When it was the Four Hundred and Thirty-first Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ali's wife had looked upon the gold she said to him, "Whence came all this to thee?" "It came to me by the grace of my Lord," answered he: "When I left thee in my trouble, I shipped at Bulak for Damietta and met a friend there who forwarded me to Damascus": in brief he told her all that had befallen him, from first to last. Said she, "O my lord, all this cometh by boon of thy father's blessing and orisons when he prayed for thee, before his death, saying, 'I beseech Allah to cast thee into no straits except He grant thee ready relief!' So praised be Allah Almighty for that He hath brought thee deliverance and hath requited thee with more than went from thee! But Allah upon thee, O my lord, return not to thy practice of associating with doubtful folk; but look thou fear Allah (whose name be exalted!) both in private and in public." And as she went on to admonish him, he said, "I accept thine admonition and beg the Almighty to remove the froward from amongst us and stablish us in His obedience and in the observance of the law and practice of His Prophet, on whom be blessings and peace!" After that Ali and his wife and children were in all solace of life and gladness; and he opened him a shop in the merchants' bazar and, stocking it with a somewhat of jewels and bullion, sat therein with his children and white servants. Presently he became the most considerable of the merchants of Baghdad, and his report reached the King of that city,[FN#273] who sent a messenger to command his attendance, saying, "Answer the summons of the King who requireth thee." He replied, "I hear and obey," and straightway prepared his present and he took four trays of red gold and, filling them with jewels and precious metals, such as no King possessed, went up to the palace and presenting himself before the presence, kissed the ground between his hands and wished him endurance of goods and glory in the finest language he could command. Said the King, "O merchant, thou cheerest our city with thy presence!" and Ali rejoined, "O King of the age, thy slave hath brought thee a gift and hopeth for acceptance thereof from thy favour." Then he laid the four trays before the King, who uncovered them and seeing that they contained gems, whose fellows he possessed not and whose worth equalled treasuries of money, said, "Thy present is accepted, O merchant, and Inshallah! we will requite thee with its like." And Ali kissed his hands and went away; whereupon the King called his grandees and said to them, "How many of the Kings have sought my daughter in marriage?" "Many," answered they; and he asked, "Hath any of them given me the like of this gift?"; whereto they replied, "Not one, for that none of them hath its like;" and he said, "I have consulted Allah Almighty by lot as to marrying my daughter to this merchant. What say ye?" "Be it as thou reckest," answered they. Then he bade the eunuch carry the four trays into his serraglio and going in to his wife, laid them before her. She uncovered them and seeing therein that whose like she possessed not; no, nor a fraction thereof, said to him, "From which of the Kings hadst thou these?: perchance of one of the royalties that seek thy daughter in marriage?" Said he, "Not so, I had them of an Egyptian merchant, who is lately come to this our city. Now when I heard of his coming I sent to command him to us, thinking to make his acquaintance, so haply we might find with him somewhat of jewels and buy them of him for our daughter's trousseau. He obeyed our summons and brought us these four trays, as a present, and I saw him to be a handsome youth of dignified aspect and intelligent as elegant, almost such as should be the sons of Kings. Wherefore my heart inclined to him at sight, and my heart rejoiced in him and I thought good to marry my daughter to him. So I showed the gift to my grandees, who agreed with me that none of the Kings hath the like of these and I told them my project. But what sayst thou?"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Thirty-second Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King of Baghdad, after showing the presents to his wife and highly praising Ali, the merchant-jeweller, and informing her of the proposed marriage, asked, "But what sayst thou?" She replied, "O King of the age, the ordering this affair is in Allah's hand, and thine, and whatso Allah willeth shall come to pass." Rejoined the King, "If it be His will, I will marry her to none other than this young man." He slept on this resolve and on the morrow, he went out to his Divan and summoned Ali and the rest of the merchants of Baghdad, and when all came bade them be seated. Then said he, "Bring me the Kazi of the Divan" and they brought him; whereupon the King said to him, "O Kazi, write the contract of marriage between my daughter and the merchant Ali the Cairene." But Ali said, "Thy pardon, O our lord the Sultan! It befitteth not that a trader such as I, be the King's son-in-law." Quoth the King, "It is my will to bestow this favour upon thee, as well as the Wazirate;" and he invested him forthwith in the Wazir's office and ministerial robes. Then Ali sat down in the chair of the Wazirate and said, "O King of the age, thou hast bestowed on me this; and indeed I am honoured by thy bounties; but hear one word I have to say to thee!" He replied, "Say on, and fear not." Quoth Ali, "Since it is thine august resolution to marry thy daughter, thou wouldst do better to marry her to my son. Quoth the King, "Hast thou then a son?"; and Ali replied, "Yes." "Send for him forthwith," said the King. Thereupon answered Ali "Hearkening and obedience!", and despatched a servant to fetch his son, who came and kissing the ground before the King, stood in an attitude of respect. The King looked at him and seeing him to be yet comelier than his daughter and goodlier than she in stature and proportion and brightness and perfection, said to him, "What is thy name, O my son?" "My name is Hasan, O our lord the Sultan," replied the young man, who was then fourteen years old. Then the Sultan said to the Kazi, "Write the contract of marriage between my daughter Husn al-Wujdd and Hasan, son of the merchant Ali the Cairene." So he wrote the marriage-contract between them, and the affair was ended in the goodliest fashion; after which all in the Divan went their ways and the merchants followed the Wazir Ali, escorting him to his house, where they gave him joy of his advancement and departed. Then he went in to his wife, who seeing him clad in the Wazir's habit, exclaimed, "What is this?"; when he told her all that had passed from first to last and she joyed therein with exceeding joy. So sped the night and on the morrow, he went up to the Divan, where the King received him with especial favour and seating him close by his side, said, "O Wazir, we purpose to begin the wedding festivities and bring thy son in to our daughter." Replied Ali, "O our lord the Sultan, whatso thou deemest good is good." So the Sultan gave orders to celebrate the festivities, and they decorated the city and held high festival for thirty days, in all joy and gladness; at the end of which time, Hasan, son of the Wazir Ali, went in to the Princess and enjoyed her beauty and loveliness. When the Queen saw her daughter's husband, she conceived a warm affection for him, and in like manner she rejoiced greatly in his mother. Then the King bade build for his son-in-law Hasan Ali-son a palace beside his own; so they built him with all speed a splendid palace in which he took up his abode; and his mother used to tarry with him some days and then go down to her own house. After awhile the Queen said to her husband, "O