Masrur shook away these thoughts and began to contemplate his
guests. They were the grand vizier, the chief judge, the spymaster as well as
the chief of the night watchmen.
Masrur noticed that they were engaged in a hot dialogue, so
he listened to them.
The grand vizier said, "Does he really say that when
we die and turn into dust we will be raised up again to stand in front of Allah
to be questioned?"
Masrur was overwhelmed with obscure horror, and he immediately
interrupted the dialogue and said, "Who said that?"
The chief judge said, "Maqrur!"
Masrur said, "Who is this person?"
The chief of the night watchmen said, "He is a very
poor man who lives in a hut at the borders of the city."
Masrur said, "Is he really the one who said
The spymaster said, "No, he said that he heard those
words from a prophet in the East."
Masrur said, "What prophet is he?"
The chief judge said, "He did not mention."
Masrur laughed cynically and said, "He is a mad man, because
he thought the bodies of men were made of gold, not of dust. Who would care
about collecting such dust from within earth? Are they gold?"
The spymaster laughed, and so did the chief of the night watchmen
and the grand vizier. The chief judge smiled and said as if he was apologizing,
"Who knows! What he said may be true."
Masrur said, "Do you believe that when we become dust
we shall be raised up again in a new creation?"
The chief judge said, "Who knows?"
Masrur said, "You are not fit to be the chief
All the guests stopped talking, and a tense silence overshadowed
the room. It was clear that the chief judge was dismissed by such a furious
word. The hand of the chief judge that was about to start eating froze out of
fear. He returned the food to the plate and remained silent, trembling out of
He then tried to recollect his nerves and said, "My
master Masrur, I did not say that I believe in what he said. I said only, who
knows? I have not completed my sentence yet. I was going to say, 'Who knows? He
may be a liar.' Your question enlightened the issue in my mind. Undoubtedly he
is an insane man suffering from high fever."