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Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:57 am

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As is narrated in a Prophetic Tradition, God Almighty sent an angel in the form of a man to three people each of whom suffered from a different bodily defect. The angel came to one of them who had speckles on his face, and asked him:

— What is that which you desire most in the world?
— What I desire most is that these speckles on my face disappear so that I may have a beautiful face.
The angel stroked his face with his hand and the man's face became radiant. Then he asked the man:
— Which livestock do you like the most?
— I like a camel the most.

The angel gave him a young, pregnant camel and prayed: 'May God bless you with abundance in your livestock.'

Then the angel came to the second man whose defect was baldness and asked him the same questions he had asked the previous man. The bald one said that what he desired most in the world was to have thick, beautiful hair and that he liked a cow the most. The angel stroked his head with his hand and gave him a young, pregnant cow and prayed: 'May God bless you with abundance in your livestock.'

The third man the angel went to was blind. He wanted to be able to see and said that he liked sheep the most. The angel stroked his eyes with his hand and gave him a young, pregnant sheep, doing the same prayer he had done for the other two men.
Years passed and while the first man had as many camels as to fill a valley, the cattle of the second one could hardly be contained in a desert. As for the third one, his huge flock pastured in vast fields.

In order to test those men, the angel visited them again. He came to the first one in the form of a poor man with speckles on his face and said: 'I am a weak, poor man. For the sake of God Who made your face beautiful, give me a camel so that I may go on my way.' However, the man refused him, saying: 'If I am one to give, there are many who will beg.' The angel retorted:

— I think I know you. You were once a poor man with a speckled face. People despised you. Then God removed the speckles from your face and made you rich.
— It is not as you say. I inherited these camels from my father.
The angel contradicted him and cursed him, saying:
— You are telling lies. May God make you as you were before.

The angel left the man and went to the second one. That one treated the angel as the first one had. The angel cursed him also and left. Then, he went to the third one, the one who had been blind, and said:

— I am a poor traveler. My family are suffering hunger at home. For the sake of the One Who opened your eyes, please give me a sheep so that we may be satisfied.
The blind man answered him:
— I was once blind and poor. God Almighty opened my eyes and made me rich out of His Grace.
All that you see are God's bounties on me. Take whichever and however many you wish. The sheep are yours, not mine.
The angel concluded:
— Let your sheep be yours. This was a test. You have succeeded, while the other two failed. They have deserved God's wrath and chastisement.



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