The Two Scholars


Once there lived in the ancient city of Afkar two scholars who hated each other. It was known among their followers that they belittled each other’s learning. While one of them was in denial of the existence of the Gods, the other was a firm believer.

One day the two scholars met in the marketplace, and amidst their followers they began to dispute. They were arguing, reprimanding each other, about the existence of God. After hours of contention that had been emblazoned by harangues and bitter criticisms, it was time for them to depart.

In the evening the unbeliever went to the temple and prostrated himself before the altar. He prayed God to forgive his wayward past. At the same time the other scholar, he who had upheld God, burned his sacred books. He had become an unbeliever.

Retold by Subhan Zein, from “The Madman” by Kahlil Gibran

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