35 years ago I bought my first rental building in Old Montreal near the  City Hall. One of the tenants of that building was a 95-year-old man originally from France. Once after midnight he opened the main door of the building and went out. A woman found him loitering  on the street  completely naked. She called the Police. The Police realized that he did not know his address, nor did he remember his own name. They took him to the hospital where he was admitted. A few days later someone from the hospital called me to say that the gentleman was not going back home any more, and that, therefore, I could clean out his apartment and rent it to someone else. 

I went to his apartment and found large and brown paper bags stacked up to the ceiling at one corner of his apartment. While sorting out the bags I found money, money, and money.  I also found many old gold coins and gold medals. I got scared. I quickly put those bags in large plastic garbage bags, and took those bags to my house. I wanted to make sure that someone would know how much money and other precious objects I brought to my house. I called my neighbour and counted the huge amount of money and other objects in front of him. We both signed a document that listed everything that belonged to my tenant. I then called Montreal Police. The Police said that they could do nothing about the matter. They also said that it was my ‘baby’, and that, therefore, I had to take care of it. 

The night fell. I could hardly sleep with all those valuables in my house. The next morning I went to the hospital where my tenant was, and saw the administrator of the hospital. He was shocked and scared to have seen all that money and other valuables. He quickly closed all the doors, windows and the drapes so that nobody could see all that. We made two documents: one for the money, and another for the gold coins and gold medals. I gave him the money for which he gave me a receipt. I gave him a receipt for the precious gold material that I was taking back with me. I thought that these were so attractive that the people of the hospital might keep those for themselves. As I was about to leave the administrator’s room, he “ LOOKED AT ME AND SAID,”YOU ARE THE MOST STUPID MAN  I HAVE EVER MET.” What he meant is that nobody in the world would know that I found the huge amount of money and other valuables. The man to whom all these belonged did not even remember his own name, and he was going to die soon anyway. If I were intelligent, I would have kept all that bounty for myself. 

A few months later an officer of the Government of the Province of Quebec came to see me. I told him the whole story and handed to him the gold coins and gold medals for which he gave me a receipt. Just before leaving, he said. “Are you a Muslim?” I said, ‘Yes.”


I am proud to be stupid and a Muslim.