Story of a sleeping man – Alif Laila
Shahrzad said that during the time of Caliph Harun Rashid, there was a wealthy merchant in Baghdad. He had only one son named Abul Hasan. The merchant was very miser. He only collected money, spent very little. So when he died, he left behind a lot of wealth. The nature of Abul Hasan was the opposite. When he got his father’s money, he started spending it with both hands. He gave a lot of money to his friends. Then he divided his wealth into two parts. From one he bought houses whose rent was enough for his whole life. He started robbing the other on the same ragrang as before. He always had dancing and singing and drinking alcohol. He used to eat delicious food with his friends in highly valued vessels. Along with the dance-song gatherings, Bhand and others used to show him a variety of spectacles.
Thus in a single year, Abul Hasan spent all the accumulated wealth of his father. When he stopped giving feasts to friends, they also stopped coming to his house. Although they all became rich because of Abul Hasan, they displayed bad spirit. They started stealing their faces from him. Even if he had stopped talking to someone, he would have gone his own way by making some excuse.
Abul Hasan was greatly annoyed by this unfriendliness of his friends. Often regretted why I spent money on such people who have absolutely no modesty in their eyes. One day he was sitting beside his mother in this concern. The mother asked him the reason for his sadness, as he was generally cheerful. When he did not say anything, the mother said, I know what is hurting you. In the meantime you have been very foolish that you have wasted all your money. I knew you would be moneyless one day. I used to stop you from your actions, but you were lying in the face of your laughing friends. You didn’t listen to me. Now where would those selfish and lowly people ask you about?
Abul Hasan said, “They talk less with me, but they do not seem lowly. It is possible that they have become too busy. I ask him for a loan to take his test. I am sure they will not deny this. Saying this he went to all of them one by one and started asking them for loans to start business. But everyone gave a skeptical answer, although the money on which they were relishing belonged to Abul Hasan. Many of them even reprimanded Abul Hasan.
Now she came to her mother and said, you were right. They are all very evil and despicable. I will no longer befriend anyone. He managed his remaining money, collected some money by selling some valuable house material and started a small business. In the evening he would go to the river bridge and bring a foreigner home, feed him delicious food and talk to him till midnight. Then in the morning, after sending him away, he would say that now you should never come to my house.
This act of his was because he was not used to eating alone. That’s why he kept someone with him while eating. He didn’t even want to do friendship. If he accidentally met any of his guests at a later place, he would turn his back on him and if he wanted to talk to Abul Hasan, it would become as if he had seen him before. No yes.
One day, according to his daily routine, Abul Husan was sitting on the bridge waiting for a lonely foreigner. At the same time, Khalifa Harun Rashid left from there with only one slave. It was the rule of the Caliph that he sometimes came out in disguise to see the condition of the subjects. It was not possible to recognize him even at this time. There was no shortage of ministers and officers in the administration of the Caliph, but he wanted to see the difficulties of the subjects with his own eyes.
At this time the Caliph had assumed the form of a merchant of Mosil. And a giant slave was also kept with him to deal with any sudden painful situation. Abul Hasan thought that he was a merchant coming from Mosil. He went near her and after saluting, started saying to her that you are a foreigner, please have so much mercy on me that you should walk on my hut and eat dry food and also sleep there at night.
The Caliph was surprised that there could be such a philanthropist who himself could go and ask foreigners to come to his house for food and sleep. Abul Hasan’s face and manner of conversation were gentle. The caliph wanted to know about him in some detail. So he accepted the invitation of Abul Hasan. Abul Hasan made him sit in a well-decorated room, where there were chandeliers etc. Then bring a variety of delicious dishes in front of him in clean and valuable vessels. His mother was proficient in cooking and used to cook food by herself with the idea of happiness of her son. He served three types of salan. One of chicken meat, one of pigeon meat and one of roast beef. The quantity of food was such that many people could be satisfied with it. Abul Hasan sat in front of the Caliph and started eating with him. The Caliph greatly admired the food.
After the meal, the Caliph’s servant brought a pot of water and washed the hands of both of them. Then Abul Hasan’s mother sent almonds and other nuts. At nightfall, Abul Hasan brought wine jars and cups and asked the mother to feed the guest’s slave to his stomach. Then he filled a cup and gave it to the Caliph, and after the Caliph drank, he himself drank the wine left in the cup. The Caliph also did the same in response to this. Seeing the polite behavior of Abul Hasan, the Caliph asked his name, family, etc. He said that my story is strange. The Caliph insisted on listening to him.
Abul Hasan said, My name is Abul Hasan. My late father was a simple but edgy businessman. When he died, I got his money. I wasted that money in my ignorance. Many evil natures came to me as friends and I spent all my money on them. When I had nothing left and saw that I had become hollow inside like a drum, he stopped visiting my house. I was short of money. That’s why I asked him for a loan to do business, but everyone defied me. I understood that all these people are very selfish and shameless. I also broke ties with them and vowed that I would have nothing to do with the bastards of Baghdad. I will bring a foreigner with me every night and make him eat food and after sending him off in the morning, I will not have any relation with him any further. That’s how I brought you today.
The Caliph was very pleased with the words of Abul Hasan. He said, Brother, you have done it very well to leave the company of such selfish and despicable friends. Now you will be really happy. Your habit is also very good that you make a foreigner a guest for only one night and then you do not have any relation with him. To be honest, I’m jealous of your fate.
Then he kept on talking and joking for a long time. Then the Caliph said, Now I should sleep because tomorrow I have to travel a long way. I will leave in the morning before you wake up. But you have treated me with great hospitality. I want to avenge your favor. Tell me if you have any wish. Abul Hasan said, God has given me more than I need, I have no desire. I do you no favors. I myself feel happy to welcome foreigners. It is your grace that you have given me that happiness.
The Caliph said, still you must have some desire. Abul Hasan said, If you listen to my wish, you will laugh at me and consider me crazy. When the Caliph still insisted, Abul Hasan said, You know that there are thousands of streets in Baghdad. Each street has one or more mosques. There is a muezzin in every mosque who gives azaan for the prayers at five times. The muezzin of the mosque in this street is an old man. He is a man of very evil nature and keeps thinking of ways to harm and trouble the local people. He also has four companions who support him in his wickedness. They make their wicked plans by going to the same muezzin’s house. Everyone has suffered some damage from those people. I am also having trouble because of them. I hate even seeing the face of those people.
The Caliph said, you have told this story, you have not told your wish. Abul Hasan said, if God defeats the Caliph with his power and makes me sit on the throne like Rashid, then I will punish these five suitably. Khalifa said, what punishment will you give them? Abul Hasan said, I will get the old man four hundred whips and his companions a hundred.
The Khalifa was very funny. He got a chance to joke. He said, Friend, I also want such wicked to be punished like this. God’s pastimes are incomparable. Nothing is impossible that your wish may be fulfilled and you can punish the five wicked ones suitably. I am only a businessman and that too a foreigner. If I had the right, I would have got those people punished by your hand. Abul Hasan said, you are definitely making fun of me by thinking of me as crazy. How can I get such a right? The Caliph said, I am not joking, especially how can I make fun of a generous and decent person like you who has given me such hospitality. If the Caliph will know your point, then he will also support your point.
Then the Caliph said, now you should sleep, it has been a long night. Abul Hasan said, it is okay. It’s a little wine left. Let us finish it then go to sleep. Yes, I have to say one thing. If you open your eyes in the morning, go away without leaving me and close the door. The Khalifa said, It is good. But I have one thing. Till now you have made you drink a full cup of wine, I will give you the rest of this wine. Abul Hasan agreed. The Caliph himself drank a cup, then filled a cup and gave it to Abul Hasan, and after saving his eyes, mixed the anesthetic which he had brought with him. The anesthetic was very strong. He immediately showed his effect. Abul Hasan also placed the empty cup on the ground with great difficulty. His head hit his knees. Seeing this, the Khalifa laughed a lot.
