AN EPISODE-AT MANZIL-E-MEEM

AN EPISODE-AT MANZIL-E-MEEM

One morning a group of Muslims noisily entered the compound and demanded to meet Meher Baba. "If the person who calls himself a pir does not show himself," they rudely announced, "we will enter the house forcefully and teach him a lesson he will never forget!" It was a tense, serious situation. Behramji was on watch and informed Baba, who was on the top floor meeting with the mandali.

Some of his disciples were afraid and advised Baba to hide. Baba listened calmly, then got up and said, "I've been waiting specially for this day." Frightened for Baba's safety, Baily and two others stood in His way and suggested he jump over the back wall and run to the railway station. Baba pushed them aside and told them to watch what happens.

Baba approached the group, identified himself as Meher Baba, and asked them angrily why had they come and why were they making so much commotion. Baba's face was livid, and His voice was loud. Looking at Baba, the entire group stood speechless. Baba rebuked them sternly for their arrogant behavior. "Such behavior is unbecoming to a Musalman," He stated. Baba explained to them what a real Muslim was and how he should behave. And in support of that, He quoted a stanza from the Koran in Arabic.

Hearing this, even the mandali were surprised to discover that Baba could recite the Koran and that he knew Arabic.

Pointing at the Muslims intruders standing there, Baba stated, "I am a better Muslim than all of you. I am a true Muslim. I not only know exactly how a Muslim should behave, but I also practice it in My own life."

Finally, Baba advised them, "You came here today out of spite but I forgive you. Now leave in peace and lead useful, pure lives, by giving charity to the poor and bowing down to God with a sincere heart at least once a day, if not five times."

Baba's words deeply affected the group. They had entered like lions, but left like lambs. With bowed heads, each of them said, "Salaam-alaikum (Peace be upon you)."

The episode did not end here; a week later, four of the leaders of the group came and requested to meet Baba. This time they were quiet and humble. They were asked to wait as Baba was informed of their arrival. Baba called them to His room and asked the mandali to leave so He could meet the Muslim leaders in private. After the meeting, all came down including Baba. As they left, each kissed Baba's hands respectfully. This sudden change of heart gave the mandali immense joy. Baba explained later that the group, after realizing their foolishness, was repentant and had sought Baba's forgiveness.

The leaders sought Baba's permission, which he gave, for performing a Mohammedan ceremony inside the Manzil's compound on the following Friday, their day of worship. For this occasion, a mandap (canopy) was erected inside the compound over a well-decorated stage. Baba was garlanded with a beautiful garland and was given a nice bouquet. To witness the pious program, people gathered not only inside the compound but also outside on the pavement. After the prayers were over, all kissed Baba's hand. In this manner Baba was bestowed the honor and respect of a wali (saint) by the Muslim community.

After this function, many Muslims started visiting Baba daily — not only residents of Dadar but those from far-off places, also. Baba donated a substantial amount of money for Muslim widowed women, children's education, and orphanages. This was done through the Muslim leaders and was praised and publicized in Urdu newspapers of Bombay.

Revised Lord Meher, pp. 304-305, © AMBPPCT, photo: © Meher Nazar Publications or MSI Collection , via jaibaba.org