Bohlool In the Judge’s Court

There was a Baghdadi businessman who was known for his equity and good manners. In that time, the things in demand were bought from foreign countries and then he sold them to people at little profit. For this reason, he was popular among the people and became beloved by all. His enemy, a Jewish businessman, was very cruel and unmerciful. The people hated him a lot because he sold his goods at a lot of profit. In the city he used to lend money with much interest. Whichever merchant needed money went to him for a loan, and he gave people money on very hard conditions. As it so happened, the noble merchant needed money also. He went to the Jew and asked for a loan. Since the Jew had an old enmity with him, he said, “I will give you the money on one condition, which is, that if you can’t return the payment as promised, I have the right to cut off any part of your body which equals one pound.”

Since it was on the merchant’s honor, he accepted the condition and wrote a real deed and gave it to the Jew. It said that if on the decided date the debt was not repaid to the Jew, then he had the right to take back the debt and cut one pound of flesh from any part of his body.

It happened that the noble merchant could not return the debt by the appointed date. The Jew filed a complaint in the Judge’s Court. The judge called the merchant. According to the agreement, the merchant was true to his word; the Jew could take one pound of his flesh from whatever part of his body he pleased.

Because of his strong enmity, the Jew wanted to cut such an organ that would cause the merchant to die. The judge kept delaying his decision because he thought that perhaps the Jew would get tired of his bad activities, but the Jew would not agree. Everyday he reminded and demanded his right. This case became known everywhere in Baghdad. Everyone felt sorry for the merchant and his pitiful situation, but there was no way out. As soon as Bohlool heard about this, he went immediately to the Judge’s Court and stood with the other spectators. He gave his full attention to the merchant’s contract, and in the very end said to him, “In the deed you wrote, you acted accordingly and gave permission to the Jew to cut one pound of flesh from your body.

Now say whatever you like as a last attempt to save yourself.”

The merchant loudly said, “O Allah! You know best. That is all.”

Suddenly Bohlool said, “O Judge! For the love of mankind, may I be this oppressed merchant’s lawyer?”

“Yes you may. Present proof to save him.”

Bohlool sat between the merchant and the Jew, got their full attention, and said, “There is no doubt that according to the contract, this person has the right to cut off one pound of flesh from any part of this merchant’s body, but one drop of his blood cannot touch the ground, and the flesh must be cut in such a way that it is exactly one pound, no more, no less. If the flesh is not cut according to these conditions, then as punishment the Jew shall be killed, and his entire wealth and goods shall be rightfully seized by the government.”

The judge became astonished at Bohlool’s explanation and heartily praised him. Helpless, the Jew became satisfied with the repayment of his debt only, so the judge gave the order to return his money.



7 Responses to “Bohlool In the Judge’s Court”

  1. Amal Says:

    It is a good story, but it was originally taken from “Tajer al bondokiah” or the “The Merchant of Venice”, written by William Shakespeare….

  2. moralsandethics Says:

    Dear Amal,

    William Shakespeare was during the period 1564 -1616 and the story is orignal about Bahlool whose actual name was Wahab bin Amr (واهب ابن امر), a companion of the seventh Imam of Shia Ithna Ashari, Imam Musa Kadim (a.s). He lived in the time of the Caliph Harun Al-Rashid. Bahlool was a well known judge and scholar who came from a wealthy background. He was in the period of around 800 AD.

    So fact is that this is the orignal story & others might have taken & copied in thier own version. You will find many such stories of Bahlool in some other version.

    You can read the Introduction of Bahlool from here:

    You can read all the stories about him fom here

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