The following is extracted from Signs on the Horizons by Shaykh Michael Sugich.
“When I first arrived in Makkah, I kept company with a friend from America who was living with his wife close to the Holy Mosque and studying Arabic at Umm Al-Qurra University. One day, during Ramadhan, he mentioned that he had given money to a poor man to visit the mosque and tomb of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah.
When he said this, I thought, ‘What a wonderful thing to do – to send someone to Madinah. I wish I could do that.’ For some reason I cannot explain, I developed an overpowering desire to send someone to visit the Prophet (s.a.w.). I did not mention this to anyone but loved the idea of doing it and kept thinking about it. A few days later, I made the lesser pilgrimage, ‘umrah, after the night prayer with a friend from England. When we finished our rituals, we were relaxing in a circle in the mathaf between the Yemeni corner and the Black Stone.
While we were sitting, a man approached our circle. He sat down across the circle from me between two of our companions. Clearly, he was looking for a handout. He asked the group something. I was not paying much attention and, in fact, found his intrusion annoying. I looked across without much interest and asked what he wanted and my friends told me he wanted alms, swadaqah. As I had my money rolled up in my ihram and difficult to get to, I made no move to give him anything. All the others reached for their purses or wallets. It was Ramadhan after all, and a blessed time for giving. But the man stopped them and called across to me. Pointing to me, he said, ‘No, him!’ I looked up, nonplussed. ‘You!’ he said. I felt embarrassed because I had no intention of giving anything to this fellow. Then he looked me straight in the eye and said, nodding with a meaningful grin, ‘I want to go to Madinah!’ With a jolt of recognition, I unrolled my ihram and pulled out the bus fare to al-Madinah. He took it, refused anything from the others and disappeared.
As Shaykh ibn Atha’illah as-Sakandari (q.s.) said, “No deed is more fruitful for the heart than the one you are not aware of and which is deemed paltry by you.”