« PrethodnaNastavi »
I will ask him, and to-morrow I will tell you what he says.' Lady Fatima returned home and told Huzrut Aly all that had taken place. His reply was, 'Persevere, see, and judge.'
Next morning Lady Fatima went out walking with her son Hassain, and called at the grass-cutter's cottage again. She knocked at the door; the same question was asked by the poor woman from within, 'Who's there?' and the same answer was returned, 'It is I, Huzrut Beebee Fatima.' Just then Hassain, her son, said something; and as the grasscutter's wife was coming to the door to open it, she heard his voice. Is there anyone with you, Lady Fatima?' she asked from within. Only my son Hassain,' was the I had my husband's permission to open the door for you,' said the poor woman; 'but I did not ask him anything about your son. I cannot open for him also.' So the Lady Fatima returned home, saying she would come again next day. And when she told her husband Huzrut Aly what had taken place, he said again, Persevere, see, and judge.'
So the next day the Lady Fatima was walk
ing out with her two sons, Hassain and Hoossen, and went to the cottage as before, and the same dialogue took place; but when the poor woman saw that the Lady Fatima had her two sons with her, she would not open, saying that she had only permission from her husband to open to the Lady Fatima and her son Hassain; but she would ask her husband, on his return, if the Lady Fatima chose to come again. So the Lady Fatima returned home, and told her husband Huzrut Aly what had taken place, and got the same answer, Persevere, see, and judge.'
On the grass-cutter coming home in the evening, his wife told him what she had done, and, instead of commending her for it, he exclaimed, 'O miserable woman! do you want to ruin me by sending away a lady such as Huzrut Beebee Fatima day by day from my door? If it is her good pleasure to come again, throw open the door, whoever may be with her, and admit her without an instant's delay.'
So next day, when Lady Fatima and her two sons came to the cottage, the poor
woman threw open the door, and invited them to enter, before the lady had time to knock. Lady Fatima entered, seated herself, and looked around her. She observed that everything in the cottage was poor; but everything was tidy, neat, and clean. A small fire burned on the floor, and an iron plate, or griddle, was standing by it, ready to bake the thin unleavened bread used by the poor, called chupatties, and a vessel of pease was also near. In another place cold food and well-filtered water stood ready. There were two beds ready, one with a pillow and thick counterpane, the other simply a framework covered with tape. A rope was hanging up on the wall, and a cane stood in the corner.
Tell me, my good woman,' said the lady, ‘what are all these things for?' 'All for my husband's comfort, when he returns home tired and weary,' said the woman. ‘If he wishes to sleep, here is his bed ready; if he only wishes to rest himself, the other bed, covered with that broad tape, is ready. Warm and cold water are ready for him to wash, and, as
to food, cold food is ready in one corner, and he can have warm chupatties and dhall in a few minutes. Behold also his hookah ready.
And what,' asked the lady, 'is the meaning of this rope and cane?' 'These too,' said the woman, are for my husband's comfort and convenience. Should he find cause to be displeased with me, the rope is ready with which he can tie me up, and the cane is ready with which to beat me, without the trouble of searching for them!'
Lady Fatima said nothing in reply, but thought much, and went on her way home.
That same evening Huzrut Aly returned to his apartment, looking flushed and weary, for the day was hot. Lady Fatima took a fan up at once, and began fanning him. They had been married many years, yet she had never done this before, so he saw that the lesson he had wished to teach had been
learned by her. He was very glad, so glad that his heart begun to swell with gratitude to God, to such an extent that his whole body was inflamed, and his vest became so tight it threatened to choke him at the neck.
The Almighty saw the danger that threatened his friend the prophet, and, calling the angel Gabriel, said, 'Go down forthwith to Huzrut Aly, and say to him from me, 'The Almighty wants payment of all the debt due by you.' And in an instant of time the angel Gabriel delivered the message, and the heart, before swollen so large, became small, and the vest slipped down, buttoned as it was.
From that day Huzrut Beebee Fatima became the most devoted of wives, and put away from her all pride, and performed her duties diligently without affectation or neglect, and was beloved of God and her husband.
Such is the story of the Lady Fatima, as the queen told it to us.