The King, the Sufi and the Doctor

Once upon a time, a king of Tartaria went to fish with his courty noble companions.

On their way they crossed an abdal (a sufi errant, a "transformed") who claimed with a loud voice:

-The one who gives me a hundred dinars will be retributed with a very useful advice.

The king stopped and said:

-Abdal, what useful advice will you give me in exchange of the hundred dinars?

-Sir, first of all give the order to be given to me the hundred dinars, and as soon I will immediately give you advice - replied the abdal.

So did the king, waiting for something really extraordinary. But the dervish just said:

-My advice is as follows: "Never start a thing without first thinking about its outcome."

After having heard this, the noble men and other people there started laughing willingly, and they spoke about how smart the dervish was when he asked to have his money in advance.

-You have no right to laugh - the king objected - of this excellent advice that the abdal has just given us. Certainly, none of you ignore the fact that it is necessary to think before making anything. But we all make the mistake not to do it, and this has very tragic consequences. Therefore I value greately the dervish's advice.

Proceeding in accordance to his words, the king decided to always remember such advice, and have it always present; he even ordered to have it written in gold letters on the walls of his palace as well as on his silver tray.

Some time later, an intriguing and ambitious courtisan conceived the idea to kill the king. For this purpose, he extorted the royal doctor with the promise to name him prime minister in exchange of his services: to introduce inside the king's arm a poisoned lance.

When the moment came, it was necessary for the doctor to take the silver tray and put it under the king's arm, in order to take his blood as a proof.

The doctor could not stop reading what was written on that silver tray: "Never start a thing without first thinking about its outcome."

After having read this, the doctor realized that if he did what the courtesan thought of, and if he took possession of the throne,, it would be quite possible that the courtesan would order to hang him immediately, so that the pact would not be accomplished.

The king, feeling that the doctor seemed lost in his thoughts, asked what was going on.

The doctor confessed immediately.

The courtesan was made prisoner, and the king asked the noblemen and courtesans that were present the day the abdal gave his advice:

-And what now? Are you still laughing at the dervish?

From the book "Stories of Sufi Tradition". Editor Dervish

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