King of the age, Hasan's lady-mother cannot take up her abode with her son and leave the Wazir; neither can she tarry with the Wazir and leave her son." "Thou sayest sooth," replied the King, and bade edify a third palace beside that of Hasan, which being done in a few days he caused remove thither the goods of the Wazir, and the Minister and his wife took up their abode there. Now the three palaces communicated with one another, so that when the King had a mind to speak with the Wazir by night, he would go to him or send to fetch him; and so with Hasan and his father and mother. On this wise they dwelt in all solace and in the greatest happiness—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Thirty-third Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King and the Wazir and his son ceased not to dwell in all solace and in the greatest happiness awhile, till the King fell ill and his sickness grew on him. So he summoned the lords of his realm and said to them, "There is come upon me a sore malady, peradventure a mortal; and I have therefore summoned you to consult you respecting a certain matter, on which I would have you counsel me as you deem well." They asked, "What is the matter of which thou wouldst take counsel with us, O King?"; and he answered, "I am old and sickly and I fear for the realm after me from its enemies; so I would have you all agree upon some one, that I may proclaim him King in my lifetime and so ye may be at ease." Whereupon quoth they with one voice, "We all approve of thy daughter's husband Hasan, son of the Wazir Ali; for we have seen his wit and perfect understanding, and he knoweth the place of all, great and small." Asked the King, "Are ye indeed agreed upon this?" and they answered, "Yes." Rejoined he "Peradventure ye all say this to my face, of respect for me; but behind my back ye will say otherwise." However, they all replied, "By Allah, our word is one and the same in public and in private, and we accept him frankly and with heartiness of heart and breadth of breast." Quoth he, "Since the case is thus, bring the Kazi of the Holy Law and all the Chamberlains and Viceroys and Officers of state before me to-morrow, and we will order the affair after the goodliest fashion." "We hear and we obey," answered they and withdrawing, notified all the Olema,[FN#274] the doctors of the law and the chief personages among the Emirs. So when the morrow dawned, they came up to the Divan and, having craved and obtained permission to enter, they saluted the King, saying, "Here are we all in thy presence." Whereto he made reply, "O Emirs of Baghdad, whom will ye have to be King over you after me, that I may inaugurate him during my lifetime, before the presence of you all?" Quoth they with one voice, "We are agreed upon thy daughter's husband Hasan, son of the Wazir Ali." Quoth he, "If it be so, go all of you and bring him before me." So they all arose and, repairing to Hasan's palace, said to him, "Rise, come with us to the King." "Wherefore?" asked he, and they answered, "For a thing that will benefit both us and thee." So he went in with them to the King and kissed the ground before his father-in-law who said to him, "Be seated, O my son!" He sat down and the King continued, "O Hasan, all the Emirs have approved of thee and agreed to make thee King over them after me; and it is my purpose to proclaim thee, whilst I yet live, and so make an end of the business." But Hasan stood up and, kissing the ground once more before the King, said to him, "O our lord the King, among the Emirs there be many who are older than I and greater of worth; acquit me therefore of this thing." But all the Emirs cried out saying, "We consent not but that thou be King over us." Then said Hasan, "My father is older than I, and I and he are one thing; and it befits not to advance me over him." But Ali said, "I will consent to nothing save whatso contenteth my brethren; and they have all chosen and agreed upon thee; wherefore gainsay thou not the King's commandment and that of thy brethren." And Hasan hung his head abashed before the King and his father. Then said the King to the Emirs, "Do ye all accept of him?" "We do," answered they and recited thereupon seven Ftihahs.[FN#275] So the King said, "O Kazi, draw up a legal instrument testifying of these Emirs that they are agreed to make King over them my daughter's husband Hasan." The Kazi wrote the act and made it binding on all men,[FN#276] after they had sworn in a body the oath of fealty to Hasan. Then the King did likewise and bade him take his seat on the throne of kingship; whereupon they all arose and kissed King Hasan's hands and did homage to him, and swore lealty to him. And the new King dispensed justice among the people that day in fashion right royal, and invested the grandees of the realm in splendid robes of honour. When the Divan broke up, he went in to and kissed the hands of his father-in-law who spake thus to him, "O my son, look thou rule the lieges in the fear of Allah;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Hasan was quit of the Divan, he went in to and kissed the hands of his wife's father, who spake thus to him, "O my son, look thou rule the lieges in the fear of Allah;" whereto he replied, "O my father, through thy prayers for me, the grace and guidance of Allah will come to me." Then he entered his own palace and was met by his wife and her mother and their attendants, who kissed his hands and gave him joy of his advancement, saying, "Be this day blessed!" Next he went in to his father and mother, who joyed with exceeding joy in that which Allah had vouchsafed him of his advancement to the kingship, and his father charged him to fear Allah and to deal mercifully with his subjects. He passed the night in glee and gladness, and on the morrow, having prayed the obligatory prayers ending with the usual short chapters[FN#277] of the Koran, he went up to the Divan, whither came all his officers and dignitaries. He passed the day in dispensing justice among the folk, bidding to graciousness and forbidding ungraciousness and appointing to place and displacing, till day- end, when the Divan broke up, after the goodliest fashion, and all the troops withdrew and each went his own way. Then he arose and repaired to the palace, where he found his father-in-law's sickness grown heavy upon him and said to him, "May no ill befal thee!" At this the old King opened his eyes and said, "O Hasan!" and he replied, "At thy service, O my lord." Quoth the old King "Mine appointed hour is at hand: be thou careful of thy wife and her mother, and look thou fear Allah and honour thy parents; and bide in awe of the majesty of the Requiting King and bear in mind that He commandeth justice and good works." And King Hasan replied, "I hear and obey." Now after this the old King lingered three days and then departed into the mercy of Almighty Allah. So they laid him out and shrouded and buried him and held over him readings and perlections of the Koran, to the end of the customary forty days. And King Hasan, son of the Wazir, reigned in his stead, and his subjects joyed in him and all his days were gladness; moreover, his father ceased not to be his chief Wazir on his right hand, and he took to himself another Wazir, to be at his left hand. His reign was a prosperous and well ordered, and he lived a long life as King of Baghdad; and Allah blessed him, by the old King's daughter, with three sons who inherited the kingdom after him; and they abode in the solace of life and its pleasures till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies. And the glory be to Him who is eternal and in whose hand are annulling and confirming. And of the tales they tell is one of
THE PILGRIM MAN AND THE OLD WOMAN.
