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Ramadan 2015

Be a Lion, not a Fox

Hazrat Shafiq Balhi (R.A) and Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adam (R.A) were both famous figures of their era. It is reported that Hazrat Shafiq (R.A) came to Hazrat Ibrahim (R.A) to meet him before embarking on a long business trip. He felt that the trip may take months, so he deemed it right to meet his friend before leaving.

Only a few days later, Hazrat Ibrahim (R.A) noticed that Hazrat Shafiq (R.A) was present in the local Mosque. So Hazrat Ibrahim (R.A) approached him and asked, 'Did you not go on the business trip?' He replied: 'I did begin my journey, but after witnessing an occurrence on the way, I returned home.

In my journey, I reached a barren and deserted land and sat to rest for a while. There, I saw a weak and feeble fox. I felt pity for the animal and wondered how the fox would find food for itself in such a barren land? As I was thinking this to myself, I saw a lion hunting an animal. It killed the animal near the fox. The lion ate the flesh it wanted and left. The fox then went to the animal, ate the remaining meat and thus filled its stomach.

Then I thought the fox has found food, but how would it find water in such a lifeless land? As I was thinking this to myself, clouds suddenly formed overhead and rain began to fall. A container nearby was soon filled with the rain and so the fox drank from it contently.

Having witnessed this, I thought to myself that if Allah (S.W.T) can provide provisions for the fox in such a manner, then why do I need to travel months on end for a business trip? Thus, I decided against travelling any further and returned home'.

Hazrat Ibrahim (R.A) heard the story and said: 'O Shafiq! Why do you want to be like the weak and feeble fox? Why don't you want to be like the lion, which feeds itself and others through its own strength?' Hazrat Shafiq (R.A) heard this response from his friend and kissed his hands. He said, 'O Abu Ishaq! You have lifted a veil from my eyes. You have verily uttered the truth.


This story teaches us tawaqul illallah (faith in Allah (S.W.T)), as well as encouraging us to strive to earn through making our own struggle rather than waiting for left over’s from someone else’s efforts. The beloved Prophet (S.A.W) said, a person's purest wealth is that which he earns through the means of his own hands.'