Two women, holding onto a baby came out quarrelling into the street. The one screamed: “This is my child!”
The other yelled back: “You witch! Since when is it yours? It’s a piece of my heart.”
In this tug-of-war, the child’s cries could be heard from far.
Within moments a huge crowd had assembled to witness the showdown. One of the women appealed to the crowd: “People, this is my child! Please tell her to give it to me.”
The other said: “How dare you! Get out! It’s not yours! You feel no shame to say that it’s yours! You know it’s mine! I will never give it to you!”
Finally, some wise person took them to Sulaimaan (AS). Hearing their argument, he thought for a while before disappearing into his house. When he did return, it was with a huge knife. He took the child, laid it on a bench and declared: “One child! Two claimants! I am going to cut it into two! Half for the one, the other half for the other! There should be no complaint from any of you! What do you have to say?”
The one woman responded: “Yes, I accept our judgment.”
As soon as Sulaimaan (AS) placed the knife on the child, the other woman went lame and fell to the ground. Almost immediately, she jumped up, and ran up to Sulaimaan (AS). Crying, she grabbed the knife and pleaded: “My Master, please do not cut up my child! Spare him! I promise not to argue anymore! I won’t claim him! Please give him to her!”
Sulaimaan (AS) responded: “Don’t cry sister! No doubt, you are the real mother. I have no intention to cut up the child. This was just a test to find out who the real mother is. Take your child.”
Grabbing her child, the woman held it tightly, covering it with kisses. The public was awestruck with Sulaimaan’s (AS) intellect.
As for the other woman, Sulaimaan (AS) dealt with her appropriately.
Excerpted from Wit, Wisdom and Humour (Part 1) by Hazrat Moulana Ahmad Muhammad Hathurani (RA)