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  Mullah Mohammad Jon

Amir Ali Sher NawaiMullah Mohammad Jon Bookmark and Share

 

The story of Mullah Mohammad Jon and Ayesha is a true tale of two lovers caught between the class systems of Khurasan (Afghanistan) of the past century.

 

Mullah Mohammad Jon

By Wahid Momand

 

In a time long ago, in the village of Gazergah in Herat lived a young teacher. Mohammad Jon enjoyed tutoring his young students at the Gowher Shad School in a nearby city. Sultan Baeqra and his grand Wazir Amir Ali Sher Nawai held a annual ceremony where the villagers would gather to listen to lectures by renown scientists, astronomers and the recitation of poetry by the greatest poets of the era by the invitation of the Sultan.

 

Mohammad Jon thought it was a great idea to take his students to the palace where they would benefit from the ceremonies of the day. Through the fields and hills of Herat where the birds were chirping upon the blooming blossoms of spring, He lead his students towards the palace. The rivers surged with gushing water and cool breeze caressed the flowing beard of Mohammad Jon as he guided his students towards the palace.

 

“The students of Gowher Shad along with their Instructor Mohammad Jon have arrived.” the guards announced upon their entrance to the palace gates

 

            After the festivities the Sultan called upon the young teacher to his thrown.

            “What was your name young man” the Sultan asked

            “Mohammad Jon, Sir, I am from Gazargah” he bowed in front of the great Sultan

            “Why you have become a Mullah with such long beard” the sultan smiled “We shall call you Mullah Mohammad Jon hence forward” he continued as the darbar chuckled with him.

            “This would be an honor” Mohammad Jon responded.

 

            With his new title and recognition, Mullah Mohammad Jon returned to school. On his way home, Mullah Mohammad Jon noticed a young girl running anxiously towards him. The young girl without a veil  was hectically looking around as if being chased and giggled his way toward his vicinity. Suddenly noticing Mullah Mohammad Jon, the young girl stopped in her tracks nearly running him over. As they stood face to face, their eyes locked, her chest pumping as she inhaled deep breaths. Mullah Mohammad Jon’s heart raced as he never before has seen such beauty in his young life.

           

            “What’s your name?” Mullah Mohammad Jon mustered enough courage to ask

            “Ayesha” she responded without hesitation

           

            Before Mullah Mohammad Jon could utter another word, a voice in the field called upon Ayesha. She quickly placed her veil on and ran back towards the orchards.

 

            The next few weeks Mullah Mohammad Jon would glance over the orchards and listen for the blue veiled Ayesha, listened for her tender voice and her slender frame. But she was not to be found. On a hot summer day while Mullah Mohammad Jon was reading a book of poetry near a river, he heard that voice. He jolted to his feet and franticly gazed near and far. He ran across the river, behind the trees and found a dozen girls giggling and washing freshly picked fruit on the curves of the riverbank. He slowly approached the girls hiding behind a bush and watched the blue veiled one as she washed mulberries and place them on her basket. Each girl picked a spot near the bushes to spread their fruit to dry. Mullah Mohammad Jon slowly inched closer towards Ayesha and whispered her name.

            “Ayesha?” he murmured

            “Mullah Mohammad Jon?” she responded

            “Yes” he said, heart racing as he finally found her, “could we talk?” he continued.

            “Not here, we shall meet at the Zeyarat of Khwaja Ghaltan, tomorrow, but earlier” she responded

           

            Mullah Mohammad Jon arrived early at the Zeyarat, pacing back and forth and anxiously awaited his love. He held his hands up in prayer when her tender voice sent shivers down his spine.

            “may god acknowledge your prayer” she called

           

            The two sat under a tree near the river bank and talked till dusk. Their meeting continued frequently where they held a pact not to marry anyone but each other. The news of their meetings had reached Ayesha’s father General Jamaluddin Issaq. Mullah Mohammad Jon summoned his father to ask for Ayesha’s hand in marriage. The ill tempered Issaq rejected and subsequently banned her daughter from ever leaving the house until her marriage was arranged with a young bright soldier from his army. Ayesha felt Ill, crying by day and writing couplets for her beloved by candlelight at night.