Then the Caliph called his servant. He was standing waiting for his order after having his meal. The Caliph said, pick up this man and carry him on his shoulder. And get to know this house well. When I order, bring this man from the palace like this and leave him at this place. Das easily carried Abul Hasan on his shoulder and the Caliph closed the door of the house while walking. Going to the palace, he entered through the thief door taking the slave. There were twenty slaves waiting for him outside the Caliph’s bedroom.
The caliph commanded, put this man in my bed and sleep on my bed. You all stay awake all night. When you wake up in the morning, you should bow to it in the same way as you do to me. To follow its order as well and to address it by calling it Khalifa. They all said, Well done, we’ll do that. Then the Caliph came out and called the minister from his house and said, Look at this man sleeping on my bed. Tomorrow he will wear my royal robes and sit on the throne in my place. Treat him the same way you all treat me. Whatever reward you get from my fund, etc., immediately give it to anyone and in the same way, give whatever punishment it gets to anyone. In the morning all the courtiers should welcome it in the same way as I do. Then he also ordered Masroor, the manager of the palace, to wake me up every morning just as you used to wake me up to offer Namaz and do other behavior in the same way.
Having given this order, the Khalifa went to sleep in an adjoining room. He woke up early in the morning and started hiding behind the curtain to see what Abul Hasan does and what he says. On the other hand, according to the orders of the Caliph, all the servants and slaves were gathered in the Caliph’s own bedroom to serve Abul Hasan. When it was time for the prayers, Masroor, who was standing at the head of Abul Hasan, placed a sponge soaked in vinegar under his nose. Abul Hasan sneezed with the strong smell of vinegar and when he tried to cough out the mucus, a maid went ahead and took him in a golden utensil. This was done so that the valuable carpets lying below would not become dirty and the Caliph was awakened every day by smelling a sponge dipped in vinegar so that he could get up and offer Namaz.
Abul Hasan opened his eyes and saw the elaborately furnished bedroom, which had expensive curtains and the walls and ceiling of which were painted with beautiful colours. She also saw that the beautiful young maidservants stood in the number of twenty, some in their hands a Ugaldan, some in the hand of a spittle, some in the hands of musical instruments. The Khwajasra (Janakhe) guarding the palaces also stood dressed in golden robes. He also looked at the covers and sheets of his bed, that they were made of pink-coloured fabric and had fringes of diamonds and pearls hanging in them. Similarly, Mashari etc. were also made of gold. Nearby was placed the crown of the Caliph on a tripod.
Seeing this, Abul Hasan thought that all this could not be real. He thought, last night I had talked about being a caliph, that’s why I am seeing these things in my dream. Thinking of this, he again started trying to sleep with his eyes closed. On this a Khwajasra came near and with folded hands said, O Deenbandhu Kripasindhu Prajavatsal Maharaj, this is not the time to sleep. Sunrise is about to happen. Kindly renounce the bed and offer Namaz to worship the Almighty God. Abul Hasan was surprised to hear this, but he still understood it as a dream and once again opened his eyes and closed his eyes. Khwajasra again pleaded, Sarkar it is time for morning prayers. Now immediately leave the bed or else the time for namaz will pass and you will repent.
Now Abul Hasan was convinced that this was not a dream. The dream does not stay for long. He opened his eyes and saw that the morning light was spreading. He saw the same things in the light of day as he had seen a while back in the light of the lamps. He got up from the bed and was very happy because he was convinced that God had listened to him and bestowed upon him the position of Caliph. The Caliph sitting behind the curtain was enjoying the same condition differently. Just then a maid came in front and kissed his feet and the maids who played the songs started melodious music. The waves of music made him forget about himself and he began to wonder what all this was going on. He put his palms on his eyes and began to think that what is this golden robed slave and this lovely young maidservant and what is this sweet music and where did it come from. Thinking this too is not a dream, he started rubbing his palms on his eyes.
In this, Khwajasra came to Masroor and bowed his head and said, Sarkar, what is the reason that you did not offer Namaz today? Did you have disturbances in your sleep at night? Is, God forbid, your body is somewhat unhealthy? Now the government should get up and do daily work and then make a debut in the court. There all the courtiers and feudal lords are waiting for you. Hearing Masroor’s words, Abul Hasan further believed that I was awake and all this was not a dream, but he still did not understand how I got the position of Caliph. He asked Masroor, to whom did you say these things? Who do you call the emperor and caliph? I’ve never seen you. You have probably mistook me as the Caliph in someone else’s deception?
Masroor said, Prithvipalak, what are you saying? Are you taking this servant test? Aren’t you the caliph? And is it not considered a ready-made order in the whole world? May your blessings be upon us all. Looks like you’ve seen some nightmare in the night to which these strange things are happening.
Hearing these words of Masroor, Abul Hasan started laughing. Laughing, he fell on his back on Masnad. The Khalifa also burst into laughter and was about to scoff when he suppressed his laughter thinking that Abul Hasan might not recognize the voice. Abul Hasan laughed for a long time. Then he sat up and called a boy, whose complexion was as black as Masroor, and started asking who am I to tell the truth. His son politely requested that you are the Caliph. Abul Hasan said, you are a big liar, that is why your complexion has become like a black dog. The boy said, Sarkar, believe me I am not lying, you are really the Khalifa.
Abul Hasan still could not understand what all these people were saying. He suspected the dream again. He said to a maid standing nearby, take my hand in your hand by extending your hand and cut the knuckle of my finger with the teeth. The maid knew that the Caliph was watching everything in secret. She went ahead and slowly pressed the tip of Abul Hasan’s finger under the tooth. When troubled, Abul Hasan pulled out his hand and said, Oh my God, how did I become a Caliph overnight. Then he once more asked the maidservant, “You have the affection of God, tell the truth whether I am really your master and caliph.” He said, undoubtedly you are our lord the Caliph.
When Abul Hasan started getting up, a servant helped him. When he stood up, the whole palace started shouting and all the Khwajasaras and maidservants went ahead and prayed that God should be pleased with you throughout the day. Abul Hasan kept wondering what the matter was, till yesterday I was Abul Hasan, how did I become the Caliph today, how suddenly I got this great position. Then the servants dressed him in royal robes and lined up on both sides till the door. After arranging the royal palace, Khwajasra Masroor walked ahead of him and took him to the court.
Abul Hasan went inside the court chamber and stood near the throne waiting for him to be ascended to the throne. Two big chieftains supported him by holding his arm and made him sit on the throne.
As soon as he sat on the throne, the sounds of salute started rising from all around. He was very happy to hear this cry. When he looked to his right and left, he saw that the great chiefs of the state were standing with their heads bowed and their hands tied. One by one he accepted the greetings of all the chieftains. Then the minister of state, who was standing behind the throne and was watching the arrangements for the court, appeared in front of Abul Hasan and with a salaam Farsi started praying to him, May God bless you with millions of years of life and may his grace be with you always. . May your friends and well wishers be happy and your enemies are defeated. Seeing all this, Abul Hasan was completely convinced that I do not dream, I have actually become a Caliph.
Then the minister told him that the army is standing outside the palace, you should inspect it. Abul Hasan went out with all the chieftains and took the salute of the army from a high platform. He then returned to the court and the minister presented the applications of the subjects before him. He took the same decision as he understood. Then the minister started delivering the state news. The news was not yet complete that Abul Hasan called the Kotwal of the city. When he came, telling him the name of his street and said, Take you soldiers and go there. There is an old muezzin in the mosque. Put his soles up on him and put four hundred sticks on him and have his four companions get a hundred whips. Then make them all walk around the city on camels facing backwards and go on proclaiming that this is the result of those who cause misery to their neighbors. After this expel the five men from the city. When the Kotwal went and asked the Caliph secretly, he allowed it because Abul Hasan had already told him about all the wicked of them. After receiving this order, the Kotwal went to the street of Abul Hasan and came to the court and informed that I have fulfilled the order of the Caliph. Abul Hasan smiled and said to him, We were very happy with your promptness. The Khalifa was sitting behind the curtain watching all this and was enjoying the spectacle. After this, Abul Hasan ordered, a treble of a thousand Ashrafis should be taken from the treasury and in the same street,
The old lady did not know all this spectacle. She was very happy to get the money and started thinking how the Caliph had become kind to me. He had thought about Abul Hasan that he must have gone out for a walk.
