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Junaid and Behlool

Behlool simulated madness, though he was not mad. Junaid a scholar and Sufi of repute, knew him very well. One day as they met, Junaid requested him to give him some counsel and admonition.

"You do not need any advice. You are a well known scholar," Behlool said.

But Junaid insisted. Behlool gave in and said: "Well, I shall ask you three questions. If you answer them correctly, you will be advised."

   And then he proceeded to ask:

   "Do you know how to talk?"

   "Do you know how to eat?"

   "Do you know how to sleep?"

Junaid found these simple. He said:

"I know how to talk. I talk with a low voice, politely and to the point, so that the listeners are not at all offended. I eat after having washed my hands, say Bismillah before I commence, and chew the food properly. When I finish, I thank Allah. Before I go to sleep, I do my wudhu and retire to a clean bed. Then I bear witness to my faith and sleep."

Behlool stood up and started walking away. He said: "I thought you were quite learned. You do not know the most elementary things of Islam." But Junaid would not let him go. "Please guide me," he said.

"Well," Behlool said, "It is no use talking softly if it is a lie, remembering Allah before eating has no meaning if the food you eat is forbidden or usurped or that the food has been bought from the money of an orphan, a widow or a fellowman. And what is the use of sleeping with wudhu and all the recitations if your heart is full of malice, jealousy and enmity towards your brother in faith."