The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

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Social Gathekas

Religious Gathekas

The Message Papers

The Healing Papers

Vol. 1, The Way of Illumination

Vol. 1, The Inner Life

Vol. 1, The Soul, Whence And Whither?

Vol. 1, The Purpose of Life

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound and Music

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound

Vol. 2, Cosmic Language

Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

Vol. 3, Education

Vol. 3, Life's Creative Forces: Rasa Shastra

Vol. 3, Character and Personality

Vol. 4, Healing And The Mind World

Vol. 4, Mental Purification

Vol. 4, The Mind-World

Vol. 5, A Sufi Message Of Spiritual Liberty

Vol. 5, Aqibat, Life After Death

Vol. 5, The Phenomenon of the Soul

Vol. 5, Love, Human and Divine

Vol. 5, Pearls from the Ocean Unseen

Vol. 5, Metaphysics, The Experience of the Soul Through the Different Planes of Existence

Vol. 6, The Alchemy of Happiness

Vol. 7, In an Eastern Rose Garden

Vol. 8, Health and Order of Body and Mind

Vol. 8, The Privilege of Being Human

Vol. 8a, Sufi Teachings

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

Vol. 10, Sufi Mysticism

Vol. 10, The Path of Initiation and Discipleship

Vol. 10, Sufi Poetry

Vol. 10, Art: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Vol. 10, The Problem of the Day

Vol. 11, Philosophy

Vol. 11, Psychology

Vol. 11, Mysticism in Life

Vol. 12, The Vision of God and Man

Vol. 12, Confessions: Autobiographical Essays of Hazat Inayat Khan

Vol. 12, Four Plays

Vol. 13, Gathas

Vol. 14, The Smiling Forehead

By Date



The Bogey-Man



Amin, the Faithful Trustee








Vol. 12, Four Plays

Amin, the Faithful Trustee


AMIN ? A boy of nine years in Act I, Scene 1; twelve years in Act I, Scene 2; a man of twenty-five in Act II

HALIMA ? His foster-mother

TALIB ? His uncle

MUTAL ? His grandfather

KARIMA ? His aunt, Talib's wife

ALI ? His cousin, a little older

TEJA ? A wealthy and distinguished woman, older than Amin, and whose business manager he becomes; afterwards his wife.

JOHLA ? Teja's maid

HUMADAN ? Teja's uncle, an old man.

Three Boys, playfellows of Amin

Shawl seller


Woman fruit-seller


Rich man


Three Slave-girls

Dancing Girl

Two Accompanists


Young Man

Woman in Mourning


Young Woman


Two Priests

Police Officer



Woman Artist

Two men with gifts

Twelve Travelers

Two Inhabitants

Four Companions of Amin

The Chief of Yemen

Chief's Colleague


The Sheriff of Mecca

Four Governors

Envoy of Hedjaz


Scene 1

Cottage in an Arabian village. Amin is in charge of the farm; he is petting a lamb.

AMIN. My little one, you feel drowsy today, don't you? I'll give you a bath in the pool and then take you in the sun, so that you'll feel cheerful.

(Enter several BOYS.)

FIRST BOY. What are you doing, Amin? Always busy with the home and farm, isn't he? We've come to play a game today; now what shall we play?

SECOND BOY. Yes, let's play kus kus.

(BOYS play, AMIN leading. One boy pushes another, who falls down and hits him back. AMIN reconciles them. They continue the game. After it is finished, they rest, sitting on blocks of wood.)

THIRD BOY. Do you know, Amin, what great fun we had on our way here! There was a camel laden with dates. We made a hole in the sack and took out a lot of dates. See, we all have our pockets full. Would you like some? (AMIN smiles.)

FIRST BOY. I'm sure you would; take some!

AMIN. No, I won't take any.

SECOND BOY. Why? Don't you like them?

AMIN. Yes, I like dates, but I don't like this way of taking them. It isn't fair.

SECOND BOY. Fair! Ha! ha! ha! (All the boys laugh.) What is fair and unfair in these few dates? You're a funny fellow, Amin.

THIRD BOY. Do you know, Amin, we've planned to go to town today to have a jolly good time.

AMIN. I'm sorry, I can't come with you today. Halima has been out since morning and she left me in charge of the farm. So you see I can't come.

FIRST BOY. Why must you be tied to home because Halima said so? My mother this morning wouldn't let me go, but do you think I would be detained by her? I simply told her I must go. She grumbled a bit and then quieted down by herself. Why can't you do the same? Halima is not your mother.

AMIN. Halima is my foster-mother and I must listen to her as I would to my own mother. Besides, I am entrusted with the home; therefore I won't leave my charge.

SECOND BOY. Well, then we are going, that's all; please yourself!

(BOYS go off. ? AMIN busies himself with domestic duties. Enter HALIMA.)

HALIMA. My darling sweetheart, what have you been doing? I am so sorry I was detained in town, Amin; there was such a crowd today at the market; I tried to hurry, but I couldn't get back sooner. Look, what I've brought. (Taking out of her basket tomatoes, pineapple, and sugar-canes.) You didn't go with your playmates today?

AMIN. They came to fetch me, but I couldn't go as you had asked me to look after the farm.

HALIMA (kisses his forehead.) My darling, it is so sweet of you to think of your Halima. (She sighs deeply, raising her head, then looking down.) Bless his mother.

AMIN (speaks in a broken voice.) Halima, where has my mother gone? Shall I see her again? ( HALIMA is silent for a moment.) Do you they ever come here again, who have passed away, or do they never return: What is death, Halima? It always puzzles me. Why do people die? Because they're ill, or because they're called away? Are they always lost to the world? Can anyone see them? I should so much like to see mother!

HALIMA (in tears.) Your father was called away first, my darling, even before you were born. It was afterwards that your mother followed him to heaven, peace be on her! How delighted would your father be to see you now, if he were alive; and how much your mother would have rejoiced to watch you grow, sweetheart! It tears my heart to think of it.

AMIN (sadly, looking down.) But what can one do to find those one has lost, Halima? Is there any way of meeting them?

HALIMA. They say those we love are never far away, even if they have gone to the other side of life! Those who really love must someday meet again, even if it is after death. Life is a mystery, my darling child; one cannot say much about these matters. You are too young yet to think of such things. You will know when the time comes.

AMIN. When will that time come, Halima? I should so much like to know all these things.

HALIMA. It won't be long, my child. When one thinks how quickly the days pass, years slip by before we look at them. One day you will be grown up and will think out things as every thoughtful man does. It is only a matter of time. ? Now go and take a look round the farm; see if everything is in order.

(AMIN goes, HALIMA sits down.)

HALIMA. What a privilege it is for me to bring up this orphan! What trust his mother ? peace be on her ? gave me! but it is a responsibility, a great responsibility to bring up this child who is unlike anyone.

(Enter TALIB.)

TALIB. Here I am, Halima. Did you send for me?

HALIMA. Yes, Talib. Come in, sit comfortably.

TALIB. It is long indeed since I saw you last. How are you getting on? Nicely, Halima?

HALIMA. No woman on earth could be as privileged as I am, having charge of this darling child. I have never seen or known a boy like Amin, your nephew, bless him! He is so affectionate and tender, so thoughtful and considerate that never a cross word have I heard from him. At moments I have been impatient with him, but he never talked back at me. He is most affectionate to the children of his age, gentle with all who come here; he has regard for his elders. Young as he is, he thinks like a much older person. Indeed, he is an old soul. His feelings are deep, and yet he is so innocent that very often I notice in him something of his babyhood. I cannot always understand him. Most of the time he is nearer to me than my own heart, yet at times he seems to be so far away in the clouds that I cannot reach him. He is always a mystery to me. Yet he has an acute sense of humor; he is quick to see the comic side of things. He is often energetic and lively. To have him in my home is the greatest joy to me. He helps me to forget life's woes; making my life's burden easy for me to bear.

