THE SPRING OF LIGHT
A play by: Hossein Fakhari
Translated by: Mojgan Jalali
***** IN THE NAME OF ALLAH *****
-The play is acted be girls of about 15 years of age. List of the players and their roles is as below:
-Narges as: the Narrator
-Nafisah as: Khadijah
-Haniyah as: Fatimah
-Ziba as: Asiyah
-Marziyah as: Mary
-Rayhanah as: Sarah
-Raziyah as: Safiyyah
-Najmah as: a Qurayshi Woman
-Zaynab as: the Instructor
-About 10 to 14 players as: Angels
-The Angels are all uniformly dressed.
-Qurayshi woman is wearing a black Arab-style chador (veil) or traditional
-The Instructor is wearing casual.
-The rest are wearing loose white gowns with a green band (or stripe) over their scarves (or head covers).
* * *
A waterfront at the back of the stage. The walls on the sides are arched. Decorations hang from the ceiling to depict the occasion of a birth anniversary. A prayer rug lies spread on the floor. Several pillows are laid by the prayer rug. An ‘aba’ (men’s loose sleeveless clock open in front) hangs at a corner wall (representing the Prophet’s aba). Various lights are used. From the ceiling, it is possible to shower flowers…
As the curtain rises Narges and Ziba are seen laying open the prayer rug;
resetting the pillow, and considering the room’s decoration while also talking to one another.
NARGES: Ziba, Is your mother coming today?
ZIBA: Of course, she is. She is so fond of plays. Especially, she will be coming since this play is about Hazrat Zahra (SA). Whenever mother hears the name of Hazrat Zahra (SA), she becomes so overwhelmed with emotion as though sensing Hazrat Zahra’s (SA) presence by her side.
NARGES: My mother will also be coming today. My sister will try to make it too.
ZIBA: The girls are all fully ready. Allah willing, this year, the celebrations of the birth anniversary of Hazrat Sidiqah(Another name for Hazrat Zahra (SA)) will be gloriously held.
(At this point, six other girls walk onto the stage as if arriving just then.)
THE GIRLS: Assalamu Alai Kum, Narges. Assalamu Alai Kum, Ziba.
ZIBA: Assalamu Alai Kum, Assalamu Alai Kum.
NARGES: Alaikum us Salam. You are on time.
MARZIYEH: Friends, I pray to Allah to enable us perform the play in such a way as to win Hazrat Sidiqah’s (SA) grace and favor.
HAYHANAH: This will surely happen if each of us plays her role sincerely.
RAYHANAH: Each of us should feel as if she is in the presence of Hazrat Fatimah (SA). After all, this session is held marking her holiships’s birth anniversary. In fact, she is the hostess and the hostess pays heed to her guests.
RAZIYAH: I become strongly excited when I feel that I am in the presence
of Hazrat Fatimah (SA) and that she is observing our activities.
NAFISAH: Allah willing, Hazrat will great us her favor and assembly will be graced.
NARGES: You have become fully ready through the rehearsals. But let us go over everything one more time.
(She takes a few steps and stands in the middle of the half circle configuration the girls have formed and reviews their roles.)
NARGES: I act as “the Narrator”, telling the story. Nafisah, you will play the part of Hazrat Khadijah.
-Haniyah, you will play the part of Hazrat Fatimah, but we only hear your voice, as you will be behind the scene.
-Ziba, you will act as Asiyah, the monotheistic wife the (pharaoh).
-Marziyah, you will play the role of Hazrat Mary.
-Rayhanah, you will perform the part of Hazrat Sarah, the wife of Hazrat
-Raziyah, you will play the part of Hazrat Safiyyah, the wife of Moses (AS). You should promptly come on stage and play your parts.
-Najamah, you will act as a Quarayshi woman. You should promptly act your part.
-The rest of the girls play the part of angels and nymphs of paradise. They will be behind the scene and will enter at the right moment. I hope the parts will be performed well.
NAFISAH: Allah willing, it will be so. AREZU: If you are ready girls, we shall start. THE GIRLS: Yes, we are ready.
AREZU: Please take up your position, so that Narges would start.
(At this point, all but Narges and Nafiseh leave the stage. Nafiseh leans on the pillow close to the prayer rug. Narges appears in the middle of the stage and starts 🙂
NARGES: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful. Peace be upon eminent spectators whose your hearts beat for the Holy Prophet’s Ahl ul-Bayt (members of the Holy Prophet’s household). Today, I am the Narrator of the long familiar story of the birth (of Hazrat Fatimah).
