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The sultan and his wazir

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Once the Sultan had a quarrel with his wazir. The Sultan thought that both rich and poor could be generous. The wazir denied this and said that by their very nature only the rich were willing to help others. They made a bet.

The Sultan disguised himself as a common man. Together with a darwish he travelled the countryside. When he saw the house of a poor man, he knocked at the door. The man immediately asked them to enter, offered coffee and invited the humble guests for a dinner with chicken. The Sultan and the derwish said that due to a vow they were not allowed to eat chicken and that they did not want to bother the host. The poor man however went to the neighbour for a lamb which he slaughtered in honor of the guests. Afterwards, the sultan and the darwish were so shy that they refused to stay at the house despite the host’s insisting.

The next day they continued their wanderings. After a while they heard music and loud voices. It was the house of the wazir. When they knocked at the door, the wazir observed them from the window. He asked the house servant to chase those beggars away. They should learn not to bother their superiors! The guests were beaten so much that they had to be treated after coming back at the palace.

The wazir was summoned. The Sultan confronted him with the truth, telling him that he was not worth even a beggar, let alone a wazir.

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

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