TALIB. Where is Amin? Please call him.

(HALIMA calls AMIN and leads him to his uncle.)

HALIMA. Do you know who this is, my darling? This is Talib, your uncle. Your mother's last wish was that you should be given into his care. (To TALIB.) This is the treasure that was entrusted to me. Now I give him into your arms, as it was his mother's wish that he should be brought up under your parental care. (Crying.) I don't know what will become of me when he is gone!

(TALIB holds AMIN'S hands and looks at him.)

TALIB. Well, son, are you willing to come with me? Your aunt is eagerly waiting for you at home, and your grandfather has longed to see you ever since you were born. And then, there is your cousin who will be so happy to have you as his playmate.

( HALIMA embraces the child and cries. TALIB takes his hands.)

HALIMA. I give this trust to you. (Turning to AMIN.) God be your protection, my darling child.


Scene 2

TALIB'S house, KARIMA, his wife, sewing, MUTAL, his father, smoking a water-pipe.

Three years have passed.

MUTAL. Amin is so quiet that it does not seem that another boy has come to live in the house. His influence seems to make even Ali quieter.

KARIMA. Though he is so quiet, it seems he has brought sunshine into our home. In spite of his quietness there is something lively in him which makes Ali more bright than he has ever been. No wonder his mother had many wonderful dreams before he was born, giving good tidings. Now that I see him, I begin to see the meaning of her visions, significant in his unfoldment.

MUTAL. His father, peace be on him, was simple and yet so intelligent that he was a glow of which Amin is the blaze. ? Do the boys get on well together?

KARIMA. Father, since Amin has come, Ali has become quite different. Ali follows every turn that Amin takes. Ali seems to be so much more thoughtful and happy since the coming of Amin. They seem to blend with one another as sugar and milk.

MUTAL. Amin, with all his gentleness, is steady and firm, and so Ali, however energetic, responds to his influence.

KARIMA. Father, it is interesting to watch them grow fond of one another, more so every day.

(ALI enters with a lot of leaves.)

ALI ( to KARIMA.) I have found these leaves after all; I had to go far into the forest to fetch them, but I wouldn't have come home without them!

KARIMA. Child, you must not go far into the woods, Very often one meets wild animals there.

ALI. I am not afraid of wild animals. I would fight if I met any.

(MUTAL laughs. ALI busies himself with the leaves. Enter AMIN.)

KARIMA. Where have you been, Amin?

AMIN. I was learning. I have learnt many words today. I am very anxious to learn to speak better. (to ALI.) What are you doing, Ali?

ALI. I am preparing wreaths for the gods of Kaba, for there are very few left before we have the annual celebration of our gods.

AMIN. I don't like to call these idols of stone gods, Ali. I don't know why I have never liked all they make of stone gods. I can't enjoy the feasts. It all seems to me foolish.

ALI. You mustn't say so, Amin. If father hears it, he won't like it. Grandfather told me many times that we must look with reverence on the gods of Kaba.

AMIN. I don't know, Ali, why I feel like this, but I can never feel sympathetic towards these hideous gods, and I feel a kind of revolt against all the fuss that is made of them. I sometimes feel like breaking them into pieces. I can't understand why people go crazy about them by hundreds and thousands.

ALI. I can't understand them either, Amin, but it is our religion; we must not say anything against it.

AMIN. I tell you, Ali, I can't follow such a religion; it only amuses me, it is all so funny.

(ALI laughs.)

MUTAL. What's the joke, boys?

ALI. Amin is wondering about the religious festivals; they amuse him.

AMIN. Yes, I don't feel interested in all they make of the stone gods; it all seems to me childish. People might as well choose to do something else. I should think there is much to be done.

MUTAL. It is a custom, child, our people have observed for ages.

AMIN. Has this custom always been among people, grandfather?

MUTAL. No doubt, in the beginning the stone of Kaba was set there by our ancestor Abraham when he was returning from Egypt after his initiation in the ancient mysteries. He set this stone here as a token of his initiation, making it a center of pilgrimage for the children of Beni Israel. The line of our family, son, is traced back to Ishmael. Neither Abraham nor his son Ishmael worshipped the idols of many gods. It was afterwards, I suppose, in order to draw more people to the Kaba, that these idols were placed there. However, this has long become the religion of our people; they expect to see at the Kaba the gods of their families. If it were not for these festivals, there would be no interest left in our religion.

AMIN. What is meant by religion, grandfather? Isn't it faith rather than form?

MUTAL. It is a most difficult question to answer, my son, Besides, you are yet too young to think about these subjects. There is so little one can say in these matters, and the less said, the better it is.

(Enter TALIB.)

TALIB (to ALI.) Please, Ali, go and tell the man to make the camel ready for me to start on my journey.

(ALI goes.)

TALIB (to AMIN, resting his hands on his shoulder.) I am going on a long journey to Syria, on business, Amin.

AMIN. I will come with you.

TALIB. I would not think for a moment of taking you with me, my son, for it is a long journey, miles of land in the desert to be crossed, all sorts of hardships one goes through, and one meets with many dangers on the way.

AMIN. (embracing his uncle.) Uncle dear, please take me with you on your journey. I do wish to travel. I do not mind what difficulties I may have to experience on the way.

TALIB (looks at AMIN'S eager face for a moment.) I will take you, my child; go and get ready.

( KARIMA takes AMIN to prepare him and brings him back. AMIN and TALIB bid goodbye to all present and depart.)


Scene 3

A bazaar at Jerusalem. A SHAWL-SELLER bargaining with his CUSTOMER. A thief putting his hand into the pocket of the man who is busy purchasing. CUSTOMER examines the quality of the stuff in his hands.

SHAWL-SELLER. It's four dirams a yard. (CUSTOMER throws the stuff at him and goes away. The SELLER follows, pulling his robe.) Two dirams, two dirams a yard.

CUSTOMER. No, no. No, no.

SHAWL-SELLER. All right, one diram; take it.

CUSTOMER (takes the stuff and puts his hand in his pocket.) Someone has taken my money. Police, police!

( An old WOMAN FRUIT-SELLER walking with a basket full of fruit under her arm.)

BOY (to the WOMAN.) How much for a kouri?

WOMAN. One Vazan

BOY. Too dear, too dear! Are these sweet cherries?

WOMAN. Sweet as sugar.

(BOY puts his hand into the basket, takes a cherry and puts it in his mouth. WOMAN looks at him with disgust. BOY puts his hand again into the basket. The WOMAN pushes his hand off. The BOY upsets the basket and all the fruit falls on the ground. Other street-boys come and seize it.)

( A dancing girl comes, scantily dressed, with accompanists. The crowd follows her and gathers around. A musician pushes the crowd back with his instrument, making space for the dance. A spectator, unwilling to be pushed back, shows fight. The musician makes as if to strike him; the man lifts a stone to throw at him. Many bystanders clapping their hands to the rhythm of the dance, the accompanist singing, people merry-making. At the end of the dance many throw kisses to the girl.)

(A MEDIUM standing in concentration with closed eyes by the side of a mosque.)

WOMAN (to MEDIUM.) I beg you, I pray you, will you communicate with my daughter and tell her that from the moment she died, food and drink have become as poison to me. I weep all day and I am sleepless at night. I would like to know how she is over there; is she happy.

MEDIUM (moves his head round and round, raising the pupils of his eyes upwards.) I see, I see your daughter. O, she is happy, more happy than she has ever been.

WOMAN. Do you see? I am so glad. Please ask her, is there anything she is in need of?

MEDIUM. She has everything she wants there. But she is attached to all the beautiful clothes and jewelry she had here, and she wants all that over there.

WOMAN. O, I would be willing to give anything, anything, if I only knew how to send it there!

MEDIUM. I will take things for you if you want me to, when I go there at night; you only have to bring them to me. (The WOMAN goes.)

(Enter YOUNG MAN.)

YOUNG MAN (to MEDIUM.) I had a dream my father, who died recently, is not happy in heaven.