           

Mullah Mohammad Jon too lost his will to teach and had not gone to school in months. He paced the grounds of the Zeyarat where they had made a pact and nothing else.  People of the village had thought Mullah Mohammad Jon had gone mad. He would spend his days writing poetry about his beloved Ayesha.

 

Seeing the detritions of Ayesha, Her mother arranged for a picnic where the village girls would gather to sing and dance and keep Ayesha happy. While the girls played the Daira and sang songs, Ayesha sat silent and gazed at the river that leads towards the Zeyarat. The girls finally encircled Ayesha and demanded that she sing. Her mother encouraged her to do so as well. Ayesha grabbed the Daira drum and with her beautiful burning voice started to sing.

 

Beya ke borem ba mazar Mullah Mohammad Jon

Sailey gul e lalazaar wah wah delbar jon

 

Boro ba yaar bego, yaar tu aamad

Gul e nargis khareedar tu amad

Buro ba yaar bugo chashm tu roshan

Aman yaar e wafadaar tu amad

 

Sar e koh beland faryaad kardam

Ali sher khuda ra yaad kardam

Ali sher khuda, ya shah mardan

Del e nashaad ma ra shaad garden

 

Beya ke borem ba mazar Mullah Mohammad Jon

Sailey gul e lalazaar wah wah delbar jon

 

 

While Ayesha sang, the girl around her sobbed till the song was interrupted by a galloping horse. Amir Ali Sher Nawai the grand wazir dismounted from his horse and reached the circle of girls.

           “Marhaba, what a beautiful song” he uttered as the girls quickly covered their faces upon hearing a man’s voice.

           “Who is this Mullah Mohammad Jon” he questioned Ayesha

 

Seeing her mother away, Ayesha told him her story of love lost. Ali Sher Nawai who knew of Mullah Mohammad Jon, promised her to do whatever he could to right this wrong and left. The next day the Sultan upon the request of Ali Sher Nawai summoned Mullah Mohammad Jon to the palace. Seeing his grave status cut to the chase and asked him bluntly.

 

           “Who is this Ayesha, Mullah Mohammad Jon?” hearing her name blood rushed to Mullah Mohammad Jon’s face and he also told his side of the story.

The Sultan and his caravan of horses trekked towards the compound of General Issaq. Sultan in the lead and Mullah Mohammad Jon, his elderly father and Ali Sher Nawai entered Issaq’s house and requested Ayesha’s hand in marriage to Mullah Mohammad Jon. General Issaq overwhelmed accepted the offer and even suggested to expense the ceremonies himself. The Sultan refused.

 

The wedding was arranged by the Sultan and upon seven days of festivities Ayesha and Mullah Mohammad Jon were finally married. As it’s a custom, the newly weds of the prior year are to participate in the raising of the Janda (flag) at the shrine of Prophet Ali at Mazar e Sharif. Mullah Mohammad Jon and Ayesha joined the caravan heading towards mazar e sharif. On the way the traveling musicians of the court recited the now famous song of Ayesha.

 

Beya ke borem ba mazar Mullah Mohammad Jon

Sailey gul e lalazaar wah wah delbar jon

 

Let’s go to Mazar Mullah Mohammad Jon

Observe the fields of tulips oh my beloved

 

Go tell my beloved that your lover has come

The bearer of flowers is here to obtain

Go tell him may your eyes be bright

Your faithful lover has come

 

On the high mountains I wailed

Called upon the lion of God, Ali

Ali the lion of God cure this pain

Bring optimism to this hopeless heart

 

Let us go to Mazar Mullah Mohammad Jon

View the fields of tulips oh my beloved

 

Many artists around the world have sang this song, including Pooran (Iran) Sami Yusuf (Turkey) Salma (Afghanistan) The music was arranged by Kabir Howaida

 
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