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The Chicken

There was a woman who had a hen and she did not have anything else other than this hen. She lived on the eggs laid by the hen. One day a thief stole it.

The woman did not imprecate him and she sought refuge and help from Allāh.

The thief slaughtered the hen and began to pluck the feathers, when suddenly all these feathers grew upon his face. He tried hard to have them removed but nobody could help him get rid of the plumes.

Finally, he went to an ascetic of Banu Isrāyīl who said: ‘I don’t know of any cure for your malady except if the woman you stole from invokes evil upon you.’

The thief sent someone to the woman who began by asking: ‘Where is your hen?’

She replied: ‘It was stolen.’

The man said: ‘Whoever stole it has caused you deep grievance.’

She said: ‘Well, it is so..’

The agent kept asking her and provoking her until she lost her temper and cursed the thief for stealing her hen.

Immediately, feathers fell off the thief’s face and people came to the ascetic asking how did he know about this.

The ascetic said: ‘When her hen was stolen, she did not imprecate him and left the matter to Allāh táālā; so He avenged her. But when she imprecated him, she sought revenge for her own self and so the feathers fell [and the punishment and revenge of Allāh ceased].’

Laţāyif al-Minan, Ibn Áţā-Allāh as-Sakandari