Another Lantern Story

… Ahlane Ramadan

This is the story of a Prince who lived alone with his father after his mother died.

After a few years, the caliph married another woman.

Unfortunately, he did not choose the right partner. The new Queen was unkind to the Prince and the Caliph was too busy to notice his child’s despair.

The young boy tried to talk to his father but to no avail.

… He felt very lonely.

His only friend was a pigeon. 

The escape

On the fifteenth day of the month of sha’aban, the Prince had a big argument with the Caliph and the Queen. His heart ached in sadness.  He said to his little friend:

‘I dont want to stay here anymore! Nobody cares about us my friend. Let’s start a new life somewhere else.’

This was not a very wise decision. The Prince’s mom told him to never make a decision when angry … but he was blinded with anger.

The two young friends ran away into the woods.

After a few hours, they came to the grand house of the Ghoul.

‘I know this place. It is the awful ghoul’s palace! We should run away but we are very hungry and cold. You know what, he is probably sleeping. Let’s sneak in and hide until the morning.’

But the Ghoul never sleeps. He heard everything they said.

The prince and his little friend found a bed and fell asleep. When they woke up, they found themselves in a cage of gold! 

The Ghoul was waiting for them to wake up. He said,

I know your story.  We have a lot in common! We are lonely creatures, so I’ll keep you here as my pet! You will keep me company and I will feed you.

The little prince was indeed lonely but he wanted to be free:

‘I dont want to spend my life in a cage! Let us go! Let us go or I will break this cage!’ 

He insisted so much that the Ghoul agreed: 

‘I’ll send your pigeon home. If the caliph misses you, he’ll follow him back here. If not, you’ll spend the rest of your life with me!’

Without delay, the pigeon flew to the caliph’s palace.

Light the way

Since his son had run away, the caliph cried every night! The army was looking for the young boy day and night. The weekly markets did not take place anymore, the musicians stopped playing heir instruments and the preparations for the holy moth of Ramadan were cancelled. 

On the last night of sha’aban, after the prayer of Maghreb,  he heard a weird noise at the window. He looked outside and found his son’s pigeon !

‘Follow me! Please come’ said the pigeon…

… but it was getting dark. The Caliph was confused and did not know what to do! 

The caliph’s sister intervened.

‘Don’t worry brother! I am here to help you and I have an idea!’

She asked everyone in the city to hold a candle to lit the Caliph’s way.  

Every woman, man and child held a candle and followed the caliph.
On their way, they called the young Prince’s name and sang beautiful ramadan songs.

Wahawee ya wahawee 
Sha’aban you are gone
Ramadan you came
God is the forgiver
Give us the gift
God is the forgiver.

 وحوي یا وحوي 
رحت یا شعبان
جیت یا رمضان

الله الغفار
أعطینا الهدیه
الله الغفار

The ghoul was so touched that he said to the Prince:

‘I was wrong. Your father does love you and deserves a second chance. Go home little kid and come visit me sometime! Ramadan kareem.’

The young prince was reunited with his father. They fasted together on the first day of ramadan as the caliph hoped. As a reward, the caliph gave each one of his subject gold lanterns to put outside their houses. Then he asked them to light the streets and mosques with colourful lamps.

Since that day children have bought lanterns to mark the beginning of the holy month of ramadan.



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