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Haroun Asks Bahlool for Advice

One day Haroun was passing by on his way somewhere when he saw Bahlool riding a stick (as if it were a horse) and running with children. He called Bahlool who asked, “What do you want?”

Haroun said, “Criticize me.”

Bahlool said, “Look at the palaces and graves of previous Khalifas with the mind's eye. This is a great warning. You know very well that these people pass a length of time in their palaces with pleasure and enjoyment, pride and delight. Many regret and grieve over their bad deeds, and are shameful, but know nothing can be a remedy. Know that we are also hurriedly approaching these consequences.”

Bahlool's advice made Haroun uneasy. He asked, “What should I do that would make Allah happy with me?”

“That deed by which Allah's creations would be happy with you.”

“What should I do that Allah's creations would be happy with me?”

“Become just and equitable. What you don't think proper for yourself, don't think suitable for others. Listen patiently to the pleas and requests of the oppressed. Give answers nobly, prove yourself true to favors, rule with justice, and give just decisions.”

“Well done Bahlool! You have given very good advice. I give the order to fulfill your debts.”

“Debt from debt is never fulfilled. Today whatever is under your control is the public's wealth, shower it upon them and do not favor me.”

“Then request something else from me.”

“My request is that you follow my advice, but it is sad that this world's majesty and splendor has made your heart so hard that my advice will have no effect upon you.”

Then Bahlool shook his stick and said, “Move away! My horse kicks!” He remounted his stick and ran away.

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