Download PDF: [S] The Three Intelligent Questions

There was once a person among the Arabs who was noted for his intelligence and wisdom. His name was Shan or this is what people used to call him. He also made a promise that he would only marry that female who he felt was within his culture and had the same intelligence as him.


Shan began to travel to different areas and visit different tribes to find his new bride. During one of his travels, Shan happened to meet someone on the road and decided to join this person. However, when the journey began a little difficult, he asked the person a few questions. Shan asked the person, “Shall I carry you or will you be able to carry me?”


The person became angry and replied, “Is it possible that an animal be carried by the one riding it.”


They then came across a field in which the crops were still ripening and he asked this person, “Tell me, has these crops been eaten or not?”


The person replied, “You are a stupid person, can you not see that these crops are still in their shell.”


Shan then remained silent.


As they travelled, they came across a Janazah and when Shan saw this, he asked the person, “Can you see whether this person is alive or dead?”


The person finally replied that he had never met someone as stupid as Shan. After all, he could see that these people were actually carrying the person to the graveyard.


When both of them entered the village, this person took Shan to his house. This person also had a daughter whose name was Tabqah and he mentioned to his daughter what conversation he had with Shan during the journey.


When his daughter heard these question, she mentioned to her father that such questions can only be asked by an intelligent person. She then explained to her father that:


  1. The first question was whether you would carry him or he carries you, this actually meant, will you start a conversation with me or shall I start a conversation with you so that the journey becomes easier for us to undertake like when one is a being carried by an animal.
  2. The second question of whether the crop has been eaten. This meant whether the owners of these crops had actually calculated correct when they planted them. If they had miscalculated, then certainly, they would not be able to sell it at a right price hence, the crops would not be eaten properly.
  3. As for the last question of whether the person was alive or not. This meant whether he had children or not. If he had children, it would mean that someone would carry his name forward and hence he would still be alive and if he had no children, then he would be considered as completely dead because no one would carry his name forward.


When this person mentioned what he had heard from his daughter to Shan, Shan replied that this is exactly what he had meant by his words.


It is reported that after this Shan sent a marriage proposal to this female and they were married. This is the reason that in Arabia, the proverb is that, “A person married his own rank”.


This is also true when it comes to who one’s marries when it comes to religion. It is sad that in the present climate, Sunnis are becoming guilty of marrying into families who are not Sunnis. In this manner, they are destroying the future of their children. It is better to say no to such a proposal at that moment and face the wrath of other family members than to face the wrath of Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgement. Today, the Sunni Muslims are totally unaware of this important responsibility.