MEDIUM. Wait, I will write a letter to the keeper of the heavens.

YOUNG MAN. Please.

MEDIUM (writes a letter; then reads.) ' Brother Israel, the father of this young man, Faruk ibn Kalil, died on the 5th of Ramadan, and is now in your world. Give him two trees of plums and one tree of pears, a tank of honey and a fountain of milk, with ample supply of bread and meat.' (To YOUNG MAN.) Now what will you pay?

YOUNG MAN. Five dinars.

MEDIUM. No, that is not enough for all I have asked in my letter.

YOUNG MAN. I have only ten dinars.

MEDIUM. Well, then I'll take off two trees from this letter.

( The YOUNG MAN gives the dinars. The MEDIUM seals the letter with his thumb, licking it and pressing it on the paper, and winks while sealing it. ? The WOMAN returns with a box of jewelry and a sack of beautiful clothes. Hands them over to the MEDIUM.)

WOMAN. I have brought not only my daughter's jewels and clothes but all I had, that you may take them from me to my daughter. I want her to be happy. I am so thankful to you for all you are going to do for me.)

(A PALMIST sitting with his astrological chart spread over his lap.)

PALMIST to a YOUNG MAN.) Come here. (The YOUNG MAN comes near.) Sit down. Show me your hand. (Pointing with his finger to his palm.) Very distinct and long line of fortune; but you will not get it yet. And here (Points to thumb.) A beautiful wife; but there will always be a quarrel in the home. (Looks at center.) Some relative will leave great wealth for you. But you will have a hard time in getting it.

YOUNG MAN. But tell me, shall I have good luck in the business I am going to start today?

PALMIST. Pay five dinars, please. (The YOUNG MAN does so.) There are some planetary influences standing in opposition to your work, but I will make things right for you.

( A YOUNG WOMAN, moving about through the crowd, covering her face from a gay WAYFARER, looking at him out of the corner of her eye.)

WAYFARER (pulling the sari from her face.) One, just make it one.

(She looks annoyed. He kisses her and walks away.)

BEGGAR (scantily dressed, with patched sleeves and a tin pot in his hands.) Please one penny; be ye well!

A MAN. Go further!

( A WOMAN selling three slave-girls. A MAN, richly dressed, with his companion, examines the slaves.)

MAN. How much?

WOMAN (shows ten on her fingers. He shows five.) Ten, ten. (He gives ten dinars, takes the slave-girl along with him.)

(Enter two drunken PRIESTS.)

FIRST PRIEST. How many prayers did you say this morning?

SECOND PRIEST. I said only one prayer because he didn't bring me more than one bottle of liquor. I say only one prayer for each bottle.

FIRST PRIEST. That is why you are always drunk.

SECOND PRIEST. You're crazy.

FIRST PRIEST. You're mad.

(They fight. POLICE OFFICER arrests them both.)

FIRST PRIEST (gives the POLICE OFFICER a purse.) Let me go, let me go!

POLICE OFFICER (changes his attitude, bows to the PRIEST who gave him the money. ) High priest! (Goes away with the other one.)

(AMIN with TALIB passing through the bazaar, halting at every step, observes keenly the degenerate condition of the place.)

AMIN. Uncle, does no one tell these people to act differently? Have they always been like this? This life does not interest me; there is something in it, which does not seem to me to be right. Have they never been told to do better?

TALIB. Child, in this world one cannot expect things to be better than they are. People have been taught the way of righteousness by the great souls who have come, time after time, to guide the children of the earth. But when some years pass and the real way is forgotten, then a period of disintegration comes and people become degenerate. It is sad to think that human beings should fall beneath the level of the beasts, and yet there is nothing to be surprised at, for man can rise higher than an angel and full lower than the devil. As it is said, 'When a glimpse of Our Image is caught in man, when Heaven and earth are sought in man, then what is there in the world that is not in man? If one only explores him, there is a lot in man.'

AMIN. But what is this that one dislikes in them, is it evil? Then how does it differ from good?

TALIB. Good and evil are relative terms, my son. Evil is nothing but the lack of good. Nevertheless, good is real and evil is its shadow. When one believes this and tries to bring out in another the good there is in him, one finds that no soul, however, wicked, is void of goodness. To understand all is to forgive all.

(AMIN is deeply impressed by all he sees at the bazaar and by all his uncle says.)



Scene 1

Drawing room of TEJA'S house. TEJA seated; JOHLA, her maid, in attendance. Thirteen years have passed; AMIN is now twenty-five.

JOHLA. Bibi, I beg your pardon, tell me why for some time I have noticed that you don't seem to be altogether here. You seem to be somewhere else. You don't mind my asking this; but as I feel sad with you, I should like to know what is the matter. Excuse me for asking you.

TEJA. Yes, you are right, Johla. My mind has been in such a condition, I am sorry to say, that I could not very well manage to conceal my feelings. I am not surprised that you have observed the change. There is nothing in my life to make me sad. As you know, I have been blessed by Providence, I am thankful to say; yet I have had a feeling of loneliness, particularly of late. I have tried to get over this feeling, but I cannot always manage it. Knowing how false human nature is, I preferred to live alone, and the independence I experienced in life has taken the place of a companion. Only since I have seen this young nephew of Talib's who has just returned from Syria, I am in a sort of maze. I don't know where I am. He strikes me as a most promising young man and he inspires one with trust, for his appearance says that he is honest. He seems to be so tenderhearted and has such a refined way that one cannot but love him.

JOHLA. Now I remember, Bibi; it is since the time he came you've been like this. If any man made me so miserable, I would give him a good shaking! I would not allow anyone in the world to make my life wretched!

TEJA. Don't talk nonsense! You must learn to keep your mouth shut. Listen. I have engaged him to attend to my business affairs. But oh! It is not business that I care for. It is him.

(TEJA moves restlessly.)

JOHLA. Bibi, do you know, the neighbor's cook was drunk last night, and he fought with his wife until she put him out of the house. Ha! ha! ha! He was lying there in the street, swearing at her all night long. He! he! he!

TEJA. I don't feel like hearing your funny stories. Silly!

JOHLA. Bibi, if you have a fortune, every man will bow his head before you. Do not be sad over nothing!

TEJA. No fortune can be compared to a truly worthy man!

JOHLA. May I bring you the cat for you to play with? Last night it played and played with me until it tore my apron. Where is my darling pet? (Looking around the room.) Puss, puss, puss!

TEJA. Please, Johla, leave me alone! Go and play with your kitten! (Holds her head in her hands.)

JOHLA (retires muttering.) I wouldn't let any man cause me a headache! Puss, puss, where has he gone?

(Exits JOHLA.)

TEJA. (goes to the window; looks out.) I wonder what day it is today. (Walks restlessly about the room.) Is this the last of the month? Why, it's the new moon! Will Heaven grant me my star, I wonder! (Comes back from the window.) I don't know if he has the slightest thought of the feeling I have for him. He seems so shy and reserved that all the time he sat before me his eyes were cast down and there was an innocent expression on his face showing that he was not at all conscious of a woman's presence.

(Knock heard at the door. JOHLA comes in running.)

JOHLA. Bibi. Bibi! The young man about whom you were just talking to me has come. Shall I tell him, Bibi is busy just now, to come some other time?

TEJA. No! Bring him in after a moment. I shall soon be ready.

(Exit JOHLA, TEJA throws a veil over her face. Enter AMIN; he bows.)

TEJA. I was just wondering if you had arrived. Somehow or other I felt that you must be coming today. I hope all went well with you on your journey?

AMIN. Yes, Bibi. It seemed as though every person and every condition was favorable to me: all went well with our business. I have carried out the affair according to your instructions and at the same time to the mutual advantage of all. Therefore the other party is pleased also.

TEJA. I am sure everything you undertake must succeed.

AMIN. Bibi, I should think everyone would succeed in business if they knew the key to its secret. That key is fairness in dealing.

