Debate with a Jurist
A Faqih (jurist) happened to come to Baghdad from Khorasan and Haroon Rashid invited him to his court. When he arrived, Haroon accorded him every honour and made him sit next to him. By chance Bahlool also appeared in the court and Haroon also accorded him due respect and made him sit nearby.
The jurists on seeing the crazy outlook of Bahlool remarked that it was rather surprising for the Caliph to welcome such people hear him. When Bahlool overheard this remark, he, retorted by telling the jurist not to be puffed up with his little and imperfect knowledge.
He further claimed that he was prepared to debate with him and prove his ignorance. The jurist reacted to this by saying that what could he talk to an insane person. And Bahlool responded by saying:
“I may confess my insanity but you do not accept the challenge to your own ignorance and imperfect knowledge"
On hearing this hot, exchange, Haroon tried to calm Bahlool but he would not. Again he challenged the jurist to enter a polemic conversation with him if at all he was confident of his knowledge. Haroon said to the jurist:
"What is the objection, why not put some questions to Bahlool?" To this, the jurist responded by saying: "I am willing to do so, on condition that if he failed to answer satisfactorily, he should pay a thousand dinars in gold coins. Likewise he would pay similar amount if he failed."
Bahlool responded that from the worldly treasure he had nothing but should he be defeated, he was willing to enter into the slavery of the jurist. The jurist then put forward this question:
"Supposing a woman was sitting in a house with her husband, and a man was occupied in prayers and another person was in the state of fasting. During that period another man entered that house, the marriage of wife and husband became mutually null and void, whilst the prayer of the one who was praying and the fasting of the one who fasted 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 that house was the previous husband of that woman. He had gone on a journey and had not returned for quite some time. The woman was informed that he had died, so after securing the consent of Hakime Sheria (Executer of Islamic Laws) she married again with the man with whom, she was sitting.
Besides she had arranged with those 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 the Islamic Sharia Haroon and his courtiers were much impressed by this logic answer. Bahlool then took his turn and posed the following question to the jurist:
"Supposing one bowl is full of sugar syrup and another one 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 whether that rat originally was in the bowl of vinegar or in that of the supar syrup?" To this question put forward by Bahlooi, the jurist had no answer to give. Haroon noticing his silence, called for the answer from Bahlool himself and Bahlool answered:
"We should first remove the dead rat from the syrup, wash it with water and thence tear open its body to see what was there in its tummy. If we find vinegar, we can conclude that the rat had got into the bowl of vinegar. If however, we find sugar syrup in its tummy, we conclude that it was originally in the bowl of syrup."
On hearing this answer to tne question, all those present in the court were awe struck with the remarkable intelligence of Bahlool.
Finally the jurist had to part with the agreed sum of a thousand dinars of gold to Bahlool who instead of pocketing them himself, distributed among the poor. This polemic between Bahlool and the jurist denotes the deep knowledge he had in Islamic jurisprudence. This made him famous to be held in high esteem despite his insanely ways of living.
The following sayings of the Prophet are herewith worth noting: "He whose knowledge is higher is considered more in value than others" "A slip by a learned becomes widely publicized whereas that of an ignorant gets covered up under his ignorance". "The happiness of this world and the next has in learning and the evil of this world .and the next in ignorance"
Taken from the book “The Moral Stories (Part 2)”
Author: Ahmed .H. Sheriff
Bahlool Consulted By a Trader