A man of the pilgrims once slept a long sleep and awaking, found no trace of the caravan. So he rose up and walked on, but lost his way and presently came to a tent, where he saw an old woman standing at the entrance and by her side a dog asleep. He went up to the tent and, saluting the old woman, sought of her food, when she replied, "Go to yonder Wady and catch thy sufficiency of serpents, that I may broil of them for thee and give thee to eat." Rejoined the pilgrim, "I dare not catch serpents nor did I ever eat them." Quoth the old woman, "I will go with thee and catch some; fear not." So she went with him, followed by the dog, to the valley and, catching a sufficient number of serpents, proceeded to broil them. He saw nothing for it (saith the story teller) but to eat, in fear of hunger and exhaustion; so he ate of the serpents.[FN#278] Then he was athirst and asked for water to drink; and she answered, "Go to the spring and drink." Accordingly, he went to the spring and found the water thereof bitter; yet needs must he drink of it despite its bitterness, because of the violence of his thirst. Presently he returned to the old woman and said to her, "I marvel, O ancient dame, at thy choosing to sojourn in this place"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,
She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the palmer-man drank the bitter draught for stress of thirst, he returned and said "I marvel, O ancient dame, at thy choosing to sojourn in this place and thy putting up with such meat and drink!" She asked, "And how is it then in thy country?"; whereto he answered, "In my country are houses wide and spacious and fruits ripe and delicious and waters sweet and viands savorous and of goodly use and meats fat and full of juice and flocks innumerous and all things pleasant and all the goods of life, the like whereof are not, save in the Paradise which Allah the Omnipotent hath promised to His servants pious." Replied she, "All this have I heard: but tell me, have ye a Sultan who ruleth over you and is tyrannical in his rule and under whose hand you are; one who, if any of you commit an offence, taketh his goods and ruineth him and who, whenas he will, turneth you out of house and home and uprooteth you, stock and branch?" Replied the man, "Indeed that may be;" and she rejoined, "If so, by Allah, these your delicious food and life of daintyhood and gifts however good, with tyranny and oppression, are but a searching poison, while our coarse meat which in freedom and safety we eat is a healthful medicine. Hast thou not heard that the best of boons, after Al-Islam, the true Faith, are sanity and security?"[FN#279] "Now such boons (quoth he who telleth the tale) may be by the just rule of the Sultan, Vice-regent of Allah on His earth, and the goodness of his polity. The Sultan of time past needed but little awfulness, for when the lieges saw him, they feared him; but the Sultan of these days hath need of the most accomplished polity and the utmost majesty, because men are not as men of by-gone time and this our age is one of folk opprobrious, and is greatly calamitous, noted for folly and hardness of heart and inclined to hate and enmity. If, therefore, the Sultan (which Almighty Allah forfend!) be weak or wanting in polity and majesty, this will be the assured cause of his country's ruin. Quoth the proverb, 'An hundred years of the Sultan's tyranny, but not one year of the people's tyranny one over other.' When the lieges oppress one another, Allah setteth over them a tyrannical Sultan and a terrible King. Thus it is told in history that one day there was sent to Al-Hajjj bin Ysuf a slip of paper, whereon was written, 'Fear Allah and oppress not His servants with all manner of oppression.' When he read this, he mounted the pulpit (for he was eloquent and ever ready of speech), and said, 'O folk, Allah Almighty hath made me ruler over you, by reason of your frowardness;'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hajjaj Yousuf-son read the paper he mounted the pulpit and said, "O folk, Allah Almighty hath made me ruler over you by reason of your frowardness; and indeed, though I die yet will ye not be delivered from oppression, with these your ill deeds; for the Almighty hath created like unto me many an one. If it be not I, 'twill be one more mischievous than I and a mightier in oppression and a more merciless in his majesty; even as saith the poet:[FN#280]—
'For not a deed the hand can try Save 'neath the hand of God on high, Nor tyrant harsh work tyranny Uncrushed by tyrant harsh as he.'
Tyranny is feared: but justice is the best of all things. We beg Allah to better our case!" And among tales is that of
ABU AL-HUSN AND HIS SLAVE-GIRL TAWADDUD.[FN#281]
There was once in Baghdad a man of consequence and rich in monies and immoveables, who was one of the chiefs of the merchants; and Allah had largely endowed him with worldly goods, but had not vouchsafed him what he longed for of offspring; and there passed over him a long space of time, without his being blessed with issue, male or female. His years waxed great; his bones became wasted and his back bent; weakness and weariness grew upon him, and he feared the loss of his wealth and possessions, seeing he had no child whom he might make his heir and by whom his name should be remembered. So he betook himself with supplication to Almighty Allah, fasting by day and praying through the night. Moreover, he vowed many vows to the Living, the Eternal; and visited the pious and was constant in supplication to the Most Highest, till He gave ear to him and accepted his prayer and took pity on his straining and complaining; so that, before many days were past, he knew carnally one of his women and she conceived by him the same night. In due time she finished her months and, casting her burden, bore a male child as he were a slice of the moon; whereupon the merchant fulfilled his vows in his gratitude to Allah, (to whom be honour and glory!) and gave alms and clothed the widow and the orphan. On the seventh night after the boy's birth, he named him Abu al-Husn,[FN#282] and the wet-nurses suckled him and the dry-nurses dandled him and the servants and the slaves carried him and handled him, till he shot up and grew tall and throve greatly and learnt the Sublime Koran and the ordinances of Al-Islam and the Canons of the True Faith; and calligraphy and poetry and mathematics and archery. On this wise he became the union-pearl of his age and the goodliest of the folk of his time and his day; fair of face and of tongue fluent, carrying himself with a light and graceful gait and glorying in his stature proportionate and amorous graces which were to many a bait: and his cheeks were red and flower-white was his forehead and his side face waxed brown with tender down, even as saith one, describing him,
"The spring of the down on cheeks right clearly shows: * And how when the Spring is gone shall last the rose? Dost thou not see that the growth upon his cheek * Is violet- bloom that from its leaves outgrows."
He abode awhile in ease and happiness with his father, who rejoiced and delighted in him, till he came to man's estate, when the merchant one day made him sit down before him and said, "O my son, the appointed term draweth near; my hour of death is at hand and it remaineth but to meet Allah (to whom belong Majesty and Might!). I leave thee what shall suffice thee, even to thy son's son, of monies and mansions, farms and gardens; wherefore, fear thou Almighty Allah, O my son, in dealing with that which I bequeath to thee and follow none but those who will help thee to the Divine favour." Not long after, he sickened and died; so his son ordered his funeral,[FN#283] after the goodliest wise, and burying him, returned to his house and sat mourning for him many days and nights. But behold, certain of his friends came in to him and said to him, "Whoso leaveth a son like thee is not dead; indeed, what is past is past and fled and mourning beseemeth none but the young maid and the wife cloistered." And they ceased not from him till they wrought on him to enter the Hammam and break off his mourning.