Once there was a prosperous merchant called Abu who lived in Baghdad. Now this merchant fell on evil days. He lost all the money he had put into his business. Even the huge house in which he lived had to be sold off to pay his debts. He had to retire to a small piece of land in a remote corner of the town. This piece of land was the only property that still belonged to him. Abu now had to work hard every day to make both ends meet. He dreamt of becoming prosperous again one day but he didn’t know how to go about it. There were times when he could not even get work in the town. Then he had to go without food the whole day. Fed up of this life, he prayed to God to be merciful to him. That night, he had a strange dream, in which a kind, old man told him, “The key to your fortune lies in Cairo. Go there and discover it.” Abu woke up. It was still dark. But he set out for Cairo immediately. He walked on and on until it was evening. He reached a village. He was so tired that he asked for food and shelter at the very first house he saw. He was given both. His host became curious and wanted to know why Abu was going to Cairo. Abu told him about his dream. The host listened attentively but at last he laughed and said, “My dear friend, I don’t think you are doing anything wise. Should anyone undertake such a long and hard journey just because of a dream? You see, during the past year I’ve had a similar dream three times. A person appeared before me, pointed his finger in a certain direction, and said, ‘In the western corner of that town there is an old orchard with five palm trees. There is a dried up well at the centre of the orchard and if anybody cares to dig the vottom, he will find a heap of wealth. But I’ve never taken these dreams seriously.” Abu realized that there was much sense in what his host said. He thought of giving up the idea of going to Cairo. But something in him told him, “Don’t give up the idea of going to Cairo. Be patient. Who knows your dream may come true?” Abu, therefore, continued his journey to Cairo the next day. After several days he reached Cairo. He sat near a mosque, resting. Some visitors to the mosque saw him there. They could see from his pale face that he was very hungry. So they gave him food. That night Abu slept in the courtyard of the mosque. In the dead of night some thieves entered a rich man’s house just behind the mosque. A party of patrolling policeman tried to catch them, but they jumped into the compound of the mosque. Soon the police surrounded the mosque. In a few minutes they caught the thieves and along with them, Abu. Insulted and humiliated, he could not control his tears. Fortunately, he attracted the attention of the police chief, who realized that a seasoned thief would not weep so easily. It occurred to him that Abu might have been arrested by mistake. Abu was then taken to the chief’s room where he was questioned and examined by several officers. They all agreed that he did not seem to be a thief. Then the chief asked him, “But how is it that you were found inside the mosque?” Abu told him all about himself – of his good old days and his days of misfortune. Finally he related his dream to the officer. At that the officer shook with laughter and said, “I see you are very innocent, seven times I have had a similar dream. A person asks me to go to an orchard where there are five palm trees and a well without water. There are seven steps leading to the bottom of the well. He tells me that if I would care to find the place and dig at the bottom of the well, I would become a rich man. I’ve never given a moment’s thought to such fantastic once, and yet you have traveled all the way from Baghdad to Cairo because of it! What a pity! However, you have paid heavily for your foolishness. Go back to your home try to lead a more sensible life” The police chief then not only set Abu free, but also gave him a little money to buy food. As Abu began the long journey back home he suddenly remembered that the well which the officer had described to him was the unused and dry well in his own piece of land. His land, indeed. Was situated in the western corner of the town of Baghdad and there used to be an orchard on it some years ago and there were seven steps leading to the bottom of the well. Abu returned to Baghdad as fast as he could. He went down the well and began to dig. After he had removed barely a handful or earth from its dry bottom he found a heap of gold coins underneath. He thanked Providence for giving him patience and faith in his dreams.

Like it on Facebook, Tweet it or share this article on other bookmarking websites.