When Abul Hasan retired from office, all the courtiers and chieftains saluted him and left and he was left with only minister and manager Khwajasra Masroor. Then Abul Hasan with the help of the minister came down from the throne and started going towards the same building from where he had come to the court. On the way, Abul Hasan needed to go to the direction. Masroor took him aside and opened the royal toilet. Not only was it very clean but it had a velvet floor. Before going inside, one of his bodyguards gave him a golden work sleeper, which the Caliph used to wear in the direction. Abul Hasan did not know how to use it, so he put the shoe in his loose sleeve. Both the minister and Masroor laughed at this point, but were suppressed by the fear of the Caliph. The minister said, government, you probably do not remember. This shoe is meant for wearing to the toilet. Hearing this, he put on the shoe.
On leaving the toilet, Masroor took her to the dining room. As soon as he reached there the door was opened and the servants went to call the singers. When he was ready to eat, the singers started singing in melodious voices. Abul Hasan was very happy to see all this and he started thinking that I was not dreaming somewhere. Then he said that it cannot be a dream, the dream is not that long. Till now I had the illusion that I am not the Caliph, I am someone else, but the reality is that I am the Khalifa because all the orders given by me for punishment and charity were acted upon.
There were many gold and silver vessels in that place and seven beautiful maidens were singing and singing near it. There were seven beautiful chandeliers in the ceiling in which candles made of camphor were burning. Glittering food vessels were placed on the floor, and in the corners of the seven golden fires, various fragrances were being lit, and seven maidservants dressed in beautiful robes stood to serve him. In their hands were spiers and light fans, whose hands were studded with gems. Abul Hasan was happy to see all this. Then he sat on the seat of the meal. As soon as he sat down, the seven maidens began to frolic and the petals began to flutter. Abul Hasan was happy to see them. He said, each one of you should take a turn to shake the tail and the rest sit with me and eat.
So he made three to his right and three to his left. She sat down on his orders, but for fear of the Caliph, she did not touch the food.
When Abul Hasan saw it, he smiled and said, why are you not eating food? They all kept silent. Then he started asking their names. One named his name as Mehtab, the other as Hasina, the third as Mahalka, the fourth as Najifa, the fifth as Hurey-Jinan and the seventh as Saika. Now he laughed and said to the maid who was squeaking, that you also tell your name. He said that my name is Mahe-Munir. The Caliph was enjoying watching all this spectacle, how an outside clumsy person behaves as a Caliph.
When Abul Hasan pulled away from the food, the waiting servants quickly came forward. One put a washbasin under his hands and the other washed his hands by pouring water. After retiring from the meal, the servants took him to the room where he was made to sit on the masnad. The decoration of this room was more than that of the dining room. There were seven candles hanging from the ceiling in which red studded and many lights were burning inside them. On its walls were painted colorful pictures of natural scenes made by skilled craftsmen. Under them were seven boats of dried fruits and fresh fruits. There too there were seven very beautiful maidservants and she was the supreme beauty. Abul Hasan was also fascinated by them and started asking everyone their names and started feeding them dry fruits with his hand.
Then Masroor took her to the third room. There were seven groups of singers. These singers were more skilled than all the previous singers. Besides them, seven beautiful maidens were standing with seven vessels filled with different types of sherbet. As soon as he left the song started playing. She tasted little by little sherbet and told the maids to drink whatever sherbet you like. He also asked the names of these maidservants and was very happy when they told them. He kept on laughing at them for a long time. The Khalifa also kept watching all his actions secretly and kept enjoying.
At sunset, Khwajasra Masroor took Abul Hasan to the fourth room. That too was decorated as the other rooms were, but a little more decorated than them. It had seven diamond-studded chandeliers in which candles made of camphor were burning and these lights were so big that the room was shining like day. Seven groups of singers and instrumentalists were sitting in the outer hallway of the room and they were all performing their art. In fact, they were so well versed in their respective arts that perhaps no artist in the world would be able to compete with them.
In addition to those singers, many beautiful maidens, each of whom was to adorn the full moon in her own form, stood dressed in precious robes. He had golden vessels in his hands. There were various types of Kulchas, sweets and other types of Gajak which are used with alcohol. On one side of the room were seven silver jars of wine. Near them were kept seven cups made of amethyst stone. It was the custom of the city of Baghdad that the older men avoided drinking alcohol during the day, but did not even bring the name of alcohol to their tongues, but they used to drink alcohol by hiding in the houses at night. The same ritual was followed in the palace of the Caliph.
When Abul Hasan came to this drinking room, he saw that the maidservants here are more beautiful and attractive than all the maids in the previous chambers. When he saw them, he kept looking. His voice also began to tingle in his throat as he was overwhelmed by her beauty. His heart started wanting to joke with those beauties. But the voices of the music were rising so high that it was difficult to hear or say anything. So he clapped which meant that the music would stop. So the music was stopped. Abul Hasan took a handmaiden standing beside him and made him sit near him and asked what is your name. He said that my name is silk-guhar (pearl beads). Abul Hasan said, The one who has named you has skimped on naming the name. The fact is that your dentition shines like a garland of diamonds. I think that someone better than this will name your name. Now fill me with your tender hands and give me a cup of wine so that I can drink it while looking at your face.
Silke-Guhar immediately gave a cup filled with clean and fragrant wine to Abul Hasan, which he immediately emptied. Then Abul Hasan told him that you should also drink a cup of wine. Silke-Guhar filled a cup and drank on his orders. After drinking alcohol, Silke-Guhar sang a very new raga on the flute. Hearing this raga, Abul Hasan started dancing.
After this Abul Hasan fed him a fruit with his hand. And sitting the other maidservant beside him asked him her name. He said that my name is Mahjabin (moon-like forehead). Abul Hasan said, Your name should have been more beautiful than this because your eyes are brighter than the moon. He also drank wine from his hand and asked him to drink it and fed him fruit too. Similarly he drank and made him drink wine from the hands of the seven maidservants, and he became very intoxicated and his eyes began to close.
Now hiding behind the veil, the Caliph pointed to a maid named Silke-Guhar. The maid filled a cup of wine and put anesthetic medicine in it and brought it in front of Abul Hasan and said, Huzoor, now drink the last jam of this night from my hand. After this I will recite a raga. I composed that raga only this morning and no one else has heard it yet. Abul Hasan drank the whole cup in one breath. The maid took the flute and played the raga which she called the latest raga. Abul Hasan liked it and asked to recite it. When the maid recited that raga again, Abul Hasan wanted to praise it. But he was completely affected by the drug of anesthesia, so the sound could not come out of his mouth and he remained open. His eyes were closed and his hands and feet became loose like those of a gassy man. The drink started falling from his hand, which a maid ran and took care of.
When Abul Hasan fainted, the Caliph came out from behind the curtain. He took off the royal clothes of Abul Hasan and got him to put on his own clothes. Then he ordered the same giant slave to lay it in his house and leave the door open on his return. He picked it up and came out through the door of the palace and did as the Caliph had told him. The Caliph said to the people present there, this man was praying to God that if I become the Caliph for a day, then I should punish the Muezzin of the street and his companions. I gave it this opportunity.
