- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
154

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
154
on the threshold, pale and with bloodshot eyes.
Accompanied by two Murids, he went up in silence
on to the flat roof of the mosque, and at his bidding
his mother was brought there, veiled in her white
shawl [chadrd). Led by two mullahs, she drew
near her son with slow, faltering steps. For a few
minutes he gazed on her without speaking, then
lifted his eyes to Heaven, and called out :
"O great Prophet Mohammed ! Holy are thy
commands and not to be altered ! Let thy just
sentence be carried out as an example for all true
believers !"
Then, turning to the people, he told them that
the Chechens had forgotten their oath, and wished
to submit to the giaours. They had been shameless
enough to send men hither to Dargo to ask leave,
but as these men had not dared to come to him
himself, they had turned to his unhappy weak
mother, that she might speak on their behalf. Her
insistent representations and his boundless devotion
to her gave him boldness enough to ask God’s
Prophet Mohammed himself what was his will.
"And look! Here with you around me, and
supported by your prayers, I have after three days’
fasting and praying been granted his gracious
answer to my presumptuous question. But this
answer has struck me like a thunderbolt. It is
Allah’s will that the one wrho first told me about
the shameful purpose of the Chechen people shall
be punished with a hundred heavy lashes with the
whip, and this first one was—my own mother !"
At a sign from the imam the Murids tore the

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