TEJA. I have no doubt about it. And you are the most honest person I have ever had to carry out my business.

AMIN. Bibi, I will try to come up to your expectations. Please do not think too well of me yet, for you don't know me and my work. I only hope I shall not disappoint you.

TEJA. No, I cannot think for a moment that you could be other than I know you to be. No soul in the world have I ever seen who has won my confidence to the extent that you have. I cannot doubt, even if I wanted to. Besides, you will not disappoint me, even if you did not carry out the business profitably, for I do not attach more importance to the qualifications than to the person. In you I see the person who is more precious than the wealth of this earth.

AMIN. Bibi, I have no words to express my gratitude to you for so kind an appreciation of me. I am not yet at all worthy of it.

TEJA. Please take a seat, Amin, and be comfortable; you must be tired after your long journey. ? I must not keep my face veiled before you, for you seem no longer a stranger.

(AMIN takes a seat.)

TEJA. I am thankful, Amin, that you were brought to me. (Puts her hand on the arm of his chair.)

AMIN. Pardon, Bibi, would you allow me to make clear to you the details of the affair, which I have managed for you?

TEJA. No, Amin, you do not need to. I am quite satisfied, as you know. I should like to hear something of your personal life.

AMIN. My personal life: There is not much to say about it. I was the only son of my father who passed away before I was born, and my mother followed him after giving me birth. I was left with Halima, my foster-mother, who then put me in charge of my uncle. I never allowed myself to feel an orphan, for I always had a natural tendency to lean on the Maker of this world, in whom I saw my mother and father both. ? The first journey I made was to Syria. I accompanied my uncle there on business. That was a great privilege for me because it allowed me to become acquainted with the various aspects of life in the world. Though I am most thankful to have seen it all, yet it has left on my mind and impression of sadness, which I cannot easily forget.

TEJA. What did you see that made you sad, Amin?

AMIN. It was the falseness of human nature, playing its different parts under many and varied conditions. By this I do not mean to say I am exempt from it, but it only showed me my own infirmities.

TEJA (touches AMIN'S arm.) No, I do not see in you any infirmities. You seem to be far, far away from them. If all men were like you, the world would be quite different. But when you said: 'It left on me an impression of sadness," what I thought was, a tender spot in your heart is being kept alive by the continual memory of someone you perhaps loved there.

AMIN. No, I never as yet allowed my mind to dwell on that subject.

TEJA. Do you mean to say you have determined to keep your heart free from the love of a woman?

AMIN. No, Bibi, I only meant I have not so far allowed myself to think on the subject.

TEJA. Why did you not think on the subject: Do you consider it a sin?

AMIN. In the first place, I began life as an orphan, and then I felt the weight of every act of kindness done to me. It kept me continually wondering how I could fulfill my obligations to those relatives and friends, to those near and dear to me, who have been so kind. This thought has continually occupied my mind and has never allowed me to think on any other subject. Besides, the poverty of the people in this country takes away every possibility of doing anything for oneself. Frankly speaking, my state is as the saying goes,' Qazi, why are you so thin?' The Qazi said, 'Because of the anxiety about my citizens.' Yet I am not without hope, it is only a matter of time.

TEJA. Amin, you are a dear; the more you speak to me, the more I am won by you. For every word you say goes through my heart. I think it is because you are so sincere. My engaging you to attend to my business was the first step; now I feel as if you were engaged to my soul.

(TEJA gives him her hand; he kisses it and holds it to his heart, his eyes cast down in modesty. Knock heard. Enter JOHLA She looks surprised. TEJA and AMIN separate.)

JOHLA. I beg your pardon for having come in without knocking. Why am I so forgetful!

-Bibi, there is a young soldier who wishes to see Amin.

AMIN. May I take leave of you and see what he wants?

TEJA. Call him here; I will go to my room for a moment.

(TEJA and JOHLA go out. ? Enter SOLDIER.)

SOLDIER. I have come to tell you from the Ministry of War that there is a sudden call to arms. The young men of the country are expected to defend their land against the invasion of a mighty enemy, who with his troops is already approaching the gates of our town. It is the wish of many in charge of affairs that you should take command of the army for the defense of our country.

AMIN. Please thank them all. I feel most privileged to take charge of our troops and nothing would please me more than to render this service to my country, even if it were at the cost of my life.

(The SOLDIER salutes and departs. ? Enter TEJA, who appears nervous.)

TEJA. What did the soldier come to tell you?

AMIN. Bibi, our country is being invaded by a mighty enemy who is quite near our door. So all the country is called to arms. The authorities wish me to lead the first troops going for the defense of our country. I consider it the greatest privilege to fight for my land.

TEJA. My darling sweetheart! You are too precious to be sent into battle. Your life is too valuable to be sacrificed in this way! Oh, I don't know what will become of me when you are gone!

AMIN. I beg your pardon, Bibi, I must hurry now. I am sure your thoughts will be with me; so all will be well.

TEJA (crying.) Know that I shall not feel I am living while you are away. It is you who will bring me to life when you return safe from there.

AMIN. Be sure that no harm will come to me, and soon we shall meet.

(AMIN kisses her hands; she lays her head upon his shoulder. They embrace.)

TEJA (still weeping.) God be with you!


Scene 2

TEJA'S home. TEJA ill, lying in an armchair. JOHLA waving the fan.)

TEJA. Give me some cold water, my throat is dried up. It seems as if flames are rising out of my body, oh! ah!

(JOHLA runs and fetches rose-water; she sprinkles it over TEJA.)

JOHLA. Bibi, Bibi, (She gets no answer.) Are you here, Bibi?

TEJA. No, Johla, I was not here, I was at the front, where the battle is taking place, going over the agonies, sharing the experience of my beloved.

JOHLA. Here is the water, Bibi, you wanted; I have fetched it.

TEJA. Thank you, Johla. (TEJA drinks.) Now I feel cooled, I feel ease through my breath. Something seems to tell me that all is well with him. A feeling comes to me as if I was reading his letter that he is coming back.

JOHLA. Will you eat something, Bibi? It is several days since you really had anything to sustain your body. If not for yourself, then for his sake, to give him pleasure. You must take care of yourself, you must feel well.

TEJA. No, don't mention food to me. I have no mind for it. I shrink even from looking at food.

JOHLA. Bibi, you must make yourself strong.

TEJA. Will you help me, Johla, to get up?

(JOHLA lifts her up. She walks, her head on JOHLA'S shoulder. JOHLA holding her, TEJA looks out of the window; JOHLA looks with her.)

JOHLA. I don't see him yet.

TEJA (resting her hand on JOHLA'S shoulder, cries.) I see him! I see him! He's coming back!

JOHLA. Don't act as if you were delirious! You must not stand here, you have no strength. Come and sit down in this chair.

(JOHLA puts her into the chair and fans her.)

TEJA (still softly crying.) I see him! I see him come!

(Knock at the door. JOHLA runs to see who has knocked. TEJA opens her eyes and sits up.)

TEJA. I wonder!

JOHLA. (entering hurriedly.) Bib, you will be pleased to know that a soldier has come on horseback with a message from Amin.

TEJA. Show him in.

(Enter SOLDIER who salutes and presents the letter to TEJA.)

TEJA ( opens the letter and reads aloud.) 'By the grace of God, the Most Merciful and Compassionate, the battle is won and the enemy has admitted his defeat. The final arrangements are already completed. I am now preparing to come back. I kiss your dear hand, the hand, which I always felt next to my heart.

(TEJA wiping her tears of joy, gives gold coins to the SOLDIER.)

TEJA. Has all gone well?

SOLDIER. Yes, lady. Amin showed great bravery; he fought most courageously and wisely made peace. He has won both the love of his friends and the admiration of his foes. He is the young man of the day; we all are proud of him for proving so worthy of our trust. (Salutes.) I take my leave, lady.

