The Builder who was Strong

Once there was a builder who was in very great demand. No Important building was put up in the city if he wasn"t there to super¬vise and &ququot;direct. Besides, he was very strong. He could toss a brick from the ground to the top storey of a building.

A merchant for whom the builder was working was very much impressed by the builder"s ability and he wondered what the secret of II Wits. He thought it might have something to do with the builder"s wife so he sent an old woman to investigate and bring him word. He said. Go to the builder"s house and find out how his wife treats him. When I see him so strong I think he must have a wife who treats him well and backs up and supports his strength.

The old woman went to the builder"s house and she found it was a tidy house. The wife worked at home all day. She had water ready and heating on the fire. The old woman asked, What"s the water for?

The wife answered, So that when my husband comes home I can give him a bath.

The builder finished work and came home. His wife met him. Welcomed. May Allah give you strength. May Allah help you. She took her husband to the bath, entered with him, scrubbed him well, put a towel on his shoulders, brought clean clothes .to him in a basket, and all the time she was caring for him she was smiling and saying, I hope you aren"t too tired. How are you feeling? I"ve been thinking of you all day long.

The old woman went to the merchant and said, O father, the builder has a wife and she is keeping up his strength. She received him in such a way that all his fatigue left him, and she is always smiling. And she went into a description of all the details of how the .builder"s wife prepared for his homecoming, helped him off with his robes, never complained, etc., etc. She told him that the builder"s wife was a most unusual woman and very beautiful besides.

Strange, said the merchant. Don"t you think you could get her away from the builder and arrange for me to meet her and have a good time with her?

The old woman said, I"ll try. She went to the builder"s wife and said, O mother, it"s a pity for a person like you to be married to a builder. He isn"t suited to you. You should be the wife of a merchant, someone well-known, someone with a big position. What"s your hus¬band? He comes home all dirty, and you have to wash him and change his clothes before he is a human being. What"s he to you?

What of it, ya aunty? It is trade. Allah has ordained the posi¬tion of everyone. He isn"t a cripple. He provides for me and he is the father of my son. What"s wrong with him?

You need someone with a nice perfume to sleep beside you.

Well what do you think, my husband uses the very best perfume.

Nevertheless, if you would only agree, I could tell you about someone who loves you. It is the merchant for whom your husband is building a house.

In the end, the old woman made the wife of the builder dissatis¬fied and she began to dream of being the wife of a merchant. When her husband came home she had no hot water ready, and she didn"t wash him or care for him at all. The next day when he went to work and he wanted to toss a brick to the top of the building he could hardly throw it up two meters. He was worried. He had some¬thing on his mind. Finally he said, Stop work for the day.

But the merchant said, If you stop the work, when will the building be completed? He called the old woman to him and said, Go back to the builder"s wife and patch up things between them.

The old woman went to visit the builder"s wife and asked how .ho was. The old woman had brought an old water jar with her. When she went to the toilet she took her earthenware water jar with her. Deliberately she dropped the jar and broke it. She came out crying on account of the broken jar. The wife of the builder said, Aunt, why are you crying?

The old woman said, My water jar is broken.

Well, use this other water jar for now and I’ll buy you a new one.

Shall I expose my private parts to a new water jar every day? I’ve had that old jar for a good many years and I"ve always taken care of it. I"m accustomed to my old jar. Am I to have a new one every day?

O aunt, are you weeping when you have only to change one jar for another? Then why did you try to persuade me to change one man fur another?

Yes, that is the truth. I sacrifice myself for you, and I admit that you would be very wise to remain faithful to your husband.

The wife of the builder gave up her disloyal thoughts at once. When her husband returned in the evening everything was as before. His wife met him smiling. May Allah help you. The water is hot for the bath. And she thought only of the comfort of her husband.

The next day, when the builder went to work, he was no longer worried and the work went well.