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Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:34 am

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Before Istanbul (Constantinople) was conquered by the young Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed II, the rule of the Byzantine Emperor had been protested by two priests who were consequently imprisoned. After the conquest, they were offered freedom but refused to leave their prison, preferring it to living in a world where moral corruption and injustices prevailed.

Mehmed the Conqueror summoned them and proposed that they travel in the Ottoman lands to see how things were now. The priests went to Bursa and witnessed the following trial in a court:

A Muslim citizen had bought a horse from a non-Muslim. On returning home at the end of the day, he discovered that the horse was ill. Deciding to plead his case before a judge, he came to the court the very next morning. The unexpected lateness of the judge obliged him to leave the court, unheard, and submit his plea the following morning. Now, it so happened that the horse died that evening, before the Muslim's plea was heard.

After listening to the circumstances of the case, the judge decreed:

If I had come on time yesterday morning, I would have returned the horse to the vendor and had your money refunded. However, as a result of my delay, the horse died before your loss could be corrected. Therefore, it is I who must recompense your loss.

The judge then paid the wronged Muslim the price of the horse.

The priests witnessed another trial in the court of Iznik.

A Muslim had bought a field from another Muslim. While ploughing this field, he dug up a pot full of gold coins. He went directly to the man who had sold the field and said: 'This is yours. I bought from you the field, not the pot. You did not know whether there was a pot there when you sold the field.' However, the vendor refused to accept the pot, saying: 'I sold the field with whatever is in or under it. The pot fell to your lot. It never turned up while I was using the field.' Unable to agree on how to resolve the matter, the two men referred the case to the court.

After hearing their arguments, the judge asked the two men whether they had children: one had a son, the other a daughter. The judge then proposed that they marry one to the other and give the coupe the pot of gold coins as a marriage gift. The two men agreed and did as the judge suggested..

Pleased with what they had witnessed, the priests agreed to quit prison and live in the world.



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