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  • 1/26/2013

A Question from Bahlool

a question from bahlool

Sitting in his palace gallery once, Haroon was enjoying the natural scenery of the greenery around and the flow of the river Tigris with the sound of water gushing forward. Bahlool happened to be there and Haroon said to him:

"I shall ask you a question to which if you reply correctly, I shall gift you with a thousand dinars of gold; otherwise I shall throw you out into the river." Bahlool replied:

"I am not in greed of wealth. If I answer correctly, you should agree to release a hundred of my friends from your prison; otherwise you may throw me into the water."

Haroon then put forward to him this question:

"Supposing there is a sheep, a wolf and a heap of grass. How could these be transferred from bank to the opposite bank of the river so that neither the sheep eats the grass nor the wolf is able to devour sheep?" Bahlool replied by saying:

"The sheep should first be taken across to the opposite bank of the river. Thence take the grass heap there and return the sheep 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 grass nor the wolf to devour the sheep."

Haroon was touched by Bahlool's intelligence and admired this answer. Bahlool then presented to him a list of a hundred prisoners, who were all the followers and lovers of Ali ibn Abi Taleb (A.S). Breaking his promise, Haroon refused to release them. However, finally on persuasion, he agreed to release ten of them.

What a profound sense of intelligence as well as deep concern for the innocent prisoners held by Haroon on accusation of professing the love of Ali ibn Abi Taleb (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 a few pious personalities of his time.
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