There was a rich merchant who had four wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best. He also loved his 3rd wife very much. He’s very proud of her and always wanted to show her off to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men. He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person. Always patient, and in fact is the merchant’s confidante. Whenever the merchant face some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tied him through difficult times.
Now, the merchant’s 1st wife, is a very loyal partner, and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love his 1st wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her. One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself “Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I’ll be alone. How lonely I’ll be” Thus, he asked the 4th wife, “I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” The 4th replied “NO WAY!” and she walked away without another word. The reply cuts like a sharp knife right into the merchant’s heart. The sad merchant then asked his 3rd wife, “I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” The 3rd wife replied “No! Life is so good, I’m going to remarry when you die” The merchant’s heart sank and turned cold. He then asked his 2nd wife, “I always turn to you for help, and you;ve always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?” Replied the 2nd wife “I’m sorry I cant help you out this time. At the very most, I can only accompany you to your grave.” The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated. Then, a voice called out “I’ll go with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.” The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from ‘malnutrition’. Greatly grieved, the merchant said “I should have paid attention and taken much better care of you while I could have.”
Actually all of us have “4 wives” in our lives …..
4th wife : Our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will deteriorate.
3rd wife : Our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.
2nd wife : Family and friends. No matter how close they have been with us, they can only escort us to the grave.
1st wife : Our soul. often neglected in pursuit of material, wealth and sensual pleasures.
Guess what? Only our soul follows us everywhere. Perhaps it is a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than wait until we’re on our death bed to lament. Wallahu’alam.
compiled by Dib Mossavi