Kissa Amina Ka – Alif Laila
Amina said, ‘You have heard the story of Zubaida from her mouth, now I present my story to you. My mother took me to her house so that she would not be touched by the loneliness of Randape. Then he married me with the son of the elder man of this city. Unfortunately only one year had passed when my husband died. But all his property, which was worth about ninety thousand riyals, came to my hands. That money was enough for my whole life. When it was six months since my husband had died, I made ten very valuable dresses, each of which was worth a thousand riyals. When my husband died for one year, I started wearing those clothes.
One day I was sitting alone in my house when my servant told me that an old lady wants to tell you something, if there is permission, then bring her inside. I gave permission. The old lady came in and kissed the ground and bowed to me, then stood up and said, ‘ I have heard great appreciation for your kindness, so I want to make a request to you. I have a daughter who has no parents. Tonight is his wedding. We are both unfamiliar in this city. The boy with whom she is to be married belongs to a wealthy family and also has many relatives. It is heard that many women will come with the groom wearing valuable clothes and ornaments. If you attend that marriage, my reputation will be lost. If you are by our side, then the helpers will not consider us unfamiliar and poor. There will be no one like you and everyone will say that when such a rich woman has come from this old lady, she will also be honored. If you refuse to walk with me taking care of my poverty and meekness, then my reputation will be in the dust. I do not have any relatives in this city from whom I should ask for help, nor is there any benevolent woman like you who works on the poor orphans.
Saying this the old lady started crying. I was moved by his crying. I consoled her and said, ‘Amma, don’t you worry, I will definitely attend your daughter’s wedding. You don’t need to come here yourself anymore, you arrange the marriage. Tell me the address of your house, I will reach there myself.’
The old lady was very happy to hear this. She said, just like you have given me happiness at this time, may God always keep you happy, but where will you go looking for my house, I myself will come here in the evening and take you to my house. Saying this the old lady left.
I prepared from the third quarter. Wearing a valuable pair of clothes. Wearing a garland of big pearls and many more gem-jeweled ornaments like armlets, kernphools, rings etc. By that time it was evening. The old lady came to pick me up and kissed my hand and said that the groom’s parents and other relatives have come to my house, many of the rich and eminent persons and their women have also come from the groom’s side; Now go and do the honor of my side. I went with the old lady to her house and took along with me many of my maidservants dressed in good clothes.
On our way, we reached a wide and clear street. The old lady took us and made us stand in front of a big gate. On a plank above the door, it was written in wood-carved letters that happiness always resides in this house. There were also lamps burning in the light of which I read this text. The old lady clapped to open the door and took me inside a large hallway.
Inside, a very beautiful woman welcomed me, hugged me and respectfully took me to a room and made me sit. Then I saw that there was a gem-studded throne. That beauty told me that you think that you have come to get someone else married, the reality is that you have been brought here for your own marriage. I was surprised to hear this, but that woman did not let me ask anything else, but started talking very nice things here and there and started showing respect to me in talk.
After a while he said, ‘Bibi, the thing about marriage is that I have a young brother who is very handsome. He has heard great praise of your appearance and qualities and is fascinated by you. He is very keen to marry you. If you refuse to marry him, he will be in great distress and his heart will be broken. By the blessings of God, I say that this young man is worthy of your company in every way. You can have complete confidence in him. He is a very happy man and will make you happy in every way.’
The woman kept talking about her brother like this for a long time and kept praising him. At last he told me that if there is even the slightest gesture from your side, I should ask the man about your coming.
Although I had no desire to marry after the death of my first husband, the woman had praised the man so much that there was no desire to deny it at all. I smiled at him and kept quiet. The woman understood from my smile and silence that I agreed. He clapped. Simultaneously, a very handsome young man came out from a nearby room, dressed in flamboyant clothes. Seeing him, I felt very happy at my fate that such a handsome man would become my husband. He sat beside me and started talking to me very politely and intelligently. I admired her more than her sister had praised her. When that beauty saw me agreeing, she clapped for the second time so that a Qazi came out of another room and four other men with them. The Qazi got both of us married according to the Shariat and the testimony of four men was also done. My husband took a promise from me not to talk to any other man I would rather not even see it, I will always follow chastity and will happily obey his commands. He also said that if you keep your promises, I will never give up on you.
I started living in my husband’s house not like the women of the rich class but like the queens. A month later, I asked my husband for permission to go to the city market. I said that I want to do like the women of many rich families buy and sell silk bags from the market. My husband gave permission for this. I went to the biggest market of the city with two maidservants and the old lady who had brought me on the pretext of marriage, where there were shops of big merchants. The old woman said, “Here is a young merchant whom I know very well, whose shop is not to be found anywhere else as valuable. I also thought that if I get good goods at one place, then why wander from place to place, that is why I went to that merchant’s shop.