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abu al-Husn was visited by his friends and taken to the Hamman and persuaded to break off his mourning, he presently forgot his father's charge, and his head was turned by his riches; he thought fortune would always wone with him as it was, and that wealth would ever wax and never wane. So he ate and drank and made merry and took his pleasure and gave gifts of gear and coin and was profuse with gold and addrest himself up to eating fowls and breaking the seals of wine-flasks and listening to the giggle of the daughter of the vine, as she gurgled from the flagon and enjoying the jingle of the singing-girls; nor did he give over this way of life, till his wealth was wasted and the case worsened and all his goods went from him and he bit his hands[FN#284] in bitter penitence. For of a truth he had nothing left, after that which he had squandered, but a concubine, a slave-girl whom his father had bequeathed to him with the rest of his estate: and she had no equal in beauty and loveliness and brightness and liveliness and symmetric stature and perfect grace. She was past mistress in every manner of arts and accomplishments and endowed with many excellences, surpassing all the folk of her age and time. She was grown more notorious than a way-mark,[FN#285] for her seductive genius, and outdid the fair both in theory and practice, and she was noted for her swimming gait, flexile and delicate, albeit she was full five feet in height and by all the boons of fortune deckt and dight, with strait arched brows twain, as they were the crescent moon of Sha'abn,[FN#286] and eyes like gazelles' eyne; and nose like the edge of scymitar fine and cheeks like anemones of blood-red shine; and mouth like Solomon's seal and sign and teeth like necklaces of pearls in line; and navel holding an ounce of oil of benzoin and waist more slender than his body whom love hath wasted and whom concealment hath made sick with pine and hind parts heavier than two hills of sand; briefly she was a volume of charms after his saying who saith,
"Her fair shape ravisheth, if face to face she did appear, * And if she turn, for severance from her she slayeth sheer. Sun-like, full-moon-like, sapling-like, unto her character * Estrangement no wise appertains nor cruelty austere. Under the bosom of her shift the garths of Eden are * And the full-moon revolveth still upon her neck-rings' sphere."[FN#287]
She seemed a full moon rising and a gazelle browsing, a girl of nine plus five[FN#288] shaming the moon and sun, even as saith of her the sayer eloquent and ingenious,
"Semblance of full-moon Heaven bore, * When five and five are conjoined by four; 'Tis not my sin if she made of me * Its like when it riseth horizon o'er."[FN#289]
Clean of skin, odoriferous of breath, it seemed as if she were of fire fashioned and of crystal moulded; rose-red was the cheek of her and perfect the shape and form of her; even as one saith of her, describing her,
"Scented with sandal[FN#290] and musk, right proudly doth she go, * With gold and silver and rose and saffron-colour aglow. A flower in a garden she is, a pearl in an ouch of gold * Or an image in chapel[FN#291] set for worship of high and low. Slender and shapely she is; vivacity bids her arise, * But the weight of her hips says, 'Sit, or softly and slowly go.' Whenas her favours I seek and sue for my heart's desire, * 'Be gracious,' her beauty says; but her coquetry answers, 'No.' Glory to Him who made beauty her portion, and that * Of her lover to be the prate of the censurers, heigho!"[FN#292]
She captivated all who saw her, with the excellence of her beauty and the sweetness of her smile,[FN#293] and shot them down with the shafts she launched from her eyes; and withal she was eloquent of speech and excellently skilled in verse. Now when Abu al-Husn had squandered all his gold, and his ill-plight all could behold, and there remained to him naught save this slave-girl, he abode three days without tasting meat or taking rest in sleep, and the handmaid said to him, "O my lord, carry me to the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the slave-girl to her master, "O my lord, carry me to Harun al-Rashid, fifth of the sons of Abbas, and seek of him to my price ten thousand dinars. If he deem me dear, say to him: 'O Prince of True Believers, my handmaid is worth more than this: do but prove her, and her value will be magnified in thine eyes; for this slave-girl hath not her equal, and she were unfit to any but thou.'" And she added, "Beware, O my lord, of selling me at less than the sum I have named; indeed 'tis but little for the like of me." Now her owner knew not her worth nor that she had no equal in her day; but he carried her to the Caliph and set her in the presence and repeated what she had bidden him say. The Caliph asked her, "What is thy name?"; to which she answered, "My name is Tawaddud."[FN#294] He then enquired, "O Tawaddud, in what branches of knowledge dost thou excel?"; and she replied, "O my lord, I am versed in syntax and poetry and jurisprudence and exegesis and philosophy; and I am skilled in music and the knowledge of the Divine ordinances and in arithmetic and geodesy and geometry and the fables of the ancients. I know the Sublime Koran by heart and have read it according to the seven, the ten and the fourteen modes. I know the number of its chapters and versets and sections and words; and its halves and fourths and eighths and tenths; the number of prostrations which occur in it and the sum total of its letters; and I know what there is in it of abrogating and abrogated[FN#295]; also what parts of it were revealed at Al-Medinah and what at Meccah and the cause of the different revelations. I know the Holy Traditions of the Apostle's sayings, historical and legendary, the established and those whose ascription is doubtful; and I have studied the exact sciences, geometry and philosophy and medicine and logic and rhetoric and composition; and I have learnt many things by rote and am passionately fond of poetry. I can play the lute and know its gamut and notes and notation and the crescendo and diminuendo. If I sing and dance, I seduce, and if I dress and scent myself, I slay. In fine, I have reached a pitch of perfection such as can be estimated only by those of them who are firmly rooted in knowledge."[FN#296] Now when the Caliph heard these words spoken by one so young, he wondered at her eloquence, and turning to Abu al-Husn, said, "I will summon those who shall discuss with her all she claimeth to know; if she answer correctly, I will give thee the price thou askest for her and more; and if not, thou art fitter to have her than I." "With gladness and goodly gree, O Commander of the Faithful," replied Abu al-Husn. So the Caliph wrote to the Viceroy of Bassorah, to send him Ibrahim bin Siyyr the prosodist, who was the first man of his day in argument and eloquence and poetry and logic, and bade him bring with him readers of the Koran and learned doctors of the law and physicians and astrologers and scientists and mathematicians and philosophers; and Ibrahim was more learned than all. In a little while they arrived at the palace of the Caliphate, knowing not what was to do, and the Caliph sent for them to his sitting-chamber and ordered them to be seated. So they sat down and he bade bring the damsel Tawaddud who came and unveiling, showed herself, as she were a sparkling star.[FN#297] The Caliph set her a stool of gold; and she saluted, and speaking with an eloquent tongue, said, "O Commander of the Faithful, bid the Olema and the doctors of law and leaches and astrologers and scientists and mathematicians and all here present contend with me in argument." So he said to them, "I desire of you that ye dispute with this damsel on the things of her faith, and stultify her argument in all she advanceth;" and they answered, saying, "We hear and we obey Allah and thee, O Commander of the Faithful." Upon this Tawaddud bowed her head and said, "Which of you is the doctor of the law, the scholar, versed in the readings of the Koran and in the Traditions?" Quoth one of them, "I am the man thou seekest." Quoth she, "Then ask me of what thou wilt." Said the doctor, "Hast thou read the precious book of Allah and dost thou know its cancelling and cancelled parts and hast thou meditated its versets and its letters?" "Yes," answered she. "Then," said he, "I will proceed to question thee of the obligations and the immutable ordinances: so tell me of these, O damsel, and who is thy Lord, who thy prophet, who thy Guide, what is thy point of fronting in prayer, and who be thy brethren? Also what thy spiritual path and what thy highway?" Whereto she replied, "Allah is my Lord, and Mohammed (whom Allah save and assain!) my prophet, and the Koran is my guide and the Ka'abah my fronting; and the True-believers are my brethren. The practice of good is my path and the Sunnah my highway." The Caliph again marvelled at her words so eloquently spoken by one so young; and the doctor pursued, "O damsel, with what do we know Almighty Allah?" Said she, "With the understanding." Said he, "And what is the understanding?" Quoth she, "It is of two kinds, natural and acquired."