Moral Story – The Promised Messiah (as)

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) used to relate a story about a rich man who ran a large langar (public kitchen). Many impoverished people ate daily from the langar, but it was badly mismanaged, and the owner was not very good at supervising matters. His employees were dishonest. Those whose job was to buy groceries used to buy expensive groceries and, in less quantity, than needed and some others took some of it home. The malpractices of those who cooked and prepared food at the langar ranged from handing over food to their families or eating it themselves, leaving the storage area open, where at night dogs and jackals would ransack and demolish foodstuff. As a result, the owner ran a huge debt which he was informed of after twenty years of mismanagement. He did not want to close the langar. He consulted his friends for advice but did not mention his own failings. His friends pointed out to him that the storage area did not have a door and dogs demolished the stored food. There would be much damage limitation if a door could be put up there. So, the man ordered that a door be put where food was stored. When at night-time the dogs and jackals saw the door, they raised a hue and cry as to what would they eat now as this was the eating place for all the dogs of the area! A seasoned old dog among them calmed them down. He said someone who has let his property pillaged for twenty years and did not take notice is not going to oversee if a lock is put on the door or not. He assured them that they could still eat off the storeroom.

The moral of the story is that is a lot of difference between possibly wanting something done and actually wanting to do something. The dogs and jackals raised a hue and cry over what if the man wanted to lock the door, but the seasoned old dog said what if he did not want to lock the door, why make the protest!