THE DAYS AND NIGHTS SO FAR
Story 7 by Queen Shahrazad – This story was told by King Yunan to his evil Wezir (Vizier) as a reminder that if we do things when angry we may live to regret those actions. King Yunan could only see gratitude for the sage of Duban who had cured him of leprosy and could not believe that this sage meant him any harm. Queen Shahrazad told this story to impress upon her husband the dangers of jealousy and that the consequences of our actions may be irreparable.
FITS OF JEALOUSY
There was a merchant who had a very jealous nature. His wife was a perfect beauty who had wanted him to stay at home. However, he was compelled to go on a business trip.
WINDOW TO THE SOUL
He bought a parrot in the market. This was not just to keep his pretty-perfect wife company but also to spy upon her.
The parrot was so intelligent it remembered everything that went on. The merchant on his return asked about his wife’s conduct.
TALES OF THE NIGHT
The parrot answered: “Your wife has a lover who visited her every night during your absence.”
When the man heard this he became outraged and severely beat his wife.
SLAVES TO TRUTH
Thinking that one of her slaves had told her husband, she made them swear that they had not whispered anything about her lover. They had overheard the parrot telling their master and they informed their mistress of this.
During the next night when her husband was absent, the wife ordered one of her slaves to grind with a hand mill under the parrot’s cage, another to sprinkle water from above and a third to move a mirror from side to side. When the man returned after a night’s entertainment he inquired of the parrot what had happened during his absence.
The parrot answered that it could not see or hear anything because it was dark and there was thunder and lightning and rain. The merchant could not believe this because it was summer and nothing like that happened. The parrot swore by Allah that it was speaking the truth.
ALL FOR THE WANT OF UNDERSTANDING
The merchant not understanding the situation and not knowing the plot became violently enraged. He took the bird out of the cage and threw it down on the ground so violently that he killed it.
THE TRUTH EMERGES
Some time later, one of the wife’s slaves informed him of the truth. Still he would not believe it until he saw his wife’s lover going out from his house. He drew his sword and killed him with a blow on the back of his head. He did same to his wife.
He mourned grievously for the parrot who had told him the truth.
ON TO THE NEXT STORY (TO BE CONTINUED)
After the Wezir heard King Yunan’s story he retorted with the question of why should he be enemy of the Sage of Duban? (for details of the sage http://abetoday.com/2012/08/13/to-ensure-eternal-good-one-should-be-eter...).
The Wezir said he had told the King about the wickedness of the sage out of compassion for the King and because of the fear that the sage may spoil the King’s happiness. The sage had cured the King of his leprosy – a very severe disease at that time – and the King could not believe that the sage wanted to cause him any harm. He told the Wezir he did not want to do bad to the sage and live a life of regret just as the merchant now regretted the parrot’s death.
LIFE ON THE LINE
The Wezir upped the stakes by saying: “Destroy me if my words are not true as the Wezir of Es-Sindibad was destroyed.” The enquired: “How was that?” And the Wezir answered (TO BE CONTINUED).
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
1. Successful merchants (businessmen) will need to go on business trips from time to time. Perhaps you should take your wife along where possible.
2. Don’t neglect your wife – she may take a lover.
3. Sometimes people (parrots) speak the truth but we just cannot believe because it is beyond our understanding. In our disbelief we attack the person or move away from them in a way that it is impossible to return – much to our regret when one day we find out the truth. With calmness we can gather all the facts and make wiser decisions.
4. If we can control our anger – we can make better decisions and not do things that we may regret. Things done in total rage usually do not produce wholesome results. We may come to regret our actions.
5. Truth has a strange way of emerging – eventually we will understand or understand more but it may then be too late.
6. We also see how in Islam the seriousness that adultery is viewed. It was in Western culture and up until the 19th century people in England went to prison for adultery. It was considered seriously in olden times and still is in cultures based on the Islamic way of life.
7. Sometimes we think we can outwit people and even God. The wife thought she could outwit her husband with the trick she played on the parrot - but as we know one of her slaves spilled the beans. Partners in crime cannot always keep their mouths shut. Yet the husband wanted more evidence of his wife's wrongdoing.
Part One of 1,001 nights
Credit: Source of the story: http://www.bartleby.com/16/
An I CAN READ English specialist with over 20 years teaching experience, I have worked in the British Council and Linguaphone, well-known language institutions. I am a London-trained lawyer and have been the public affairs officer at the British High Commission, Singapore, as well as an editor in an international book publishing house and a national magazine. In 2006, I was appointed as an Ambassador of Peace (Universal Peace Federation and Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace). I am also co-author of two law books: English Legal System and Company Law, published by Blackstone, Oxford University Press. For enquiries about I CAN READ classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR DAILY BLESSINGS: www.abetoday.com