Historical Tales and Anecdotes of the Time of the Early Khalifahs/The generous Creditor

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THE GENEROUS CREDITOR.[edit]

AHMED-IBN-MUSA* is reported to have said, -^ ^ "I never saw a man of more firmness of character, or greater knowledge and clearness in argu- ment, than one of whom word was brought to el-MansClr that he held possession of certain goods belonging to the Benu-'Omeyyah. So el-Mans\ir commanded er-Rabiia, his chamberlain, to have him summoned. And when he appeared before him, el- Mansiir said, " It has been reported to us that thou boldest a deposit of money and arms belonging to the Benu-'Omeyyah. Produce it, therefore, that we may place it in the Bait-el-Mai."t

  • Ahmed-ibn-M<isa-ibn-Abi-Mdryam, el-Luluy, a member ot

the tribe of Khuziih, was a teacher of the Kurin readings and the Traditions. The date of his death is not mentioned by Ibn- Khalikin.

  • See Note *, p. 22. jM

hen said the man, " O Commander of the Faithful ! art thou heir to the Benu-'Omeyyah ?"

" No," replied el-Mans{ir.

" Then why/' continued the man, " dost thou seek for information concerning those possessions of the Benu-'Omeyyah which are in my hands, if thou art neither theirheir nor their executor ?"

So el-Mans{ir was silenced for a time, and then remarked, " Verily the Benu-'Omeyyah oppressed the people and forced money from the Muslims/'

To this the man replied, " It is necessary. Com- mander of the Faithful, that eye-witnesses whom the judge can (by reason of their respectability) receive, should testify that the goods now in my possession did belong to the Benu-'Omeyyah, and that they are identical with what the Benu- 'Omeyyah forced from the people. For surely the Commander of the Faithful is aware that the Benu-'Omeyyah had wealth of their own besides that which, according to the statement of the Commander of the Faithful, they forced from the Muslims."

So el-MansClr reflected for a space, and presently said, "O Rabiia ! the man has spoken the truth. We do not want anything from him." Then addressing the man, he added, " Hast thou a wish ?"

" Yes," he replied.

"What is it.?" asked el-Mansdr.

" That thou," said he, " shouldst judge between me and him who denounced me to thee. For by All^h ! O Commander of the Faithful ! I have neither money nor arms belonging to the Benu-'Omeyyah. But I was brought before thee, and I knew what thou art in justice and equity, and in following after right and forsaking oppression, and I was therefore confident that the speech of which I made use when thou didst ask me about the goods would be the surest and the safest."

Then cried el-Mans{ir, " O Rabiia ! let him be con- fronted with the man who denounced him."

So they were brought face to face. And the man who had been accused, said, " O Commander of the Faithful ! this one took five hundred dinars from me and ran away, and I have a legal document against him."

Then el-Mans{ir questioned the other man, and he acknowledged the debt. So el-Mans6r asked, " What possessed thee to accuse him falsely .?"

He replied, " I wished his death, in order that the money might be mine."

Then said the first man, " Verily, O Commander of the Faithful ! I make a free gift to him thereof because that he has caused me to stand before thee, and has brought me into the presence of thy Council. And I give him another five hundred din^lrs by reason of the words thou hast spoken to me."

So el-Mans{ir praised his deed, and extolled him, and sent him back to his country highly honoured. And el-MansClr always said, " I never in my life saw any one like this old man, nor one possessing greater firmness of mind, nor one who could overcome me in argument as did he ; nor have I ever seen clemency and generosity equal to his.