Khalil ben-Omar became Calif of Baghdad. Shortly after taking up his new position, one of his advisors pointed out to him a little scruffy fellow riding a donkey in through the city gates. ‘That man,’ said the advisor, ‘is a trader from Pakistan. His name is Zulfiqa Khan and he is the biggest rogue in the entire country. Don’t let his appearance fool you. He’s hugely rich and for years he has been making a fortune out of smuggling, but we’ve never been able to catch him at it.’

The Calif was intrigued and ordered that the smuggler should be searched rigorously every time he entered or left the city. So each day Zulfiqa came riding into the city on his donkey and each day he was searched. Each evening he left on his donkey and each evening he was searched. Nothing was found. But all the time he grew richer and richer.

At last the Calif could stand it no longer and he had Zulfiqa summoned to him. ‘All right,’ he said. ‘I admit defeat. You have been smuggling for years and I have never caught you. Just tell me how you did it and I will let you marry my daughter and make you one of the richest men in Baghdad.’

What was Zulfiqa Khan smuggling?


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