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  • Date :
  • 4/3/2013



A tourist happened to come to Baghdad and by chance he also had an opportunity of being present in the court of Haroon. He put forward several questions on different topics but none of the people in the court including the learned and the wise could give any acceptable answer.

Haroon rather upset with this situation told his courtiers that he would divert their belongings and wealth to that tourist if they did not succeed in producing answers to his questions. So hearing, the courtiers pleaded for 24 hours’ time which was acceded.

Oh retiring from the Royal Court, they got together to discuss how and wherefrom to obtain the answers. One of them advised that no one would be able to give the answers except Bahlool hence they went out to look for him.

When found, they related to him of what had happened and told him; the questions raised by the tourist and he agreed to come forward to the court next day so as to face him and provide the right answers.

Next day Bahlool was present in the court and asked the tourist to speak and raise his questions as he was prepared to answer them.

The tourist stood up and with his stick, drew a circle on the ground. Instantly without any pause Bahlool came forward and drew a line across dividing it into two parts.

The tourist again drew on the ground another circle and again Bahlool immediately applied his stick and this time he drew two lines dividing the circle into four parts, of which one part he described as a dry and the remaining three parts as water.

Then again the tourist kept the back of his hand over the ground and raised the fingers towards the sky. Seeing this, Bahlool did the opposite by keeping his fingers over the ground and raised the back of his hand upwards towards the sky.

As a result the tourist praised Bahlool very much and told Haroon that he needed to have such intelligent and learned people. Haroon then asked him to explain what his aim and object was in raising the questions and drawing the circles.

The tourist then explained that the drawing of a circle by him and line dividing it into two by Bahlool was meant to convey that this world is divided into two portions - the North and the South. Another circle drawn and divided into four portions by Bahlool meant to point to one-fourth land and remaining three-fourth of water in the world.

The placing of hand over the earth and raising the fingers upwards meant the growing of grass and plants from earth. Bahlool by placing his fingers down and raising the hand upwards pointed to the fact that the plants needed rain and the rays of the sun.

Thus Bahlool proved, despite his simplicity and funny and insanely ways, to be one of the most intelligent and learned persons of the time.

Almighty Allah has mentioned about the people of intellect and reason in high terms as per the following verse of the Holy Qur’an:

"He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good and none but men of understanding mind." (2:269)

Taken from the book “The Moral Stories (Part 2)”‌‌‌‌‌

Author: Ahmed .H. Sheriff

Other links:

Argument with Abuhanifa

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