Two In Place Of One

Amanpreet Singh recounts a story of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

During the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji, all people, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were respected equally.These were the Golden Days of Punjab. All people were living happily.

During these Golden Days there was a Muslim writer who was writing Kooran Sharif,the holy book of Muslims. He was writing by hand. He used a wooden pencil and black ink for writing. His handwriting was very good. He was so good in writing that anyone who used to see his writing, was deeply attracted to it. He was writing the Kooran Sharif in Persian. He worked very hard from early morning to late evening. It was a very hard job. Finally,he finished his work. It took him 12 years. He was very happy to see his work completed. The calligraphy and decoration was exquisitely beautiful.

Now, he decided to sell the Kooran Sharif to someone. A person came to him and when he saw the Kooran Sharif and the beautiful Persian calligraphy, he was enchanted. He kept looking it. He thought "Ah! This is a thing which I should have at any cost! I will have it before anyone else comes and sees it."

He asked, "What is the price? It's a lovely copy."
The writer replied "One big bag full of silver coins."
"But that's too much!"
"The work is also very much. It took me 12 years to complete."
"But, I cannot afford that amount."

He left and the writer thought "What do these people think? That I'll sell it cheaply? My 12 years of hard work........Never!" 

Others came and saw the Koran Sharif and also wanted to buy the amazingly beautiful work, but they also could not afford the asking price.

Everybody who saw it wanted to buy the Kooran Sharif. But when they came to know about high price, they were disappointed and left reluctantly.

Time passed and passed and passed. The writer said "No one can buy it. What will I do? Shall I lower the price? No, Never.....I worked for 12 years and..............No. I cannot"

One day he thought "I am being foolish. An ordinary person cannot afford so much. Why I do not sell it to a king? Only a king can afford so much. He may be pleased and give me the desired amount. But to whom shall I offer it? Maharaja Ranjit Singh? No, He is a Sikh. So he will buy Guru Granth Sahib only, not the Kooran Sharif? Who will buy it? Only a Muslim Ruler."

He made arrangements and set out to a journey to a Muslim area. He brought some men with him and placed the Kooran Sharif on a cloth on his head. From the other direction Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was returning after hunting with his soldiers.

He asked a nearby soldier, "What are they doing?"

The soldier went there found out the story and told everything to Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji addressed the writer: "So you are going to sell Kooran Sharif?"

Writer: "Yes sir."
Maharaja: "First,show it to me."
Writer: "Yes Sir, sure,why not?"

When Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji saw Kooran Sharif, he was very pleased by his hard work and handwriting.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh asked, "What is the price? I want to have it though I cannot read it but I like it and respect it."
Writer: "One big bag full of silver coins."

Maharaja Ranjit Singh said to his Minister, "Go and quickly get two big bags full of silver coins"
Minister: "Yes Sir."

The minister went to Palace at once and got two bags and gave them to Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji.

Maharaja: "These two big bags full of silver coins are for you now."
Writer[very pleased]: "Ah! Two bags! Thank You Sir! Thankyou!"

The writer returned home very happy, but he could not sleep that night. He kept thinking about Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji. "A Sikh Ruler! He bought a Muslim Holy Book at double price! Why!He loves Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs equally. He respects everybody equally. Ah! I have never seen such person............"

Maharaja Ranjit Singh truely loved everybody equally. He gifted that Kooran Sharif to his Muslim Foreign Minister Faqir Azizud Din. In this Golden period everybody lived with peace, love and happiness.  

- Amanpreet Singh

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