The Good Neighbor: Arabian Nights

The Good Neighbor

The Good Neighbor is part of the Arabian Nights story. In this story, we’ll learn how Fahim attempts to kill Kalim because he is jealous of his wealth. However, in the end, Fahim ends up begging on the street and Kalim becomes the Wazir of the wealthiest kingdom.

Once upon a time, Kalim and Fahim, two neighbors, lived there together. Kalim was quite wealthy while Fahim had to struggle to earn his bread. This made Fahim jealous of his neighbour. He would often sigh and say to himself, “How nice it is for Kalim to live like this!”. His jealousy gradually turned into hatred and he started plotting against Kalim as his jealousy turned into hatred.

All day long, Fahim would think about how he could harm Kalim. Kalim was an intelligent man. Upon realizing Fahim was not at ease with his prosperity, he realized he had been wasting his time breeding contempt for him. “I shall better shift to some other place. Why should I be the cause of my neighbour’s unhappiness?” thought the good-natured Kalim one day.

So, he left the place and travelled to a far-off land. In that land, Kalim became a preacher of good will. People would flock around him to listen and learn. Soon Kalim became the holiest man in the surrounding area. His fame spread far and wide. When this news reached the ears of Fahim, he felt more restless. “Oh, so he has gained popularity! Let me go and see,” he muttered, feeling jealous. Fahim traveled the next day to meet Kalim.

By now, Kalim had forgotten his neighbour’s hatred. He welcomed Fahim with such generosity. Fahim had wicked plans but he was pretending to be kind to Kalim. After some refreshment, they both ventured out to take a walk in the garden. There was a well in the garden. When they were passing beside the well, a belligerent Fahim suddenly pushed Kalim into it. Kalim fell hurtling down the deep well.

But as luck would have it, Kalim did not get hurt! He landed in another kingdom inside the well! He was taken to the sultan of that kingdom. A courtier in the sultan’s palace recognized Kalim as the holy man. When the sultan heard this, he was overjoyed. “O holy man, my daughter has been afflicted by a strange illness. So far no one has been able to cure her. If you can bring her back to her former health, I promise to reward you,” pleaded the sultan.

With his healing powers, Kalim cured the princess. The sultan was overwhelmed. He made Kalim his wazir. Now, Kalim is living in the palace he saw. Some years later, Kalim happened to visit his old kingdom. On the way, beggar. He recognized him as his old neighbor as soon as he walked near him. “O Fahim, it’s you! Didn’t you recognise me?” asked Kalim. “I am Kalim.”

“Kalim? But how is that possible? I had pushed you into the well!” said Fahim, lifting up his head. “Yes, you pushed me to death. But I am still alive. And today I have become the wazir of the neighbouring kingdom,” said Kalim. “Your jealousy has brought you to rags. You had to pay for it, Fahim!”

Fahim realised his folly. He wept and wept. “Forgive me, my friend. I will transform my ways,” said Fahim. Kalim was kind hearted. He embraced Fahim and gave him some money to start a business. Fahim was never envious again.

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