Ayaz was the sultan's most trusted servant, which made the other servants jealous. Ayaz had been a slave, but now he was the royal treasurer.
"He hides himself in the treasury every day!" they gossiped. "Surely he is stealing."
The sultan decided to watch in secret. He saw Ayaz go into the treasury and open the vault. Ayaz took something out; what was it? The tattered old clothes from his slave days! Ayaz kissed the clothes and then said aloud, "You were a slave until the sultan favored you; never forget."
So the sultan trusted Ayaz even more than before.
Inspired by: Big Tales by Hazrat Inayat Khan, compiled and edited by Mansur Johnson. the Hazrat Inayat Khan Study Database.
Notes: This is a story in Part 1 of the book: Ayaz the Slave. You can find out more about Ayaz at Wikipedia. Rumi also tells this story; see story 147 in More Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.