In the city of Basrah, there lived a respected tabi’in cleric named Iyas bin Muawiyah (46-124 H).

His wisdom was famous throughout the city of Basrah. Because of his wisdom, the Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz appointed him a judge in Basrah.

One day, a young man was confronted with him in court because of an intoxicating drink case. In the trial, the young man tried to defend himself. There was a dialogue between the judge and the defendant. The young man asked the question,

“Your majesty, if I eat dates, would your majesty punish me?”

Iyas bin Muawiyah replied, “Of course not.”

The young man continued his question, “If I drink a jug of water, would your majestic majesty punish me?”

“No,” answered Iyas bin Muawiyah.

The young man then argued, “Your majesty, Nabidz (a kind of intoxicating drink) is a mixture of water and dates with a process such that it becomes a kind of drink. How can it be haram?”

The Judge, Iyas bin Muawiyah then turned to ask, “O young man, is your question enough?”

The young man replied, “Enough, your majesty.”

Iyas bin Muawiyah replied, “Then I will ask you. If I throw you with a handful of dust, will it hurt you? ”

“No, your majesty “, the young man answered briefly.

Judge Iyas bin Muawiyah then continued his question, “If I wash you with a jug of water, does it hurt your limbs?”

“Of course not, your majesty,” the young man answered firmly.

The Judge, Iyas bin Muawiyah asked a question for the umpteenth time, “If so, if I mix the water and dust in such a way that it becomes bricks. Then the bricks dry with sunlight. After that, I throw the bricks into your head. What happened?”

The young man was silent for a thousand languages. After a while, the young man begged,

“Forgiveness, your majesty. If that is what you do, my head can be thrilled by it.”

Smiling, Iyas bin Muawiyah quipped, “That’s how the similarities between Nabidz and the bricks.

Source: “Alf Qishshah wa Qishshah min Qashash ash-Shâlihîn wa ash-Shâlihât” by Haniy al-Hajj.


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