The Judge And The Three Brothers

Abou Hamza Al-Thamaly reported from Imam Abou Jaa'far (Pbuh) that he said: "A great wise and wealthy man among the children of Israeel had a son from a chaste wife who has some of his traits. He also has two sons from another wife that isn’t chaste. When he was dying he said to them: "All my money is for one of you." When he died the elder son said: "I'm that one." The middle one said: "I'm that one" and so said the younger one. Thus they went to a judge to solve this problem. The judge said: "I can't give you a verdict. Let us go to the three brothers of Bani Al-Aghnam."

They went to them. They first saw a very old man. He said to them: "Go to my brother. He is older than me. Ask him." They went to him and saw him an old man who looks younger than the first. He said to them: "Ask my elder brother." They went to the third and saw him younger then the second. They asked him why he looks younger than his brothers and then they asked him about their dispute. He said to them: " The youngest brother of mine has a bad wife who is mean to him. He is patient on her because he fears that he if he didn’t he would be inflicted with an adversity that he can't endure. Thus she made him old.

My second brother has a wife that is sometimes mean and sometimes good to him. Thus he looks younger. As for me. My wife always gladden me and she was never mean or bad to me since she became my companion. This is why I'm still young.

As for your dispute about your father. Go, dig the grave, take out his bones and burn them. Then come back to me so that I give you my judgment. The young son took the sword of his father. The other two sons took two shovels. When they were about to start digging the young son said: "leave the grave and I will give you my share." They went back to the judge and told him what happened. The judge said: "Are you satisfied with this? Give me the money." Then he gave all the money to the young son and said to him: "if they were truly his sons they would have felt tender as you have felt."


Qisas Al-Anbiya' Book 519 for Al-Jaza'iry

Bihar Al-Anwar 14/490.