THE BRILLIANCE OF HADRAT ALI RADIYALLAAHU ANHU
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THE BRILLIANCE OF HADRAT ALI RADIYALLAAHU ANHU

Hadrat Ali Radiyallaahu Anhu was well-known for his brilliance especially in Mathematics.

In the following story, he gave immediate and astounding, yet completely accurate answers to complex mathematical problems that were brought to him:

Two men traveling together sat down to have lunch. One had five loaves of bread, the other three. Another traveller joined them and they all decided to share the eight loaves by dividing each loaf into three parts. Each man then ate 8 pieces. When the third man got up to leave, he left the two men a total of eight dirhams to pay for their loaves of bread.

The man who had five loaves gave the one with three loaves 3 dirhams and kept 5 for himself. The man with the three loaves didn’t agree – he wanted a 50% share i.e. 4 dirhams. The man with the five loaves refused and the dispute was brought before Ameer ul Mumineen, Hadrat Ali Radiyallaahu Anhu.

Upon hearing their story, Hadrat Ali Radiyallaahu Anhu told the man with three loaves that the man with 5 loaves had already given him more than his fair share and requested him to accept the three dirhams.

The man with the three loaves refused.

Hadrat Ali Radiyallaahu Anhu then said that in fact the man with the three loaves was entitled to only one dirham out of the eight! He then offered the following explanation:
The men had 8 loaves of bread divided into 3 equal parts each which was equal to 24 pieces. Each traveller ate 8 pieces. The man who had three loaves had a total of 9 pieces from his loaves out of which he ate 8, leaving only one piece for the third traveller. The man with the 5 loaves had contributed 15 pieces out of which he ate 8 leaving 7 pieces for the third man. Hence, the man with the five loaves was entitled to 7 dirhams whereas the man with the three loaves was entitled to only one dirham!

Subhan Allah!

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