Manner of advising

There was once a king who saw in a dream that all his teeth had fallen out. He called a dream-interpreter, told him what he had seen, and asked him to interpret it.

When the interpreter heard the dream his complexion changed and he began to repeat, “Allah’s refuge is sought! Allah’s refuge is sought!” The king became worried and asked, “What is the interpretation of my dream?” The interpreter said, “After many years pass, your wife and children will die and you will be all alone in your kingdom!”

The king screamed, became furious, and began to hurl abuses and insults. He then ordered that the interpreter be imprisoned and called for another one. He again related to him what he had seen in his dream and asked him for the interpretation.

The dream interpreter smiled and said, “Glad tidings dear king!” The king said, “What is the interpretation of the dream?” The interpreter said, “It means that you will live for very long – so long that you will be the last of your family to die, and you will remain a king your entire life.”

The king became very pleased, showered him with gifts, and remained content with him whilst angry with the first dream-interpreter. In reality, both interpretations were the same, the difference was in the way in which the interpretation was conveyed.

A man’s flesh is not fit for eating nor is his skin fit for clothing – there is nothing in him except the sweetness of his tongue.

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