Reading Text: The Greatest Bounty in the World

During the time when Sultan Mustafa III had the Laleli Mosque built, people talked about a saint called Laleli (having a tulip) Baba (father); they said each word of his contained deep meanings, secrets and wisdom.

The Sultan wondered about the man who always wore a tulip on his chest and went to visit him. People never had any doubt about his sainthood; the saint started to answer the questions of the Sultan; when the Sultan asked him what the greatest bounty in the world was, he answered:

– The greatest bounty in the world is to be able to urinate and have a bowel movement after eating and drinking.

The Sultan did not like the answer. He felt disturbed by the answer that had a vulgar meaning and left the place. 

After eating and drinking in the palace that night, the Sultan could not urinate or have a bowel movement; he could not sleep and walked about till morning.

At dawn, he made wudu, performed the morning prayer and went straight to the house of Laleli Baba.

He told, so to speak by begging, Laleli Baba that he could not sleep last night that he looked forward to the dawn and that he wanted his prayer in order to get rid of the trouble.

Laleli Baba said:

– Although we use so many bounties of Allah, we do not appreciate them because we take them for granted. I think now you have found out that it is the greatest bounty to be able to urinate and have a bowel movement after eating and drinking. He adds:

– If you donate that mosque that you have built to me, and hand over your authority as the Sultan to me, I will pray for your recovery...

The Sultan donated the mosque immediately and said that the name of the mosque is the Laleli Mosque from that point onwards. However, he did not want to hand over the sultanate at first; but his pains were increasing; so, finally he said he would abdicate and begged Laleli Baba to pray for his recovery.

Laleli Baba said:

– What a strange sultanate is it that it can be abdicated in return for urinating and having a bowel movement! 

After the prayer of Laleli Baba, the Sultan got rid of the trouble. The mosque that he built was named the Laleli Mosque since he donated it to Laleli Baba after this incident.

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