Once, Emperor Akbar was sitting in a mosque, reading the Koran. He posted his guards before the mosque because he wanted absolute peace. At some point during his reading he glanced out the window and saw a young woman running desperately back and forth. She seemed to be looking for someone or something.
Suddenly, this young woman entered the mosque and began to search. In her desperation to find whatever she was looking for, she did not see the emperor and tripped over him as he sat, bumping him so hard that the Koran flew out of his hands and landed on the floor.
Akbar was so disturbed that he called for his guards: “Bring me that young woman!”
When the guards brought the woman before him, Akbar was furious: “Before I have you hanged, tell me what you were so preoccupied with that you did not even notice when you ran over me. ”
The woman shook with fear to hear her death sentence. But then she collected herself and said: “My dear emperor, please excuse me, but I was searching for my lover. I had heard that he had come to town, and because I love him, I was so fixed on finding him that I was looking everywhere without seeing anyone or anything else. I did not mean to offend you.”
This made Akbar even angrier: “How dare you disturb me while I am reading the holy Koran! Looking for a lover! Hang her immediately!”
Since she had nothing left to lose, the young woman spoke out: “Dear emperor, may I ask you whether you were actually reading the Koran? If I am so attentive to searching for my lover—who is, after all, merely a mortal man—that I cannot see anything or anyone else, how much more fixed would you be if you were actually searching for the supreme lover, God? If you had actually been reading the Koran, you would not have noticed my tripping over you. So I think you were not actually reading but were only making a show of it!”
Akbar saw the woman’s point and set her free.