Haroon Al-Rashid, the Abbasid Caliph, wished to appoint a judge in Baghdad. After conferring with his courtiers, it was unanimously agreed that none, except Buhlool, possessed the right qualities for the post.
Buhlool was summoned and the post was offered to him. But Haroon declined to accept, saying that he was neither worthy of the post nor capable of undertaking the task.
Haroon said, “All the inhabitants of Baghdad are of the opinion that none except you, is worthy of the post and you deny it!”
“I am more aware of myself than any of you. Whatever I have stated is either true or false. If the reason I have given is true, then it would be improper of me to assume the office of judge when I am not capable. On the other hand, if I have lied to you, then a liar does not deserve to take this post.”
But Haroon insisted that Buhlool took up the responsibility. Buhlool requested that he be granted one night to reflect over the offer. The next morning, Buhlool feigned insanity and placing a staff between his legs ran through the streets and markets of Baghdad, screaming:
“Make room for my horse and keep away lest it kicks you.”
As soon as the people noticed his antics, they commented that Buhlool had gone insane. When Haroon Al-Rashid was informed of this, he said:
“Buhlool has not become insane; rather he has saved his religion and has escaped our clutches. He has enacted this in order to prevent himself from interfering in the affairs and the rights of the people.”