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Three Good Men

Contributed by Mona Wafa on 16.03.2008:

Three merchants were going on a trip when night came with heavy rain forcing them to take shelter in a cave where they spent the night. In the morning as they were about to leave they found out that a huge rock had blocked the entrance to the cave making them prisoners without food or water. They were certain of an impending death. However, one of them said: “let each one of us remember a good deed that he once did and then pray to God to save us.”

The first one said: “I had a beautiful cousin whom I couldn’t marry, so her father married her to another man and she had three children. One year there was a heavy drought, food was lost and many died of hunger. In that dire state my cousin came asking me for help, and I agreed on the condition that she would give herself to me, and she refused.

She suffered hunger for days and her husband and two children died, leaving her youngest. Fearing for his death too she accepted my condition, took a scarf and covered her face, when I asked her for the reason she answered :”I feel shame in front of God.” I answered: ” You feel shame and I don’t… take what you need and go to your son.” Then he prayed to God:” Oh God if I have not committed adultery out of shame then remove this impediment we are in.” The rock moved a little and some air creeped in.

The second said:” I was a rice merchant, with many young men working for me on a weekly pay. One day one of the workers was sick and did not come to collect his pay, and he was long absent so I bought with his wage a sheep and sent it out with my own flock. The sheep procreated and increased in number. After a few years, the worker returned asking for his money so I pointed out to the sheep to take them, and he thought I was making fun of him, but I told him what happened and he took his flock away. Oh God, if I have been honest save us. ” The rock moved a little bit more and light came through.

The Third said: “I was a shepherd with two old parents whom I took care of and gave them milk every day. One day I arrived late with the milk and found them asleep. I stood by their bed until the morning so as not to disturb them. Oh God if I have done this for your mercy please save us.” The rock moved completely away from the entrance and they were saved.

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