The Muslim king and the poet

A Muslim king was very fond of poetry. He used to honour poets all the time, giving them gold and diamonds. Sometimes if a poem was extremely beautiful, he would ask the poet to stand on one side of a scale, and on the other side the king would put gold coins to equal the poet’s weight. Then he would give the poet all the coins.

Once a poet wrote a very beautiful poem, and the king was very pleased with him. Unfortunately, the poet was very greedy. When the king was discussing how much the poet would get, the man became so restless that he could not wait to hear the outcome. So he said to the king, “Perhaps you will give me one lak of gold coins. May I see how many coins that is and how much it weighs?” The poet only wanted to see the coins. He did not actually know how much he would be getting.

The king was amused and said, “All right, bring one lak of gold coins to show him.”

When the money was placed in front of the poet, the king said to him, “Now, what is happening inside you? Tell me!”

The poet said, “I am admiring you and appreciating you for having shown me all these coins. I have never seen so much money in my life, and perhaps I will never again see a lak of gold coins at one time. I have never seen such a huge amount!”

The king said, “I want you to be grateful to somebody else, and not to me.”

“Who is that person?” the poet asked.

The king put all the coins in the poet’s hands and said, “Look up. Now be grateful to Allah. I am giving you these coins in His Name. So please be grateful to Allah and not to me.”