The unscrupulous executor [Archives:2003/04/Last Page]
Written by Abdulrahman Mutahhar
Translated by Janet Watson
M – You know, the thing that makes me most angry and upset is people confiscating other people’s money and possessions, particularly when the victims are orphans or defenceless women, and particularly when this daylight robbery is perpetuated by the executors of wills and testaments.
Ma – Oh I could tell you a story that would make your hair stand on end, which concerns our family. If we knew someone who could make a film out of it, I’m sure it would win an Oscar!
M – Go on then, tell me about it!
Ma – My uncle, my father’s own brother, ‘may his son not grow up to be a man and may Muhammad not put in a good word for him’, was appointed executor for us after the death of my father. As soon as hee got hold of the will, he went and forged another so that he could erase the name of the other executor.
M – That is blatant betrayal of the trust with which he was entrusted and which he’ll be asked to account for in front of God, ‘on the day when neither wealth nor progeny will serve him well, and only those pure of heart will benefit.’
Ma – Praise be to God! Anyway, after he removed the name of the second executor, he took all the papers and documents, and went and altered the lot as he saw fit, with no sense of shame or fear of God!
M – And who told him he could do that? Who was the writer, and who were the witnesses, and how on earth did their consciences allow them to aid and abet this kind of treachery and disregard for the law of God!
Ma – Oh, you don’t need to worry about that! There are plenty of people around with weak wills and no real conscience. You know the saying, ‘Birds of a feather flock together’.
M – May God protect us from the work of the devil and all his accomplices! This type of person, Mus’ida, in families and in society in general works like a cancerous cell in an otherwise healthy body.
Ma – Hang on a bit! That’s not all! There’s still the graduation party!
M – Go on!
Ma – After me and my full brother and my half brother grew up, we asked the executor for a copy of the papers and various documents my father had left behind, and he handed us six pieces of paper. The first was my mother and father’s marriage certificate. The second certified my father’s divorce of my step-mother, and his marriage to her again with a new contract and new brideprice. The third mentioned the items to be passed on – two stone cooking pots, four brass spittoons, the snuff box, two robes, and the deceased’s loofa!
M – He should have taken those documents and put them in water and then drunk their ink! He handed you a set of completely worthless papers! Carry on!
Ma – Wait! There’s still the fourth and fifth pieces of paper, and what they contained shows what he was really on about!
M – Go on!
Ma – According to the fourth document, my step-mother had taken all the papers and documents when my father was on his deathbed and handed them to her son, who then hid some of the papers, sold some of the items, and built himself the house he’s living in this very minute!
M – No one’s going to believe him over that! But watch out, because the executor will now try to get the beneficiaries to fight it out amongst themselves, in order to divert them from what he’s up to.
Ma – You’ve got it in one! If he’d only satisfied himself with cheating us, that would’ve been almost forgivable. He then went up to my step-mother and her son and told them that Mus’ida and her brother would be coming to make trouble and take them to court over the house they were living in, which was their property! Then he told them to have a big stick ready before we even knocked on the door!
M – God is great! They say it’s only weak people who’ll let you down.
Ma – Then the executor came over to see me and my brother, and gave us the same rubbish! If you want what’s rightfully yours, make sure you take a big stick with you. So he wanted to make us fall out and fight amongst ourselves with absolutely no cause! And all this deception and hatred was stirred up so that he could distract us from his cheating and falsification and stealing the wealth of others. As the Yemeni philosopher said,
‘He who means to cauterise others will find himself cauterised even more!
And he who delights in his cousin’s misfortune will find it come back to him!’