Sufi Story by Attar of Nishapur: Sultan and the Fisher boy

Sufi Story by Shaykh Fariduddin Attar of Nishapur: Sultan Mahmud and the Fisher boy

Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi once was separated from his troops and alone galloped his horse to make his way back to his castle.

During his ride, he spotted a small boy at the bank of a river trying to catch fish.

Sultan went up to him and found him dejected and desperate and asked said: ‘My child, what makes you so gloomy’.

‘O’ Prince,’ he replied, ‘there are seven of us orphan siblings. Everyday I come to catch fish to provide for my family and today I have not been able to catch a single fish.’


Sultan and Fisher boy - Sufi Story


‘Would you like me to try?’ asked the Sultan.

The boy agreed and Sultan cast the net, which, with God’s will, caught a lot of fish.

At this, the boy exclaimed, ‘My fortune today is sublime as so many fish have came into my net.’

But Sultan said: ‘Don’t fool yourself, my child. I am the reason behind your good luck as you partnered with Sultan”’

Sultan gave all the fish to boy and mounted on his horse.

The boy offered him his share, but the Sultan didn’t accept, saying that he would take the next day’s catch.

“Tomorrow, you can fish for me,’ he said and returned to his palace.

Next day the boy arrived at his court with his share. The Sultan made him sit on the throne beside him.

‘O’ Illustrious Sultan’ remarked his courtiers, ‘this boy is merely a beggar!’

‘No, he is my fishing companion, hence I will treat his like so’ replied the Sultan,

Someone asked the boy, ‘How come you are so honoured?’

The boy replied: ‘Good fortunes has arrived and my sorrows are gone just because I have blessing of a fortunate monarch now’



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