When Abul Hasan’s eyes opened in the morning after fainting, he wondered how I had come to this ordinary house. He started giving voice to the maids of the palace, Silke-Guhar, Mehtab etc. Where have you died, why don’t you come to serve me. When no one spoke, he started calling them in a very loud voice and getting angry started talking nonsense. Hearing this scream, his mother came running and said to him, son, what has happened to you? what are you messing with?
Abul Hasan looked at him proudly and said, Mrs., who are you calling your son? Mother said, you are my son Abul Hasan, and which man will I call son. It is strange that you forgot me within twenty four hours. Abul Hasan said conveniently, Goddess, you have got some confusion. I am not Abul Hasan. I am the caliph. His mother said, “Hi son, what are you talking about?” You are not Abul Hasan? Abul Hasan said, you go on doing nonsense. I am the Caliph and you consider me your son.
The old lady said, speak slowly son, do not take out such a big thing from your mouth. The people of Baghdad will think you are insane and will beat you up. Abul Hasan said, you talk a lot. First made me your son, now you are saying that I am mad. I tell you I’m not crazy. I am in my full senses. I am the Caliph whom everyone calls the lord of their land, and under whom are all the kings and emperors of the world. Mother said, hi God, what should I do, some ghost has mounted on your head or the devil himself is deluding you. God protect you. Look, you are Abul Hasan. You were born from my womb in this house. Look and recognize everything here. You rule this house, not the whole world. You have neither received nor can get the position of Khalifa.
Abul Hasan kept on thinking for some time with his hand on his forehead, as if he was remembering a forgotten thing. Then slowly he started murmuring, it may be that this old lady is right, this is my mother and I am Abul Hasan, not the Caliph. Then startled and said, no-no, it cannot be done. I don’t know how this trivial idea came in my mind that I am not a Caliph but Abul. The old woman thought that perhaps she had seen some nightmare from which she had not yet woken up well. He asked lovingly, son, have you seen any dreams in the night who are talking like this? Why do you have the desire to be the Caliph?
Abul Hasan scolded and said, old lady, speak carefully. Have you lost your mind that you are making the Khalifa your son and going on talking nonsense? Apart from this, she is also being gullible in the pride of Khalifa. The old lady said sadly, son, don’t do such things for God’s sake. Have you not heard the condition of the muezzin of the street and his companions, how severe the punishment was given to them. The muezzin was subjected to four hundred whips, and four hundred of his companions, and then all of them were driven into the city facing backwards on camels and then driven out of the city. lest anyone should convey these words of yours to the Caliph and you should be in the same condition.
Abul Hasan said, Your statement has proved even more that I am the Caliph. I am not your son nor can I be. Yesterday, I had ordered that the muezzin and his companions should be punished with the same punishment that you have just mentioned. The Kotwal had punished those five wicked ones on my orders and came and told me that the punishment had been given.
Abul Hasan’s mother was very worried that what had happened to her that after hearing the sentence of the muezzin, she started saying louder that I am the Caliph. He said again, son, talk carefully, if someone listens to your words, what will he say to you? Now Abul Hasan got very angry, he said, Look, you stupid old lady, I have tolerated your insolence a lot. Now shut your mouth. Otherwise I will get up and kill you so much that the whole life will remember. I am the Caliph and will remain the Caliph. Now it should not come out of your tongue even once that I am your son.
His mother started crying seeing that the boy’s madness was increasing. Abul Hasan got more angry seeing this. He got up from his bed and took a stick in his hands and turned to the old woman and said, Tell, what does she say now? Who am I, Caliph or your son? Looking at him with a stern look, he said, you are my son, how will you become the Caliph? You are Abul Hassan. I have given birth to you and fed you milk. In the post of Khalifa, there is only Harun Rashid, of whom both of us and others are subjects. He is the sovereign of all kings. Just yesterday, he had kindly sent me the broken of one thousand Asharfis.
Abul Hasan became more determined to be the Caliph in the name of the Ashrafis. He said to his mother, “Sly woman, you are very ungrateful.” Yesterday I sent my minister Jafar’s hand to you a bunch of Asharfis and today you want to capture me by making a son? You should be punished for your audacity. Saying this, he grabbed the mother’s hand and scolded and asked, who am I? He said, My son. Abul Hasan handed him a stick. He would ask this again and again and when the old lady told him a son, he would hit him with a stick. Neighbors came to the house because of the screaming of the old lady and snatched the stick from her hand and said, what has happened to you, Abul Hasan? Someone kills his mother like this?
Abul Hasan looked at them with red eyes and said, what are you talking about? Who is Abul Hassan? The neighbors got upset hearing this and said, you are Abul Hasan, who else will it be? We are your neighbours. This is your home and this is your mother who bore you. Screamed Abul Hasan, stop the bullshit, you guys. I don’t even know this evil woman. I don’t know you either. I am the caliph. Are there any neighbors of the Caliph?
The neighbors understood that now he has gone mad and if he talks more than this, he will beat us too. One of them knew the inspector of that area and ran and called him. When Abul Hasan reprimanded the inspector, he gave him a couple of whips and when Abul Hasan started running, he was caught by the soldiers. The policemen took him away with handcuffs and chains around his neck. On the way, the soldiers used to beat him with punches and slaps as is done to keep the madmen under control. Poor Abul Hasan was surprised that my mind is fine, why are these people treating me like a maniac. Still, nothing came to his mind.
The inspector put him in a lock-up. Every day forty-fifty whips would fall on him. He was kept in this condition for three weeks. The inspector would ask him every day who you are and when he called himself the Caliph, he would have been lashed out. His mother would visit him every day in the lock-up and shed tears at his condition. Abul Hasan was getting dry day by day. Night and day he was subjected to physical and mental suffering due to beatings and insults. Due to the beating on his back and arms, there were black and blue marks and the skin was also peeled off from place to place. He kept on crying. But his mother did not have the courage to talk to him so that his madness would not increase.
When Abul Hasan started keeping quiet, his mother thought that I should talk to him, maybe he has got some relief. On the other hand, he used to think equally that what should I consider as a dream and which should be true. He started thinking that everything about the palace and the court would be a dream. If there was no talk of dreams, then why would I have had this plight for so many days and why would my maids and slaves not come even after I gave a thousand voices. At the same time he also wondered that if all that was really a dream then why did the minister give asharfis to my mother with my permission and why did the kotwal punish the muezzin and his companions. He wonders a lot about what the reality is. He could not understand anything, but the result of this dichotomy was that he stopped calling himself Khalifa.
Similarly, when his mother came to see him one day, he bowed to the mother with great humility. Mother was happy seeing this and said, son, how are you now? That baseless thought which caused you this condition is still there in your mind or not? Abul Hasan said, “Amma, forgive all the offenses and the audacity that I have done.” I apologize to the neighbors for the misbehavior I did to them and tell them this. I’m not a caliph at all. I am Abul Hasan. You are my mother and I am your son.
His mother was pleased to hear this. He understood that the son’s mind had recovered. She started saying, I think all this happened because of the foreigner whom you brought home last time. He had left the door open while leaving, from which Satan came and misled you. Abul Hasan said, I used to think that the merchant of Mosil had gone by closing the door, but when you saw the door open, surely the devil came and misled me. Abul Hasan’s mother told the inspector that my son was fine, so he left him.
Now again Abul Hasan started doing business as before and after giving respect to a foreigner every evening, he started sending him off in the morning. One day he was sitting on the bridge in search of a new guest when the Caliph again came there with the same slave in the guise of a merchant from Mosil. Abul Hasan, seeing him from a distance, came to know that it was the same Mosil merchant who caused so much trouble on me. This door was left open through which Satan came and misled me. Fearing he started praying to God that this time save me from the trouble brought by it. On coming near him, Abul Hasan turned his face to him and looked at the waves of the river.
