By: Abdul Qaddous al Amin
Why all this grieve? The question resonated repeatedly
inside his hears ever since he departed his kingdom. He
almost tripped over the arrayed stones at the entrance of
his old house. A few meters separate him from the reception
hall. He thought he was never going to reach there and
marched without any apparent enthusiasm. An 80-year-old man
seemed to be more active than he was. He was 40-year-old, a
stage which he hated the most.
The door opened after, what he thought was, a long struggle
with the bolt. Why all this grieve? He toddled inside the
house and his lungs were filled with the smell of the
Silence inside home overwhelmed everything, the curtains and
the old furniture, even the light that seeped through the
windows entered with vigilance. The man tripped over the
rocking chair that remains existent next to the large
window. He clearly recalled his father sitting on that
chair. Therefore, he shook his head as an unfriendly
gesture. Nothing tied him to his father but the fear of his
dissatisfaction although they were very close and his father
repeatedly said, "This cub comes from that lion." But the
lion was fierce and merciless. He did not even have a heart.
The cub grew into the man his father wanted.
He could not bear the recalling of the past, which was an
unpleasant reflection. Terrorized because of his childhood,
he ran away towards the western courtyard, hoping he will
find warmth by the old trees. Why all this grieve? He went
towards the end of the courtyard where the old fig tree rose
with pride. Even its branches shaded a nearby graveyard. In
its shade, he sat on the rocks that separated between the
courtyard and the graveyard. Why all this grieve? What is
wrong O Saeed?
Saeed smiled with bitterness. The names will forever
contradict their bearers. For example, Mahasin (which means
beauty) was very ugly among his peers. Hadi (which means
pacific) was like a thundering storm that swept everything
in its way. He himself on the other hand, would mockingly
turn his head half way out of unhappiness, knowing that his
name is Saeed (which means happy).
This black cloud, which almost trapped him, sucked the
colors of his life leaving it colorless, tasteless and
odorless. His life became like an abandoned mansion, struck
by wind. Why all this grieve? The question repeatedly
exhausted and wore him down. He suffers a severe depression.
The doctor said you have the answer- and continued- when you
find it you will heal yourself.
Saeed looked down until his chin touched his chest, like
someone working hard to look inside himself. His inside is
like a dried well with pitch blackness and severe
depression. The question is resembled by the great rock that
sits on the mouth of the well. The answer is resembled by
magic words. Saeed mockingly murmured … open sesame … The
question is hard. Why all this grieve? Why? Answer me O my
cold age. Answer me. Why?
All that he wanted was a large house. But the house became
many houses in another country. What does he want? Enough
money until he dies… Now he owns cities that can last for
hundreds of years… What does he want? Does he want a name?
His name is more famous than ever.
He laid down on the rough rocks. Why all this grief, he
wonders. He looked around the courtyard, nothing as working.
He stretched his arm over the rocks which he sensed with his
fingers. So he closed his fist and raised his hand with
weakness. He was going to stone his past and present as well
as the land that sheltered him. But he could not sense any
keenness. There is nothing but frustration and vanity. The
stones slipped from his fingers to settle on the ground.
Approaching sounds rocked his ears mixed with the sound of
slow footsteps, which broke the silence. In addition, there
were murmurs of men, women and children. He lowered himself
behind the rocks. The sounds were approaching, growing
stronger and expanding. He looked through the holes among
the rocks. It was Thursday, a weekly tradition when on this
particular day the villagers in his village end their day by
visiting the graves of their loved ones.
His eyes scanned the graveyard, which was filled with all
colors of clothes and flowers. They arrived from everywhere,
gathering at the main wide iron gate that jammed with the
crowds. They arrived like a beehive. The graveyard received
them with its open heart and they spread out in groups and
individually among the graves. Some sat down; others stood
or wondered like seekers. The visitors passed by some graves
quickly whereas spent longer time at others. Each grave had
its share of the arrivals. Only one grave had the biggest
share, rather most of the arrivals. Around it, a large
number of people gathered, as if it was the flower with the
Saeed noticed that all visitors in the graveyard would pass
by that particular tomb at the beginning or at the end of
their visit. In addition, some visitors would go directly
like blind butterflies because this group of visitors was
the closest to the deceased. Saeed hid himself better and
started gazing at their faces. He saw what he did not see in
his life, faces illuminated with love and gratitude. Their
faces shined with love, which was unfamiliar to him, as if
they came to visit the most beautiful thing in the world.
Their eyes were crying.
Sounds of moaning and words of passion and love came to his
ears coupled with sorrow and bitterness. They were genuine,
something he never experienced because he was expert with
courtesies. He knows their origins and the outlets of
letters; how and when they must be uttered and for what. But
what he was hearing was something else. The words were
coming out from within without going through the tongue.
They came out mixed with a strange humane emotion. He
wondered about those people. Why all this? What are they
hoping for? They are blowing the scales that weighed the
actions and their reactions like the scales of profit and
loss. These crowds, what are they gaining from wasting such
energy with the flowers that rain down on this tomb like the
Saeed became dazzled and scared and his body trembled with
the reverence of what he saw and heard. Suddenly, the sun
began setting and the beehive of people started returning to
their homes. The graveyard began taking off its colored
clothes except of the flowers that scattered here and there,
most of which gathered at the wonderful grave. Saeed's eyes
scanned all the graves to calm down afterwards at this
particular tomb, which was ornamented by this crowd of
colors, like a leader crowned with great victory. There was
also a strange smell that expanded from between the rocks to
fill his lungs with a strange odor; hopefully this was the
magnificent mixture of the gathered flowers mixed with the
He sensed a delight that overwhelmed that particular tomb.
