The Khalif Nasir of Andalus (Spain) had spent an astronomical amount of wealth in decorating the Madinatul Zahra. He had plastered the roof and walls with gold and silver. Its roof was a mixture of bright yellow and snow white, overwhelming to the extent that its rays would dazzle the sight. One day he was seated amongst his courtiers and attendants, admiring the splendour of his efforts, and proudly asked them, “Have you ever heard of any king before me who made a structure as magnificent as this?”
They replied, “No, by Allah, Amir al-Muminin. You are unique in this regard. No king in our knowledge could ever manage to construct the likes of what we see here.”
Just as he was taking pleasure and delight in their reply, Judge Mundhir ibn Sa’id walked in with his head down. After he had taken his seat the Khalif asked the Judge what he thought about the unprecedented splendour of the palace.
Tears began falling from the Judge’s eyes onto his beard and he replied, “O Amir al-Muminin, Allah has granted you many bounties out of His grace and has greatly elevated your status amongst nations. I did not expect you to allow the accursed Shaitaan to prompt and deceive you in this manner. You have allowed Shaitaan to degrade you to the status of the disbelievers.”
The Khalif was quite taken aback with this and retorted, “Be careful what you say! How have I reached the level of the disbelievers?”
The Judge answered, “Yes. Does Allah Ta’ala not say:
“And were it not that all mankind would have become of one community (of disbelievers), We would have provided for those who disbelieve in the Most Beneficent (Allah), silver roofs for their houses, and stairs (of silver) whereby they ascend, and for their houses, doors (of silver), and thrones (of silver) on which they could recline, and adornments of gold. Yet all this (i.e. the roofs, doors, stairs, thrones and so on) would have been nothing but an enjoyment of this world. And the Hereafter with your Lord is only for the God-fearing.” (Surah Zukhruf, verse 33-35)
The Khalif was speechless and lowered his head. Fearful of Allah’s punishment, tears began to fall from his eyes. After a while he turned to Judge Mundhir and said, “O Judge, may Allah reward you extremely well for your concern. May He bring more men like you. You have spoken the truth.”
He rose from the gathering repenting to Allah Ta’ala. He commanded that the gold and silver be removed from the roof of the palace and that it should be replastered with sand. (Nafhut Teeb)
Truth brings honour, lies bring disgrace. Speak the truth no matter how bitter it may be to others.