Hatem al-Asamm (Part-2)



To read the previous part of this story, click here.

All Hatem's pleading was without effect. Growing angry, he took his cloak from his shoulders and flung it to the ground there in the midst of the bazaar. It was filled with gold, all true coin.

"Come, take what is owing to you, and no more, or your hand will be withered," he said to the tradesman.
The man set about picking up the gold until he had taken his due. He could not contain himself, and stretched out the hand again to pick up more. His hand immediately became withered.

One day a man came to Hatem and said, "I possess much wealth, and I wish to give some of this wealth to you and your companions. Will you accept?"
"I am afraid," Hatem answered, "that when you die I shall have to say, 'Heavenly Provider, my earthly provider is dead.'"

Hatem recalled, "When I went out to the wars a Turk seized me and flung me to the ground to kill me. My heart was not concerned or afraid. I just waited to see what he would do. He was feeling for his sword, when suddenly an arrow pierced him and he fell from me. 'Did you kill me, or did I kill you?' I exclaimed."

When Hatem came to Baghdad the caliph was told, "The ascetic of Khorasan has arrived." The caliph promptly sent for him.

"O caliph the ascetic," Hatem addressed the caliph as he entered.
"I am not an ascetic," replied the caliph. "The whole world is under my command. You are the ascetic."
"No, you are the ascetic," Hatem retorted. "God says, Say, the enjoyment of this world is little. You are contented with a little. You are the ascetic, not I. I will not submit to this world or the next; how then am I an ascetic?"

To read the first part of this story, click here.

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