The merchant was not only young but also very handsome. The old lady told me that there is a lot of goods here, you can ask the merchant whatever you want. I told her that I have given a promise to my husband that I will not talk to Parapurush, so I will not talk to him, talk to you. So the merchant asked the old lady what I liked and showed me many good places. I liked one of those places and asked for its price. The merchant said, ‘This place is priceless. I will not even sell it to countless Ashfis. But if this beauty gives me a kiss of her cheekbones, then this place will be hers.’
I said annoyed to the old lady that this businessman seems to be very arrogant and arrogant, how dare she talk such a dirty talk. But the old lady took the side of the merchant and said, ‘Beautiful, there is nothing special in this. Your husband has forbade you to see and talk to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You don’t do that. You just give it a kiss quietly. You should not have any difficulty in this.’ I was such an idiot, and the place was so hidden in my eyes that I agreed to this bad thing. Now the old lady and both the maidservants stood under my cover towards the road. I removed the cloth from my face and cheeked it in front of the merchant.
Instead of kissing, the wicked merchant put his teeth in my cheek, which caused my cheek to bleed and I fainted in agony. During this time, the merchant quickly wrapped his goods and disappeared after closing the shop. When I regained consciousness for a while, I found my cheek bleeding. The old lady and the maidservants had covered my cheeks with cloth and the crowd that had gathered there after hearing their woes and wails understood that I had fainted due to some illness or weakness. When I came to my senses, the old lady and the maidservants were satisfied and they started giving me patience. Especially the old lady felt very sad. She said, ‘Beautiful, I am your culprit, I’m sorry All this trouble on you came because of me. You came to this bastard merchant’s shop at my behest. Now let’s go home. Whatever happened happened, don’t worry anymore. I will apply such a medicine on your wound that within three days not only the wound will be healed but there will be no trace of it.’
Somehow I fell and reached my house with them and went back to my room and fainted again with pain, weakness and exhaustion. The old lady brought me to my senses. Then I lay on my bed. When my husband came in the night, saw me lying down, he said what happened to you, why are you lying down. I pretended that my head was hurting. I thought he would take his attention away from me after that. But he took my hand in his hand and after seeing the pulse etc. removed the cloth from my mouth to put his hand on the head. Seeing the wound on the cheek, he got furious and started asking me how did you get this scratch on your cheek.
Although I had no fault and I went to the market only after taking his permission, but I did not have the courage to tell the truth to him. I pretended that when I was going to the market, a woodcutter came out from me with a bundle of wood and a wood that came out of the bundle stung in the cheek.
My husband said in anger that if this is true then I will get all the woodcutter hanged tomorrow. I was terrified that this lie of mine would kill all the woodcutter innocent. I told my husband that you should not do such injustice at all, why would you get the innocent woodcutter killed, if you find my crime then punish me and not others.
My husband said, why don’t you tell the truth, how did you get a wound in the cheek? I still did not dare to speak the truth and I made another excuse that when I was going, a potter came out carrying a pot on a donkey and I was so shocked by the donkey that I fell on the earth and there was a glass lying there. The piece pierced my cheek. My husband said, if your words are true, then I will tell the king’s minister Jafar in the morning to get all the potters out of the city. I panicked again and said why should innocent potters be punished because of me.
The husband said again, my anger cannot subside until you tell the truth. I said that I felt dizzy while walking, due to which I fell and my cheek was peeled. It is no one’s fault in this. My husband now got out of control and said, ‘You are going on telling lies on lies, now I can’t listen to your excuses. Saying this he clapped, due to which the three Negro slaves came inside. My husband said, “Let one man hold its head and its feet and take out the third sword.” Then asked the person who took out the sword to cut this kulta into two pieces and throw its corpse in the river for the fish to eat. When the executioner hesitated a bit, my husband scolded me and said, why don’t you obey my orders. The executioner said to me, ‘ Your end has come. You remember God in the last moment. Apart from this, if you want to hear and say anything else, then listen to it. I said that if I get life donation for a while, I want to say something. I raised my head and tried to say the whole thing but could not say anything due to hiccups and crying.
My husband’s anger was increasing. He abused me a lot and said bad things. I could not answer any of his words. I just said that some more opportunity should be given so that I can ask God for forgiveness for my sins. But my husband did not show such mercy and ordered the slave to kill me soon.
