Once upon a time, there lived a king with two daughters and one son. His youngest daughter, Princess Mariah, was the king’s darling because of her sweet nature.
The king would bring a lot of gifts for his children and especially for Princess Mariah but he would note that these gifts never really made her much happy. Whenever the king asked her if she wanted something, she would smile and say, “I’m fine, Alhamdulillah.” She never demanded ever more toys or dresses like her siblings.
The king grew worried. Mariah did not seem to enjoy things most children her age did. Finally, he went to his most trusted minister and asked him for advice. The minister was a clever man. He said, “Leave the matter to me, your Majesty, and I will do my best to solve the problem.”
He packed an extra room full of things he could think of, like toys, dresses, books, etc. Then he told Mariah to spend some time there. As the Minister watched, she spent the whole day flipping through books, although she didn’t know how to read properly.
The minister went to the king and told him that she liked books the most. The king was really pleased and appointed a wise man as a tutor for her princess.
As Princess Mariah grew, her love of reading and learning increased. She decided to go to another country and study at a university there because there were not many universities in her country. After a few years of study, she came back to her palace, where the king welcomed her warmly.
One day the king called his three children and said, “I have grown to be an old man and I don’t know how long I will remain alive, so I need to choose a successor. For that, I am sending you all on a task. Each of you will need to collect something, build something, spend time with people you enjoy being with, learn a skill and distribute something of your choice. All of this should be done in the next one year. Then you will come back and tell me what you did.”
Off they went. The king anxiously waited for his children, and before long all three of them came back. When the king asked them what they did, the son said, “I built a museum, spent time with my friends, learned swimming, collected horses and distributed diamonds among family and friends.”
The other princess began, “I built a shopping center, spent time with cousins, learned to stitch, collected jewelry, and distributed dresses to some friends.”
Then it was Princess Mariah’s turn. She said, “I built a hospital, spent time with learned people, learned archery to defend my country if I ever need to, collected books and
distributed food to the poor.”
Well, the king was certain who he wanted as his successor to take care of the country. He chose Princess Mariah to be a queen after his death because of her good choices. Queen Mariah met her father’s expectations. She built hospitals, schools, and libraries. She cared for the poor and gathered learned people from all over the world. Even after her death, she was remembered for her kindness,
intelligence, and love for people. Long after she was gone, she still lived in people’s hearts.
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