A fellow had a complaint in his eyes, and went to a horse-doctor, saying: “Prescribe something for me.” The doctor of horses applied to his eyes what he was in the habit of applying to the eyes of quadrupeds, and the man got blind. They carried their complaint before the hakim, or judge. He decreed: “This man has no redress, for had he not been an ass he would not have applied to a horse or ass doctor!” The moral of this apologue is, that whoever doth employ an inexperienced person on an affair of importance, besides being brought to shame, he will incur from the wise the imputation of a weak mind. A prudent man, with an enlightened understanding, entrusts not affairs of consequence to one of mean capacity. The plaiter of mats, notwithstanding he be a weaver, they would not employ in a silk manufactory.
A certain great Imaam had a worthy son, and he died. They asked him, saying: “What shall we inscribe upon the urn at his tomb.” He replied: “Verses of the holy Koran are of such superior reverence and dignity that they should not be written in places where time might efface, mankind tread upon, or dogs defile them; yet, if an epitaph be necessary, let these two couplets suffice:—I said: ’Alas! how grateful it was proving to my heart, so long as the verdure of thy existence might flourish in the garden.’ He replied: ’O my friend, have patience till the return of the spring, and thou may’st again see roses blossoming on my bosom, or shooting from my dust.’”
A holy man was passing by a wealthy personage’s mansion, and saw him with a slave tied up by the hands and feet, and giving him chastisement. He said: “O my son! God Almighty has made a creature like yourself subject to your command, and has given you a superiority over him. Render thanksgiving to the Most High Judge, and deal not with him so savagely; lest hereafter, on the day of judgment, he may prove the more worthy of the two, and you be put to shame:—Be not so enraged with thy bondsman; torture not his body, nor harrow up his heart. Thou mightest buy him for ten dinars, but hadst not after all the power of creating him:—To what length will this authority, pride, and insolence hurry thee; there is a Master mightier than thou art. Yes, thou art a lord of slaves and vassals, but do not forget thine own Lord Paramount—namely, God!” There is a tradition of the prophet Mohammed, on whom be blessing, announcing:—On the day of resurrection, that will be the most mortifying event when the good slave will be taken up to heaven, and the wicked master sent down to hell:—“Upon the bondsman, who is subservient to thy command, wreak not thy rage and boundless displeasure. For it must be disgraceful on the day of reckoning to find the slave at liberty and the master in bondage.”