(TEJA wiping her tears of joy. ? As the SOLDIER approaches the door, JOHLA meets him. She acts as if frightened, he as if amazed to see her, both as if they just missed running into each other.)

SOLDIER. Hullo, queen of the kitchen!

JOHLA. Hullo, king of spades.

(They nod at one another and throw a kiss. The SOLDIER goes out.)

JOHLA. Now I am sure you are happy, Bibi, are you not? Now I shall bring you some food, shall I? I am sure you must be hungry.

TEJA. The news is nourishing to my soul; I don't need any food. But prepare some if you like. Amin may come at any moment.

JOHLA. If I had such good news. Bibi, I would have eaten twice as much dinner as usual! I wouldn't have waited for anyone! You think I'm crazy, don't you: But I tell you, I'd rather die than starve.

TEJA (smiles.) You go and eat your dinner; don't wait. You need not starve waiting for me, Johla.

JOHLA. Thank you, Bibi.

(Knock at the door heard.)

JOHLA (returns quickly, exclaiming:) Amin is here!

TEJA. Call him in.

(TEJA gets up from her seat; AMIN enters. TEJA runs to meet him and falls fainting into his arms. ? AMIN kissing her forehead, makes her sit in the chair and sits by her side.)

TEJA. Now tell me, Amin, all that happened. You must have had a terrible time!

AMIN. To tell you all since I left here and have now come back! Where shall I begin the story and where shall I end it? All's well that ends well! It was a dream, a dream of one night, a nightmare rather. It's finished with the breaking of the day, and now there is sunshine everywhere.

TEJA. I heard that you fought very bravely; they all admire your courage so much. You did not only make war bravely, but you made peace so wisely.

AMIN. I tried to do my duty, Bibi; that is all one can do. Success and failure are both in His hands, without whose will nothing moves in the universe. Nevertheless, this experience on the battlefield has been quite an event for me. I will no longer look for war, and will try to bring peace, not after, but before, if I can. Did war have a hardening effect upon my heart? No, it made it much more tender than I have ever known it to be. I was known to be affectionate to my friends, but it was this war which has taught me to love even my enemies. I loved you hitherto, but it is during this war that a longing for you was produced in my heart. It had its disadvantages, yet one cannot ignore the advantages it has. I am glad my people won the victory over the enemy; but this has enlarged my view so that I cannot consider only my countrymen as my people. I am beginning to consider all men in the world as my people.

TEJA. But you did not tell me the pains you have gone through, which I have felt all along through this war.

AMIN. It is both pain and pleasure, which make life complete. If there were no pain, one would not enjoy pleasure. I do not wish to recall to my memory the disagreeable past. Only pleasant memories I allow my mind to hold, which were with you.

TEJA. Now the pain has passed, and pleasure is in store for us. Next week our wedding takes place. My people are busy preparing for it God has heard our prayer, Amin, at last.

(They embrace.)


Scene 3

AMIN and TEJA in their new home. TEJA arranging cushions on the sofa. AMIN busy with a bow and arrow. People bringing wedding gifts. ? A Lady brings flowers and gives them to TEJA.

TEJA. Oh, how beautiful they are. Who has sent them?

LADY. Bibi, your aunt's cousin's daughter, Salima, who is married to Omar Abdullah Hujuri. (She leaves.)

(TEJA brings the flowers to AMIN, kisses him and shows him.)

TEJA. How beautiful they are my darling sweetheart.

AMIN. They were more beautiful on the stem, beloved; are these not plucked in vain. (TEJA looks surprised. He kisses her forehead and laughs.) Don't you think so too? All beautiful things are in their greatest glory when they are in their own place. Arrange them, my sweetest wife. Now that they are brought to us, we may just as well turn our room into a garden.

(Another WOMAN comes, greets TEJA, touching her cheeks with her hand.)

WOMAN. I have made this picture of Amin, Bibi, you will be glad to see it.

TEJA. O, wonderful; he looked like this when he returned from the battlefield. Thank you. I am very glad to have it.

(WOMAN again salutes and leaves.)

TEJA (takes picture and shows it to AMIN.) Do you know this man?

AMIN. I don't know him; who is he?

TEJA. Is it not your beloved image? How well the artist has made it! Now what shall I do with it? Shall I frame it and put it on the wall, or shall I place it on the sandal bracket above the divan? I think that is the proper place for it, don't you think so?

AMIN. Place its front against the wall, showing its back outside, beloved, if you ask my earnest advice about it.

TEJA (looking at him in surprise.) How could I destroy your picture?

AMIN. This is not my picture. The artist who has made it has not seen me, beloved.

TEJA. He has not seen you? You mean to say, he didn't see you?

AMIN. Yes, I mean it, beloved.

TEJA. Then, perhaps I haven't seen you either?

AMIN. I do not think so. To tell you the truth, I do not want anyone to make my picture; I do not wish my picture to be placed on a pedestal; I don not want my picture to represent me after I have gone. This mortal form itself is a shadow of a shadow.

(Knock on the door. Two men enter, the carcass of a lamb hanging on a stick over their shoulders.)

MAN. This is a wedding gift they send you.

TEJA. From where?

MAN. From the community house.

TEJA. How nice! Please give them our thanks and loving greetings.

(The two men take their leave.

TEJA (to AMIN.) Here we have something really good to make a three day's continual feast.

AMIN. Yes, the poor lamb should be asked first how it is to be sacrificed for our feast!

(Enter Dancing-Girls, accompanied by Musicians; they perform the Wedding Dance, wrapped in several veils, which they lift one after the other as they dance.)

TEJA (seeing the performance, takes AMIN'S arm, brings him to the room where the dancers are, while he is hesitating.) Beloved, it is wonderful; these are the best dancers we have in the country. Everyone speaks of their talent. They have trained every muscle, making it supple to twist and turn as they want to, and they move so swiftly to the rhythm of the drum that their graceful movements make a living picture of music.

AMIN. May I request these talented dancers not to remove their veils any more!

TEJA. But it is their dance, beloved, it is their way; how skillfully they unveil themselves!

AMIN. But what do they unveil? The earth, not heaven.

TEJA (gives the Musicians a purse.) Thank you, take no more trouble.

(Musicians salute them and depart.)

AMIN. Do you mind if I ask you something, beloved? (Shyly, looking down.) Ever since I have been in the open country and have observed wide horizons in the war, the wilderness has attracted me. I long to walk in the desert and to dwell in the mountains. If you will permit me, Bibi, I will take a trip through the desert that I may unload my mind from the disturbing impressions of the war.

TEJA. Yes, my darling, you may go to the mountains whenever you desire, if it is not for a long time! While you are away I shall think of you with every breath.

(AMIN kisses TEJA'S hand. They embrace.)



Scene 1

Hera, a rocky mountain in the desert. ? AMIN wandering alone and looking at the wide expanse.

AMIN. Home is a world; the life outside home is the underworld, but this wilderness is my Paradise.

I feel myself only when I am by myself. It is then that I look at the whole world as an onlooker. There must be some reason why I am attracted to this spot.

There are many reasons, but how many can be explained? The heavy responsibility of home life and the continual struggle with the outside world; the smallness of human character; the ever-changing nature of life; the falsehood that exists in the life of the generality; the absence of justice and the lack of wisdom; all these and many other things make life unbearable for me. Besides, the ever-jarring influences coming from all around work upon my sensitive heart and make me feel lost sometimes. It is only here, away from the continual turmoil of life in the world that I find some rest...

And yet I wonder if my heart is really at rest. No, my heart cannot be really rested. If I am here away from the world and my fellow men are in the midst of the turmoil, it cannot give me the peace I want; it keeps my mind uneasy...

What could I do to make the condition of my people better? Shall I work and be rich, and help them with my riches? But how far will those riches go to provide for their endless needs! Shall I be powerful and control them and rule them? What will that do? It will only turn them from servants into slaves. Shall I teach them goodness? But where does goodness belong? It belongs to God.

