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

Piety Of Amir’ul-Mu’minin (a.s)

Piety Of Amir’ul-Mu’minin, Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s)

Imam Fakhruddin Razi has written in Arbaeen that in the lifetime of the Prophet (S) a group of companions was famous for its austerity; like Abu Zar Ghiffari, Salman Farsi and Abu Darda etc. All these great personalities followed the example of Ali (a.s) in simplicity and austerity.

It is narrated from Qabida in Majmaul Ahbab fil Manaqib al Ashab that: We have not seen anyone among the people more pious than Ali (a.s).

Ibne Athir has narrated from Hasan bin Salih in Tarikh Kamil that once in the presence of Umar Ibne Abdul Aziz the conversation steered towards piety. He said: Of all the people, Ali (a.s) was the most pious.

It is mentioned in Usud al-Ghaba that Ammar Ibne Yasir has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) told Amir’ul-Mu’minin (a.s), “O Ali! The Almighty Allah has bestowed you with such a merit as He has not bestowed anyone else. And that is piety in the world, which is an ornament for the people in view of Allah. Allah has made you such that neither you got anything from the world nor the world got anything from you. He gave you the love for poor people and He made you satisfied by their following you and He made them pleased by making you their Imam.”

It is narrated from Amir’ul-Mu’minin (a.s) that he said, “The Messenger of Allah (S) told me, ‘O Ali! When people became attached to the material world and forsake the Hereafter. Usurp the inheritance of others and destroy the religion and plunder the wealth of Allah; what would be your condition?’ I said, ‘I would leave them and forsake whom they follow. And I would betake Allah, His Prophet and the abode of the Hereafter. I would be patient on worldly calamities and difficulties, till the time I meet you.’ The Prophet said, ‘It is true, you will do this only.’”

Ahmad Ibne Hanbal has written in his Manaqib that one day the Satan suggested to Ali (a.s), “Always keep the public treasury full of wealth and gold coins.” Ali (a.s) came to the Baitul Maal (Public treasury) and ordered that people may be summoned. Then he started distributing till everything was finished and he said, “O Gold and Silver, defraud others.” When the public treasury became empty he ordered it to be sprinkled with water. Then he performed two rakats (Units) of prayers of thankfulness.

It is mentioned in Usdul Ghabah that Imam Hasan (a.s) narrated, “Neither my respected father collected wealth nor he left behind anything, except for six hundred Dirhams with which he desired that slaves may be freed.” In the same book it is narrated from Abu Naeem that he heard Sufyan say, “The Amir (Ali) never placed a brick upon a brick or a bamboo upon a bamboo to construct a house. If he wanted he could have inhabited from Medina to Jurab.”

Ibne Athir has written in Tarikh Kamil that Harun Ibne Antara narrates from his father that he went to Amir’ul-Mu’minin (a.s) to obtain his share of poor people. It was a cold season and Ali (a.s) was shivering as he had only an old cloth thrown over himself. The narrator said to him, “The Almighty Allah has appointed a share for you in the Public Treasury. Why have you not taken anything for yourself?” He replied, “By Allah, I do not like anything of your property. By Allah, this is my own quilt that I had brought with me from Medina.”

It is narrated from Zaid Ibne Abi Wahab that one day Amir’ul-Mu’minin (a.s) came out of his house in such a way that his lower garment was having patches all over it. Ibne Na’ja the Khariji, became angry on seeing him and said, “You are the Chief of the believers, such clothes do not befit you.” Imam (a.s) replied, “What concern do you have with my clothes. This dress of mine is remote from pride and it is deserving to serve as a model for Muslims.”

Ahmad Ibne Hanbal has written in Manaqib that during the temporal rule of Amir’ul-Mu’minin (a.s) he purchased a shirt worth three dirhams. Its sleeves were somewhat long, which he got shortened. Then he said, “Thanks be to God Who bestowed such a dress.” One day he was standing in the Kufa market to sell his sword, and he kept repeating, “By Allah, if I had the money to purchase this garment, I would not have sold my sword.”