In the dark days of paganism and oppression in the land of idolatry and polytheism, the Prophet of light was raised by the Mercy of Almighty Allah so as to guide and lead the slumbering spirits like a glowing torch and to direct the generation to come until the Day of Resurrection with his light of guidance. The Prophet of Mercy had come. (The spotlight appropriately focuses on her as she moves on the stage). Yet the people only turned their backs on him and taunted him. This was the reward he got. This slumbering nation showed no response but to harm the Prophet. From the men, only Ali (SA) and from the women, only Khadijah hearkened to his call. The Prophet received staunch opposition on the part of the people but proceeded with his mission: And did that by depending on Allah and enjoying the support of his affectionate wife, Khadijah (The light focuses on Khadijah.) Now is the moment when Allah has willed to bestow upon them the brilliant gem of humanity, the divine luminosity; the true light emerging from the divine Light will illuminate the house of humanity.
Now Khadijah is in the place of worship and is supplicating to her Lord.
(Narges exits. Khadijah, while raising her hands, prays:)
KHADIJAH: Oh, Lord! I praise You for bestowing upon me a husband such as Muhammad (S) and for granting me the blessing of (adherence to) Islam and belief. Praise be to You for granting me a child who provides solace for me and who is my confidante even though it is still in my womb. O Allah! Assist me as I approach the hour of delivery. You are Aware that I sincerely gave to the messenger of Allah whatever I had. I tolerated the admonition of all the women of Quraysh who advised me against marrying Muhammad since he was poor and who told me that there were many rich men who wanted to marry me. But I chose to be on Mohammed’s side. I need to have some women by my side at the time of help me. O Allah, assist me.
(Ziba, the Qurayshi woman, wearing special clothes, proudly enters. From afar, she addresses Khadijah 🙂
THE QURAYSHI WOMAN: O Khadijah! You didn’t listen to us and of all the rich suitors you had, you chose to marry the penniless Muhammad. You who were the first Lady or Quraysh did not listen to us. With all your wealth, you married Muhammad. So now it’s us who will not listen to you and none of us will come to your aid. It is better for you to be alone with Muhammad and his God!
(She exits laughing scornfully.)
KHADIJAH (sadly): O Lord! Bear Thou witness how unkindly they treat me! I didn’t ask them for anything except that they are by my side at this hour of need. But even this trifle is withheld from me. O Lord! O Mighty Lord! …
(At this moment, this sound is heard from the echoes.)
FATIMAH: Mother, mother….
KHADIJEH: Who is it? Is it you, my child, Fatimah, my dear daughter? (She leans on the pillow and touches her stomach.) My daughter, see how the women of Quraysh have left us alone…
FATIMAH: Do not grieve, mother. Be patient. Allah is with us and will not leave us alone. Soon you will see Allah’s assistance.
KHADIJAH: Thank you, my daughter. You have always been my confidant
and my solace. You have sympathized with me in my grief. (At this moment, four ladies, with beautiful clothes enter, and go toward Khadijah.) You have been my consolidation… (She turns toward the newly arrived women) Who are you? When did you come in? You do not resemble the women of Quraysh!
ASIYAH: Do not grieve, O master of the women of Quraysh. I am Asiyah, the daughter of Mazahim and the monotheistic wife of Firawn (Pharaoh). This lady is Sarah, the wife of Abraham (AS). This is Safiyyah, the daughter of Shu‘ayb and the wife of Moses (AS). She is Hazrat Mary. Allah has sent us to your beside to be with you at this hour when women are in need of one another. Don’t worry. We are by your side and we are your servants, O the finest lady of Quraysh, O Mother of the most outstanding Lady of the world….
(They embrace and kiss her and sit by her side.) A spiritual atmosphere gradually prevails while the women keep kissing and encircling Khadijah. A soft religious music is heard from the loudspeakers. Ten nymphs of paradise (according to the tradition) or fourteen nymphs of paradise (not according to the tradition!) enter the stage from the sides, each holding something (such as a towel, clothing, tray, little tub, cradle…) and moving around the stage chanting:
Tonight, the Paradise and heavenly flower garden is ornamented, tonight the sanctuary of the Qiblah of faith is ornamented, and she is Fatimah, the glorious chaste lady. She is Fatimah, the dear daughter of the Prophet.
