The poet ibn Harma performed for the Prince of the Muslims and so delighted was the Caliph with his performance that he said “name your reward.”
The poet replied, “the reward I wish from the Prince of the Muslims is that he should send instructions to his officials in the city of Medina, commanding that when I am found dead drunk upon the pavement and brought in by the city guard, I be let off from the punishment prescribed for that offense.”
“That is God’s law, not mine; I cannot change it. Name another reward.”
“There is nothing else I desire from the Prince of the Muslims.”
Al-Mansur thought a little, then sent instructions to his officials in Medina commanding that if anyone found the poet ibn Harma dead drunk upon the pavement and brought him in for punishment, ibn Harma should receive eighty strokes of the lash as the law commands. But whoever brought him in should receive a hundred.
And ever after, when someone saw the poet lying dead drunk upon the pavement, he would turn to his companion and say “a hundred for eighty is a bad bargain” and pass on.
— David Friedman, Legal Systems Very Different from Ours