Rafed English

Probing and Examination

Adopted from the book: "The rights of prisoners according to Islamic teachings" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"

It is reported that a man came to 'Adhdu-Dawlah al-Buwayhi, and complained to him saying, I buried some money under a tree outside the city of Baghdad, and no one saw me doing this. When I returned back to the location to retrieve the money, there was no trace of it.

Al-Buwayhi asked the man, "do you know what kind of tree it was?" The man said, "Yes, it was castor-oil tree."

Al-Buwayhi then summoned the physicians in Baghdad and asked them if anyone had prescribed roots of castor-oil plant to any of his patients. One of them said he had done so. Al-Buwayhi asked the physician if he knew the patient he prescribed the roots. The physician said the patient was one of the governer's ministers.

Al-Buwayhi summoned the minister concerned and asked if he had been prescribed castor-oil roots by the physician. The minister confirmed this and when asked how he obtained the root, he replied that his servant had acquired it for him. Al-Buwayhi asked for the servant to be summoned.

Al-Buwayhi: "Did you obtain castor-oil roots for the minister?" Servant: "Yes, I did."

Al-Buwayhi: "Where did you get it from?"

Servant: "from a tree in countryside" Al-Buwayhi: "What is the location of the tree?" The servant gave the precise location of the tree and it became apparent that they were talking about the same tree. In this way the servant admitted to digging under the tree without him realising, and indirectly admitted to taking the money.

Al-Buwayhi said to the servant that you should return the buried money you found under the tree while you were digging for the roots of the tree. When all the evidence was out in the open the servant had no choice but to give back the money, except what had already been spent, which the owner forgave. In this way Al-Buwayhi managed to unravel the details of that complicated case in the calm and clever way.

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