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Friday, April 02, 2010

Wow, What a Bird!!



As-Sha’bi narrates that there was a man who caught a turtledove. It asked him, “What do you want to do to me?” The man replied, “I want to kill you and eat you.” It said, “I swear by Allah, I will not satiate your hunger. It is better for you that I teach you three things rather than eating me. The first, I will tell you in your hand, the second whilst I am on the tree and the third when I am on the mountain.”

(The man agreed and whilst the bird was in his hand he said), “Do not lament what has been lost.” The man let it go and it perched on the tree and said, “Do not believe something that can never be.” Then when it reached the mountain and it proclaimed, “O unfortunate one, if you had killed me then you would have found in my belly two pearls, each one worth twenty mithqals.”

The man bit his lip out of grief then said, “What was the third?” It replied, “Did you forget the first two? So how could I tell you the third? Did I not tell you not to lament what has been lost and not to believe something that can never be? I am flesh, blood and feathers; there is no twenty pieces in me! So how could there be two pieces weighting twenty mithqals in my belly!” Then it spread its wings and flew away.



This story can be found in many works of Imam Ghazali (may Allah be pleased with him) and others, this is from Nafhat Al-Arab/Breeze of the Arabs p.58.

One mithqal is about 3 grams in weight so the bird tricked the man saying he had sixty grams worth of pearls in its belly. Smart bird!!

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