Abu ‘l-Hosain al-Nuri (Part-3)



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They reported these words of Nuri’s to the caliph, who marvelled at his sincerity and equitableness. He ordered the execution to be stayed and referred their case to the cadi to examine.

"They cannot be proscribed without proof," said the cadi. Now he knew that Jonaid was supreme in many sciences and had heard Nuri speak. So he said, referring to Shebli, "I will question this madman on a point of law which he will never be able to answer."

"How much is to be paid in poor-tax on twenty
dinars?" he asked.
"Twenty and a half dinars," Shebli replied.
"Whoever instituted that kind of poor tax?" demanded the cadi.
"Abu Bakr the Great," Shebli answered. "He gave forty thousand dinars and kept nothing back."
"Yes, but what is this half-dinar you spoke about?"
"That is a fine," replied Shebli. "The man kept the twenty dinars to himself, so he must pay half a dinar in addition."
The cadi then questioned Nuri on a point of law.
Nuri replied instantly, and the cadi was reduced to confusion. Nuri then spoke.

"Cadi, you have asked all these questions, and you have asked nothing at all relevant. For God has servants who stand through Him, and move and rest through Him, who live all through Him and abide in contemplation of Him. If for a single instant they held back from contemplating Him, their souls would go out of them. Through Him they sleep, through Him they eat, through Him they take, through Him they go, through Him they see, through Him they hear and through Him they are. This is the true science, not that on which you put questions."

Bewildered, the cadi sent a message to the caliph.
"If these men are atheists and heretics, than I give judgment that on the whole face of the earth not one unitarian exists."
The caliph summoned the prisoners.

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