Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

December 2005
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Time for Tales

The Wise Judge

A rich merchant once set out from Aleppo to Constantinople travelling with a caravan. He carried with him valuable carpets and a number of bales of silk. He hoped to trade them in Constantinople for a huge profit. Before he travelled far, the merchant fell sick, and was unable to continue along with the caravan. He handed his merchandise to a camel-driver in the caravan and asked him to take it to the Turkish capital long before him. He stayed in a village where the caravans halted to recover from his illness.

Some weeks passed without the merchant making his appearance to claim his goods. The camel-driver supposing him to be dead sold the entire stock given to him for safekeeping and took for himself another occupation. After recovering from his sickness, the merchant in due course of time arrived at Constantinople to claim his cargo. The camel-driver pretended not to know him. He denied that he had ever been a camel driver.

The case was brought before the Qazi, and the merchant told the judge how he had entrusted his property to the camel-driver. The camel-driver firmly denied all knowledge of this affair. The Qazi asked the merchant as to what proof he could bring forward in support of his claim. As he was unable to bring any, the Qazi exclaimed that they were both fools and asked them to go about their business in the city and not to waste his time by accusing one another of falsehood. He then turned his back on them; but while they were going out together, he opened the window from his office and called out: “Camel-driver! I want to speak with you.” The camel-driver immediately turned his head in response, forgetting for a moment that he had denied in the court that he had ever been one. The Qazi’s guard arrested the camel-driver and brought him back in the presence of the Qazi. The Qazi now ordered the man to tell the truth. In this manner, the camel-driver was obliged to confess the truth. The Qazi ordered him to be whipped and to refund the merchant the value of his goods, and in addition, to pay a heavy fine for the false oath, which he had taken during the trial. In this way, the judge had, by thinking quickly saved the merchant from any injustice being done to him.

What's a Food Chain?
Contributed by Khusthar Jamal

The Qur’an (15:19) states: “And every kind of thing produced on the earth in due balance and measure.” The mineral kingdom supports the vegetable and they, in turn support the animal, and there is a link of mutual dependence between them. Excess is eliminated. The waste of one is made food of another, and vice versa. And, this is a chain of gradation and interdependence. Further the Qur’an states: “We provide sustenance of every kind, physical, mental, spiritual for you (i.e. for mankind). But We do more. We provide for every one of Our creatures”. The Quran explains beautifully what a “food chain” is. It means that some animals eat plants and some eat other animals. If you make a chain of “who eats what” you get a food chain. An eagle eats a snake, which in turn has eaten a smaller bird. The bird has eaten a caterpillar and the caterpillar has eaten leaves. If you link all these together, it forms a food chain. If such a study is made, we would find that Nature is held by Allah in a delicate balance.