True Islam

Poverty and Pomp

Bahlool liked to visit the graveyards. “People here are good friends”, he used to say, “They do not backbite.” Once, he sat in a corner of a graveyard and with a long heavy stick started probing some of the old skulls which lay scattered about. Harun Rashid, the king passed by, and saw him. The he said: O Bahlool, what are you doing?

Oh nothing very important, said Bahlool. I am just trying to find out whether the skulls belong to kings or paupers. They are all the same.

And what is the stick for, Harun asked.

Well, I am measuring the earth, Bahlool replied.

Measuring the earth? What are your findings? Harun joked!

It is equal and the same, O King! Bahlool retorted. Three arm lengths for me, inspite of my poverty and three arm lengths for you, in spite your pomp and wealth.

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