(Light sparkles at this moment, making the stage brilliant. From a corner, the
Narrator (Narges) faces the spectator and says 🙂
NARRATOR: The Realm of Wahy (Divine Revelation) (i.e. Mecca) had never experienced such a moment except for the birth of the Messenger of Allah. It was at such great moment that the angel moment that the angels descended from the heavens and spread their wings on the earth. A curtain of light wrapped the heavens and the earth. Flowers were pelted down from the heavens (a shower of flowers from above the stage or freeing of pigeons) until the promised moment emerged and the Morning Star-Zahra, the Virgin Fatimah, the Apple of the Eyes of the Prophet was born. (The ten angels move about a little faster and sing:)
O precious soul of Ahmad,
O life of the caravan of existence, O boundless spring of blessing,
The link between Nubuwwah and Imamah, (more calmly) O secret of Allah, the purity of Haq, the hidden sign,
The world has become luminous by your gleaming face.
(At this moment, they place their bowls and e equipment close to Khadijah and the four ladies by her side. They encircle her. The Narrator uses this opportunity to say 🙂
NARRTOR: The Angel take out the white heavenly clothes whose fragrance is more aromatic than musk and amber and warp Fatimah in them so as to embrace this unique heavenly pearl and this `heart of the Messenger of Allah` and to ask her to speak. While embrace by the heavenly ladies, Fatimah speaks:
FATIMAH: I bear witness that there is no god but Allah. And I bear witness
that my father Muhammad is His Messenger and that Ali is the master of the
Faithful and my child is the master of the tribes.
(She then greets the women and smiles upon them. They too smile back.)
NARRATOR: The Angels become jubilant and fly to the heavens to give the good tiding of her birth to the other heavenly beings. An unprecedented light shines in the sky.
(At this moment, the Angels exit.)
ASIYAH: O Khadijah! O master of the women of Quraysh! Take hold of your eminent pure, purified and pious daughter. Congratulation to you upon her birth, for her offspring would be auspicious for you.
(They give to Khadijah the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and bid adieu.)
SARAH: Goodbye O Khadijah. Goodbye O Fatimah.
SAFIYEH: Farewell O master of the women of the world, O greatest of all mothers, O best of all mothers, O best of all daughters.
MARYAM: Goodbye dear Khadijah. Goodbye dear Zahra. May I be sacrificed for you?
(They would like to exit when suddenly Mary faces the spectators and excitedly says 🙂
MARYAM: O God, what do I see? Peace and greeting be upon Fatimah Zahra. Peace and greeting be upon Sidiqah Kubra. Finally, you honored us with your presence. We welcome you. (She then kneels and while overpowered with emotions says 🙂 They had said that you are affectionate. They had said that you are thoughtful of those who love you. See, my Lady, we have taken part in your birth celebration. We have been jubilant, but the hearts are grieved. The hearts are chagrined and the bodies are afflicted.
Dear Zahra! Welcome to our gathering. They had said that you would come, O mother of the Sadat, O wife of Ali, O intercessor of the Day of Judgment.
Intercede for these (pointing to themselves) petty slave girls of yours. Bless our gathering. O Zahra, welcome here. You deigned to come to our gathering. See
how the hearts are grieved for the Ghaibah (occultation) of your son Mahdi. Bless us with the appearance of your son. Welcome dear Zahra. Welcome dear Zahra. Where are you going? Please stay a little more.
(She bursts into tears. The rest of the ladies encircle her.)
SARAH: What happened, Maryam? What did you see? So why didn’t we see it?
(The instructor enters.)
THE INSTRUCTOR: Excellent my daughters. Finally, Hazrat Zahra (SA) approved of our work. Finally, Marziyah, as Maryam, saw her Mawla. Thanks are to Allah. It was excellent. Let us chant a song for our Lady.
(Then all the girls and Narges, together with the Instructor, come to the stage and chant the following:)
The mercy of the Merciful, which is on the people of the world, is Zahra. (2) In both worlds, Zahra is the mistress of the women. (2)
The light, which the branch of Tooba (Heavenly tree) flashes out, is from
The Kawthar (river in Paradise) which Allah mentions in Quran is Zahra.
(They keep chanting until all the spectators also sing alone with them. Then they pass through the spectators while repeating the above verse, especially the last line. They finally leave the hall and the program comes to an end.)