Chapter 20: Fear of Hell, Greed for Heaven: The Savior’s Soft Sell
But for six months I tried. I learned enough so that I could deceive somebody into thinking that I was not very educated, but a little bit. I learned their prayers; Farid managed to get a wig for me and cut my beard like the Mohammedans cut theirs. And their beard is so strange that even when I think of it again now my stomach starts churning. But I went through it; they cut my mustache off completely and left just my beard.
I said, “my God” If you had told me before then I would not have wasted these six months!” In a way they were right, because I know that a mustache is such a difficult thing - particularly a mustache like mine which is not trimmed but is wild. I don’t allow Mukta to trim it. It is difficult even to drink tea or to drink fruit juice because half of it will remain on the mustache. So Mohammedans have found a way: they cut off the mustache, they shave the mustache, and they keep the beard. But that looks so ugly.
But I said, “Okay, we will do it. Now, for a few days I will not leave my house. Just give me a wig and let me see Burhanuddin.” It certainly changed my face completely when Farid cut my beard like the Mohammedans’ - very thin along the jaw line and just a little bit of beard on the chin - like Lenin’s, a little less. Without a mustache and with a wig I looked different.
We went there, but the old man detected something about my eyes. He said, “I have seen those eyes somewhere.”
I said, “My God! Farid, where could Maulana” - Maulana means master; he was known as Maulana Burhanuddin - “have seen me? - because I have never been to this city.”
Farid was trembling, he was having a nervous breakdown: we had never thought about the eyes. That old man continued to look, and he said, “I suspect something.”
I said, “Farid, he suspects something.” Farid just fell at his feet and he said, “There is no need to suspect - you know this man. And forgive me, I was just trying to help him because he wanted to have a dialogue with you.”
But he said, “First tell me who he is, because as far as I can remember, I have known the man and I have seen him many times. You have just cut off his mustache.”
I said; ‘Now it is better, Farid, that you tell the whole thing, that not only have you cut off my mustache..” I took off the wig and I said, “Look at the wig.”
The moment I was without the wig, Burhanuddin immediately recognized me, and he said, “You!
I said, “What else to do? You know me perfectly but you will not have a personal talk with me. Do you think that just being a Mohammedan is enough to be a saint? And what sin have I committed?