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BAHLOOL,THE WISE - 2
Wahab ibn Amr, was one of the followers and companions of the Infallible Imam Musa Al-Kazim (a.s.). He was well-educated and financially well-off.
There is one report that the despotic Abbassayad king, Harun had appointed him as the Chief Justice, but he did not want to accept it because of his tyranny, but knew the consequences of rejection.
He sought advice from the Infallible Imam (a.s.) who advised him to become insane. He complied with the Imam (a.s.)’s directive and was saved from any punishment! Hence he was called “Bahlool”
DEBATE WITH A JURIST: A jurist came from Khorasan (Iran) to see Harun, who accorded him respectable welcome. Incidentally, Bahlool was also present there.
The jurist made some ulterior remarks about Bahlool and he also made some counter remarks. At last, the jurist offered to debate with him on the condition that if Bahlool failed to give the answer to his question, he will have to pay one thousand Dinars in gold coins.
The jurist asked the following question to Bahlool:
Suppose a woman was sitting in a house with her husband. And a man was busy in prayers and another person was in a state of fasting. During that period another man entered that house, the marriage of the wife and husband became mutually null and void, while the prayer of the one who was praying and fasting of the one who was fasting also became unacceptable. Who was the person who entered the house?
In reply to the above question, Bahlool promptly answered by explaining that the person who entered the house was the previous husband of that woman. He had gone on a journey and did not return for quite some time.
The woman was informed that he had died, so after securing the consent of “Hakim-e-Shariah” (the Executer of Islamic Laws), she married again with the man with whom she was sitting.
Besides, she had arranged for other two men on behalf of the husband who was reckoned to be dead.
Now, as soon as her first husband, who was alive, entered the house, the first marriage revived and the second marriage became automatically null and void.
And that prayer and fasting on his behalf also became unnecessary, since prayer and fast on behalf of one who is alive is not acceptable in Islamic Sharia. Harun and his courtier were much impressed by this logical answer.
Bahlool then took his turn and posed the following question to the jurist:
Suppose one bowl is full with sugar syrup while another is full with vinegar. If for the purpose of preparing Sikanjabin (a kind of vinegar syrup), we put them in third bowl and we find a small rat in it.
How can we determine that rat originally was in the ball of vinegar or that of sugar syrup?
The jurist had no answer to it. Harun noticing his silence, called for the answer from Bahlool. Bahlool answered:
We should first remove the rat from sugar syrup and wash it with water then tear open its body to see what was there in its tummy. If we find vinegar, we conclude the rat had got into the bowl of vinegar.
If, however, we find sugar syrup in its tummy, we conclude that the rat was originally in the bowl of syrup.
On hearing this answer to the question, all those present in the court were awe struck with the remarkable intelligence of Bahlool. Finally, the jurist had to part with a thousand Dinar of gold to Bahlool, who distributed it to the poor.
The Noble Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: “He whose knowledge is higher is considered more in value than others.”
A QUESTION FROM HARUN: Once, Harun was enjoying the scenery from his palace. Bahlool happened to be there. Haurn told him: “I will ask a question to which if you reply correctly, then I will gift you a thousand Dinars of gold, otherwise I will throw you in the river Tigress.”
Bahlool replied: “I am not in greed of wealth. If I reply correctly, you should agree release a hundred of my friends from your prison. Otherwise you may throw me into the river.
Harun then put forward this question:
Suppose there is a wolf, a sheep and a heap of grass. How could these be transferred from this bank to the other bank of the river so that neither the sheep eats the grass nor the wolf is able to consume the sheep?
Bahlool replied: The sheep should be taken across the opposite bank of the river. Then take the grass heap there, and return the sheep to this side of the river and leaving it here, take the wolf across to that side.
Finally returning to this side take the sheep back to that side of the water. In this way, neither the sheep would have an opportunity to eat the heap of neither grass nor the wolf to consume the sheep.
Harun was touched by Bahlool’s intelligence and admired this answer. Bahlool then presented the list of a hundred prisoners, who were the followers and lovers of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.).
Breaking his promise, Harun refused to release them. However, finally on persuasion, Harun agreed to release ten of them!
What a profound sense of intelligence as well as a deep concern for the innocent prisoners held by Harun on accusation of professing love of Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and belief in him as the rightful divinely appointed Caliph!
Bahlool always looked down upon the worldly wealth and never compromised against the principles of righteousness and justice. This fact made him feared by one and all and he proved to be one among the few pious personalities of his time.
Source: Bahlool Dana
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