Story of Sultan Murad and the dead man-Do not judge the book by its cover

story of sultan murad

In last article when we talked about the sincerity of intentions , I told you that I would share with you a beautiful true story depicting why we should not judge someone based on their apparent state and how Allah helps his pious slaves .

This story is from 17th century . The Ottomon empire had a Sultan  named Sultan Murad IV .He reigned  from 1623-1640. Murad IV banned alcohol, tobacco, and coffee in Istanbul.  He often used to go anonymously between the people of the kingdom and observed their state. One evening, while he was patrolling the streets he came to a busy vicinity and found a man lying on the ground. The Sultan prodded him, but he was dead, and the people were going about their own business. Nobody seemed to care about the dead man lying on the ground.

The Sultan called upon the people. No one was able to recognize him and asked the disguised Sultan about what he wanted. He said, “Why is this man lying dead on the ground and why does no one seem to care? Where is his family?”.

They replied, “He is so and so, the drunkard and fornicator!”
The Sultan was wise enough to, “Is he not from the Ummah of Muhammad SAW? Now help me carry him to his house”. The people somehow agreed and took the dead man with the Sultan to his house. The moment they reached his home all of them left. Only the Sultan and his assistant remained.

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Sultan knocked the door. Wife of the dead man came out. When the man’s wife saw his dead body, she began weeping. In her grief, she said to his dead body, “Allah have mercy on you! O friend of Allah! I bear witness that you are the pious ones.”

The Sultan was amazed at the response of the widow. In his curiosity, he couldn’t help himself but question, “How is he from the religious ones when the people say such and such things about him. So much so that no one even cared he was dead?”
She replied, “I was expecting that. My husband would go to the tavern every night and buy as much wine as he could. He would then bring it home and pour it all down the drain. He then say, “I saved the Muslims from sin a little today.” He also go to a prostitute, give her some money and tell her to close her door till the morning. After that He would return home for the second time and say, “Today I saved a young woman and the youth of the believers from the great sin of  fornication.”
The people would seehim buy wine and they would see him go to the prostitutes and they would consequently talk about him. One day I said to him, “When you  die, there will be no one to bathe you, there will be no one to pray over you and there will be no one to bury you!”
He smiled and replied, “Don’t fear, the Sultan of the believers, along with the pious ones shall pray over my body.”

Her words shook Sultan Murad. The Sultan began crying. He said, “By Allah! He told the truth, for I am Sultan Murad. Tomorrow we shall bathe him, pray over him and bury him.” And it so happened that the Sultan Murad, the scholars, the religious people and the masses prayed over him.

sultan murad

Because We judge people by what we see and what we hear from others.So, Only if we were to see what was concealed in their hearts, a secret between them and their Lord.

“O you who believe, abstain from many of the suspicions. Some suspicions are sins. And do not be curious (to find out faults of others), and do not backbite one another. Does one of you like that he eats the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor it. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is Most-Relenting, Very-Merciful.” (49:12)

Ref: Alquranclasses

See : 6000 Ottoman era Photograph digitalised and availale for free download .

Also read :Story of Sultan Mahmud and his slave Ayaz-lesson of ubudiyah 

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  1. Subhaan Allah
    Yaa Rabb
    Reading this story made me cry so much!
    How prone we are – to judge – yet little do we know the real circumstances!
    May Allah have Mercy on us All
    Yaa Rabbal ‘Aalameen

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