Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi was a powerful Muslim king who ruled over the land of Afghanistan. He governed his vast lands from Ghazni, a city of beauty, riches and luxury. It was during his glorious reign that Northern India came under Muslim rule.
One starry, summers night, just as he was getting into bed, his eyes fell upon the Holy Qur’an in front of him. He loved to recite the Holy Qur’an as it filled his heart with faith and love for Allah. He had been reciting it earlier that evening as was his habit, but as he looked at the Holy Qur’an, he was overtaken by fear.
“What am I to do?” he said to himself, “For to sleep with my feet towards the Holy Qur’an would be most disrespectful indeed, and showing disrespect to the Qur’an would be showing profound disrespect to Allah Himself.”
He was very worried, but then the thought came to him, “Let me turn my bed around.”
He jumped out of bed but no sooner had he turned his bed around when the thought flashed through his mind, “Oh no! Now I have turned my back to the Qur’an and Allah had cursed the disbelievers who did the very same thing. This will not do.”
So he turned his bed yet again until at last he felt comfortable. Now his head was towards the Qur’an. “I’m sure that now I will have the sweetest dreams,” he yawned.
But just as he snuggled into his pillow his eyes flashed wide open. Had he seen something scary? No, it was not what he saw that made him jump up but rather another thought. “Allah’s message is here in my room and I am ignoring it. Should I enjoy sleep and ignore Allah while He speaks to me through the Qur’an?”
He seemed more anxious now than before, but just then he breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. “Why not keep the Holy Qur’an in the next room and enjoy a peaceful sleep?” That seemed to be a good idea.
As he walked over to pick up the Holy Qur’an he began to tremble with fear. “What an insult! What disrespect! Am I to cast out the Book of Allah just for a little comfort. Oh how wretched I am!”
The king would neither remove the holy book nor would he sleep, but instead passed the whole night reciting the Holy Qur’an. Such was his love and respect for the sacred words of Allah.