Crazy Water

 

Let me begin with an ancient Sufi Story.

It happened many years ago.

The well-known prophet al-Khidr appeared before the people and delivered a threatening message:  “Every one who drinks from the rains of the next winter will become crazy".

Well, people do not listen to prophets, even not to prominent ones - so everybody just went about his business. Everybody - but one man: Halil Najar.

Halil Najar believed in the prophecy, and he decided to protect himself against this curse,

He found a desolate place near the river, and there he dug a huge, well-sealed reservoir. He filled it with fresh water from the river, to be used in the next winter.

The winter came, and al-Khidr‘s prophecy came true:  all the people that drank the new water became crazy, and they also forgot all about the prophecy.

Yet, Halil Najar drank from the water he had prepared. From time to time he would go to his store of water and fill large Jars that he took home.

Now, Halil found himself within a community of lunatics. He could not agree with their way of thinking and doing things.

The other people, on their part, were displeased by the ways of Halil. They gathered that it was he who turned crazy. So they gave up on Halil Najar and kept a distance from him.

Halil, the sole sane person, became very lonely. In few months he could not take it any more. Finally, he deliberately went and drank the water that was available to everybody.

After that, Halil became as crazy as all the rest. He even forgot all about the prophecy and the clean water that he had prepared.

The crazy Halil was quite welcome and he managed to find friends. Still, when he was not around, people would say to each other: "Look at Halil. Do you remember how he used to be crazy? Well! Now he is quite fine"…

The Sufi story ends here – but I know what happened afterwards.

Drinking from the rains of that year made people crazy for life. Yet, in the following years the crazy water got replaced by fresh rains – until all the lakes and rivers were healed.

The children that were born afterwards grew-up quite sane.

They sensed a difference from their parents and teachers.  Youngsters would say to each other: "Let us enjoy life before we will become like these old people". The elders used to say: "What is going on with the young generation?  They have such strange ideas; something is wrong with them". Some of them said that the young ones reminded them of the late Halil Najar before he stopped being insane.

Years later, people found the huge subterranean reservoir of water.  The inquiry after the story behind this project gave no results, because everybody had forgotten all about the prophecy that caused Halil Najar to put it up.

 

Retold by Asher Shla'in