Stanza 24


The clerics listen to the engineer.
"Why is it that the mayor is not here?"
The ayatollah queries with a frown.
"The civil government in any town
Should set the highest standards so the rest
Will, by this strong example, be impressed
And follow what their leaders demonstrate.
At prayer time they should not procrastinate,
But seek The Oft Forgiving in salat
In gratitude -- without a second thought."
The local cleric says, "I think you shall
Agree the mayor has a rationale
Which is legitimate and I approved.
Because of dysentery, it behooved
Our mayor to remain at home and pray
Where the unseemly discharge won't betray
The cleanliness of the community."
This reason is accepted instantly
For excrement invalidates the rite
That purifies the Muslim in God's sight.