Ahmad Ibne Hanbal has written in Musnad that according to the narrator Suwaid Ibne Ghafla, “One day I went to Amir’ul-Mu’minin (a.s) and found him sitting on an old and tattered sack. I said, “You are the ruler of the Muslims and owner of the Public treasury, and you sit on an old sack? You also have to receive foreign visitors. Don’t you have anything better in your house?” He said, “O Suwaid, a wise man does not become attached to a house that one has to eventually leave. We have the abode of eternity before our eyes, towards which we would soon depart. The diet of the Imam consisted of dry barley bread or grains half filled with husk. One day something special was placed before him. He did not eat anything. He was asked, “Is it unlawful.” He said, “No, but I don’t want to make myself used to things that the Holy Prophet (S) had never consumed.” Once someone said, “The Almighty Allah has made you the owner of a great kingdom, why do you not eat good food?” He replied. “I have heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) say that it is not allowed for the caliph to take more than two measures from public wealth. One measure for himself and one for the guest.”

It is narrated from Suwaid bin Uqbah that, “One day I went to the Imam at the Administrative Headquarters. At that time a loaf of barley bread and a cup of milk was kept in front of him. The bread was so hard and dried that he used to press it with his hands and sometimes with his thighs to break it. I was very disturbed to see it. I told his slave-maid Fizza, “You also do not pity the Amir’ul-Mu’minin? You should at least remove the husk from the flour before making bread. Don’t you see there is so much husk in it?” Fizza said, “What can I do? The Imam has taken an oath from me that I would never sieve the flour to make bread.” The Imam said, “O Suwaid, the Holy Prophet (S) and his Ahl ul-Bayt have never eaten wheat bread to satiation for three consecutive days, and never was the flour sieved for them. One day I was hungry in Medina and I came out to find some work. I saw that a woman had collected mud and was trying to mix it with water (to plaster a wall etc). I told her to give me one piece of date for each bucket of water. I pulled out sixteen buckets for her and my palms became sore. I brought the dates to the Holy Prophet (S) and related to him the whole incident, then we both shared the dates.”

Zaid says that one day he went to Amir’ul-Mu’minin (a.s) and saw a pot of water kept near him and on the other side was a canvas bag with its mouth sealed. “I thought he would remove precious things from it and give them to me. When the Imam broke the seal and opened the bag I saw that it contained parched barley meal. He took out a handful, mixed it in a cup of water, offered to me and took some himself. I could not restrain myself, and I said, ‘Sir, living in Iraq you have such food? While different kinds of eatables are available here?’ He said, ‘This is sufficient for survival.’ I said, ‘Why do you keep the bag sealed?’ He replied, ‘So that my family may not mix oil etc. in it. I do not want anything to be a part of my diet except barley.’”

It is written in Sharh Nahjul Balagha that the Imam always observed a diet of vinegar and salt. If he exceeded in it he ate some vegetables and if he further increased it, he drank some camel milk. He used to eat very little meat and he said, “Do not make your stomach a graveyard of animals.”

Taken from: Akhlaq e-A’imma, Morals & Manners of the Holy Imams by  Maulana Sayyid Zafar Hasan Amrohi

Bohlool and Thief

It is said that Bohlool lived in a desolate house. Across it was a cobbler’s shop which had a window opening towards the house. Bohlool collected a few dirhams and hid them in the dirt. Whenever the need came, he dug up the dirt and took out the needed coins, and buried the rest back again. As it so happened, one day when he needed some coins, he dug the earth and saw that all of his money had disappeared. He immediately understood that the cobbler, whose window faced his house, had taken the coins.


Without making any comment or commotion, Bohlool went and sat by the cobbler to chitchat. Bohlool talked so much that the cobbler became confident and not uneasy. Then Bohlool said, “Beloved friend! Please keep an account for me.”

“You keep talking and I’ll keep adding.”

Bohlool talked about some houses and buildings, and with each he mentioned some coins. Then he said that in the house he now lived in there was buried a certain amount of coins. After that the cobbler added them all up and said that there was a total of 2,000 dinars.

Bohlool thought for a while and said, “O friend! Now I want some advice from you.”

“Okay. Speak.”

“I want to bury all the coins I have at other places in the house that I live in now; what do you think?”

