The Story of the Bewitched Prince
There was a king who had only one son. The prince was
quite handsome and bore a good character. It was the
king’s desire and intention to have his son married to a
beautiful princess and in this regard, he started talking to a
religiously minded and righteous family. However, the queen
started having second thoughts. She said to king: “You are
looking at righteousness and fear of God, but you do not see
that these people are inferior to you as far as honor, respect and
wealth are concerned”. The king replied: “Begone! O Foolish
One, he who chooses the sorrow of concern of Deen, Allah
Ta’ala will remove all other worldly sorrows from Him”.
The cares of the Hereafter are like the staff of Nabi
Moosa (Alayhis Salaam), which swallowed all the snakes of the
sorcerers. Similarly, the sorrow and concern for the Hereafter,
swallows all the sorrows of the world. In this respect, let us
look at the couplets of the humble author of these lines:
“You will be freed from the worries of both worlds,
If you have concern in you for the Hereafter”.
At last, the king managed to persuade his wife, so the prince
was married to the beautiful princess. After the marriage, they
waited a long time but there was no sign of the princess
bringing forth any offspring. This caused the king great worry.
He thought: “What could be wrong? This princess is pretty and
young. Why is she not conceiving?” The king secretly gathered
his advisors and consulted with the Ulama and saintly ones. At
last, it was discovered that the prince was under a spell from an
old woman who had bewitched him. As a result, he felt great
dislike and aversion towards his wife and used to go to the
ugly old woman. Because of the spell, he was in love with the
ugly old woman.
When he heard this, the king was very sad and
displeased. He immediately started giving a lot of charity and
fell into prostration, crying bitterly before his Lord. Before he
could stop crying, a man from the unseen appeared before him
and said: “Come with me to the graveyard”. The king followed
him to the graveyard. He went to a very old grave and dug it
- He showed the king a hair with a hundred knots on it – an
article of witchcraft – on which sorcery had been practiced, and
then had been buried. The man blew upon every knot and
opened it. As he did this, the young prince became healed of his
ailment. As soon as the last knot was opened, the prince was
freed from the love for the old woman. His eyes gained proper
sight and he no longer detested his wife. He stopped looking at
the old woman with eyes filled with love, in fact, he felt great
dislike and aversion for her. When he now looked at his young
and beautiful wife, he was so struck by her beauty that he fell
down unconscious. Slowly, he regained his senses and
gradually he was able to bear her beauty.
Maulana now gives us lessons from this story: He says:
“O people, you are like that prince and this world is like that
ugly old woman who has bewitched the lovers of this world.
Because of this spell they fall in love with the outside
appearance of this temporary life, while turning their backs
towards Allah Ta’ala, Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alayhi Wasallam)
and towards the life of the Hereafter. In fact, the reality of this
world is as much as Hazrat Majzoob (Rahmatullah Alaihe)
“Actually it is a picture of devastation although appearing like
being built up.
But this is the (true) reality of this world.
That man’s eyes are closed and he becomes mere fiction”.
Haroun-al-Rashid’s son, who discarded his father’s kingdom
and chose a life of poverty, shortly before his death, spoke to a
friend of his, in these words:
The world says: O, my friend, do not become deceived by my
For life is ending and the pleasures will end.
And when you carry a corpse to the grave,
Then remember that after him you too will be carried”.
We learn from this story that the treatment for the person
whose eyes have been bewitched by this world is:
- To have a sincere and deep love for the friends of Allah Ta’ala.
- To remember death at all times.
- To stay in the company of the saintly ones as much as possible.
- To discard one’s own opinions and to listen attentively
to their instructions and to act accordingly.
- To perform two-rakaats Salaah, beg forgiveness and
beseech Allah Ta’ala for His guidance.