I must seek God myself first before I speak of goodness to my fellow men. And where shall I find Him? If He is to be found anywhere, it is here in the solitude where my soul feels free. I become attuned to nature. I could sit silent here for days, looking at this wide space with endless horizon, where not even a bird makes a sound by the fluttering of its wings. I need not try to be silent here; silence reigns here, the spheres are silence itself...

Oh, Thou, longed-for Beloved, if Thou are anywhere to be found, it is here. I do not speak, I will not speak; I only listen, I will listen. Speak to me!

(He sits silent. A VOICE comes to him.)

VOICE. Cry on the Name of thy Lord! Cry on the Name of thy Lord! Cry on the Name of thy Lord.

(He invokes the sacred Name of God, and again sits silent.)

AMIN. Through the whispering of the breeze, through the cooing of the wind, through the rippling of the water, through the cracking of the thunder, through the fluttering of the leaves, I hear Thy gentle whisper in answer to my heart's cry.

Beloved God, where art Thou not present! Thou art everywhere. O Thou, who wert the ideal of my belief hitherto, art now a reality to me! In the flood that is caused by Thy manifestation, my little self has become drowned. I am lost to my own view. Thou are now before me, O Pearl of my heart!

(AMIN falls in a sort of swoon.)

VOICE. Thou art the man! Arise and wake thy fellow-men from the sleep of ignorance!

AMIN. O, what a task, what responsibility Thou givest me! My Lord, my King, I tremble. I cannot dare look at myself. Let me cover myself from my own eyes! I cannot look at the vastness of the mission Thou givest me, with this, my limited being.

(Again goes into a swoon.)

VOICE. Thou art the man! Arise and wake thy fellow men from the sleep of ignorance!

AMIN. Yes, I obey, I rise, I march to the rhythm of the music of Thy call!


Scene 2

TEJA'S house. AMIN sitting on a cushion in an ecstatic condition. TEJA, one hand on this shoulder, sympathizing with him.)

TEJA. What is it my darling sweetheart: Why are you acting so strangely: You seem to be frightened of something, as if you had a nightmare. It seems as if something frightful had been impressed upon your mind. What is the matter, my beloved? I am most anxious about you.

AMIN. Bibi, I have had an experience, which is indescribable. I did not wish ever to tell anyone about it.

TEJA. Not even to me: I thought there would be nothing you would keep hidden from me.

AMIN. Well, beloved, not even to you. For it is something, which I cannot even, explain to myself. And yet, when I think of it, it seems as if my soul has always known it, although my mind is quite unable to grasp it. It is something so big that I cannot look at it and at the same time look at my little self. For there is no comparison between this experience of mine and what I know myself to be. The difference is like that between heaven and earth. If I try to say it, my lips tremble and my throat chokes. I feel like covering myself from my own view when that wonderful influence comes over me.

TEJA. I feel very eager, Amin, to hear. Will you not tell me a little more about it?

AMIN. It was to quiet my mind, upset by the turmoil caused by the life in the world, that I sought refuge under the clear sky during the rising moon in the wilderness, I called upon that God whom people seek, some in the idols of rock, some in the spirit of their ancestors, some in the beasts, some in birds, some in trees of long tradition, some in heroes, some in the bright sun. He answered me during my quietude, through nature whose voice I heard, which was louder than the thunderbolts. I was taught to cry on the Name of God.

And His answer came to me as an echo of my cry. The spot where I sat in the desert, far away from the world and its noise, produced for me a sublime vision of the immanence of God. The speechless rocks, it seemed, received a tongue to answer my call. God, who is the belief of an average being, then became for me a living identity, and my self for that moment was lost to my own view. How can words explain the splendor of that moment, the glory of God, which was in its full bloom at that time? It seemed as though the spheres played music and nature danced. The heaven of which they talk, I saw come on earth!

TEJA. How wonderful! And then what happened?

AMIN. I cannot very well say it to you, my dearly loved wife. It came to me as a command telling me to rise and try to better the condition of my fellow men.

TEJA. In what way?

AMIN. In every way.

TEJA. But how?

AMIN. To warn people of the coming disasters; to waken them to the light of truth; to help in bettering their conditions in their life in the world; to serve them in their need; to give them a hand as they climb to the height of the spiritual ideal. And to remove thorns from their way.

I cannot, I cannot understand this. Why I should be called for this great task! A trust, the weight of which trees could not bear, mountains could not sustain. And yet, though my soul has heard, I cannot make my mind believe it. Is it my delusion, Teja? Do you think I have become possessed of a spirit? What is it?

TEJA. My precious one, if you ask me, I will repeat the same words: Thou art the man! I have seen it all along and I have felt it, though I could not give full expression to my thoughts.

AMIN. How can I believe this to be true, Teja, in spite of all this experience I have had, when I think of my shortcomings and my limitations?

TEJA. Thou art the man, Amin, who is born to serve his fellow men, to better their conditions. You do not know how good you have been to all: most attentive in your duties, persevering in your labors, honest in your business dealings, a brave soldier on the battlefield, and a wise peace-maker. Have you not been an ideal husband to me, and a father so kind and loving? Your respect for the aged, your affection for those who depend upon you, and your consideration for those to whom it is due. Besides, your generous spirit covered under your modesty ? all these things give me sufficient reason to believe without a doubt that you are the man. And if there was not one person in the whole world to support my belief, I would yet believe so. For my belief in you is my conviction.

(AMIN, moved to tears, kisses her hand and presses it to his heart.)

AMIN. You are my inspiration, Teja, you are my strength.

(A moment's silence.)

AMIN. Now, I must leave, well-beloved, and see what can be done. It is difficult being alone, to begin the work. Still the One who has inspired me to work will be my guide.

(They rise; AMIN about to depart; JOHLA enters.)

JOHLA. Bibi, your uncle Humadan has come to see you.

TEJA. Show him in.

(Enter HUMADAN. TEJA goes forward to meet him. AMIN greets and shakes hands with him.)

HUMADAN. I am needed: I am surprised! I thought nobody in the world needed someone who is now looking at life as the past, and seeing before him his end.

TEJA. Uncle, you must not say that The more one lives, the more precious one becomes; for life deepens a soul. We can always profit by your counsel, your word of advice, dear Uncle. ? Amin is lately having some strange experiences. He feels as if he heard a voice calling him to serve his fellow men. This has come to him since he has taken to retiring to the solitude; sometimes he spends hours and sometimes days in the wilderness.

HUMADAN. Good tidings! This has always been the experience of those who have been called to serve humanity in a special way. He is a reformer, even greater than a reformer, for he is a prophet. (Turning to AMIN.) There is a great task before you, my son! I am afraid you will have a hard time. Man is the worst enemy of his best friend; he has always proved to be so. It is the same old wine put into a new bottle. But the world, before drinking the wine, examines the label on the bottle, and if it is not the same label that it is used to, it will call it a different wine.

I should not be surprised, Amin, if your most loving friends did not turn into your bitterest enemies, as soon as you have commenced your work. The people here in this land are very backward; they are in a hopeless state. There is idol-worship everywhere. Religious places have turned into money-counters. Gaiety and merriment are the occupation of the young; and the old indulge in superstitions. Who could be the man, Amin, if you could not? You are the man, I am sure. I wish I were young, to have shared some of your troubles. But I am too old now to venture. You are fortunate, Amin, to have your devoted wife. God be with you both, my children! Goodbye!

(TEJA embraces her uncle. HUMADAN puts his hand on their shoulders. AMIN embraces TEJA leaves.)


Scene 3

AMIN standing on the highway, speaking to the passers-by. Travelers coming and going.

FIRST TRAVELER. I have heard you talk here to the travelers; tell me to what Church you belong.

AMIN. My church is the globe, the earth is its ground, the sky its dome.

SECOND TRAVELER. But which is your God?

AMIN. The same God who is the God of all.

THIRD TRAVELER. But you don't worship the God of our tribe, do you?

