A Borrower and a Lender - With God as a Witness
Ancient Knights


Kaan Ya Makaan, Fee Qadeem Al-Zamaan…
There was a Place, in Times of Old…

Where an Israelite man asked another to lend him a thousand Dinars. The second Israelite man immediately said, "Bring me some witnesses to witness this loan."

"God is witness enough," the would-be borrower said.

With a nod of acceptance, the would-be lender said, "Bring me someone to guarantee the loan."

"God is guarantor enough for the loan," said the first man.

"You speak the truth," the Lender said sagely, turning over a thousand Dinars to the Borrower.

Gratefully taking the money, the Borrower set out across the sea to put the borrowed sum to good use. Diligently trading and selling and investing, the Borrower soon had earned many times the sum he had borrowed.

When the deadline for paying the Lender back approached, the Borrower looked for a ship to carry him back across the sea that he may pay off his debt to the kind and pious man who had lent him so great a sum. Much to his chagrin, no matter which port he went to, the Borrower could not find a ship that would take him back in time.

As the Borrower stood on the shoreline, gazing guiltily and fretfully across the sea, an idea occurred to him. He turned and strode off inland searching carefully for a promising piece of lumber. When he found a sturdy looking piece of wood, he carved a hole in it, placed a thousand Dinars in it and slid a folded paper into it addressed to the kind Lender. He then carefully covered over the hole and sealed it tight, that no seawater could leak in and ruin the contents of the hidden compartment in the piece of wood.

The Borrower carried the piece of wood to the seashore and humbly addressed God, "Dear God, you know that I borrowed a thousand Dinars from that man and that he asked me for a guarantor and I said: God is guarantor enough. And he accepted that. He asked me for witnesses and I said: God is witness enough. And he accepted that. I have tried very hard to find a ship so that I may return and pay my debt in time, but I have failed. Now, I entrust this payment to you."

The faithful Borrower threw the wood into the sea and watched it bob there for a moment before it was picked up by the tide and carried away. Then he determinedly set out to search yet again for a ship or a boat that could get him back in time to pay his debtor at the agreed upon hour.

Meanwhile, the Lender left his home and stood by the seashore, looking hopefully into the distance for a ship carrying his thousand Dinars back to him. Instead he spied a piece of wood, bobbing insistently by his feet. Disappointed by the empty horizon, the Lender bent down and caught up the piece of wood and decided to take it home with him to use as firewood. At least with the piece of wood in his hands, he would not go home empty handed.

When the Lender split the piece of wood, meaning to break it up and use it as kindling, he was surprised when Dinars came pouring out of it. The Lender knelt to examine this strange piece of wood more closely and was struck dumb to find the letter from the Borrower in among the Dinars. Awed by the circumstances with which his money had been paid back, on time no less, the Lender stood in mute wonder holding the letter and gazing at the Dinars.

Not long after, there was a knock at the Lender's door and when he answered it, he found the Borrower standing there. The Borrower immediately thrust a bag containing a thousand Dinars into the Lender's hands and breathlessly said, "By God, I did my best to find a ship that would get me here in time, but I could only find the ship that landed here just now."

"Did you send anything to me?" the Lender said beaming benevolently at the flustered Borrower.

Surprised and embarrassed, the Lender said reproachfully, "Did I not just say that I could find no ship save the one that brought me here now?!"

"Then God has paid your debt for you with the thousand Dinars you sent in the piece of wood," the Lender reached out and placed the bag containing the second payment of a thousand Dinars into the Borrower's hands, "Take your thousand Dinars and know that your debt is paid."

Surprised and relieved, the Borrower happily accepted the bag of money. His debt was paid and he no longer owed anyone anything. Anyone except for God of course. But who could hope to pay back so great a debt as that?!

*Written by © 2011. Care to read or leave Comments?

Notes:
  1. Names, Translations and Aliases:
    • Israelites (in Arabic - Banu Issraeel): The descendants of Israel (Jacob PBUH) and includes all of the various tribes.

Sources:
  1. Al-Dimishqi, A. (2009 AD, 1430 H). البداية و النهاية [The Beginning and the End]. Beirut: Al-Maktaba Al-Assrya Publishing and Distributing. Volume I. Book II. Page 22.

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