Issue 48 / October - December 2004
The Guests of The Palace
The sandstorm was over. It was a horrible night. The caravan was lost in the middle of nowhere. The camels were taking us to a place we knew nothing about. We were tired and hopeless. However, a miracle happened. After we passed a small hill, we saw a fabulous palace. There was nobody, no guards, or gatekeeper. We went through the gate. There was a golden sign on the gate, which said:
â€śWelcome travelers! You may enter the kingâ€™s palace, and you may benefit from everything for free. When your time is due the king is going to take you to a better palace where you can stay forever. Respect the rules of the palace, and each other. Thank the king who provides everything to you, who built this palace just for you. The beauties of the palace are just samples, not the real bounties. Do not let them make you forget the owner of the palace, and the short time you have.â€ť The King.
Then we entered the palace. There were servants, who welcomed us. We were all amazed by the palace, and its beauties. The servants took us to the bath. They cleaned us with rose-scented soaps, and jasmine oil. They brought us clean white cashmere clothes.
After we were all clean, the servants took us to a feast. They showed us our seats. The table was full of different kinds of food and fruits. We were starving; had not eaten for days. We started to eat. They were all delicious. After dinner, they took us to small houses. Inside the house every thing was made of silk, even the curtains. Outside, there were all kinds of trees, waterfalls, birds, fountains; even the sun was shining differently. I forgot that we were in the middle of a desert.
Days were passing very fast. Actually, it was a palace designed to serve us. When we were altogether, one of us stood up and said, â€śThere cannot be a better place than this. I think this is the place where we should stay.â€ť Most of us agreed with him, but I stood up, and said; â€ś But my friend, do not forget what we read on the gate, there is a king who owns the palace, and we all have a short time to stay here, and he offers us a better place if we act according to his will.â€ť He replied, â€śI donâ€™t think there is a king. Maybe there was, but he is not here any more. They wrote it when he was here, but he left the palace, so we are its owners.â€ť Most of the people agreed with him, and said; â€śYeah, we are the owners!â€ť By this time, we were divided into basically three groups. One who claimed that they were the owners of the palace, and believed that they would stay forever in it. Second, the biggest group, who believed that there was a king, but they did not care about him. They were just so into the beauties of the palace, and they were drunk most of the time. Third, me, and some of my friends, the smallest of the groups, believed that there was a king, and we had a short time in the palace. Everything we had was a sample of the real bounties of the king in the better place where he was going to take us.
The first group, who claimed that they were the owners of the palace, started to treat the servants badly and violate all the rules. The second group also let them do whatever they wanted; they did not care about what was going on. The travelers in the caravan turned the palace into a hell.
With these thoughts on my mind I was looking at the books of old times. They were mostly history books, which were about the people who lived in this palace before us. I took a book, written three centuries ago; its name was Age of Rose. I turned the pages slowly; it was talking about an unbelievable period of time which lasted almost a thousand years in this same palace. There were people who lived a wonderful life in peace and joy. They were also righteous and thankful to the king. So, not all times have been like mine in this palace. Unfortunately, I came here in a wrong time, but as they say; there is for sure a reason for everything happening. The book was also mentioning about the outside of the palace, where people lived happily forever. Reading this chronicle I was comforted with an expectation promising an eternal glorious life.
I have not lost my hope for the future of this palace. I am striving hard with my friends to remind others of the Kingâ€™s message, so that they become conscious about the purposes and wisdom behind their transient presence here. I am praying that the All-Merciful King will guide us to His Path and we all enter His Abode happily.