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Generous but stingy

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Once a beggar met a sheikh who was known to be a generous giver. The beggar asked him for help. The sheikh said that he would help him by all means, and gave him a cloth. The beggar thanked the sheikh with all the words that came to his mind. However, after inspection it turned out the cloth was threadbare.

Then the beggar wrote on the backside of the cloth: “There is no God but Allah.” After a few days the sheikh passed by and the beggar showed him the back of the cloth. The sheikh, greatly surprised, asked the beggar, “Why don’t you complete the formula and write: ‘There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is His Prophet?'” The beggar told him: “I wanted to do this but when I inspected the cloth I found out that it dates from far before the time that Mohammed was born. Nothing about Mohammed could have been written on it, because Mohammed did not yet exist!”

Arab Educational Institute, Moral Stories from Palestine. Culture and Palestine Series, Bethlehem 1999. For more information:

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