Tales to tell

The Ferozen Dates

Once upon a time, in Nakal, there lived a wise, healthy and generous Imam.

One day a "shawi", a shepherd from a village in Wadi Mistel, came to see the Imam to ask him if he could store a sack of dates in his store room until the nest winter. The shepherd only had very poor quality dates, but because he was a poor shepherd, the dates were very important to him.

The Imam asked the shepherd to write his name on the sack of dates so that he would be able to find them when he wanted them. When winter came the shepherd returned to the Imam and asked him if he could go to the store room to collect his sack of dates. The kind and generous Imam told the shepherd that he could collect his date anytime.

When he entered the storeroom the shepherd found lots and lots of sacks of very good quality dates called "Fardh" dates and his own little sack of poor quality "naghal" dates. The poor shepherd could not resist the temptation! He took a bag of good quality "fardh" dates instead of his own poor "naghal" dates. He split the sack into two portions and put them on the back of his donkey and left the Imam's storeroom as quickly as he could to return to his village.

When the Imam went to the storeroom to get some of his own "fardh" dates, he was shocked and surprised to see the sack of "naghal" dates with the shepherd name on it. He asked the guard if the shepherd had been to collect is dates and when the guard said yes, the Imam realized what the shepherd had done.

Because the Imam was a kind and generous man, he said "If the shepherd has taken my dates by mistakes, may he enjoy them, but if he intended to steal my dates, may they turn to stone!" If you go to wadi Mistal, you can still see the sack spilt into two large stones where they fell off the donkey's back!