Once there was a very poor man who lived in Mecca. His name was Abi Bakr Abdul Al Baaqi Al Bazzaz Al Ansari. One day as Abi Bakr was walking, he found a bag made from silk, tied with a tassel that was also made from silk. He grabbed it and went home.
Upon reaching his house he unfastened it and found that it contained a pearl necklace. The necklace was so beautiful and he had never seen anything like it before. He kept it and days went by. It wasn’t long before he met an old man who was looking for the pearl necklace. The man had five hundred dinars and promised to give it to anyone who would return his pearl necklace. Abi Bakr thought about how poor and hungry he was and decided that he would collect the five hundred dinar and return the necklace. He told the old man to follow him and they went to his house. Abi Bakr brought out the sac containing the necklace and handed it to the old man. The old man was very happy and he gave Abi Bakr the five hundred dinar as promised but Abi Bakr refused to collect it. Instead he told the old man, “It Is incumbent upon me to return this to you”. The old man insisted but Abi Bakr refused to take the money and eventually the old man left.
Time went by and Abi Bakr had to leave Mecca because he had nothing left and began sailing. One day, the ship got wrecked and everyone drowned except for him. He was saved by holding on to a piece of the ship and kept floating. He finally found himself on an island inhabited by people. Amongst these people, Abi Bakr acquired both wealth and popularity. The people came to him to teach them the Quran as well as how to write. He taught both the young and old and he was greatly loved.
One day, the people said to Abi Bakr, “we have a young orphan girl who has some wealth, we would like for you to marry her”. Abi Bakr refused but after the villagers insisted, he had no choice but to agree. When they brought the orphan girl to him, he saw the same pearl necklace he once picked in Mecca. He was so engrossed in the necklace that he totally forgot about his bride. The people said, “O sheik! You have broken this young girl’s heart by looking at this necklace and not at her.” Thereupon Abi Bakr explained the entire story of the pearl necklace. When he was done narrating his story, the people shouted and yelled, “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the greatest!” Abi Bakr did not know what they were all excited about and when he asked, they said, “The old man who took the necklace from you is the father of this young girl. He used to say, ‘I have not found in this world a person who is kind, trustworthy and one who knows the rights of another except the one who returned to me this necklace.’ And he used to make supplication saying, ‘Oh Allah, join me and him together so that I may marry him to my daughter’. And now it has happened”.
Well Abi Bakr was happily married with the young girl and they had two sons. When she passed away the necklace became his and when he eventually sold it for one hundred thousand dinars. He never experienced poverty again.
And what’s the lesson? Honesty. Abi Bakr returned the old man’s property without collecting anything for it because he knew it was the right thing to do. Few years ago, that necklace would have cost him 5oo dinar. But now, he had a wife, children and thousands of dinars. Food for thought.