One day a Baghdadi businessman met Bahlool and said, “Sir Shaykh Bahlool! Give me advice as to what I should buy that would benefit me most.”
Bahlool replied, “Iron and cotton.”
The man went away and bought a lot of iron and cotton and stocked them. After a few months, he sold them and gained a lot of profit. Again he met Bahlool and said, “O Crazy Bahlool! What should I buy that would profit me?”
This time Bahlool told him to buy onions and watermelons. The businessman went and bought his entire savings worth of onions and watermelons. Just a few days later, they all rotted and caused a lot of harm. He immediately sought out Bahlool and said, “ When I first asked you for advice, you said buy iron and cotton. I profited a lot from this, but the second time what kind of advice did you give me! All my wealth was destroyed!”
Bahlool said, “The first day you addressed me as Shaykh Bahlool, and since you addressed me as an intelligent person, I advised you according to my wisdom. The second time you called me Crazy Bahlool, so I advised you like a crazy person.”
The businessman was ashamed of his behavior and understood Bahlool well.