Two Holy Teachers

There were two holy teachers named Abu Zamir and Abu Amir.

Both of them taught a doctrine of good works, humility, piety and reverence for God but while the older one whose name was Abu Zamir lived simply, always had a smile for everyone, and never committed any sins, the younger one, Abu Abir, sad to say was the opposite in every way.  He seduced the wives and daughters of other men, overindulged in food and drink, took drugs, got in fights and hollered at people.

When the time came for Abu Abir and Abu Zamir’s transition from this earthly existence to the next one they made their way to the Heavenly Court to be judged by God.  God informed them that Abu Zamir would go to Hell and Abu Zamir would go the Empyrean Paradise of the Heavenly Abode.   Abu Zamir inquired as to why God would judge in this fashion so counter to the intuitions of mere mortals.

God spoke:

I reward you according to the effects of your actions.

Abu Zamir inquired: But I taught holy things and lived in holy fashion.  In what way were the effects of my actions poor?

God spoke:

Easy.  You made it seem that a life of piety was the easiest thing in the world.  With your kind smile and humble demeanor you induced many people to try to follow in your ways.  Almost to a man they fell into the pits of sin, because they were not as good as you were at resisting temptations.

Abu Zamir: And my colleague, the reprobate Abu Abir?

God spoke:

Abu Abir was the opposite.  When he rolled around his cave intoxicated and hollering or got in a screaming fight over some woman people said “Oh my!  If so great a holy man as that has succumbed to sin, what hope is there for me?  I must guard my mind, body, and speech at every moment or risk a fall. And so hundreds were saved.”

The two holy men considered this and then Abu Abir replied: We think that is unfair.  We did not have the information to know the results of our actions as you hid it from us.  And further, the whole set-up seems somehow perverse, and also stupid.

Said God “Keep it under your hat and I will forgive both of you.”

Say what?  inquired the deceased holy men, speaking as one.

God spoke:

You heard me.  Super-God is coming and if he hears I have messed up judging you two I am going to get sent to Super-Hell. That guy don’t fool around.”


3 thoughts on “Two Holy Teachers

  1. N.S. Palmer says:

    Thought-provoking, as usual. I’m not sure that merely *teaching* moral doctrines would qualify someone as holy, but that’s kind of a nitpick. Of the actions that Amir committed, only seducing married women and hollering were really bad (assuming the daughters were of age). If his overindulgence led to a DUI license suspension, it would handicap his seductions; I am reliably informed that our cars really do matter.

  2. I was thinking of calling it “two rabbis” or “two priests” but I called it “two holy teachers” to be ecumenical; the idea is that “holy teacher” is a job description, not an evaluation of the holiness of the descriptee.

  3. God informed them that Abu Zamir would go to Hell and Abu Zamir would go the Empyrean Paradise of the Heavenly Abode. Abu Zamir inquired as to why God would judge in this fashion so counter to the intuitions of mere mortals.

    And god said “Hey, I just couldn’t keep up with your names, ok? So I sent the same guy to two different places…hell, that’s how the earth was created to begin with, but I’m off topic. Use simpler names! Or numbers! Numbers are good!”

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