The Master Or His Riches

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The Master Or His Riches


Many poets and writes in the Urdu and Persian languages, such as Shaykh Sa’di رحمه الله and Maulana Rumi رحمه الله, have narrated incidents regarding Mahmud and Ayaz.

Mahmud was a king who conquered Somnat. He had a favourite amongst his servants by the name of Ahmad Ayaz.

Ayaz, as he was affectionately known, was a simple poor servant, but he possessed one outstanding quality: absolute obedience to his master. This earned him great honour and respect in the sight of Mahmud. [Pearls from the Path]

The Master Or His Riches

As often happens, a man who is close to the king is looked upon with contempt and malice by his enemies. Ayaz was no exception. Another servant, desirous of the king’s favour, one day remarked, “Why does the king favour Ayaz? He is not as great as he is made out to be.”

When the remark reached the king’s ears, he was rightfully upset, but decided to be patient until a favourable opportunity presented itself. Soon thereafter, the king was on a journey when the conveyance he was travelling on fell to the ground together with all his valuables. He seized the opportunity and announced to his servants, “From these valuables, whatever you lay your hands upon will be yours.” The servants began scrambling and grabbing whatever they could, except Ayaz, who remained at the king’s side.

The king asked him, “Ayaz, why did you not leave my side and gather some of the valuables?”

Ayaz wisely replied, “O King, I was in your company. Why should I be so foolish as to leave your company for the riches of the world?”

The reply served as the perfect answer which the king used to silence Ayaz’s malicious critics, saying, “This is why Ayaz is a favourite in my sight.” [Pearls from the Path]

Just as Ayaz wisely preferred the king over his riches, a wise man prefers the love of Allah سبحانه و تعالى over worldly riches.