The slave agreed to kill me. Just then the old lady came running. He had fed my husband with milk in his childhood. She fell at his feet and said that you give her life to pay for my milk. He said that he has no fault, what answer will you give to God by killing him innocently. Due to his persuasion, my husband did not get me killed but said that it is necessary to get some punishment. By his orders, the slave beat me with whips so much that I fainted and the flesh came off at many places on my shoulders and chest. I was locked up in a palace where I lay for four months. The old lady took care of me and applied ointment. Although I was cured by this, but those black marks that you saw were left.
When I was able to move, I decided to go to my first husband’s house, which was my property till now. But when I went to that street, I could not even find the sign of the house because my second husband had dug it and made it equal to the ground. I could not even complain about this injustice to him out of fear that lest he might get me killed again in anger.
Thanking God for saving my life, I went to Zubeida and told my entire suffering story. He comforted me. He said that you stay with me, this is not a good time, we should not expect kindness from anyone, neither those who claim our friendship nor those who are fascinated by our appearance. He said that I have so much money that we will not face any difficulty. Zubeida also told me how her fiancee Prince drowned in the sea because of her real sisters’ jealousy and enmity and how her obliging angel made her evil real sisters bitches.
I started living near Zubeida from that time. When my mother died, Zubeida called my sister Safi with her and kept it with her, since then we three sisters live happily. We are thankful to God that we do not have any trouble. We run the house together. Sometimes I go to Safi to get bargains from the market. Yesterday I went to the market and got the goods loaded on the head of a laborer. He was a very jovial and well mannered person, so we let him stay with us all day long to entertain us with his words. Then at night three mystics prayed to us to give us shelter for the whole night. We fed them and made them drink wine. They kept singing and playing till late in the night and we also kept on singing and playing. Then three merchants from Mosil, who seemed to be the great elite, came, praying for an overnight stay. We prayed for them too.
Amina said that although the seven of our guests had promised that they would watch everything silently and would not inquire about anything, they did not keep this promise and started inquiring about the beatings of the bitches and the scars on my body. We got very angry at this though we could have taken the lives of all of them. However, he did not do so and after hearing his personal account from them left him.
Caliph Harun Rashid was astonished to hear the stories of both the women. He thought in his mind that he should do some favor to those fakirs, who were actually kings and princes, and those wise women. He asked Zubeida that your benefactor angel had also told you something about how long your sisters would remain bitches. Zubeida said that in the story I told you, I forgot to mention that the angel had given me some of her hair while walking and said that if you throw any of these hairs in the fire, I will be with you in whatever part of the world I am in. I will come
The caliph asked, where are those hairs. Zubeida said, I keep those hair with me all the time. Saying this he took out a box. In it some hair was tied in a pudiya. He showed them to the Caliph.
Khalifa said that I also want to see that angel. Zubeida threw the whole pudding in the fire. As soon as the smoke rose, there was an earthquake and in a few moments the angel dressed in dazzling robes stood in front of him. She said to the Caliph, ‘You are the representative of God on earth, I will obey whatever you command. This Zubeida saved my life, that’s why I am very grateful for it. I bitch its sisters, who, in return for its favors, had treated it very humiliatingly. What command do I have now?’
The Caliph said, ‘One is that since these two have been punished enough for their actions, you should bring them back to their old bodies. Secondly, a man has beaten his wife so much that her shoulders and chest are filled with black spots. That ungodly also dug up its old house and made it equal to the land, also took possession of the property which she had received from her first husband. I am deeply sorry that someone so unjust remains under my rule. You would know who she is. Tell me her address and do whatever you can to make these bitches a woman again and to fix the body of that tortured woman.’
Pari assured that I will make everything right. The Caliph ordered Zubeida to bring some bitches from her house. The angel took water in a vessel and recited some mantra on it. Then he sprinkled that water on both the bitches and Amina. Immediately the bitches came back to their old bodies and became beautiful women and Amina’s black spots were gone and her body started glowing like kundan. Now Pari said that I know who Amina’s husband is but he is very close to you; If you want, let me tell you his name too. Khalifa said that definitely tell.
The angel said, he is your younger son Amin, who after hearing the praise of Amina’s beauty, became interested in getting it and married her by fraudulently inviting her to his room. Then Pari described the incident in the market and said that although Amina was innocent but could not dare to tell the truth and gave many statements due to which her husband punished her.
Saying this the angel disappeared. The Caliph called for his son, but because of fear and shame, he did not dare to come. The Caliph did not insist on calling her before but sent Amina to him and ordered that since she is innocent, you should respectfully keep her as a wife. So Prince Amin did the same. The Caliph himself married Zubeida and married Safi and the other two sisters to three fakir-turned-princes and elevated these princes to high positions.