Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

July 2006
Cover Story Muslim Perspectives Event Diary - August 2006 Muslim Heritage Feature Community Initiative Update Editorial Opinion Bouquets and Brickbats The Muslim World Islamic Economy Monitor People Track Community Round-Up Muslim & Education Issues Figuring Out Follow-Up Essay Debunking Myths Feedback Workshop Diary Quran Speaks to You Hadith Talking Business Case Study Scholars of Renown Quran & Science Living Islam Our Dialogue Facts & Faith Spirituality Reflections Fiqh Women in Focus Health Chart Guidelines Soul Talk From Darkness to Light Book Review Career Guidance Scholarships Last Word Miscellany In Public Interest Time for Tales Words of Wisdom Poet's Corner Culture & Tradition Matrimonial
ZAKAT Camps/Workshops Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

Time for Tales

The Beggar Who Became King

Once upon a time, there lived a king in the land of Persia. He was old and had no heir to succeed him to his throne. On his deathbed, he directed in his will that in the morning after his death, the first person to enter the gates of the city should be crowned as the king in his place. It so happened that the first person to enter the city gates after the death of the king was a beggar. He had lived all his life by begging for his food and clothes from others. The ministers of state and the other nobles of the court acting on the king’s death wish, made him the king of the land, and handed him the keys to the Royal Treasury.

The wandering beggar took to his new job seriously and started governing the kingdom that had been handed over to him in a wise and a just way. However, a section of the Royal Court resented his appointment and refused to be ruled by a person who had been a beggar all his life. They secretly entered into an agreement with the kings of the surrounding lands and hatched a plot against him to remove him from the throne. The kings from the enemy camp entered into an agreement, and started to attack his kingdom with their armies. In the meantime, the rebels within his court did their best to weaken the rule of the beggar who had been made the king, and soon the entire kingdom was thrown in a state of confusion which resulted in the loss of certain valuable territories within his kingdom to his enemies.

The beggar who had been made king was disturbed at the turn of events. One day, an old friend who had been his companion during the days of his poverty, returned from his wanderings to find his old friend occupying the throne. He said: “May Allah be praised, He has out of His excellence and Glory, has gifted you with good fortune and prosperity, and it is entirely due to His Grace that you occupy such a position of dignity!”

The beggar who had been made king replied; “O my friend, feel sorry for me at my state, for this is not a time for congratulations. When you saw me last, I was only anxious to obtain some bread to feed myself for the day, but now I have all the worries in the world that challenge me in my present position. If the times are difficult, then I am in pain, and if they are prosperous then I am lost in the worldly enjoyments. There is no misfortune greater than managing the worldly affairs of a kingdom, because they distress my heart both in prosperity and in times of adversity. If you truly want riches, then seek only for contentment, which is the greatest wealth of the world. In my present position, the best meat of the world served on my table today, is not as delicious than the bits and pieces that I used to beg from others, in my days of adversity.”

Moral of the Story: Wealth does not always bring happiness.


No One is Held Responsible For the Sins of Others

It is related that in the time of Caliph Ma‘amun, a person committed a crime and absconded. His brother was brought before Ma’amun who ordered him to produce his brother, and if he did not, he would in his place suffer imprisonment and death. The man said, “O Caliph, if any of your officer wants to put me to death and you send him an order to release me, will that officer leave me or not?” The Caliph intrigued by the man’s words replied, “Yes, he would.” The man said, “Then, I bring you an order from a Sovereign by Whose grace you rule, to the effect that you should release me.” Ma‘amun asked the man, “What is the evidence?”

He replied, “My evidence is this, that Allah the Almighty in His glorious scripture says, ‘No one is held responsible for the sins of others’.”

Ma‘amun was so impressed by the words of the man that he ordered him to be immediately released. He said, “Release this man, for he has brought a powerful command and strong evidence. Know that it is His order and He is the best of all who order.”