Khair, Inshallah (“It is good, as God Wills it”)
There once lived a king who was fond of fencing and hunting. He was a good king but he was impulsive and was given to hasty decisions. His vizier, a God fearing soul and a man of wisdom, was his constant companion. No matter what the king did, the vizier humored him and said: “Khair, inshallah” (“It is good, as God Wills it”).
One day, the king was practicing fencing with one of his companions. In his impulse, he lunged forward and thrust his sword at his opponent. To defend himself, the opponent had to respond with vigor and in the process cut off one of the king’s fingers. The fencing bout was stopped as the king bled and a Hakim had to be called in to bandage the severed finger.
The vizier who was standing on the sidelines and was a witness to the entire episode, exclaimed: “Khair, inshallah”.
The king was furious at the Vizier. “How dare he say that my losing a finger is good?” the king thought. In his anger, he ordered the vizier to be thrown into the dungeons.
As the vizier was bound in heavy iron chains and was dragged out by the soldiers, he exclaimed, “Khair, inshallah!” The king was baffled by the Vizier’s exclamation but said nothing.
A few months later, as the finger of the king healed, he went out hunting with his entourage. Deep in the thick forest he saw a deer. He pressed his heals to the stirrups. The king’s horse lunged forward and sped towards the targeted prey. So focused was the king on the deer that he lost his way. His entourage was left behind and the king found himself all alone. Exhausted after a long chase, he dismounted to rest under a tree and soon went to sleep.
When he woke up, the king found himself surrounded by a band of cannibals whose custom it was to capture a man once a year and offer him as sacrifice on their altar. The only requirement was that the man be healthy, without blemish or body defects.
The cannibals took the king to their chief who ordered that the captured king be readied for sacrifice. But as he was being prepared for sacrifice, the cannibals noticed that the man they had captured was missing a finger. This was unacceptable according to their custom. So they let the king go free.
Alone, the king stumbled through the forest for many days and, as if by divine decree, found his way back to his palace. He realized how the missing finger had saved his life and the wisdom of the vizier’s exclamation, “Khair, inshallah”.
Remorse filled his heart and he ordered that the vizier be freed and brought back to his presence. He expressed his regrets to the vizier for the incarceration and reappointed him to his old position with honors.
After a few days, the king asked the vizier, “I now understand the wisdom of your exclamation, “Khair, inshallah” when I lost my finger while fencing. But why did you say, “Khair, inshallah”, when I ordered that you be thrown into the dungeons.”
“If you had not placed me in the dungeons, sire”, responded the vizier, “I would have accompanied you on the hunting trip and would be captured by the cannibals. Since my body is whole and I do not have any missing fingers, the cannibals would have sacrificed me. So you saved my life by throwing me in the dungeons”
“Khair, inshallah”, cried out the king. “I now understand the meaning of the Ayah, “Man plans but God is the best of planners”. There is goodness in whatever God gives us.