Page:The Perfumed Garden - Burton - 1886.djvu/29

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Concerning Praiseworthy Men

heard speak of them, they came to him and said, "Have you no knowledge of Mohammed and his doings?" He replied, "I shall do better than that."

Now, Mocailama was an enemy of God, and when he put his luckless hand on the head of someone who had not much hair, the man was at once quite bald; when he spat into a well with a scanty supply of water, sweet as it was, it was turned dirty by the will of God; if he spat into a suffering eye, that eye lost its sight at once, and when he laid his hand upon the head of an infant, saying, "Live a hundred years," the infant died within an hour.

Observe, my brethren, what happens to those whose eyes remain closed to the light, and who are deprived of the assistance of the Almighty!

And thus acted that woman of the Beni-Temin, called Chedja et Temimia, who pretended to be a prophetess. She had heard of Mocailama, and he likewise of her.

This woman was powerful, for the Beni-Temim form a numerous tribe. She said, "Prophecy cannot belong to two persons. Either he is a prophet, and then I and my disciples will follow his laws, or I am a prophetess, and then he and his disciples will follow my laws."

This happened after the death of the Prophet (the salutation and mercy of God be with him).

Chedja then wrote to Mocailama a letter, in which she told him, "It is not proper that two persons should at one and the same time profess prophecy; it is for one only to be a prophet. We and our disciples will meet and examine each other. We shall discuss about that which has come to us from God (the Koran), and we will follow the laws of him who shall be acknowledged as the true prophet,"