Once as emperor Akbar was conducting his court, he heard loud arguments coming from outside. Immediately he ordered one of his guards to check what was going on. After some time, the guard came back inside with two men and presented them in front of Akbar.
The guard said, “Hujur, they are arguing and accusing each other of cheating. Now they have come to you with the complaint since they are unable to solve.” Akbar listened to the guard and asked the two men what the problem was.
One of the men responded, saying, ” Hujur, My name is Omar. I am a merchant. And this man is my servant. I went out to the sea for trading and business six months back. One week back, I came back from the sea and saw that this servant of mine had disguised himself as me and took my place in the house. He is calling himself as Omar and me as his servant.”
To this, the other man objected, saying, “Hujur, this man is a cheat. He is my servant. I am the real Omar. He took my place while I was out in the sea.”
Akbar could not find a way to tell who was telling the truth. So he turned to Birbal for help.
Birbal agreed immediately. He got down from his seat and asked both the men to lie down on the floor face down. Both the man listened to Birbal and lay flat on the floor. Birbal told them, “Lay still without moving. I will look at you for some time. And then I can surely tell – who is the Master!”
Few moments passed. Then Birbal called out to the guard, “Come here. I found out who is the servant and cheat. Come and cut his head.” Now the guard was surprised and confused. Still obeying Birbal’s command, he started walking towards them.
As the guard’s footsteps neared, one of the men turned his face up, sat, and jumped to Birbal’s feet, saying, ” Save me Hujur! I made a big mistake. I am the servant.”
Akbar admonished the servant and threw him out of his kingdom.
The real Omar thanked Birbal and Akbar for their help and went back to his home happily.