Chapter 18

THERE was a Pandita or learned man, named Moulana Abu Ishak, extremely well versed in the Sufi learning, who had gone in pilgrimage to the Cabah, and he performed religious ablutions beyond number. It was his practice, however, now only to bring the water of purification twice in the month. He composed a book, a work in two discourses, the one on Zat, or the divine nature; the other on Sifat, or the divine attributes, and the name of it was Dar al Mazlum, the refuge of the oppressed. People praised him greatly, and spoke of him to his mother. But she said, "what signifies all that, while Abu Ishak fetches water for ablution twice in the month, and I do it but once?" 

When the work was completed, he called one of his disciples, named Moulana Abu Baker, who had completed the study of that book, and said, "Go thou to the land of Malaca, and instruct all the people who reside under the wind." He replied, " how is it you have composed this work only respecting two subjects? If any one interrogate me concerning the divine nature and attributes, I shall  be able to reply to them, but if they interrogate me concerning fael or conduct, how  shall I reply to them?" On this the author composed another discourse on Conduct. 

Then the disciple took his passage to Malaca, and was received in the most distinguished manner, by Sultan Mansur, who appointed him his guru or instructor, and he also made his compliments to the Prince. The Prince then transmitted this discourse to Pasei, and requested the interpretation from Mukhdam Panakan, (the mongrel,) and Mukhdam explained the Dar al Mazlum, and sent it back to Malaca to the Prince, who was highly delighted by the interpretation and showed it to Moulana Abu Baker, and he highly approved of it. Then all the great men of Malaca became the scholars of Moulana Abu Baker, except the Cazi of Malaca. 

The name of this cazi was Cazi Yusef, who derived his origin from Mukhdam, who first converted to Islam all the people of Malaca. Whenever he went to worship at the mosque, he passed by the door of Moulana Abu Baker. Now it happened one day that the moulana was standing at the door, when the cazi passed, and the cazi observed a light like the flame of a taper around his head. On this Cazi Yusef quickly ran and saluted the feet of Moulana Abu Baker, and the moulana smiled. He immediately became his scholar, and renounced his office of Cazi, in favour of his son Cazi Menawer. 

The Prince then dispatched Tun Bijawangsi to Pasei, to propose a theological topic, "Whether the condition of the inhabitants of Heaven is perpetual, or the contrary? And in like manner, whether the condition of the in-habitants of Hell is perpetual or not ?" He carried along with him many score of tayal of gold dust, two females, and a Macasar man of mixed blood, named Dang Bunga, a son of one of the king's servants, named Morda Rabibah, a bale of yellow flowered kinkab, another of brown flowered kinkab, a red parrot, and a brown cockatoo. 

Then Sultan Mansur ordered Tun Bija-wangsi to interrogate all the learned men of Pasei, and whosoever should answer truly, to make him these presents, and honour his speech by beat of drum. When he reached Pasei, the raja received him according to established form, and the letter was read in form, thus, "The Paduca presents his compliments to the paduca, and sends Tun Bijawangsi to enquire concerning some topics of controversy, concerning which he wants information from the learned men of Pasei." The raja of Pasei was greatly pleased, and having called Mukhdam, he seated. him by himself, and informed him of the question, respecting the perpetuity of the condition of the inhabitants of Heaven and Hell. Mukhdam immediately answered, that they were both perpetual,  and confirmed this by appropriate  texts from the Koran. 

"Verily those who believe and act righteously, they are the best of the created, their reward is before God in the enjoyment of the garden of Eden, where streams flow, there they shall live for ever and ever. 

"Verily those who are infidels, of the possessors of Revelation, or who associate any thing with Deity, they shall continue for ever and ever in the fire of Hell, and they are the worst of the creation." 

Tun Bijawangsi asked if no other thing was possible? Mukhdam answered, "No, for it is expressly stated that their state is perpetual, and what else can there be?" At this Tun Hasan, the scholar of Mukhdam, who was present, turned away his face, for he did not approve the answer. The raja then went in, and the assembly broke up; but the raja of Pasei went to Mukhdam's house and enquired how he came to answer the ambassador in that manner, "for," said he,"can you suppose that the Malaca men are ignorant of that? I suspect there is some other answer." "That is my opinion," said Mukhdam, "but what does Your Majesty think of it?" The raja stated his opinion, to which Mukhdam assented, but what resource is there, now that the conference is ended? The raja said, "it is easy to recall  the ambassador, and tell him that your former answer was given in consequence of the presence of the people, but the real truth of the matter is so and so." 

Mukhdam accordingly recalled the ambassador, and having feasted him, he conducted him to a private place, and whispered him according to what the raja mentioned. Tun Bijawangsi was pleased, and presented him the presents, and celebrated his reply by beat of drum, after which he returned to Malaca, and informed Sultan Mansur, who was highly gratified. Mukhdam offered all the presents to the raja of Pasei, but he said, "what use are they of to me. pray keep them to yourself."