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel continued, "The understanding is of two kinds, natural and acquired. The natural is that which Allah (to whom be honour and glory!) created for the right direction of His servants after His will; and the acquired is that which men accomplish by dint of study and fair knowledge." He rejoined, "Thou hast answered well." Q "Where is the seat of the understanding?"—"Allah casteth it in the heart whence its lustrous beams ascend to the brain and there become fixed." Q "How knowest thou the Prophet of Allah?" "By the reading of Allah's Holy Book and by signs and proofs and portents and miracles!" Q "What are the obligations and the immutable ordinances?" "The obligations are five. (1) Testification that there is no ilh[FN#298] but Allah, no god but the God alone and One, which for partner hath none, and that Mohammed is His servant and His apostle. (2) The standing in prayers.[FN#299] (3) The payment of the poor-rate. (4) Fasting Ramazan. (5) The Pilgrimage to Allah's Holy House for all to whom the journey is possible. The immutable ordinances are four; to wit, night and day and sun and moon, the which build up life and hope; nor any son of Adam wotteth if they will be destroyed on the Day of Judgment." Q "What are the obligatory observances of the Faith?" "They are five, prayer, almsgiving, fasting, pilgrimage, fighting for the Faith and abstinence from the forbidden." Q "Why dost thou stand up to pray?" "To express the devout intent of the slave acknowledging the Deity." Q "What are the obligatory conditions which precede standing in prayer?" "Purification, covering the shame, avoidance of soiled clothes, standing on a clean place, fronting the Ka'abah, an upright posture, the intent[FN#300] and the pronouncing 'Allaho Akbar' of prohibition."[FN#301] Q "With what shouldest thou go forth from thy house to pray?" "With the intent of worship mentally pronounced." Q "With what intent shouldest thou enter the mosque?" "With an intent of service." Q "Why do we front the Kiblah[FN#302]?" "In obedience to three Divine orders and one Traditional ordinance." Q "What are the beginning, the consecration and the end of prayer?" "Purification beginneth prayer, saying the Allaho Akbar of prohibition consecrateth, and the salutation endeth prayer." Q "What deserveth he who neglecteth prayer?" "It is reported, among the authentic Traditions of the Prophet, that he said, 'Whoso neglecteth prayer wilfully and purposely hath no part in Al-Islam.'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Fortieth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after the damsel had repeated the words of that Holy Tradition the doctor cried, "Thou hast replied aright: now say me, what is prayer?" "Prayer is communion between the slave and his lord, and in it are ten virtues: (1) it illumineth the heart; (2) it maketh the face shine; (3) it pleaseth the Compassionate One; (4) it angereth Satan; (5) it conjureth calamity; (6) it wardeth off the mischief of enemies; (7) it multiplieth mercy; (8) it forfendeth vengeance and punishment; (9) it bringeth the slave nigh unto his lord; and (10) it restraineth from lewdness and frowardness. Hence it is one of the absolute requisites and obligatory ordinances and the pillar of the Faith." Q "What is the key of prayer?" "Wuzd or the lesser ablution."[FN#303] Q "What is the key to the lesser ablution?" "Intention and naming the Almighty." Q "What is the key of naming the Almighty?" "Assured faith." Q "What is the key of faith?" "Trust in the Lord." Q "What is the key of trust in the Lord?" "Hope." Q "What is the key of hope?" "Obedience." Q "What is the key of obedience?" "The confession of the Unity and the acknowledgment of the divinity of Allah." Q "What are the Divine ordinances of Wuzu, the minor ablution?" "They are six, according to the canon of the Imam al-Shfi' Mohammed bin Idris (of whom Allah accept!): (1) intent while washing the face; (2) washing the face; (3) washing the hands and forearms; (4) wiping part of the head; (5) washing the feet and heels; and (6) observing due order.[FN#304] And the traditional statutes are ten: (1) nomination; (2) and washing the hands before putting them into the water-pot; (3) and mouth-rinsing; (4) and snuffing;[FN#305] (5) and wiping the whole head; (6) and wetting the ears within and without with fresh water; (7) and separating a thick beard; (8) and separating the fingers and toes;[FN#306] (9) and washing the right foot before the left and (10) doing each of these thrice and all in unbroken order. When the minor ablution is ended, the worshipper should say, I testify that there is no god but the God, the One, which for partner hath none, and I testify that Mohammed is His servant and His apostle. O my Allah, make me of those who repent and in purity are permanent! Glory to Thee, O my God, and in Thy praise I bear witness, that there is no god save Thou! I crave pardon of Thee and I repent to Thee! For it is reported, in the Holy Traditions, that the Prophet (whom Allah bless and preserve!) said of this prayer, 'Whoso endeth every ablution with this prayer, the eight gates of Paradise are open to him; he shall enter at which he pleaseth.'" Q "When a man purposeth ablution, what betideth him from the angels and the devils?" "When a man prepareth for ablution, the angels come and stand on his right and the devils on his left hand.[FN#307] If he name Almighty Allah at the beginning of the ablution, the devils flee from him and the angels hover over him with a pavilion of light, having four ropes, to each an angel glorifying Allah and craving pardon for him, so long as he remaineth silent or calleth upon the name of Allah. But if he omit to begin washing with naming Allah (to whom belong might and majesty!), neither remain silent, the devils take command of him; and the angels depart from him and Satan whispereth evil thoughts unto him, till he fall into doubt and come short in his ablution. For (quoth he on whom be blessing and peace!), 'A perfect ablution driveth away Satan and assureth against the tyranny of the Sultan'; and again quoth he, 'If calamity befal one who is not pure by ablution; verily and assuredly let him blame none but himself.'" Q "What should a man do when he awaketh from sleep?" "He should wash his hands thrice, before putting them into the water vessel." Q "What are the Koranic and traditional orders anent Ghusl, the complete ablution[FN#308]?" "The divine ordinances are intent and 'crowning'[FN#309] the whole body with water, that is, the liquid shall come at every part of the hair and skin. Now the traditional ordinances are the minor ablution as preliminary; rubbing the body; separating the hair and deferring in words[FN#310] the washing of the feet till the end of the ablution."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Forty-first Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel had recounted to the doctor what were the divine and traditional orders anent Ghusl or total ablution, quoth he, "Thou hast replied aright: now tell me what are the occasions for Tayammum, or making the ablution with sand and dust; and what are the ordinances thereof, divine and human?" "The reasons are seven, viz.: want of water; fear lest water lack; need thereto; going astray on a march; sickness; having broken bones in splints and having open wounds.