AMIN. I worship the God of all tribes.

THIRD TRAVELER. But every tribe has its own God.

AMIN. Yes, but the God of all tribes is my God.

FOURTH TRAVELER. But what religion do you teach?

AMIN. The same one religion which has always been taught to humanity.

FIRST TRAVELER. You don't mean to say you preach the religion of our sect, for you are not our priest.

AMIN. It is not the religion of one sect; it is the religion of all sects. It is the religion, which was revealed before; the same is being revealed now.

FIFTH TRAVELER. But it is not the religion of our ancestors, which you teach.

AMIN. It is the same one and only religion of truth. It is the same religion of 'peace on earth and goodwill to men' now given to you as a reminder.

FIFTH TRAVELER. What are your teachings:

AMIN. Quit all laziness; earn money by labor; live an honest life, a life harmonious and peaceful. Respect your elders; give loving care to the younger. Be charitable to the poor; give a part of what you earn in charity. Worship one God who is the Lord of all people. Know that you will have to give an account of your deeds. Know that purity is the first lesson of piety. Do not shirk your duties. Travel even to the other end of the world if it is for learning. Forget not your obligations; practice honesty in business. Know that all things in earth and heaven are made for you to make the best use of them. For man's sake is the world created, and man is the master therein.

SIXTH TRAVELER. What nonsense! What does he know of heaven! Has he been there: if he has been there, why then is he still lingering here on earth?

SEVENTH TRAVELER. He is born on earth, as everyone else. What right has he to teach others when he is only a man? He's not a god!

FIRST COMPANION. What he says is touching. I don't see what wrong he has said. He does not need to be other than a man to guide man on the right path. It's absurd when one expects a guide to drop directly from heaven. It is the son of man who understands the difficulties of man and who can sympathize with him. Therefore, it is man who is needed to guide man, not an angel!

EIGHTH TRAVELER. I have known him for a long time. Is he not the same one who used to work at the farm?

NINTH TRAVELER. I think I have seen him working as a business agent, if I am not mistaken.

TENTH TRAVELER. Is he not the man I knew on the battlefield during the last war? And now he is coming to tell us of kindness!

ELEVENTH TRAVELER. But who made him a priest to give us long sermons? Has he got nothing to do at home? He has a home with wife and children, he is not a hermit!

TWELFTH TRAVELER. No, I can't believe all this talking. If he were real, he would show some miracle. Can he give sight to the blind, or can he raise the dead from their graves?

SECOND COMPANION. He need not perform wonders in order to serve God and his fellow men. If he can inspire the ignorant to speak words of wisdom, it is better than if he gave speech to the dumb. If he opens the heart of a person to hear the inner voice, it is greater than giving ears to the deaf. If he opens the eyes of the seeking soul to reality, it is better than giving sight to the blind. If he wakens a mortal soul to immortality, it is greater than raising the dead.

(AMIN sitting on a rock and resting his head on his hands, hears all this silently. Many more persons enter.)

SEVERAL VOICES. Here he is! Here he is!

FIRST INHABITANT. You have started to work against the religion of our forefathers; you wish to believe in another God rather than the Gods of our tribes. You are influencing our young men to give up the worship of our idols. ? Leave the soil of our country at once! If not, the State will punish you.

(They fight with the FOUR COMPANIONS, who try to protect AMIN. Some try to take AMIN away from the danger.)

AMIN. Was it for this day that Thou didst command me to warn these people?

(AMIN is rescued from the crowd by his COMPANIONS.)

SECOND INHABITANT (holding his arms.) If you care at all for your life, never step on this soil again!

(Many persons rejoice. Some sorrow; a few women weep.)



Scene 1

At Yemen. ? COMPANIONS of AMIN brought before the Court, as having trespassed upon the land. ? A CONSTABLE leads AMIN'S four COMPANIONS before the CHIEF and his COLLEAGUES.

CONSTABLE. Sir, these men have trespassed in our country without permission, and they come with the excuse that they are exiles from their own land.

CHIEF. Yes, we have received a letter from the authorities of their country saying that they must not be allowed to enter here. (Turning to one of the four COMPANIONS.) What have you to say about this?

FIRST COMPANION. We beg to be excused for having entered your land, but it was inevitable. We were persecuted as heretics by our people, and were expelled from our country.

CHIEF. What is the reason of this persecution: What have you done against your people's religion?

FIRST COMPANION. We have done nothing against the existing religion of our people. Our blessed leader has been speaking for some time to those who cared to listen, of the ways to better their condition in life, individually and collectively. And those among them who wish to keep the simple people of our land under their sway oppose the Message of God.

CHIEF. Where is your leader? Send for him. I should like to see him.

FIRST COMPANION. Yes, Sir, I will go and fetch him. I am sure he will be able to explain better to you all you wish to know.

(The COMPANION leaves the Court. A policeman follows.)

CHIEF. What is the name of your leader? What is he? Does he work wonders? Has he anything extraordinary in him, which made you follow him?

SECOND COMPANION. We shall follow him, Sir, to the end of the world, whether he takes us to heaven or hell. We trust him too much ever to doubt him. He is to us a messenger of God, though he for himself is most unpretentious. He does not perform miracles; he does not claim to have any extraordinary powers. He says, ' I am a human being as anyone else, subject to pleasure and pain, birth and death.' The only privilege he has is in the service for which he has been called.

(Enter AMIN with the COMPANION, followed by the policeman. He greets the CHIEF.)

CHIEF. What have you to say? What do you teach?

AMIN. I warn my people of the coming of that day when man will no longer hold his position, his rank, however high or great. Those near and dear to him will remove him from their midst the moment that the breath leaves the body. If life on earth is a few days only, there is a time to come to answer for every grain one has eaten from this earth, and to pay for every drop of water one has drunk. This world, I say, is not a stage set for man to amuse himself; it is a school for him to learn his lesson.

I tell them that if you will trust anyone, trust in God; if you will depend on anyone, depend on God; if you will confide in anyone, confide in God; if you will revere anyone, worship God. Death is not the end of this life; death is the bridge that unites friend with friend. Therefore, when doing the duties honestly in this world, man must think of that life also, which is to come.

CHIEF. All you say is quite clear to me. I do not think any of us here would make objections to your teaching. On the other hand, we should be only too glad to have among us a man like you, who brings to us the knowledge, which is the need of every soul. Truly, they say that a prophet is not recognized in his own country. I do not see why they had to go so far as to exile you from your country. If one door is closed behind you, another is opened before you. You are welcome here. I am quite sure my Colleagues, who are the principal authorities of our State, think the same as I do.

COLLEAGUES. Yes, certainly we do.

CHIEF. We shall give you all facilities to stay here among us, to give the advantage of your teaching to our people, who, I am sure, will be immensely benefited by it. Besides, we shall seek your inspiring guidance in the reconstruction of our Commonwealth, considering your coming now, at the moment of our social and political crisis, as the hand of Providence.

AMIN. I could wish nothing better from you than to be of some service to you, Sir, and to your people, to whom I feel indebted for having allowed me to live among you. I sought refuge with you and you have confided to me the affairs of your homeland. I will try my best to prove worthy of your trust.



Scene 2

AMIN sitting in the seat of honor. The CHIEF and his COLLEAGUES seated to his right and left. FOUR COMPANIONS sitting behind him. Coffee served.

CHIEF (to all.) Here we have among us Amin, who has won our hearts, who has illuminated our souls. Our trust in him is eternal; no time however long can develop that confidence in our hearts, which he has kindled in us in a moment. We see before us in our social and political activities a promise, as there is no problem that remains unsolved once Amin throws his light upon it. Things, which seemed difficult he makes easy for us; things subtle become simple in his presence. He tells us nothing new; all he says to us appears as if we have always known it, and yet we were not conscious of it. Amin is our light, not only in life's dark corners, but he is the torch that illuminates our path.

