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The Masjid of Bahlūl

The Masjid of Bahlūl

 It has been related that once a Masjid was being constructed when BahlÅ«l arrived and asked, “What are you doing?” They replied, “We are building a Masjid.” BahlÅ«l asked, “What for?” They replied, “What kind of question is that?  We are building it for God.”

 BahlÅ«l wanted to show the doers of that charitable work their level of sincerity.  Secretly, he had a stone engraved with the words, “The BahlÅ«l Masjid,” and at night he affixed it above the Masjid’s main gate.  When the builders of the Masjid came the next day and saw the sign, they became angry.  They found BahlÅ«l and beat him for portraying the toils of others as his own work.  BahlÅ«l retorted, “But didn’t you say you built this Masjid for God?  Suppose that people mistakenly think it was I who built it; God won’t make such a mistake!”

 How many great deeds there are which are great in our eyes, but are worthless in the eyes of God!  Perhaps many great buildings, whether Masājid, mausoleums, hospitals, bridges, rest houses for travellers, or schools, have such an end; the account of such things is with God.

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