A caliph lay deathly ill on his silk cushions. The hakims, the physicians of his country, stood around him and agreed that only one thing could bring the caliph healing and salvation: placing under his head the shirt of a happy man.
Messengers swarmed out looking in every city, every village and every cottage for a happy man. But everyone they questioned had nothing but sorrow and worries. Finally, after giving up all hope, the messengers met a shepherd who laughed and sang as he watched his herds. Was he happy? “I can’t imagine anyone happier than I”, the shepherd replied, laughing.
“Then give us your shirt,” cried the messengers. But the shepherd replied, “I don’t have one.”
This pathetic news that the only happy man the messengers had met did not own a shirt, gave the caliph cause for thought.
For three days and three nights, he did not allow anyone to come to him. Finally, on the fourth day, he had his silk cushions and his precious stones distributed among the people and as the legend tells, from this time on, the caliph was again healthy and happy.