Birds singing came to his ears as they returned to their
nests with sunset. The tree branches that shaded the tomb
had the biggest share of leaves. Even the old fig tree
reached out for that tomb, breaking its system. Was it all
an illusion? Even the sun rays were lingering around it and
the sun struggled drawing its last ray of its lingering
ones. They were like children slowly returning to their
homes. When the sun succeeds in setting, another beam
remains behind in order to cast a light on the marbled
tombstone. Saeed does not know the source of this light.
Does it come from the street lights at the forelock of the
far street? Alternatively, was their another invisible
Saeed's eyes were bewildered, his heart was also hit.
Bewilderedness seeped all the way to his feet. It was like a
power that overtook him to a standup position. Rather, it
pushed him to cross the rocky partition. Saeed walked like
an enchanted and scared person, attracted towards the tomb.
What is happening to me? Saeed thought: is it inquisition or
were there thousands of invisible ropes that pulled him
towards it? He was overwhelmed by strange feelings. Saeed
became airborne by the wings of amazement. His feet could
hardly touch the ground. What will he see there? What is
your secrete O resident of that strange grave? Was he going
to unravel a great secret? All the senses of Saeed were
opening like the windows of an awakening village. His eyes,
mouth, rib cage, pores, and veins were all opening to a
thousand of probabilities of the new discovery.
He stooped down by the grave with open-mindedness and
breathlessness to wipe the flowers off it. He gazed at the
white marble to read the words "Pay a tribute to the martyr…
Men who have been true to their covenant with God…" Saeed
struck his forehead with his hand, like someone who suddenly
remembered something. The martyr… The answer came crystal
clear without any dubiousness. He closed his eyes like
someone trying to protect them from a bright light. Suddenly
he remembered a comparison that he did not know how he
missed. It was a comparison between two paths: One long,
tricky and awful path of the death that Saeed took. The
other was a short, bright and cozy path of the life that
this martyr adopted. The tape of his life played fast like
the revealing light that penetrated his emptiness. He saw
his life pass before him with all its awful details, all its
slow death. It was like a long run towards a very high
mountain. His eyes froze straight ahead to recall men, women
and children who were all around him, and Saeed would not
turn his eyes towards them… Relatives and friends… Feelings
were snapping under his feet like dried branches. Ties are
breaking away and calls are disappearing. Saeed would not
bend on anything. His eyes locked on the summit for which
all difficulties will ease. All he has is a ladder to reach
his destiny coupled with his strong charisma, sharpness,
politeness, smile, captivating talk, force to convince, and
diversified relations; all for the sake of glory.
For the sake of that summit, he also turned his heart into a
stone under his feet to secure further elevation towards the
peak. His feelings bled constantly, the lights of his spirit
dimmed, the cheery smile ran away from his lips, and the
colors of his colorful life darkened. It's okay, that's what
he used to say. When he reaches and sits on its throne he
will restore through glory everything. This is his debt. He
will stop the bleeding and fill all the lamps with oil. With
glory he will smile wide. With glory he will paint his world
with the colors of a thousand springs.
Saeed reached and almost threw himself on the precious
summit due to the awesomeness of what he saw! Before his
eyes, another higher climax revealed to dwarf his attained
summit into what looked like a stone at the bottom of a very
deep valley. This was very tempting with resistless
attraction. Such climax must be reached. Saeed is active
again and launches once more faster than ever with full
power. This is the summit where he must rest. Saeed will not
stop until he reaches his favorite peak… and… Saeed reached
nowhere but to summits of valleys with an endless long run.
His feelings have faded and the lights of his spirit with
them. His wide smile lost its way, and a dark cloud expanded
leaving his world colorless, tasteless and odorless.
It is now when he realized the mistake that left him like a
dead body. Now he remembers a phrase that summarizes all his
actions and results. It was a phrase of Ali (PBUH), the
prince of believers, "He, who cannot be satisfied by the
little of his world, all that in it will not satisfy him."
This is where I died, Saeed screamed to blow up into tears.
My master, O owner of this wonderful grave, I used to regard
affiliation as an obstacle, friendship as a shackle,
sacrifice as a waste of energy, help as a burden, and
generosity as a stupidity. On the other hand, you gave
repeatedly, and each time you gave it made you happy and you
gave more. After that, you would rise with your generosity.
When you had nothing dearer than your blood and life, you
gave them your entire existence to become perfect. Now you
are at the peak of all summits. It is a climax that I can
never reach. O master, I hate my wasted life. You are the
lord of the living people.
Saeed sobbed in tears. He cried for the entirety of his life
making up for the times when he couldn't cry. The grooves of
the martyr's name overflew with his tears. Saeed continued
crying with his escalating moaning that cracked the waves of
the night. His cries mixed with the songs of the rising
birds, the calls for prayers that approached and departed
with the wind, and the alternating crows of the cocks that
came from a distance. This was a melody played for the first
time, a flawless harmony mixed with the sound of the tears
of a tired and fatigued person.
O lord of the living, Saeed uttered with an unprecedented
clear sound. Here I am, O master, crawling your path as a
reborn. I can feel your pain. My baskets are full and my
heart overflows with love. He bowed to wipe the rest of his
tears by the tombstone and endorsed the grave with his lips.
This was a new covenant, you have my entire gratitude O
master, Saeed uttered. He opened his eyes and looked
thoroughly to discover the newly opened sprouts with the
gathering droplets of water and birds that were changing
their fluffs into feathers while others were learning how to
fly. Saeed looked up to the sky in search for a dark cloud,
but instead he saw nothing but a clear spacious sky that