Piety –  does not necessarily mean absence of wealth and that a person can become pious inspite of a large wealth with himself. Lets take a parable to understand better this concept :

In a remote village of the Arabian dessert lived a wise man. He was well known for his piety and often did not like those hoarding their money with themselves. He had a few cattle to live on and an old servant to look after them. One day, a tribesman from nearby town presented himself with a request to him. He said, “I wish to stay here with you and benefit from your knowledge and experience of life. I shall also help your servant with his chores.”

Wiseman: “I cannot keep with me a person who does not comply to my wishes; but if you can always do as bidden, you may remain with me; else I wish good-bye to you.”

Tribesman: “In what way would you like me to carry out your wishes.”

Wiseman: “When I ask you to spend from my belongings, you are required to spend the best of them.”

Tribesman: “I accept your condition.”

One morning, somebody informed the wiseman that there were poor people camping near the spring close-by and were in dire need of food. So he asked the tribesman to fetch a camel. Accordingly, he went and intended to select the best of the lot from the wiseman’s belongings, as he had pledged to do. It was a very fine and submissive animal and also good for riding. So he decided to let it be, and selected the second best, as after all it was only to be slaughtered and eaten and, for this purpose, just as good as the other. The other one was very good for riding and much more useful to the wiseman, while the poor would find the one as tasty as the other, he thought. He therefore led the other camel to the wiseman’s house. When he saw the tribesman coming, he said, “So, after all you have broken your pledge.” Knowing well what he meant, the tribesman turned back and went running to fetch the best camel instead. There, he instructed two persons to slaughter the camel he had selected the first time and bade them to distribute the meat equally among the families camping near the water, including his own. He told them, “My family will also share equally with them.” The volunteers carried out his instructions.

When he returned the wiseman asked him, “Did you intentionally ignore my instructions about spending the best out of my belongings or was it that you forgot about it?”

Tribesman: “I did not forget your instructions, but thought it better to preserve the one for transport duties, while the other one was good for eating.”

Wiseman: “Was it for my personal need that you left it?”

Tribesman: “Yes”

Wiseman: “Come, let me tell you the occasion of my needs. There are three partners in your wealth, viz a) Your destiny, which does not wait to take away its share; b) Your heirs, who wait for your death so that they may take over their share; c) Yourself. If you can manage, don’t be the most helpless of the three partners. Take away your full share while you can. You will not attain piety until you spend of that which you love. Therefore, I think it advisable to send in advance things which I love best, so that they may be in safe deposit in the form of good deeds with my creator; whilst I shall be laid all alone in solitude of the grave.


5 thoughts on “Piety

  1. Pingback: Piety « bbanublog
  2. I really enjoyed this tale. Very well written. Not sure I understood it all, but I have never used the word piety before, so never thought about its meaning until now. Thanks for provoking my thoughts.

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