[FN#311] As for its ordinances, the divine number four, viz., intent, dust, clapping it to the face and clapping it upon the hands; and the human number two, nomination and preferring the right before the left hand." Q "What are the conditions, the pillars or essentials, and the traditional statutes of prayer?" "The conditions are five: (1) purification of the members; (2) covering of the privy parts; (3) observing the proper hours, either of certainty or to the best of one's belief; (4) fronting the Kiblah; and (5) standing on a clean place. The pillars or essentials number twelve: (1) intent; (2) the Takbr or magnification of prohibition; (3) standing when able to stand[FN#312]; (4) repeating the Fatihah or opening chapter of the Koran and saying, 'In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate!' with a verse thereof according to the canon of the Imam Al-Shafi'i; (5) bowing the body and keeping it bowed; (6) returning to the upright posture and so remaining for the time requisite; (7) prostration and permanence therein; (8) sitting between two prostrations and permanence therein; (9) repeating the latter profession of the Faith and sitting up therefor; (10) invoking benediction on the Prophet (whom Allah bless and preserve!) (11) the first Salutation,[FN#313] and (12) the intent of making an end of prayer expressed in words. But the traditional statutes are the call to prayer; the standing posture; raising the hands (to either side of the face) whilst pronouncing the prohibition; uttering the magnification before reciting the Fatihah; seeking refuge with Allah[FN#314]; saying, 'Amen'; repeating the chapter of the Koran after the Fatihah, repeating the magnifications during change of posture; saying, 'May Allah hear him who praiseth Him! and O our Lord, to Thee be the praise!'; praying aloud in the proper place[FN#315] and praying under the breath prayers so prescribed; the first profession of unity and sitting up thereto; blessing the Prophet therein; blessing his family in the latter profession and the second Salutation." Q "On what is the Zakt or obligatory poor-rate taxable?" "On gold and silver and camels and oxen and sheep and wheat and barley and holcus and millet and beans and vetches and rice and raisins and dates." Q "What is the Zakt or poor-rate on gold?" "Below twenty miskals or dinars, nothing; but on that amount half a dinar for every score and so on proportionally.[FN#316]" Q "On silver?" "Under two hundred dirhams nothing, then five dirhams on every two hundred and so forth." Q "On camels?" "For every five, an ewe, or for every twenty-five a pregnant camel." Q "On sheep?" "An ewe for every forty head," Q "What are the ordinances of the Ramazan Fast?" "The Koranic are intent; abstinence from eating, drinking and carnal copulation, and the stoppage of vomiting. It is incumbent on all who submit to the Law, save women in their courses and forty days after childbirth; and it becomes obligatory on sight of the new moon or on news of its appearance, brought by a trustworthy person and commending itself as truth to the hearer's heart; and among its requisites is that the intent be pronounced at nightfall. The traditional ordinances of fasting are, hastening to break the fast at sundown; deferring the fore-dawn meal,[FN#317] and abstaining from speech, save for good works and for calling on the name of Allah and reciting the Koran." Q "What things vitiate not the fast?" "The use of unguents and eye-powders and the dust of the road and the undesigned swallowing of saliva and the emission of seed in nocturnal pollution or at the sight of a strange woman and blooding and cupping; none of these things vitiates the fast." Q "What are the prayers of the two great annual Festivals?" "Two one-bow prayers, which be a traditional ordinance, without call to prayer or standing up to pronounce the call;[FN#318] but let the Moslem say, 'Prayer is a collector of all folk!'[FN#319] and pronounce 'Allaho Akbar' seven times in the first prayer, besides the Takbir of prohibition; and, in the second, five times, besides the magnification of rising up (according to the doctrine of the Imam Al-Shafi'i, on whom Allah have mercy!) and make the profession of the Faith."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Forty-second Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel had answered the doctor anent the Festival-prayers, quoth he, "Thou hast replied aright: now tell me what are the prayers prescribed on the occasion of an eclipse of the sun or moon?" "Two one-bow prayers without call to prayer or standing thereto by the worshipper, who shall make in each two-bow prayer double standing up and double inclinations and two-fold prostrations, then sit and testify and salute." Q "What is the ritual of prayer for rain?" "Two one-bow prayers without call to prayer or standing thereto; then shall the Moslem make the profession and salute. Moreover the Imam shall deliver an exhortation and ask pardon of Allah, in place of the magnification, as in the two sermons of the Festivals and turn his mantle upper edge downwards and pray and supplicate." Q "What are the Witr, the additional or occasional prayers?" "The least is a one-bow prayer and the most eleven." Q "What is the forenoon prayer?" "At least, two one-bow prayers and at most, twelve." Q "What hast thou to say of the I'itikf or retreat[FN#320]?" "It is a matter of traditional ordinance." Q "What are its conditions?" "(1) intent; (2) not leaving the mosque save of necessity; (3) not having to do with a woman; (4) fasting; and (5) abstaining from speech." Q "Under what conditions is the Hajj or Pilgrimage[FN#321] obligatory?" "Manhood, and understanding and being a Moslem and practicability; in which case it is obligatory on all, once before death." Q "What are the Koranic statutes of the Pilgrimage?" "(1) The Ihrm or pilgrim's habit; (2) the standing at Arafat; (3) circumambulating the Ka'abah; (4) running between Saf and Marwah[FN#322]; and (5) shaving or clipping the hair." Q "What are the Koranic statutes of the 'Umrah[FN#323] or lesser pilgrimage?" "Assuming the pilgrim's habit and compassing and running." Q "What are the Koranic ordinances of the assumption of the pilgrim's habit?"[FN#324] "Doffing sewn garments, forswearing perfume and ceasing to shave the head or pare the nails, and avoiding the killing of game, and eschewing carnal copulation." Q "What are the traditional statutes of the pilgrimage?" "(1) The crying out 'Labbay'ka, Adsum, Here am I, O our Lord, here am I!'[FN#325]4 (2) the Ka'abah-circuitings[FN#326] of arrival and departure; (3) the passing the night at the Mosque of Muzdalifah and in the valley of Mina, and (4) the lapidation.[FN#327]" Q "What is the Jihd or Holy War and its essentials?" "Its essentials are: (1) the descent of the Infidels upon us; (2) the presence of the Imam; (3) a state of preparation; and (4) firmness in meeting the foe. Its traditional ordinance is incital to battle, in that the Most High hath said, 'O thou my Prophet, incite the faithful to fight!'[FN#328]" Q "What are the ordinances of buying and selling?" "The Koranic are: (1) offer and acceptance and (2) if the thing sold be a white slave, by whom one profiteth, all possible endeavour to convert him to Al-Islam; and (3) to abstain from usury; the traditional are: making void[FN#329] and option before not after separating, according to his saying (whom Allah bless and preserve!), 'The parties to a sale shall have the option of cancelling or altering terms whilst they are yet unseparated.'", Q "What is it forbidden to sell for what?" "On this point I mind me of an authentic tradition, reported by Nf'i[FN#330] of the Apostle of Allah, that he forbade the barter of dried dates for fresh and fresh figs for dry and jerked for fresh meat and cream for clarified butter; in fine, all eatables of one and the same kind, it is unlawful to buy or barter some for other some.