THE HUMILITY OF THE LION
Binaan Hammaal (rahmatullah alayh) was a great Wali of the 4th century of the Islamic era. He hailed from Baghdad, but settled in Egypt. Once, Ibn Tuloon, the king of Egypt was greatly affronted and felt belittled by the admonition of Hadhrat Hammaal. The wrath of the king exceeded all bounds. He ordered that Hadhrat Hammaal (rahmatullah alayh) be cast to a man-eating lion.
A large crowd gathered to witness the event. After Hadhrat Hammaal was placed in the arena, the hungry lion was let loose. With a roar the lion leapt in the direction of Hadhrat Hammaal who was standing calmly. Not a sign of fear or panic was seen on him. When the lion reached Hadhrat Hammaal its roar and rage had disappeared. It behaved like a tame puppy smelling the great Wali of Allah Ta’ala. It did not harm a hair of Hadhrat Hammaal (rahmatullah alayh).
The crowd, and the king with his entourage were astonished at this wonderful spectacle. Finally the lion was returned to its enclosure and Hadhrat Hammaal was set free. When he was asked about the state of his heart at the time the lion was smelling / licking him, Hadhrat Hammaal said: “I was reflecting on the differences of the Ulama on the mas’alah pertaining to the saliva of a lion – whether it was pure or impure.”