The Caliph was looking for him and therefore came to the bridge. The Khalifa intended to once again take him to the palace and watch the spectacle. He also came to know from the spies that Abul Hasan had been killed in a lock-up for three weeks and also wanted to retaliate his sufferings appropriately. So the Caliph went and stood beside him and said, Salaam Alaikum. Abul Hasan said indecently, go to hell, your Salaam Alaikum. You go your own way why are you bothering me?
The caliph said, you don’t recognize me? It has been a month that you had prayed for me by taking me home. Abul Hasan said, I do not remember anything when you came to my house. I don’t know you Go your way The Caliph understood that perhaps it was behaving like this because it had promised to take one person only once. The Khalifa said, “I am surprised that you forgot me so soon.” It seems that some calamity has fallen upon you in the meantime that you have become very disturbed. If you tell me your problem, I will try to help you in that. Abul Hasan said, will you help?
The Caliph went ahead and embraced him and said, Brother, if I have caused you any trouble, I beg your pardon for that. If you have a complaint, then I will definitely stay at your house tonight and after listening to you, I will remove your complaint. I still remember the food and wine of your house and your good behavior. That’s why today you have to give me my hospitality. Abul Hasan said, Brother, I have said this before and will say again and again that you go away. You spread this illusion of yours elsewhere. I have once suffered a lot by taking you to my home, I have no strength to bear it anymore. Follow me for God’s sake. The Caliph hugged him again and said, “It is a matter of great regret that you go on getting angry with me and do not even explain the reason.” If you tell me what trouble you got because of me. I will give you full revenge for that.
Abul Hasan got into the words of the poor Caliph. He made the Caliph sit next to him. He told in detail the condition of the palace. The Khalifa had done all this himself and had seen it with his own eyes. Everyone had fun listening. Abul Hasan narrated all that and said, this dream has become such in my mind that I started thinking of myself as a Caliph and because of this I had to suffer severe humiliation from the people and I took a big hit. I am even more sorry that I raised my hand on my mother in that foolishness. I also abused him and called the neighbors good and bad. And all this happened because you did not listen to me and did not close the door while leaving, from which Satan misled me.
The Caliph knew everything. Hearing Abul Hasan’s words, he started laughing out loud. Abul Hasan got worse and said, I had thought that you will regret your work but you are laughing. You don’t believe me. Saying this he took off his shirt. When the Caliph saw the black marks, he expressed great sympathy and once again hugged him and said, Brother, I have full faith in your words. I am very sorry for your plight. I accept my mistake and I will avenge it. But today I will definitely be your guest.
Although Abul Hasan had vowed not to request any person again and this man had also caused great pain to him, yet he followed him in such a way that Abul Hasan could not refuse and took him to his house. . On the way, the Caliph said, “Have faith in me that I will talk about your good in any case.” I am your well-wisher and you should not doubt me in any way. Abul Hasan said, come on, let’s accept it. But after today you should never expect hospitality from me. It is not possible for me to forget the miseries that have fallen on me because of you. The Khalifa smiled and said, Brother, be a very stubborn man. I’ve been suffocating your friendship for so long and you can’t believe it. But I will keep on convincing you.
While talking, they reached Abul Hasan’s house. His mother had arranged food as usual. After eating, Abul Hasan’s mother sent fruits, wine etc. After doing this she went to her cell and slept. Both of them drank a lot of alcohol. When Abul Hasan got intoxicated, the Caliph asked him, have you fallen in love with someone? He said, I have neither fallen in love nor do I want to get married. All I want is to drink good wine and gossip with friends. Yes, I definitely want a beauty who had drunkenly sitting with me in that dream. But such a woman can be found only in the palace, and then all these are only dreams. Who really is such a woman?
Now he filled the cup of wine and gave it to the caliph, drink the last cup of tonight from my hand. The Caliph drank it, then he ceremonially gave the last cup from his side to Abul Hasan, but again put sedation in it and gave the cup to him and said, Take, drink this cup and meditate on the beauty of the dreamy palaces. Hold on and sleep Abul Hasan smiled and took the cup and drank it and fell unconscious in a few moments. The Caliph signaled to his mighty servant and he carried Abul Hasan on his shoulder. The Caliph also came out later and he closed the door now. After reaching the palace, the Caliph asked the slave to take it to the same room and lay it down from where it was picked up and taken to its house. Then asked the Khwajasaras (people) to take off his clothes and put him on my clothes. He obeyed his orders.
The Khalifa went to sleep in a room at night and as soon as morning came, he hid near the room of Abul Hasan to see his spectacle. When Abul Hasan was removed from the effect of the sedation and he woke up, he was again stunned. He saw that he was not only dreaming of his old palace, but everything there was kept exactly as he had seen before. Even the gold pot was kept the same. As soon as his eyes opened, the singers present there mixed in tune and started singing on the instruments. Especially at the voice of Nafiri, Abul Hasan jumped. He also saw that Khwajasra people were standing around him and waiting for his order. He looked all over the hallway and recognized that he had seen the same hall in his dream last time. Then the song was stopped at the behest of the Caliph because he wanted to hear the words of Abul Hasan and see his actions.
To wake up from the dream, Abul Hasan bit his finger with the tooth and started saying, “There is a strange problem.” I am having the same dream which I had last time and because of which I was hit so much in the lock-up. The one I had made a guest yesterday, again misbehaved. Because of that last time I had that dream which kept my plight for the whole month. This time I had tried to close the door but that wicked then opened the door and went away, from which Satan has deceived me. O Lord, save me from the devil’s trap.
Saying this he closed his eyes and lay down for a long time so that the dream would end. But when I opened my eyes, I saw everything as it is. He closed his eyes again and started praying to God to save me from Satan’s illusion. He might have been lying like this, but at the behest of the Caliph, the slaves and slaves did not let him rest. A beautiful maid named Arame-jaan, whom Abul Hasan had liked very much in the past, came and sat near him and said, O master of the whole world, forgive the slave’s guilt. I pray that you give up your sleep. This is not the time to sleep. The sun has come out.
Abul Hasan scolded him and said, “Run away Satan from here.” Has come in the form of a maidservant and is misleading me by calling me Khalifa? Arame-Jaan said, what is the government saying? If you are not the Caliph then who are you? You are the master of all the Muslims and other religions of the world and I am your insignificant slave. Looks like you’ve had a nightmare at night. You open your eyes, your illusions will go away. You slept for a long time at night and we did not think it appropriate to disturb your sleep, in the meantime you must have dreamed.
Abul Hasan opened his eyes and found all the maidservants present again. This time she stood very close to him. Then she started saying comfortably, Huzoor, it is time for you to wake up, see it is light. Abul Hasan rubbed his eyes and said, why are you calling me Khalifa? I know very well that I am not the Caliph. I am Abul Hasan. Arame-Jaan said, we do not know any Abul Hasan. We know you who are our lord and caliph. Yes, don’t you say that I am not the Caliph. Abul Hasan looked around and said, Oh my God, everything in this dream looks as it should. Is it your will then that this dream turns my mind and I suffer and die as before?
The Khalifa was laughing hearing all this, but he kept his laughter under control. After saying the above things, Abul Hasan then lay down with his eyes closed. Arame-jaan then said, Government, this maid has twice requested you to leave the bed. time is passing. All the courtiers and chieftains are standing to welcome you. It is your order that you should be woken up before sunrise. Then at his behest, both the two maidservants grabbed him by his side, lifted him up, brought him and made him sit on the Masnad and started singing and dancing in front of him himself. Simultaneously, skilled players started playing instruments from all around.
Seeing all this, Abul Hasan started thinking that it is not really that I am the real Caliph and I only dreamed of being locked up and killed. He wanted to ask this thing but there was a lot of noise of singing and playing. He stopped dancing and singing with the gesture of his hand and called Mahalka, the maid dancing in front of him, and asked, tell the truth who I am.