[FN#331]" Now when the doctor of law heard her words and knew that she was wit-keen, penetrative, ingenious and learned in jurisprudence and the Traditions and the interpretation of the Koran and what not else, he said in his mind, "Needs must I manoeuvre with her, that I may overcome her in the assembly of the Commander of the Faithful." So he said to her, "O damsel, what is the lexicographical meaning of Wuzu?" And she answered, "Philologically it signifieth cleanliness and freedom from impurities." Q "And of Salt or prayer?" "An invocation of good" Q "And of Ghusl?" "Purification." Q "And of Saum or fasting?" "Abstention." Q "And of Zakt?" "Increase. Q "And of Hajj or pilgrimage?" "Visitation." Q "And of Jihd?" "Repelling." With this the doctor's arguments were cut off,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Forty-third Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the doctor's arguments were cut off, he rose to his feet and said, "Bear witness against me, O Commander of the Faithful, that this damsel is more learned in the Law than I am." Quoth she, "I will ask thee somewhat, which do thou answer me speedily, an thou be indeed a learned man." Quoth he, "Say on;" and she said, "What are the arrows of the Faith?" Answered he, "They number ten: (1) Testification, that is, religion; (2) Prayer, that is, the covenant; (3) Alms, that is, purification; (4) Fasting, that is, defensive armour; (5) Pilgrimage, that is, the Law; (6) Fighting for the Faith, that is, a general duty; (7) Bidding to beneficence and (8) Forbidding from frowardness, both of which are a man's honour; (9) Commune,[FN#332] that is, sociableness of the Faithful; and (10) Seeking knowledge, that is, the praiseworthy path." She rejoined, "Thou hast replied aright and now remaineth but one question, 'What be the roots or fundamentals of Al-Islam?'" He said "They are four: sincerity of belief, truth of intent, observance of the lawful limit and keeping the covenant." Then said she, "I have one more question to ask thee, which if thou answer, it is well; else, I will take thy clothes." Quoth he, "Speak, O damsel;" and she said, "What are the branches or superstructure of Al-Islam?" But he was silent awhile and made no reply: so she cried "Doff thy clothes and I will expound them to thee." Quoth the Caliph "Expound them, and I will make him put off his clothes for thee." She said, "There are two-and-twenty branches: (1) holding fast to the Book of Allah the Most Highest; (2) taking example by His Apostle (whom Allah bless and preserve!); (3) abstaining from evil doing; (4) eating what is lawful and (5) avoiding what is unlawful; (6) restitution of things wrongfully taken; (7) repentance; (8) knowledge of the Law; (9) love of the Friend,[FN#333] (10) and of the followers of the true Revelation; (11) belief in the apostles of Al-Islam; (12) fear of apostacy; (13) preparation for departing this life; (14) force of conviction; (15) mercy on all possible occasions; (16) strength in time of weakness; (17) patience under trials; (18) knowledge of Allah Almighty and (19) of what His Prophet hath made known to us; (20) thwarting Iblis the accursed; (21) striving earnestly against the lusts of the soul and warring them down, and (22) devotion to the one God." Now when the Commander of the Faithful heard her words, he bade the professor put off his clothes and hooded turband; and so did that doctor and went forth, beaten and confounded, from the Caliph's presence. Thereupon another man stood up and said to her, "O damsel, hear a few questions from me." Quoth she, "Say on;' and he asked, "What are the conditions of purchase by advance?" whereto she answered, "That the price be fixed, the kind be fixed and the period of delivery be fixed and known." Q "What are the Koranic and the traditional canons of eating?" "The confession that Allah Almighty provideth the eater and giveth him meat and drink, with thanksgiving to Him therefor." Q "What is thanksgiving?" "The use by the creature of that which the Creator vouchsafeth to him, according as it was created for the creature." Q "What are the traditional canons of eating?" "The Bismillah[FN#334] and washing both hands; sitting on the left of the hind part; eating with three fingers, and eating of that which hath been duly masticated.[FN#335]" Q "What are good manners in eating?" "Taking small mouthfuls and looking little at one's table-companion."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel had answered concerning good manners in eating, the doctor who was trying her, rejoined, "Thou hast replied aright. Now tell me what are the stays of the heart and their supports?"[FN#336] "The stays and supports both number three: (1) holding fast to the Faith, the support whereof is the shunning of infidelity; (2) holding fast to the Traditional Law, and its support the shunning of innovation; and (3) holding fast to obedience, and its support the shunning of disobedience." Q "What are the conditions of Wuzu?" "(1) being a Moslem; (2) discernment of good and evil; (3) purity of the water, and (4) absence of material or religious impediments." Q "What is belief?" "It is divided into nine parts: (1) belief in the One worshipped; (2) belief in the condition of slavery of the worshipper; (3) belief in the personality of the Deity; (4) belief in the Two Handfuls;[FN#337] (5) belief in Providence which allotteth to man his lot; (6) belief in the Abrogating and (7) in the Abrogated; (8) belief in Allah, His angels and apostles; and (9) in fore-ordained Fate, general and individual, its good and ill, its sweet and bitter." Q "What three things do away other three?" "It is told of Sufyn al-Saur[FN#338] that he said, 'Three things do away with other three. Making light of the pious doth away the future life; making light of Kings doth away this life; and, making light of expenditure doth away wealth.'" Q "What are the keys of the heavens, and how many gates have they.?" "Quoth Almighty Allah, 'And the heaven shall be opened and be full of portals;'[FN#339] and quoth he whom Allah bless and preserve!, 'None knoweth the number of the gates of heavens, save He who created the heavens, and there is no son of Adam but hath two gates allotted to him in the heavens, one whereby his daily bread descendeth and another wherethrough his works ascend. The first gate is not closed, save when his term of life cometh to an end, nor the gate of works, good and evil, till his soul ascend for judgment.'" Q "Tell me of a thing and a half thing and a no-thing." "The thing is the Moslem; the half thing the hypocrite,[FN#340] and the no-thing the miscreant." Q "Tell me of various kinds of hearts." "There is the whole heart, the sick heart, the contrite heart, the vowed heart and the enlightened heart. Now the whole heart is that of Abraham, the Friend of Allah; the sick heart is that of the Unbeliever in Al-Islam; the contrite heart is that of the pious who fear the Lord; the vowed heart is that of our Lord Mohammed (whom Allah bless and keep!) and the illuminated heart is that of his followers. Furthermore, the hearts of learned Olema are of three kinds, the heart which is in love with this world; the heart which loveth the next world, and the heart which loveth its Lord; and it is said that hearts are three, the suspended, that of the infidel; the non-existent, that of the hypocrite; and the constant, that of the True-believer. Moreover, it is said that the firm heart is of three kinds, viz., the heart dilated with light and faith, the heart wounded with fear of estrangement, and the heart which feareth to be forsaken of its Supreme Friend."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the second doctor declared. "Thou hast said well," quoth she to the Caliph, "O Commander of the Faithful, he hath questioned me, till he is weary, and now I will ask of him two questions. If he answer them both, it is well; and if not, I will take his clothes and he shall wend in peace." Quoth the doctor, "Ask me what thou wilt," and she said, "What sayest thou religion is?" Answered he, "Religion is confession of Faith with the tongue and conviction with the heart and correspondent action with the members. He (upon whom be blessings and peace!) hath said, 'The believer is not perfect in belief, except he perfect himself in five qualities, namely: trust in Allah,[FN#341] committal of his affair to Allah, submission to the commands of Allah, acquiescence in the decrees of Allah; and that all he doth be done for sake of Allah; so is he of those who are acceptable to the Deity, and who give to Him and withhold for Him; and such man is perfect in belief.'" Then said she, "What is the Divine ordinance of ordinances and the ordinance which is the initiator of all ordinances and that of which all others stand in need and that which comprehendeth all others; and what is the traditional ordinance that entereth into the Koranic, and the prophetic practice whereby the Divine is completed?" But he was silent and made no reply; whereupon the Caliph bade her expound and ordered him to doff his clothes and give them to her. Said she, "O doctor, the Koranic ordinance of ordinances is the knowledge of Allah Almighty; that, which is the initiative of all others, is the testifying there is no god but the God and Mohammed is the Apostle of God; that, of which all others have need, is the Wuzu-ablution; that, which compriseth all others, is the Ghusl-ablution from defilement[FN#342]; the Traditional ordinance that entereth into the Koranic, is the separation of the fingers and the thick beard;[FN#343] and that, wherewith all Koranic ordinances are completed, is circumcision."