“Very good idea. Bring all the coins you have hidden and bury them in your present house.”

“I agree to this. Now I will go bring all the coins from other places to bury in that house.” Saying this, Bohlool left the cobbler.

The cobbler thought to himself, “I will bury those coins I stole back where they were. When Bohlool brings the other coins, I will find them and take all of them at once.” Thinking this, he returned the stolen coins to their previous place.

A few hours later, Bohlool went to his house and examined the area that he kept his money in and saw that the cobbler had reburied the coins he had stolen. Bohlool took out the coins, thanked Allah, left that house and went to another. The cobbler waited a very long time for Bohlool, but he was not going to be and could not be found. After a while the cobbler finally understood that Bohlool had tricked him, and so had got his money back.


Everybody brings his own fire

Bahlul, the wise fool happened to the meet the caliph Harun al-Rashid. ‘Where are you coming from like this, Bahlul?’ the ruler asked him.

 ‘From hell’ was the prompt reply.

 ‘What were you doing there?’

 Bahlul explained, ‘ Fire was needed, Sire, so I thought of going to Hell to ask if they could spare a little. But the fellow in charge there said, ‘We have no fire here.’ Of course I asked him, ‘ How come? Isn’t Hell the place of fire?’ He answered, ‘ I tell you, there really is no fire down here. Everybody brings his own fire with him when he comes.’ “

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.


Haroun Asks Bohlool for Advice

One day Haroun was passing by on his way somewhere when he saw Bohlool riding a stick (as if it were a horse) and running with children. He called Bohlool who asked,

“What do you want?”

Haroun said, “Criticize me.”

Bohlool said, “Look at the palaces and graves of previous Khalifas with the mind’s eye. This is a great warning. You know very well that these people pass a length of time in their palaces with pleasure and enjoyment, pride and delight. Many regret and grieve over their bad deeds, and are shameful, but know nothing can be a remedy. Know that we are also hurriedly approaching these consequences.”

Bohlool’s advice made Haroun uneasy. He asked, “What should I do that would make Allah happy with me?”

“That deed by which Allah’s creations would be happy with you.”

“What should I do that Allah’s creations would be happy with me?”

“Become just and equitable. What you don’t think proper for yourself, don’t think suitable for others. Listen patiently to the pleas and requests of the oppressed. Give answers nobly, prove yourself true to favors, rule with justice, and give just decisions.”

“Well done Bohlool! You have given very good advice. I give the order to fulfill your debts.”

“Debt from debt is never fulfilled. Today whatever is under your control is the public’s wealth, shower it upon them and do not favor me.”

“Then request something else from me.”

“My request is that you follow my advice, but it is sad that this world’s majesty and splendor has made your heart so hard that my advice will have no effect upon you.”Then Bohlool shook his stick and said,

“Move away! My horse kicks!” He remounted his stick and ran away.

Bohlool and a Slave who was Scared of the Sea

Bohlool and a Slave who was Scared of the Sea

 A Baghdadi merchant was sitting in a ship with his slave, and they were going to Basra. Bohlool and some others were also in this ship. The slave started crying because he was afraid of the ship’s turbulent movements. All the travelers became annoyed at this. Bohlool asked the slave’s master permission to quiet him by some advice. The merchant agreed. Bohlool immediately gave the order to throw the slave into the sea. His command was carried out. When the slave was near death, he was rescued. After that experience, the slave quietly sat in a corner of the ship.

The travelers asked Bohlool the reason why this act quieted the slave. Bohlool replied, “This slave didn’t know how comfortable this ship was or what greatness and value it held. When he was thrown into the sea, he understood that this ship is a comfortable and relieving place.”

Moral: We should not cry for our condition in which we are living but thank God for make our life comfortable.We should not think about more comfortable place thant what we have rather whenever we feel ouselves un-comfortable, we should thin or experience for little span of time in umcomfortable place then we will be able to understand how God has made us to live susch a good life.

Today If we see around the Globe there are so many people who don’t even have the food to eat & shelter living but we to whom the Allah the Almight has given best Food, best Shelter, best clothes, best transportation but still we sit & cry that I don’t have this & that………..

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