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> The bag of sand
> The rabbi and the Moslem
> Pilgrimage (1)
> Pilgrimage (2)
> The judge Karakash
> King Suleiman and the locusts
> The courageous woman
Once, during the times of the caliphates, there was a man in Damascus who wanted to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. He possessed a valuable ring which he did not want to leave unguarded. So he went to a banker and asked him to take care of the ring. The banker took a close look at the ring and saw that it was worth more than all his possessions together. So he decided to trick the pilgrim. When the pilgrim returned and asked for the ring, the banker said "What ring?" and closed the door. Each time when the man came back, he was beaten up by the banker's servant.
Desperately, the man asked for an audience with the caliph. However, as much as he tried, he did not succeed to reach the caliph. One day a man told him: "During Friday afternoons the caliph sits and prays next to a pool. You should write your case on a piece of wood and then push it through the water channel to catch the caliph's attention." The man did accordingly.
After reading the case, the caliph invited the man and told him: "Go tomorrow to the market near the banker's residence and wait for me. When I arrive, I will greet you but you should not return my greeting. You should also say nothing when I ask about your father's welfare, or why you did not honour us with a visit, and similar things."
When the caliph came next day, the man did as he was ordered. The banker overheard the conversation and saw the man's dismissive behaviour twoards the Sultan. He was very much afraid. Only a King could have behaved in such a way towards the caliph! As soon as the caliph left, the banker approached the man and gave him back the ring.
Arab Educational Institute, Moral Stories from Palestine. Culture and Palestine Series, Bethlehem 1999. For more information: email@example.com