The greatness of a leader

As an ancient Persian saying goes – ‘He who has established justice may certainly sleep in safety; he who has oppressed is always fearful’

WAHB ibn Munabbih, a seventh century universal Muslim historian, had related that there was a king who was numbered among the great kings.

One day, the king wished to go for a ride and bade all the commanders of his army to ride along in a display of sovereignty and might to the people.

Magnificent garments were brought for him to wear, but it was not pleasing to him, so he demanded more until after several tries he donned the finest.

Splendid horses of pedigree stock were led before him; but he was not satisfied until an even more splendid horse was brought.

On this splendid horse the king rode out with great pomp into the midst of his entourage.

The Devil came and put his mouth on the king’s nose and blew the wind of vainglory into it, with the result that the king said to himself. “Who is there in the universe like me?”

Then an old man clad in rough clothes came and saluted the king, who gave no response.

The man seized the horse’s reins. “Do you not know whose horse’s reins you are holding?” asked the king. “I have a request to make of you,” he said. “Tell me what it is,” the king asked.

“Nobody must know,” he said, “I have a secret which must be told into no ears but yours.”

“Tell it,” the king said. The man raised his head to the king’s ear and whispered, “I am the Angel of Death. I have come to take your soul at this moment.”

by Dr. Mohd. Sani Badron.

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