Buhlul and the Thief

Whenever Buhlul happened to have money in excess of his expenses, he used to save it by concealing it in one corner of a ruined and broken down house; this continued till the amount eventually reached a figure of three hundred dirhams.

The next occasion when he had saved another ten dirhams and had gone to the place to add it to his concealed savings, a trader who lived in the neighbourhood, found out about the hideout. As soon as Buhlul had left the hiding place, the neighbour dug up the money that was concealed beneath the ground.

The next time when Bulool came to the place, he found his money missing and immediately realized that it was the work of the trader.

He decided to approach the trader.

“I wish to trouble you by telling you about my secret,” Buhlul said to the trader. “I have placed my money in different places.” Then he began enumerating the places till the entire figure reached three thousand dirhams. “The place where I have placed three hundred and ten dirhams is the safest of them all. I now wish to transfer all my money to this place in the ruined house.” Saying this, he bid the trader goodbye and left.

The trader decided to return the three hundred and ten dirhams to the place from where he had stolen the money with the intention that when Buhlul placed all his money there, he would steal the increased amount. Some days later, Buhlul returned to the ruins and found the three hundred and ten dirhams in its original location. Taking out the money, he defecated there and covered it with earth.

Immediately after Buhlul had left, the trader rushed towards the spot and, removing the earth, sought to collect the entire money, only to find his hand dirtied by the excrement. He thus comprehended

Buhlul’s deception. A few days later Buhlul visited him.

“I want you to compute some figures associated with my money,” said

Buhlul. “How much does eighty dirhams added to fifty dirhams added to one hundred dirhams, and this sum added to the dirty odour that emanates from your hands, sum up to?”

Saying this, he took to his heels. The trader rushed after him in hot pursuit, but failed to catch him.

Anecdotes for Reflection Part II Pg. 171

The Daughter’s Disloyalty towards the Father

Satrun, whose title was Dhizan was the king of Hadhar, a state located between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. In Hadhar, there was a beautiful palace by the name of Jausaq.

Once, the king attacked a city that was under the control of Shapur; looting and plundering it, he massacred a great number of its people and eventually occupied it. In the process he managed to take Shapur’s sister as captive.

When Shapur came to know of this, he gathered his army and set out towards the king. Dh|zan had locked himself inside a strong fort which Shapur laid siege to. This siege continued for a period of four years but Shapur was unable to penetrate the fort.

One day, Dh|zan’s daughter, Nadh|rah, an extremely beautiful maiden, was strolling outside the fort when Shapur’s eyes fell on her. He was instantly captivated by her beauty. He sent word to her that if she helped him conquer the fort, he would marry her. During one of the nights, Nadh|rah, who too had fallen for Shapur, got the guards of the fort intoxicated and opened its doors to Shapur’s forces. In the battle that ensued, her father Dh|zan was eventually killed.

In keeping with his promise, Shapur married Nadh|ra. One night he noticed that there was blood on her bed. As he set about to investigate the cause of it, he observed that a strand of thick hair lay on her bed and this had caused her delicate and subtle body to become scratched and injured.

“What did your father feed you with?” he asked her.

“Yolk of eggs, brain of lambs, butter and honey,” she replied.

When he heard this, Shapur reflected for a while and then said:

“Despite these comforts provided by your father, you were not loyal to him; how can you ever be loyal and faithful to me?”

He ordered that she be tied to a horse’s tail and the animal made to gallop through the desert so that the desert thorns become coloured by the blood of this treacherous and unfaithful daughter.

Namunah-e-Maarif, Volume 5, Page 142, Al-Mustatraf, Volume 1, Page 210 Treachery, Anecdotes for Reflection Part II Pg. 144

Believe in your presence of mind and never panic

In a shop a man asked for 1/2 kg of butter;

The salesperson, a young boy said that only 1 kg packs were available in the shop, but the customer insisted on buying only 1/2 kg.

So the boy went inside to the manager’s room and said

“An idiot outside wants to buy only 1/2 kg of butter”.  To his surprise, the customer was standing behind him…
So the boy added immediately, “And this gentleman wants to buy the other half …!”.

After the customer left, the manager said “You have saved your position by being clever enough at the right time. Where do you come from?

To this the boy said, “I come from Mexico…. The place consists of only prostitutes and football players”

The manager replied coldly, “My wife is also from Mexico”… to this the boy asked excitedly, “Oh wow!! which team does she play for”?

Believe in your presence of mind and never panic

Winner vs Looser

The winner is always part of the answer;

The loser is always part of the problem.

The winner always has a program

The loser always has an excuse.

The winner says,  “Let me do it for you “

The loser says, “That is not my job.”er

The winner sees an answer to every problem;

The loser sees a problem for every answer.

The winner says, “It may be difficult but it is possible;

The loser says, “It may be possible but it is too difficult.”

When  a winner makes a mistake, he says, ”I was wrong”;

When loser makes a mistake, he says, ”It wasn’t my fault.”

A winner makes commitments;

A loser makes promises.

Winners says,” I must do something”;

Losers says,  “ Something must be done”.

Winners are a part of the team;

Losers are apart from the team.

Winners see the gain;

Losers see the pain.

Winners see possibilities;

Losers see problems.

Winners believe in win- win ;

Losers believe for them to win someone has to lose.

Winners see the potential;

Losers see the past.

Winners are like a thermostat;

Losers are like thermometers.

Winners choose what they say;

Losers says what they choose.

Winners use hard arguments but soft words;

Losers use soft arguments but hard words.

Winners stand firm on values but compromise on petty things;

Losers stand firm on petty things but compromise on values.