COLLEAGUE. All you have said, Chief is true. We must value and appreciate Amin's presence among us by trying to understand him better, and by trying to follow all he teaches us more closely.

(CONSTABLE enters.)

CONSTABLE (to CHIEF.) There is an envoy from our neighboring country who wishes to see you, Sir.

CHIEF. Yes, send him in.

(Enter ENVOY; greets the CHIEF.)

COLLEAGUE. Please take a seat.

CHIEF. What has brought you here?

ENVOY. I am sent by the authorities of my State, Sir, with a summons. We ask you, Sir, to give us our criminals who have fled from our country.

CHIEF. What crime have they committed?

ENVOY. They are accused of every crime, Sir. All crimes put together make one crime, and that crime is the one of which they are accused.

CHIEF. But what crime?

ENVOY. A crime beyond words.

CHIEF. But I want to know what crime.

ENVOY. The crime is beyond comprehension, Sir.

COLLEAGUE. Do you know before whom you are standing? This is Amin, now the head of our Commonwealth, to whom you have brought a summons.

(ENVOY is frightened, with starting eyes and trembling like a leaf, turning his head right and left.)

CHIEF. Go and tell the authorities of your State that your accusations are unfounded. Amin is now the leader of our people in their worldly and spiritual strife.

ENVOY. Then I will go, Sir, and tell my people all you have said. Thank you very much. Goodbye.

(ENVOY goes out hastily. He falls down on the way; grasps the leg of the POLICEMAN.)

ENVOY (to POLICEMAN.) Come along.

POLICEMAN (with his hand on his neck.) Go.

(AMIN looks sad.)

FOURTH COMPANION. Our Master, I feel your sadness over the stupidity of our people. I cannot help feeling, since our hearts are focused on yours.

AMIN. Yes, you are right, but it is a passing cloud; it will pass away in time. All balances up in the end, cruelty on their part and kindness on yours.

What I feel deeply, and very often, is that the call for service came to me on the Hera mountain, and it was meant that my people should be enlightened and helped. And is spite of all the good work which is being done here, I continually feel that something remains undone. And so long as that work is not attended to, I shall not consider my task accomplished, I shall always feel a sore spot in my heart.

CHIEF. We will spare no effort, our Teacher! Our means, our energy, even our lives we will place at your command, if we can assist you in accomplishing your task.

FOURTH COMPANION. We are ready to answer your call, Master, even if it be with our life's sacrifice. Command any of us to go and spread your ideas among those who do not understand them.

AMIN. No; I will not risk your lives; you are too precious to me. I only ask of you to let me go to deliver His Message to my people.

CHIEF. No, Amin, that cannot be; if you go, we shall be your bodyguard; if harm comes to you, we shall be your shield. For death in a holy cause will be our liberation.

(AMIN is deeply touched by their readiness to serve.)

AMIN. Let us all go, for it is meant that we should share one another's joys and sorrows.

CHIEF (to AMIN.) We are most happy that you have granted our request. (To COLLEAGUES.) Prepare and be ready to start on the journey to guard our Leader and to defend our Cause.

(All stand and shout, waving their hands: Amin victorious! Exit all, happy and enthusiastic.)


Scene 3

Mecca. ? Commotion at the Town Hall. People rushing hither and thither restlessly. Enter SHERIF of Mecca. The GOVERNORS receive him

SHERIF. I have just heard the news that we are threatened with invasion by our neighboring State. From one source I have word that they are already on the way. And we are not in the least ready to defend our land. Alas, we have not among our young men another Amin.' One man with the Spirit is greater than an army.' How we miss Amin at this time of our need!

FIRST GOVERNOR. Yes, if only he had not become so crazy over his religious fad!

SHERIF. Now what can we do? Have we any means of defense?

SECOND GOVERNOR. We are not prepared. We did not know of it until this morning. Nothing can be done.

SHERIF. But what can we do to maintain the pride of our people?

SECOND GOVERNOR. Pride! If we have nothing to be proud of, what is it to us?

SHERIF (sadly.) These last few years we have gone from bad to worse!

THIRD GOVERNOR. Worse! We cannot fall any lower!

(Enter SOLDIER.)

SOLDIER. Sir, a large force of armed men have almost reached the gate of Mecca.

SHERIF. Now what do you think we should do?

FOURTH GOVERNER. Surrender without hesitation!

(Enter women in a state of alarm. SOLDIER enters.)

SOLDIER. They are entering our gate; The Town Hall is surrounded!

(AMIN enters in general's uniform, his bodyguard following him. SHERIF with the GOVERNORS greets him.)

SHERIF. We surrender, sir, being unprepared for your sudden invasion.

(Enter the CHIEF.)

CHIEF. At the head of our army is Amin, the one who was an exile from your land, whom you threw out of your country with insults and made homeless. His companions were caused all manner of injury by you, and those who sided with him were wounded and some killed.

SHERIF. We are sorry for all that was done by our people to Amin. We are willing to pay you the sum of money you demand.

CHIEF. Before you pay us any money, I ask you to deliver to us all Amin's adversaries who have shown him hostility in the past.

(Criminals are brought. Some are agitated, some trembling, some with stern faces, some repentant.)

CHIEF (to AMIN.) Here are the men who have tormented your life and that of those near and dear to you. Dictate the sentence that must be passed on them.

(The criminals listen attentively, looking at AMIN to hear what he will say.)

AMIN. I have forgotten all they have done to me. I forgive and ask the Lord to forgive them.

(All are surprised. The GOVERNORS are touched, the SHERIF is moved to tears. They bring to AMIN sacks of gold to pay the war indemnity.)

AMIN (turning to the CHIEF). Have we come here to take money from them? Do you wish any material gain from these people?

CHIEF. No, our Prophet! We have accompanied you to be with you. If only we have you, our Master! No money or territory is our object in coming here; it is to serve you.

SHERIF (to AMIN.) You are the pride of our people and your absence from here was the cause of our decline. Nothing would please us more than if you took this whole territory of Hedjaz and we shall feel most honored to proclaim you King.

(The GOVERNORS bring crown and scepter, and the SHERIF holds them before AMIN.)

SHERIF. Here are crown and scepter for you Amin.

AMIN. Much as I appreciate your asking me to become King, I will not do so. It is not for the kingdom I have come here; it is to serve you, my people, whose welfare is my heart's deep desire. I have come to deliver to you God's Message.

GOVERNOR. I beg your pardon, Sir, where can we find someone as inspired as you to govern our people, to control our affairs? You appeared as an enemy and prove to be our friend.

SHERIF. What Message do you wish to give us? We are ready to accept it from someone so selfless as you, Amin!

AMIN. Believe in one God. Remove the gods of the Kaba, which are but idols of rock. Consider love greater than law. Know that all men are equal before God; perform your prayers therefore, all standing before His divine Majesty: rich or poor, saint or sinner, all on one level. Tell your sorrows to your Lord, if you are sad; bring your repentance to your God, if you are repentant. Disgrace not your soul by prostrating yourselves before idols, for even man is limited. To God alone all praise is due.

SHERIF. We accept your Message, Prophet, from the bottom of our hearts; we shall hand it down to posterity. We witness that there is one God and that you, Prophet, are His Messenger. It is not your sword, which has won the victory over our Hearts, it is your noble spirit. Therefore, though you have given us our freedom by refusing to rule us, we shall maintain your reign forever over our souls.

AMIN. I am a man, one like any of you, subject to pain and death. Remember not to make of me an ideal, which you will not be able to uphold long. Raise me not beyond my limit, that you may not have to throw me down one day through disappointment. Consider me your brother, an honor which I value most. I leave my word with you, for you to guard the Message against all opposition. I leave this sacred manuscript with you, for you to hand over to the coming generation, uncorrupted. My success is not in earthly gain; renunciation is my real victory. (To the CHIEF.) I bless them all, but I will come with you who have been my friends in need.

(CHIEF and Bodyguards, aloud: Hail to Amin, our Faithful Trustee!)