Story No. 108 – The clever king!
There was a country long time ago where the people would change a king every year. The person
who would become the king had to agree to a contract that he would be sent to an island after his
one year of being a king.
One king finished his term and it was time for him to go to the island and live there. The people
dressed him up in expensive clothes and put him on an elephant and took him around the cities to
say goodbye to all the people. This was the moment of sadness for all the kings who ruled for one
year. After saying farewell, the people took the king with a boat to remote island and left him there.
On their way back, they discovered a ship that had sunk just recently. They saw a young man who
survived by holding on to a floating piece of wood. As they needed a new king, they picked up the
young man and took him to their country. They requested him to be a king for a year. First he
refused but later he agreed to be a king. People told him about all the rules and regulations and
that how he will be sent to an island after one year.
After three days of being a king, he asked the ministers if they could show him the island where all
the other kings were sent. They agreed and took him to the island. The island was covered with
thick Jungles and sounds of vicious animals were heard coming out of them. The king went little bit
inside to check. Soon he discovered the dead bodies of all the past kings. He understood that as
soon as they were left in the island, the animals came and killed them.
The king went back to the country and collected 100 strong workers. He took them to the island
and instructed them to clean the Jungle, remove all the deadly animals & cut down all excess trees.
He would visit the island every month to see how the work was progressing. In the first month, all
the animals were removed and many trees were cut down. In the second month, the whole island
was cleaned out. The king then told the workers to plant gardens in various parts of the island.
He also took with himself useful animals like chickens, ducks, birds, goats, cows etc. In the third
month, he ordered the workers to build big houses and docking stations for ships. Over the months,
the island turned into a beautiful place.
The young king would wear simple clothes and spend very little
from his earnings as a king. He sent all the earnings to the island
for storage. When nine months passed like this, the king called the
ministers and told them: “I know that I have to go the island after
one year, but I would like to go there right now.” But the ministers
didn’t agree to this and said that he has to wait for another 3
months to complete the year.
3 months passed and now it was a full year. The people dressed up
the young king and put him on an elephant to take him around the
country to say goodbye to others. However, this king is
unusually happy to leave the kingdom.
People asked him, “All the other kings would cry at this moment and why are you laughing?”
He replied, “Don’t you know what the wise people say? They say that when you came to this world
as a baby, you were crying and everyone was smiling. Live such a life that when you are die, you
will be smiling and everyone around you will be crying. I have lived that life. While all the other
kings were lost into the luxuries of the kingdom, I always thought about the future and planned for
it. I turned the deadly island into a beautiful abode for me where I can stay peacefully.”
The moral lesson from this story is about how we should live our life. The life of this world is to
prepare for the life hereafter. In this life, we shouldn’t get lost into the deceiving and attractive
things of this world and forget about what is to come in the afterlife. Rather, even if we are kings,
we should live a simple life like our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and save all our
enjoyments for the hereafter. May Allah make it easy for us all. Amin.
Holy Quran (31:34) says: Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He Who
sends down rain, and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does any one know what it is that
he will earn on the morrow: Nor does any one know in what land he is to die. Verily with Allah is
full knowledge and He is acquainted (with all things).
Holy Quran (59:18) urges us to prepare for tomorrow: O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and let every
soul look to what (provision) He has sent forth for the morrow. Yea, fear Allah: for Allah is
well-acquainted with (all) that ye do.
Some body asked Imam Hassan (AS),
Why are we reluctant to die, why don’t we like death?
“Because,” replied the Imam Hassan (AS),
“You ruined your next world and developed this one; naturally,
you do not like to be transferred from flourishing to decline.”