Winners follow the philosophy of empathy:

“  Don’t do to others what you would not want them  to do you “

Losers follow the philosophy  ,”Do it to others before they do it to you.”

Winners make it happen;

Losers let it happen.

Winners plan and prepare to win. The key word is preparation.

10 Lessons Jeremy Lin Can Teach Us Before We Go To Work Monday Morning

Lin-sanity has swept up the NBA over the last week.  Now it seems like the phenomenon has gone worldwide.

Friday’s 38 point performance by Harvard grad Jeremy Lin for the New York Knicks against the LA Lakers was his greatest performance yet as a starter, since he burst on to the scene and propelled the team to 4 straight wins.

Lin now has over 200,000 followers on Twitter.  He’s got over 800,000 on Weibo – including 200,000 new ones in the 24 hour period after beating the Lakers.

Move up Move down

But there’s more to this story than basketball.  This isn’t just a modern-day, real-life version of the Hoosiers movie.  The Jeremy Lin story is incredibly popular because we can all see a little bit of ourselves in this man’s struggles and now successes.

What can all of us learn from this young man — and how can we apply these same lessons to our own lives when we go back to work on Monday morning?

1. Believe in yourself when no one else does. Lin’s only the 3rd graduate from Harvard to make it to the NBA.  He’s also one of only a handful of Asian-Americans to make it. He was sent by the Knicks to play for their D-League team 3 weeks ago in Erie, PA.  He’d already been cut by two other NBA teams before joining the Knicks this year.  You’ve got to believe in yourself, even when no one else does.

2. Seize the opportunity when it comes up. Lin got to start for the Knicks because they had to start him.  They had too many injuries.  Baron Davis was gone.  The other point guards were out.  Carmelo Anthony was injured.  Amare Stoudemire had to leave the team because of a family death.  Lin could have squandered the opportunity and we would have never have noticed.  But he made the most of it.  You never know when opportunities are going to arise in life.  Often, they’re when you least expect them.  Make the most of them. Don’t fritter them away.

3. Your family will always be there for you, so be there for them. It wasn’t until a few days ago that Lin got his contract guaranteed by the Knicks for the rest of the season.  Before that, he could have been cut at any time.  He had to sleep on his brother’s couch on the Lower East Side to get by.  His family always believed in him and picked him up when he could have gotten down on himself.  That made him continue to believe.  If you want your family to believe in you like that, you’ve got to be there for them too when they need it.

4. Find the system that works for your style. Lin isn’t Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.  He’s not a pure scorer.  He’s a passer and distributor – who can also score very well.  It didn’t work for him in Golden State or Houston – where he was before landing at the Knicks.  But Mike D’Antoni’s system at the Knicks has been perfect for him to show off his strengths.  You’ve got to do your best to understand what your strengths are and then ensure that you’re in a system (a job or organization or industry) that is a good fit for those strengths.  Otherwise, people overlook the talents you bring to the table.

5. Don’t overlook talent that might exist around you today on your team. You probably manage people at your own company today.  Are you sure you don’t have a Jeremy Lin living among you now?  How do you know that “Mike” couldn’t do amazing things if you gave him a new project to run with?  How do you know “Sarah” isn’t the right person to take the open job in London that you’ve been talking over with your colleagues?  We put people around us in boxes.  He’s from Harvard.  He’s Asian-American.  Not sure he can play.  How many assumptions have you made about talent around you?  Don’t be like the General Managers in Golden State and Houston, and let talent slip through your fingers.  With all their money, scouts, and testing, they didn’t have a clue what they had in their hands.  Do you know what your people (or even yourself) is really capable of?  Take off the blinders of assumptions you wear when you look at the world.

6. People will love you for being an original, not trying to be someone else. You’ve got to be you.  You can’t be some 2nd rate copy of Michael Jordan.  There will never be another Michael Jordan.  Just be Jeremy Lin — yourself.  Whatever that is.  That doesn’t mean you don’t work hard — it just means you find what you’re good at and do it.  Fans will love you for being you, just like they love Jeremy Lin.  Judy Garland said it best:

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

7. Stay humble. If you one day are lucky enough to have newspapers want to put you on the cover in order to sell more, don’t let it get to your head.  It’s been remarkable watching how humble Lin remains through all this media frenzy.  It makes his teammates and fans love him that much more.

8. When you make others around you look good, they will love you forever. I didn’t know how good Tyson Chandler was, until I saw him playing with Jeremy Lin.  Lin has set Chandler up many times over the last week for easy dunks because he drew the defense and then passed the ball.  That’s partly why the Knicks are playing so well.  They are all working harder to share the ball with others.  And it’s beautiful to watch.  And when the media swarms Lin, he tells them how good his teammates are.  Do the same with your peers and reports.

9. Never forget about the importance of luck or fate in life. Some people believe in God, some in destiny, some in luck.  Whatever you believe in, be grateful for it.

10. Work your butt off. Lin couldn’t have seized his opportunity if he hadn’t worked like crazy for years perfecting his skills.  There are no short cuts to hard work.  Success is a by product of that.  If you’ve got a Tiger Mom who’s always pushed you to work hard, great.  If not, let your conscience be your own Tiger Mom!  Get up early, stay up late.  Nobody gave Lin any free passes. Why should you get any?  You can only control what you control and that means you’ve got to work harder than anyone else you know.

I hope the Lin-sanity continues.  And I hope we all can apply these lessons to our own work and family life.

There’s a great line from a New York Times article on Lin and his faith which is worth it for all of us to remember:

“suffering produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us.”

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