Saturday July 20, 2024

Jithay howay Noor Jamal!

By Mobarik A Virk
January 07, 2017

There is an epic story, (or shall we say folklore) the like of which most of us must have heard in many languages, Sindhi, Baloochi, Pashto and Punjabi with slight changes or amendments. It goes like this:

“Once upon a time there was a King! He was very God-fearing, honest, upright, and judicious. Whenever he would meet the general public he would always guide them not to indulge in unlawful, unethical and immoral activities. Whenever he would get an opportunity to address the public, he would preach against corruption. All kinds of corruption. 

But his main focus remained financial corruption, which he mentioned as the mother of all evils which eats into bowls of a society and eventually leads to other forms of corruption and results in ultimate collapse of a society. 

The King always directed his people to strictly avoid ‘haram’ and eat and drink only ‘halal’ items, which Allah Almighty have provided for mankind in abundance. He would also advise the public to earn ‘rizq-e-hilal’ and sever all ties with the corrupt person(s). 

One day a person called on him with a perplexing problem.  “Your Highness, I am confronted with a serious issue and I don’t know what to think about this. Please tell me if the donkey is ‘halal’ or ‘haram’?” the man asked. 

“Why? What happened? Why are you asking this question? This is very clear that eating donkey meat is absolutely ‘haram’,” the King glowered down at the main from his thorner responded. 

“Sir, I have eaten donkey meat! What should I do now? Is this too big a sin? Could I ever be cleansed? You are so wise. Please advise me as to what to do,” the man wailed. 

The King seemed to have suffered a great shock and became very angry with the man. 

“You have committed a great sin. This is such a common knowledge that donkey is ‘haram’ and eating donkey meat is a big sin. You have sinned and you have confessed to it too!” the King angrily shouted. 

“Please Your Highness, I have committed this sin by mistake. You are the King! Now please help me. Tell me what should I do to cleans myself and my soul of the burden of this sin,” the man pleaded. 

The King lowered his head and went into deep thought! He sat on his throne, with his eyes closed, for a long while and then raised his head. 

“The sin you have committed is too great. Now you must pay as big an atonement to cleans yourself of this sin you have committed. You must bring an Ox for sacrifice and distribute the meat among the poor people around you. You also must pay an amount to deposited in the treasury which will be spent for the benefit of the poor also. And you also must fast for a whole month in addition to the fast during the holy month of Ramadan,” the King announced his verdict. 

“Your Highness, I will fast as much as you would order. But Your Highness, I am such a poor man. Neither I have any means to buy an Ox, nor I have money to submit in your treasury. Please think of something else. Be lenient to me and pray for my forgiveness,” the man pleaded. 

“You have sinned and to cleans yourself and your soul you must do as I have told you to do,” the King announced even more sternly this time. 

“So, there is no other way out for me?” the man asked. 

“No. There is no other way!” 

“Well, Your Highness, in this case the fact is that I went for hunting with your son Prince Noor Jamal. He hunted one donkey and slaughtered the beast that we ate together. Will the Prince Noor Jamal also be punished in the same manner to cleans himself of this sin. In fact even bigger sin because it was he who hunted and slaughtered the donkey that we ate together,” the man demanded this time. 

The King was taken aback. He once again lowered his head and started meditating. After a long time he raised his head, eyes still closed as if in a trance and shouted loudly: “Jithay howay Noor Jamal, Khota, Ghora sab halal!” (Where there Noor Jamal is present, donkey, horses are all hallal!)

I wonder if we see something similar going around us!