Wisdom or Craftiness

All three attempts failed

A cunning and crafty wealthy man went to a farmer in a village and offered him a partnership. As per the partnership, the wealthy man would invest money and the farmer would invest his effort. However, when the crop would be produced, its part beneath [the surface of] the earth would be owned by the farmer while the part above [the surface of] the earth would be owned by the wealthy man. (He had this craftiness because there are roots inside [the surface of] the earth that would be given to the foolish farmer. However, the part above [the surface of] the earth has the real worth. The wealthy man would get it). Anyhow, the farmer thought for a while and then accepted the offer.

When the crop was produced, the clever man reached to collect his share. He got surprised, seeing that the farmer had grown the crop of onion. Therefore, as per the agreement, the (crop of) onion belonged to the farmer and the valueless leaves above [the surface of the earth] belonged to the wealthy man.

After learning a lesson, instead of forbearing, the crafty wealthy man thought of playing another trick and offered the farmer partnership once again, but this time, he laid down a condition that the part beneath [the surface of] the earth would be his and above [the surface of] the earth would belong to the farmer. The farmer accepted the condition.

After the crop was produced, when the wealthy man reached to collect his share, he was stunned to see that the farmer had grown sugarcane whose valueless roots became his share and the farmer got valuable sugarcane. Despite facing loss twice due to his craftiness at the hands of the wisdom of the farmer, the wealthy man did not give in.

To settle accounts with the farmer, giving him the payment for the next crop, the wealthy man said, ‘I have suffered loss twice. This time, the part of crop below and above [the surface of] the earth would be mine. Whatever is in the middle will be yours.’

When the crop was produced, the crafty wealthy man happily reached the field in the hope that this time, only he would benefit. But after reaching the field, he was shocked to see that the farmer had grown maize whose upper and lower parts are valueless and the middle part has the real worth. Therefore, the wisdom of the farmer defeated the craftiness of the wealthy man.

Dear Islamic brothers! Wisdom is a great blessing from Allah Almighty. Now it depends on a person whether they use it positively or negatively, for intelligence or craftiness. The meaning of wisdom can also be explained like that one uses wisdom for their benefit without harming anyone else, or to protect themselves from any loss, or to protect from someone’s craftiness or blackmailing. The meaning of craftiness is just opposite to it. It means one must benefit whether someone else suffers a loss, or one deliberately harms someone else, or tries to fool or blackmail someone else (i.e. takes advantage of someone’s compulsion).

Even I don’t know the answer to this question

Let’s read another story that teaches a lesson. The journey by train was continuing. A university student was also travelling. He saw a poor labourer, sitting on the seats opposite to him. He did not seem well educated. The student thought to make a mischief.

He said to his friends, ‘Let’s make some money from this labourer by playing with him.’

The student was certain that the gullible labourer would not be aware much in comparison with himself and that he would defeat him (labourer) easily.

The boys reached the labourer and the student started saying craftily, ‘Brother! If you don’t mind, let’s play a game. The journey will end and you will also get some money if you win.’

The labourer looked at him surprisingly.

The crafty student said, ‘The game is that I will ask you a question. If you don’t know the answer, you’ll give me a thousand rupees. Then you will ask me a question. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll give you a thousand rupees.’

The labourer said, ‘Brother, you seem like an educated boy belonging to a well-to-do family, while I am a poor, illiterate labourer. Just give me a favour that if I don’t know the answer, I will give you five hundred instead of one thousand. Moreover, I will ask the question first.’

The student became happy in his heart by thinking that the labourer had fallen into his trap and accepted the condition laid down by him.

The labourer asked the first question, ‘What is the thing that has two legs when it walks on land and has three legs when it flies in the air?

Having heard this, the crafty student was stunned, thought long and hard, visited dozens of websites related to birds on mobile phone, even asked his friends, but could not answer this question. Eventually, he accepted the defeat and handed the labourer a thousand rupees.

Then he said, ‘I have the same question. Now you give me its answer.’

The labourer put five hundred rupees in his pocket and returning five hundred rupees said, ‘Take these 500 rupees, even I don’t know myself the answer to this question.’[1]

Readers of the Monthly magazine Faizan-e-Madinah! In the light of these stories, we should ponder over ourselves if we also try to trick people. Sometimes, shopkeepers try to trick customers, and vice versa, mechanics try to trick owners of motorbikes and cars, and vice versa, transporters try to trick passengers, and vice versa, and a third party ends up befooling them.

Remember! If you have wisdom, intelligence, and mind, others do have too. No one puts roti in the nose instead of mouth, eats grass instead of wheat and rice. Therefore, avoid making a fool out of somebody and use your wisdom in a positive manner only.

Do good, have good


[1] Note that the conditions of agreement stated in the fictitious stories of this topic are not valid as per Shari’ah. Those who want to do a partnership business should seek guidance from Dar-ul-Ifta Ahl-e-Sunnat about the conditions of business. Phone number: 0311-3993312

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