Three Men - Trapped in a Cave
Kaan Ya Makaan, Fee Qadeem Al-Zamaan…
There was a Place, in Times of Old…
Where three men, friends and fellow villagers, were out walking on the slopes of a mountain. Suddenly, the skies opened up and great waves of rain poured down. The three men fled down the mountainside but were forced by the raging storm to take refuge in the nearest cave.
While the men stood about shaking the rain from their hair and wringing the rainwater from their clothes, there was a rushing sound followed by a low rumbling moan and suddenly the dim light at the mouth of the cave disappeared. The men rushed forward and found to their horror that the rain had loosened a great boulder which had rolled down the slopes of the mountain and come to rest at the mouth of their cave. They had been entombed alive!
Frightened and unnerved, the men tried with all their combined might to shift the boulder, if only a little, but to no avail. The boulder had found a comfortable resting place and it would not be shifted.
"This must be an act of God," the men said to one another, "And there is nothing that can save us from this but the truth, let each of us entreat God by a good deed we each have truthfully done with God in mind."
The first man began, "God, you know that I hired a man to plant and care for some crops, but he only did a little work, then he shirked the rest. So I took care of the crops and when the harvest came, I used the money from it to buy a cow. Then, the hired man came to me and asked for his wages. I pointed out the cow I had bought and told him to take it but he said I owed him crops for his work. I told him I had bought the cow using the profits from the harvest. So he took the cow and left. If you know that I did that because I feared you, God, then please, save us from this!"
There was a muted rumble, and the boulder shifted so that a soft, cool breeze stole into the cave and whirled round the anxious men. The breath of fresh air whispered sweetly of life and freedom and the end of the pouring rain. The three men sighed in wonder and gratitude.
"God," said the second man, "you know that I have two elderly parents and that every day I take milk to them from my sheep. One day I was late reaching their house, and when I arrived, I found them both asleep. I knew that my family was hungry and my children were waiting but I never fed them until my parents had had their fill. Yet, I hated to wake my parents that night and I hated to leave them before they had had their share of the milk. So I waited patiently for them to wake up until the break of dawn. If you know that I did that because I feared you, God, then please, save us from this!"
A deep rumbling sound came from the boulder that sluggishly rolled aside, just enough for the three men to see the sky which was a deep, clear, freshly scrubbed blue. The rain had gone and left the world sparkling and renewed and each of the men thought longingly of the life and family waiting for them out there, just beyond their reach.
"God," said the third and final man, "you know I have a cousin, she is the dearest person to my heart. I tried to seduce her and she turned me down. Then she told me she would be with me if I gave her one hundred dinars. After a great deal of work, I managed to gather the money she had asked for. Then I took the money and gave it to her, and when I had her in my power she said to me: 'Fear God, and do not take anything God has not given you a right to'. So I left her as I had found her and left the one hundred dinars with her. If you know that I did that because I feared you, God, then please, save us from this!"
No sooner did the echo of the third man's voice die away, than a deep rumbling filled the cave. With a shudder, the giant boulder rolled ponderously to the side, clearing the mouth of the cave and setting the three grateful, God-fearing men free.