She said, why are you testing us again and again? You are undoubtedly the Caliph. You slept a little longer and you had a dream. Only yesterday you punished five men and sent Asharfis to an old lady. Then you went to the dining room and tasted such and such thing. Then you ate fruit and drank wine from our hands and slept on your bed listening to our song. You got up very late in the morning. Other slaves and Khwajasaras also supported Mahalka’s point and everyone started saying, now you get up. The time for prayer is not over yet. Read Namaz and do Darbar.
Abul Hasan said to the maidservants, You are all liars and fools. God has given you forms and arts, but you have also inculcated the habit of lying. Have you come to seduce me again? I had a similar dream before. The effect of that was such that I was greatly humiliated and I had to eat fifty whips daily for several weeks. My back was peeled off and there were black and blue marks of beatings on my arms and back. Mahalka replied, Sarkar, this is your illusion. Where in the world is the one who punishes and kills you? You have only dreamed. You haven’t gone anywhere. Have slept in this room all night. Yes, your eyes are definitely open late this morning. Abul Hasan held his head and said, maybe you are right. When I didn’t even come out of this palace, it would all be a dream.
But he did not doubt it. He kept wondering what is the reality, am I the Caliph or Abul Hasan? Should I consider being killed as a dream or all this that I am seeing? Then he took off his top clothes and saw the marks of beatings on his arms. Showing this sign to the maidservants, he said, rascals, look. Somewhere on the body of a sleeping person there are marks of such beatings, which are painful on pressing. Now it is certain that I am not the Caliph Alifa, but only poor Abul Hasan. One cannot believe that someone is killed in a dream and his body has real marks of beatings. Yet he had to prove the present scenes to be dreams. He said to a maidservant, you have bitten my finger. At the behest of the Caliph, the maid plucked her teeth hard on his finger. Abul Hasan screamed and pulled out his finger. Simultaneously, loud bells started ringing.
Abul Hasan’s brain had stopped working after so much thought and so much confusion. He didn’t even wear a kurta and when the maidservants started dancing to the song, he got up and started dancing with them wearing only pajamas. He was constantly clapping and sometimes bowing in the dance gestures, sometimes trembling there and there. Sometimes he would bend so much that it would become double, sometimes he would bend backwards. In short, it must be said that there is no joke left which Abul Hasan has not done in front of the dancing and laughing maidservants.
The Caliph could not stop laughing now. But Abul Hasan could not hear the laughter in his tune. After laughing for some time, the Caliph called out and said, ‘Stop Abul Hasan. Do you want to kill me while laughing? As soon as the Caliph spoke, the singing and singing stopped. Abul Hasan also stopped dancing to see from where the voice came and who called me by name.
Seeing the Caliph, he said, “Well, you were the merchant.” Then he was somewhat ashamed seeing his condition and felt that the Caliph had made fun of him. Then he said, the government, you had come twice as a merchant of Mosil and because of you, I was beaten up for weeks. Khalifa said, you are right. But now I will do so much good to you that all the earlier sufferings will be forgotten. Saying this, the Caliph ordered that Abul Hasan be dressed like a courtier.
Abul Hasan said, the government should tell why this treatment was done to me. The Caliph said, “Look, on the first day of every month, I disguise myself and go among the subjects.” A month ago, you had given me good hospitality and only then did you say that if I become a caliph one day, then I should get the muezzin and his companions flogged. That’s why I brought you here after making you unconscious and made you Caliph for a day. But because of this you really started thinking of yourself as the Caliph and started beating everyone. Then you got killed for weeks. Last night again I brought you unconscious from your house to show you some more spectacle.
Abul Hasan said, Prithvipalak, now I have no complaints. If I am killed for your entertainment, I will consider it my good fortune. But I want to make a request to you. Allow me to be your servant, always allowing me to come to you. The Caliph said, I have accepted your prayer. You can come to me whenever you want, no one will stop you. Saying this, the Caliph gave him the job of the court and fixed his monthly salary of one thousand Asharfi.
When the Caliph went to the court, Abul Hasan went to his mother. He told that I had never dreamed of any dream before, but the Caliph did this to me for his entertainment and has now made me his courtier for one thousand Ashrafi monthly. This news spread not only in his neighborhood, but in the whole city. From that day onwards Abul Hasan would go to the court everyday and entertain the Caliph with his nonsense and pranks. One day the Caliph went to the palace and introduced him to Malika Zubeida, and then he started visiting Malika frequently.
One day Malika Zubeida told the Caliph, “He often looks at the maid named Mehjabeen with great affection and she too seems to agree with this. Say, get both of them married. Khalifa said, you have told my mind about this. I had also promised this that I will give you the woman you want, but till now I do not know which woman he likes. As a result, Abul Hasan was married to Mahjabeen. Mehjabeen was the beloved maidservant of Malika Zubeida, so she gave a lot of dowry to Mehjabeen. The Khalifa also made a lot of fanfare on the marriage of Abul Hasan. Abul Hasan took his wife to the house given to him by the Caliph. Both of them celebrated there on their own for many days. Then both husband and wife started living comfortably. They separated from each other only when Abul Hasan went to the court and Mehjabeen would go to Malika Zubeida as his companion.
Abul Hasan became so engrossed in the company of Mahjabeen that he did not care about the expenses. Both wore the best of clothes, ate fine food and drank wine and did not allow the slave-maids and Khwajasaras who used to come to their house without feeding and drinking, and also gave them the best clothes and good reward in return. They used different types of valuable nuts, pickles, marmalade etc. and also arranged for singing and playing while eating. Thus they started living like amir-umrah, although their income was not so much. When the cooks and servants saw this condition of theirs, they themselves started looting.
One day the cook came and showed the account of the expenditure that so much of the banis have been borrowed. After sometime the president of Toshakhana told that so many clothes have been borrowed from Bajajs. Abul Hasan and Mehjabeen gave all the cash they had, but still a lot of debt remained. Abul Hasan had promised the Caliph that he would not ask for anything except the salary.
He had given to his mother what he had received in marriage. He could not ask for anything from anywhere. Mehjabeen too had taken so much from Zubeida that she did not dare to ask for anything more.
Abul Hasan said to Mahjabeen, this is a big problem. From this only one trick of redemption is understood. You tell the trick, but complete success must be certain in the trick. Abul Hasan said, success is certain. But for this we both have to die. Mehjabeen said furiously, if you are fond of dying, then you die, I do not die. I want to see the world a lot. Abul Hasan said, after all, if you are a woman, where will your wisdom come from. Scholars have said about women that they are brainless. Hey, where am I really asking to die, I was just saying that we would pretend to die. You are the one that heard the name of death and lost consciousness. Mehjabeen said that if I have to make an excuse then I am ready but you tell me the whole plan so that I can work on it.
Abul Hasan said, I will lie down in the hallway with my feet towards the west. You put a turban on my head and a white sheet on my body. Then tearing his clothes, scattering his hair and mourning, went to Zubeida. She will definitely give you some money so that my funeral will go well. And she will also give you new places to get your clothes stitched. When you come from the palace with money, I will sit up and you lie down and pretend to die. I will put a white sheet on you, tear your clothes, scatter your hair and go to the Caliph and inform about your death. Hope the Caliph will give more than Zubaida gives. This plan is very good, said Mehjabeen. They will undoubtedly help us well. If we work smartly and with full cooperation then it will definitely be beneficial.
So Abul Hasan lay down with his feet towards the west. His wife made him remove the white sheet and put a muslin cloth over his face and put a turban so that he would not stop breathing. Then she tore the cloth of her head, scattered her hair and started mourning and in similar condition she went to Zubeida’s palace and informed her about the death of Abul Hasan. Zubeida and the other maidservants were very sorry to hear this. Mehjabeen had been Zubeida’s favorite maidservant. He gave Mehjabeen a thousand Ashrafis and a heavy Thana of kamkhwab and asked to use the Than as a shroud and perform the last rites with Ashrafis. Mehjabeen came to her house and she broke the Ashrafis and showed the place. Abul Hasan was very happy to see them and stood up.
