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65 24 The Deceased Man’s Possessions A n old man left on a journey. He went to a family to ask for hospitality. Unfortunately he soon fell ill. When he realized that he was going to die, he showed his host all of his possessions. He said to him: ‘‘Here is all the wealth I have brought from home. If I die, take some of it for my funeral, and put the rest aside. If my family learns of my death and comes, you will give it to them for the orphans I leave behind.’’ The traveler died. After the funeral washing the Muslims brought the defunct to the cemetery. When they had finished digging his grave, the host took the money, showed it to the people there and said that the defunct had asked that it be buried with his body, for he had no family. The host took out a little for the funeral and the rest of it, that is, most of it, was buried with the old man. While they were closing up the grave, the host carefully watched the spot where the money was placed. The night following the burial, the host came back to dig up the money. When he had finished digging, he reached out his hand to take the money but the corpse seized it and tore off its fingers. This is how leprosy began in the world. It has its origin in dishonesty. No one must take away an orphan’s inheritance. He who does will come to a bad end. ...


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