ALLAHI had a pet and aquarium supplies shop for many years and am also concerned with setting up a special sanatorium centre for the severely disabled. The building permits have already been obtained from the respective authorities. One day, two dark-skinned men came into my shop, helping along a very old bearded man between them. They steered towards some chairs, sat down and watched what was going on, talking among themselves in a language I didn‘t recognise. I didn‘t pay much attention until one of the younger men came over and asked if I had some time. I said yes, and sat down. The old man had a long white beard and was wearing a white robe that reached to the ground, and although he looked as if he had stepped out of a fairy tale, he had an air of authority and youthfulness about him that fascinated me.

His companion searched my face, and speaking in perfect German, he said, "We have heard that you intend to build a special centre for severely disabled people." I was totally surprised but acknowledged that this was indeed the case. The old man‘s companion continued, asking me whether I had ever considered restricting the sanatorium to Islamic believers only. I said no, but that I could give some thought to the idea. Then he asked whether I was religious, adding that the Koran and the Bible were fairly similar and that helping other people was the most important thing in life. A remark was then made by the old man in a strange language, which as I now know was Arabic.

MOHAMMEDThe interpreter said they would be in touch again, and then the three men stood and took their leave, with the old man taking my hands and holding them for an unusually long time.

After they had gone, I wondered about the strange visit but work was waiting and so I soon forgot the whole incident. About half a year later, my assistant came into the back room where I was busy with my nibbling fish (which are used as a means oftreating psoriasis and neurodermatitis) (->video: 'Youtube') and said that two dark-skinned men had arrived with a fish in an aquarium. I went out to the shop and immediately recognised the men as the ones who had visited me  months earlier, but without the old man. They greeted me and when I asked where the old man was, told me that he was now with Allah and that before passing away left he left instructions for the fish to be placed in my hands. I was naturally a bit surprised, and on asking what was so special about the fish, was told that it bore the name ,,Allah“ script on one flank and ,,Mohammed“ on the other, and that these Arabic words were also surrounded by the outline of a seawater fish (a Chelmon species). One of the men also said that I could use the fish to try and fulfil my public-spirited plans. Then the two men departed, leaving the aquarium and its contents behind and saying that they would return again one day. I moved the aquarium to a corner of the shop, installed a pump and took a good look at the fish, but apart from some blackish stripes on a red background, I didn‘t notice anything particular.

My conclusion was that I now had one fish more in my shop. Over the next few weeks, people speaking foreign languages began to come to the shop to look at the fish, so I finally asked what was so special about it. The answer was that it had the Arabian words for Allah and Mohammed on its flanks —just as I had been told. To be absolutely certain, I phoned the Islamic priest at the local mosque, and he said he would come round and take a look. He arrived the next day with an interpreter, and stood gazing at the fish for a long time. Finally he pronounced that anyone who co
uld read the Koran would be able to recognise the words Allah and Mohammed on the sides of the fish.  While I was filming our encounter I truly realised that I had been given a truly unique legacy and that I ought to put it to best possible use.

People continued to come to my shop because of the fish, and realising that a living treasure had been placed into my hands, I removed it to a safe place. I now wonder what destiny has in mind for me and the fish.  


Nothing is continuous, so also this unique creature died.

To keep this extraordinary fish present, one of
 Europe's biggest fish preparator companies taked care of him.

Now he is turning in a glorious featured shrine.

© 2007 Jürgen Fechner