Now Mehjabeen said that I am pretending to die and you go and juggle some help from the Caliph. Abul Hasan said, what are you teaching me? This is my only trick. I am no less clever than you in these things. You become dead and then see how well I play. Now Mehjabeen lay down with her feet towards the west and Abul Hasan wept and went towards the court. Going into the court, he moaned so loudly that all the work there stopped and everyone started looking at him. The Caliph asked, Abul Hasan, what happened to you? Why are you crying like this? He said, Sarkar, I was robbed. The beauty Mehjabeen whom you had married me became dear to God. What do I do now, government?
The caliph was very sorry to see his misery and the signs of sorrow appeared on his face. Seeing this, the happy courtiers also started wailing. The Caliph also sent him away by giving him a thousand Ashrafis and a place of great ambition. When he went home and showed these things to Mahjabeen, then Mahjabeen was also very happy. On the other hand, the Khalifa felt so much regret for the death of Mehjabeen that he came to the palace after completing the court’s work early and seeing the Begum in mourning, he began to console, no one is under the control of God’s will. Now you forget Mehjabeen. She can’t come back. Zubeida said, what are you saying? Not Mehjabeen but Abul Hasan is dead. I was saddened by Mahjabeen’s legitimacy. The Khalifa laughed and said to Masroor, “Look, a wise woman like Begum is talking of such madness, she is dead and she is saying that Abul Hasan is dead.” Hey Begum Sahiba, don’t be ashamed of the death of Abul Hasan, He hasn’t even died. If you mourn the death of your old and dear maidservant, it is understandable and natural. Abul Hasan is a tough guy. Not long ago, he had come to the court weeping over the death of his wife. Everyone saw him. This Masroor was also present at that time, this will also confirm my point. Ask this whether I have got Abul Hasan a thousand Ashrafis and a place of kamkhwab for the rituals or not. Abul Hasan went away crying and praying. This will also confirm my point. Ask this whether I have got Abul Hasan a thousand Ashrafis and a place of kamkhwab for the rituals or not. Abul Hasan went away crying and praying. This will also confirm my point. Ask this whether I have got Abul Hasan a thousand Ashrafis and a place of kamkhwab for the rituals or not. Abul Hasan went away crying and praying.
Malika Zubeida said, Huzoor, I know that humor is in your nature, that is why you are saying such a thing. But this is not an occasion for laughter. Abul Hasan was a very nice man. He was your dear courtier. It was natural that you would have regretted his death and you are saying that Mehjabeen has died. The Khalifa said, Begum, how can I explain to you that I am not joking. It is a fact that Abul Hasan has won and Mehjabeen has died. Zubeida said, you have some confusion. The maid’s husband is dead She didn’t die. Not long ago, she came to me crying and mourned the death of her husband for a long time. Seeing her condition, all these maids started crying, but I also started crying. You can ask all of them whether this is okay or not. I have given Mehjabeen a thousand ashrafis and a place of dreams to perform the rites of the deceased. I was about to send the news of the death of Abul Hasan to you. Both kept on quarreling like this for a long time.
In the end, getting fed up, the Caliph said to Masroor, I know that Mehjabeen is dead. Yet this debate must end. You go and see with your own eyes whether Mahjabeen is dead or not. Even after Masroor’s departure, the Caliph and Zubeida continued to argue. Both were adamant on their point. The Khalifa said, on this matter, both of us should bet. If your words about Abul Hasan’s death turn out to be true, I will give such a garden to your name and if my words of Mehjabeen’s death turn out to be true, I will take your puppet palace. Zubeida said that I accept this condition. They both waited for the return of Masroor.
Abul Hasan knew for sure that there would be a dispute between the Caliph and Malika Zubaida over this matter and a reality check would be conducted. That’s why he was smart. He had kept his door closed but was looking through a hole on the way to his house. When he saw Masroor coming straight towards his house, he understood that it was coming from the Caliph. He said to Mahjabeen, quickly pretend to die once again. Mehjabeen lay down with her feet towards the west and Abul Hasan put the throne of the Caliph on her and opened the door and sat down with a handkerchief over his eyes by her head.
Masroor came and when he saw Abul Hasan mourning, he was satisfied that the Caliph would prove his point in front of the Begum. Abul Hasan got up and kissed his hand respectfully and said, You see what kind of mountain has been broken on me. Where can I find a woman like Mehjabeen? You yourself knew him very well. Tears welled up in Masroor’s eyes too. He lifted the shroud on the side of Mehjabeen’s head and saw her face. Mehjabeen held her breath.
Masroor covered his face again and said, Brother, who can interfere in the will of God. I loved Mehjabeen as my sister and I am deeply saddened by her death. After some time he said, women do not have intelligence. Now see that a woman like Malika Zubeida is adamant that you are dead, Mehjabeen is alive. She has been scoffing at the Caliph over this of late. I knew that Mehjabeen had died because you had come in front of me weeping and beating in the court, and I said this too. But Zubeida still stuck to her point, so the Caliph sent me to find out the facts. Now I will say what I have seen and prove the Caliph to be true.
Abul Hasan said, God bless the Khalifa. He has been very kind to me. To prove his point, I myself would go to the palace, but again and again, where should I go after leaving the dead in the house? Masroor said, you do not need to go to the Caliph. I myself have seen the dead face of Mehjabeen and will say the same. If I hadn’t had to inform the Caliph with my eyes on this matter, I myself would have sat here and shared in your misery. But it is a necessity. I will leave now.
Abul Hasan got up and took Masroor to the door. When Masroor went away, he raised his position from above Zubeida and said, now you get up. I am sure that Malika Zubeida will not believe Masroor’s words and will send one of her trusted maidservants to know the situation here. Mehjabeen got up and put on the same mournful clothes. Keep looking out through the holes of both the doors to see who comes in now so act accordingly.
Masroor reached the palace and said, That is what I used to say. Mahjabeen is dead. The Khalifa laughed loudly after hearing this and said Begum Sahiba, you have lost the bet, now hand over the puppet palace to me. Masroor also started laughing. Zubeida’s face turned red. Khalifa said to Masroor, tell me the whole situation. Masroor said, O Prithvipalak, when I reached there I saw that the door of the house was open. Abul Hasan was shedding tears sitting at the head of the dead. Mehjabeen was lying in the middle of the hallway and the place of your dreams was lying on top of it. I reached near the corpse and lifted the shroud from the side of its head and saw it. Mehjabeen’s breathing was stopped and her face was pale and there was some swelling. I again put the shroud on his face and left after sitting for a while. I didn’t have any doubts about the death of Mehjabeen even before, but if I went by your request, I have come to see with my own eyes that Mehjabeen is dead.
The caliph said to Zubeida, now you should not suspect that Abul Hasan is dead, Masroor has come after seeing it with his own eyes. Zubeida said, “I have absolutely no faith in what this naughty says. I am neither blind nor mad. I myself have seen Mahjabeen moaning here. How do I know that she is dead and her husband is alive? Masroor said, Master, I swear by both the Caliph and you that whatever I have said, I have told the truth. Zubeida gritted her teeth and said, Masroor Miyan, I will prove your lie. I will find out the reality by sending my trusted maidservant.
Then he asked the maidservants present, tell the truth, who had come to me weeping and plucking hair before the caliph was blessed. All of them said with one voice that Mahjabeen had come. Then Zubeida said to her stewardess, to whom did you give the place of dreams and thousand asharfis at my behest? He said, to Mahjabeen. Zubeida gritted her teeth and said, False naughty, now tell me what you say? What are all these maidens saying? Is this all a lie and am I also a liar with them?
