave of yours whom I wish to purchase.’
He said, ‘I have fourteen servants, I’ll bring them out to you.’
Ibn al-Mubarak said, ‘but he was not amongst them.’ So I said to him (the man), ‘Anyone left?’
He said, ‘A sick boy.’ He brought him out and it was him.
I said, ‘Sell him to me.’
He said, ‘He is yours, O Abu Abdur-Rahman.’
So I gave him fourteen dinars and I took the servant. When we had gone along the way, he said ‘O master, what could you want with me when I am ill?’
I said to him, ‘It’s because of what I saw yesterday evening (during the istisqaa’).’
The boy leaned against the wall and said, ‘O Allah! Do not cause me to become famous but take me back to You!’
Ibn al-Mubarak: ‘He fell down dead and the people of Makkah began to surround him…’