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

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