Masroor kept quiet after seeing Zubeida’s anger, but the Caliph laughed and said, “Scholars have called women unintelligent, so they have said it rightly.” You see that Masroor himself has come after seeing the body of Mehjabeen with his own eyes and he has seen Abul Hasan weeping sitting by his head. Why don’t you still believe? Zubeida said, how can I believe in Masroor? He will say the same thing as you. If permitted, I may also send one of my trusted maidservants to find out.
The Caliph gave permission. She was confident that the maid would support Masroor’s statement and then Zubeida would be convinced. Zubeida sent an old maid who had fed Zubeida milk to Abul Hasan’s house to find out the reality and said, Come and be fearless and tell the truth about what you have seen. I’ll reward you. The old lady greeted Zubaida and the Caliph and went to the house of Abul Hasan.
Abul Hasan was watching through the dent of the door. When I saw the old lady coming from afar, she understood that it was Zubeida’s sending. He said to his wife, now I pretend to die and you pretend to mourn. He lay down in the hallway and Mehjabeen put his turban on his face and Zubaida’s place on his body. When the old maid reached their house, she found the door open and saw Mehjabeen moaning in the same way, plucking her hair and beating her chest. The old lady told him that I would not be able to attend your mourning because I have been sent to another work. Mehjabeen ignored him as if in great sorrow and said, Hi Amma, look at my misfortune. With how much the Khalifa and Malika had married us, but my marriage did not last even two days. Then she started beating her chest and shouting, Abul Hasan, where have you gone leaving me? What would I do without you? With whom are you leaving me?
The old maid saw that what was here was contrary to what Masroor had said. He said, on the matter that God had killed, he made a quarrel between the Caliph and Bibi by lying.
Then he said to Mahjabeen, daughter, you have heard something else. What was he saying to the unworthy habshi Masroor Khalifa? He said that you are dead (God forbid) and Abul Hasan is shedding tears sitting at the head of your dead body. Zubeida Bibi was furious at this and she sent me here.
Mehjabeen cried and said, Amma, I wish Masroor’s words were true. Death is far better than stinging. Hi, what is there in my life now? Saying this she again tore the book and started crying. The old lady also started crying along with him. In the midst of this lamentation, he cleverly lifted the turban from Abul Hasan’s mouth and looked at his face and wept, Abul Hasan, God send you to heaven and may your soul rest in peace. What a good man you were Then started saying to Mehjabeen, good daughter, Khuda Hafiz. I wanted to sit with you and mourn, but there is some compulsion that I will not be able to stay with you for long. Zubeida Bibi will be watching my way. This false mascot has angered them. That shameless person has sworn by him that you are dead and your husband is alive while I see that he is dead and you are weeping over his dead body. Saying this she went away wiping her tears.
Abul Hasan also got up and closed both the doors and started looking through his dent to see what happens now. At the same time, they started thinking how to fulfill this lie now. The money has been received but the Khalifa and Zubeida are lagging behind badly. On the other hand, the old lady, despite her weakness, went to the palace dragging her feet. She reached Zubeida’s room and called her and told everything. He said, Come with me and tell the whole thing in front of the Caliph. Masroor was sitting happily that the maid would say what I had said. But the maid said to Masroor, Miyan, You are a very liar. How did you say here in front of everyone that Mehjabeen is dead and Abul Hasan is alive? I myself saw with my own eyes that he was dead and the poor Mehjabeen was weeping with beats on his chest. The management of the palace has been made by taking you only. Are you not ashamed of telling such white lies, being such a responsible person? You should be imprisoned for the crime of deceiving your master like this.
Masroor screamed and said, what nonsense is the old lady doing? Got close to dying but didn’t stop lying. What face will you show to God on the day of doom? You are not even afraid of going to hell. I myself have seen that woman dead. The old lady said in a bad manner, you are a liar yourself and your father and grandfather. making me a liar. I myself come to see that the body of Abul Hasan is lying. I have seen his dead face. Masroor said, Satan’s skin, lies are being repeatedly told. May God darken your face. The old lady said, your face is already black, God will understand from you. Zubeida said to the Caliph, Look how liar and arrogant your servant is. What did he not say to my lactator? You kept silent even after listening to everything, did not say anything to him.
Saying this, Zubeida adopted the last weapon i.e. started crying.
There was nothing in the understanding of the Khalifa that who should be considered false and who was true. He remained silent for a long time. Others also fell silent. In the end the Khalifa said, neither of us could prove himself true to the other. Masroor and your midwife are also calling each other liars.
Now only one thing is possible. That is, we all go to Abul Hasan’s house and see what is the matter. Zubeida agreed as Abul Hasan’s house was nearby. Everyone started walking. On the way too, Masroor and the old maid started quarreling and calling each other liars. Zubeida also took the side of the midwife and called Masroor well. Masroor said, Malika, if this is true, then change the condition with me. If I am a liar, then give it the place of a golden dream and if it is proved to be a lie, then give it to me as such. When it has to be given the status of a dream, then it will be known what is the result of lying. The old lady said, I accept the condition. Than Masroor has to be given, not me.
Both Abul Hasan and Mehjabeen saw that everyone was leaving. Mahjabeen panicked and said, he was killed. Abul Hasan said, why are you afraid? In panic you forgot what I told you. You do the same, I will take care of the rest. After that, both of them lay down by putting the mixed places for their respective shrouds on each other.
When the Khalifa, Zubeida and their team reached the house, everyone reached inside by knocking on the door and saw that both were lying like dead. In a hurry they could not even think how the two dead were shrouded.
Zubeida said to the Caliph, “Alas, the unfortunate Mehjabeen could not bear the separation of her husband and died herself. Then looking to the right and Masroor, she said, due to the frequent coming and going of you people, its anger increased so much that it also died. The Khalifa said, no, that is not the case at all. First Mehjabeen is dead, then Abul Hasan is dead because of Ranj. I won the bet and the puppets’ palace is out of your hands. Zubeida said, your garden is mine because I have lived. Now my midwife has seen Mehjabeen alive, it is clear that she has died later. A similar argument ensued between Masroor and the old maid as no one wanted to lose the bet. It was a strange situation. Even after everyone’s arrival, the problem remained where it was. Now who can tell who died first?
The Caliph thought for a long time. Then Abul sat between Hasan and Mehjabeen and cried out, I will give one thousand Ashrafis at this time to the man who can clearly prove who died first among these two. The greed of one thousand Ashrafis happened to both of them. Abul Hasan threw off his upper seat and fell at the feet of the Caliph and said, Sarkar, earlier it was dead. Similarly, Mehjabeen fell at Zubeida’s feet and said, Queen, not me, she has died earlier. Seeing the dead speaking, Zubeida cried and hugged the Caliph. The Caliph was also stunned.
After some time, after recovering, Zubeida laughed and said, Wicked, it is because of you that I and the Khalifa kept fighting with each other throughout the day. Well, I am glad that you are alive. I will not punish you But tell me why this spectacle was done? Similarly, the Caliph also laughed and said to Abul Hasan, why bey, what was this act? We kept fighting with each other with this drama of both of you and at this time I could not stop laughing. If I started laughing, I would probably die laughing.
Abul Hasan said, Government, you have kindly got both of us married. We started living happily. But our joy only increased. My hand opened and I began to spend unnecessarily. I got so much debt that it was not possible to pay it in salary. After coming to your service, I had also stopped the business. After being compelled, he finally got down to this lowly act so that he could get some money only by lying. I have told you everything. You have the right whether to forgive or punish.
The caliph laughed and said, why not say that you have avenged the deceit I had done to you. Well, I really liked your play. You also did good that you did not spread your hand in front of anyone else. Now these three thousand Ashrafis and both the places belong to you people. But spend money wisely. If such an act happens this time, then severe punishment will be given. Abul Hasan and his wife beheaded. After this, both of them spent the whole life with laughter, happiness and comfort.
Duniyajad said, Sister, this story was very interesting. Shehrzad said, I will also tell the story of Aladdin and the magic lamp. Shahryar said, listen tomorrow, it is morning today.