A rich merchant from the city desired to buy a horse. Knowing his money could buy the best of all worlds, he decided to travel deep into the pure desert to visit a poor Bedouin man famed for his piety.
The Bedouin welcomed the merchant warmly and inquired about his visit. “I want to buy a halal horse,” said the merchant.“Oh yes, I think I can help you,” smiled the Bedouin and led the merchant to his stable.
He brought out a beautiful stallion and exclaimed, “This is my most halal horse. To make it go you need only say, ‘Alhamdulillah.’ And to make it stop, you need only say, ‘la illaha illa Allah.'”
Amazed and impressed, the merchant paid the Bedouin and mounted the horse.
Sweeping his arm grandly to the heavens, the merchant pronounced, “Alhamdulillah!” And much to his delight, the horse began to walk. Excited, the merchant said it again, “Alhamdulillah!” and the horse began to trot. Giddy, he said it a third time, “Alhamdulillah!” and the horse began to gallop.
With each pronouncement the horse ran faster and faster — and the merchant lost himself in the joyful ride.
Soon however, the merchant noticed he was riding toward the edge of a cliff.
Proud of his purchase, he let the horse run a bit further. But the thrill of the ride made him forget the words to stop the horse. And he began to panic.
He grabbed the horse’s mane. Nothing happened.
He shouted, “Bismillah!” Nothing happened.
The edge of the cliff came closer and closer.
His heart pounded. He didn’t want to die!
He recited al-Fatiha, an-Nas, ayatul Kursi…
Nothing slowed the horse’s run.
The edge of the cliff came closer and closer, and now certain of his impending death, the merchant covered his face with his hands and cried out, “la illaha illa Allah!!!”
The horse stopped right on the edge.
Relieved he sighed, “Alhamdulillah…”
(it’s funnier if you act it out)