[FN#344] Therewith was made manifest the defeat of the doctor, who rose to his feet and said, "I call Allah to witness, O Commander of the Faithful, that this damsel is more learned than I in theology and what pertaineth to the Law." So saying, he put off his clothes and went away ignominiously worsted. Then she turned to the rest of the learned men present and said, "O masters, which of you is the Koranist, the reader and reciter of the Koran, versed in the seven readings and in syntax and in lexicography?" Thereupon a professor arose and, seating himself before her, said "Hast thou read the Book of Almighty Allah and made thyself thoroughly acquainted with its signs, that is its verses, and its abrogating parts and abrogated portions, its unequivocal commands and its ambiguous; and the difference of its revelations, Meccan and Medinan? Dost thou understand its interpretation and hast thou studied it, according to the various traditions and origins?" "Yes," answered she; and he said, "What then is the number of its chapters, how many are the decades and versets, how many words and how many letters and how many acts of prostration and how many prophets and how many chapters are Medinan and how many are Meccan and how many birds are mentioned in it?" Replied she, "O my lord, its chapters are an hundred and fourteen, whereof seventy were revealed at Meccah and forty-four at Al-Medinah; and it containeth six hundred and twenty-one decades; six thousand three hundred and thirty-six versets;[FN#345] seventy-nine thousand four hundred and thirty-nine words and three hundred and twenty-three thousand and six hundred and seventy letters; and to the reader thereof, for every letter, are given ten benefits. The acts of prostration it compriseth are fourteen."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the professor of Koranic exegesis questioned the damsel, she continued, "As regards the Prophets named in the Book there be five-and-twenty, to wit, Adam, Noah,[FN#346] Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Lot, Elisha, Jonah, Salih,[FN#347] or Heber, Hd,[FN#348] Shua'yb or Jethro,[FN#349] David, Solomon, Z'l-kafl or Joshua, Idrs, Elias, Yahy or John the Baptist, Zacharias, Job, Moses, Aaron, Jesus and Mohammed,[FN#350] the peace of Allah and His blessing be on them all! Moreover, nine flying things are mentioned in the Koran, namely, the gnat, the bee, the fly, the ant, the hoopoe, the crow, the locust, the swallow and the bird of Jesus[FN#351] (on whom be peace!), to wit, the bat." Q "Which is the most excellent chapter of the Koran?" "That of The Cow.[FN#352]" Q "Which is the most magnificent verse?" "That of the Throne; it hath fifty words, bearing in each fifty blessings." Q "What sign or verse hath in it nine signs or wonders?" "That in which quoth Allah Almighty, 'Verily, in the creation of the Heaven and the Earth: and in the vicissitude of night, and day; and in the ship which saileth through the sea laden with what is profitable for mankind; and in the rain-water which God sendeth down from Heaven, quickening thereby the dead ground and replenishing the same with all sorts of cattle; and in the change of winds and in the clouds that are compelled to do service between the Heaven and the Earth;[FN#353]—are signs to people of understanding.'" Q "Which verse is the most just?" "That in which Allah saith, 'Verily, Allah enjoineth justice and the doing of good, and the giving unto kindred what shall be necessary; and He forbiddeth wickedness and iniquity and oppression'"[FN#354] Q "Which is the most greedy?" "That in which quoth Allah, 'Is it that every man of them greedeth to enter the Garden of Delight?'"[FN#355] Q "Which is the most hopeful?" "That in which quoth Almighty Allah, 'Say: O my servants who have transgressed against your own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah; seeing, that Allah forgiveth all sins; aye Gracious, Merciful is He.'"[FN#356] Q "By what school of intonation dost thou read?" "By that of the people of Paradise, to wit, the version of Nf'i." Q "In which verse doth Allah make prophets lie?"[FN#357] "In that wherein He saith, 'They (the brothers of Joseph) brought his inner garment stained with false blood.'"[FN#358] Q "In which doth He make unbelievers speak the truth?" "In that wherein He saith, 'The Jews say, 'The Christians are grounded on nothing,' and the Christians say, 'The Jews are grounded on nothing'; and yet they both read the Scriptures;'[FN#359] and, so saying, all say sooth." Q "In which doth God speak in his own person?" "In that in which he saith, 'I have not created Genii and men for any other end than that they should serve me.'"[FN#360] Q "In which verse do the angels speak?" "In that which saith, 'But we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness.'"[FN#361] Q "What sayest thou of the formula:—I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned?" "It is obligatory by commandment of Allah on all before reading the Koran, as appeareth by His saying, 'When thou readest the Koran, seek refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned.'"[FN#362] Q "What signify the words 'seeking refuge'[FN#363] and what are the variants of the formula?" "Some say, 'I take refuge with Allah the All-hearing and All-knowing,' and others, 'With Allah the Strong;' but the best is that whereof the Sublime Koran speaketh and the Traditions perpetuate. And he (whom Allah bless and keep!) was used to ejaculate, 'I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned.' And quoth a Tradition, reported by Naf'i on the authority of his adopted father, 'The apostle of Allah, was wont when he rose in the night to pray, to say aloud, 'Allaho Akbar'; God is Most Great, with all Majesty! Praise be to Allah abundantly! Glory to Allah morn and even be!' Then would he say, 'I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned and from the delusions of the Devils and their evil suggestions.' And it is told of Ibn Abbas[FN#364] (of whom Allah accept!) that he said, 'The first time Gabriel came down to the Prophet with revelation he taught him the 'seeking refuge,' saying, 'O Mohammed, say, I seek refuge with Allah the All-hearing and All-knowing;' then say, 'In the name of Allah the Compassionating, the Compassionate!' Read, in the name of thy Lord who created;—created man of blood-clots."[FN#365] Now when the Koranist heard her words he marvelled at her expressions, her eloquence, her learning, her excellence, and said, "O damsel, what sayst thou of the verse 'In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate'? Is it one of the verses of the Koran?" "Yes; it is a verset of 'The Ant'[FN#366] occurring also at the head of the first and between every two following chapters; and there is much difference of opinion, respecting this, among the learned."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel had told the professor concerning the difference of opinion among the learned touching the "Basmalah," he said, "Thou hast replied aright: now tell me why is not the formula written at the head of the chapter of Immunity[FN#367]?"; and she answered, "When this chapter was revealed from on high for the dissolution of the alliance between the Prophet and the idolaters, He (whom Allah bless and preserve!) sent Ali[FN#368] ibn Ab Tlib (whose face Allah honour!) therewith, and he read the chapter to them, but did not read the Basmalah."[FN#369] Q "What of the excellence of the formula and its blessing?" "It is told of the Prophet that he said, 'Never is the Basmalah pronounced over aught, but there is a blessing in it;' and it is reported, on authority of Him (whom Allah bless and preserve!) that the Lord of Glory swore by His glory that never should the Basmalah be pronounced over a sick person, but he should be healed of his sickness. Moreover, it is said that, when Allah created the empyrean, it was agitated with an exceeding agitation; but He wrote on it, 'Bismillah' and its agitation subsided. When the formula first descended from heaven to the Prophet, he said, 'I am safe from three things, earthquake and metamorphosis and drowning; and indeed its boons are great and its blessings too many to enumerate. It is told of Allah's Apostle that he said, 'There will be brought on the Judgment-day a man with whom He shall reckon and finding no good deed to his account, shall order him to the Fire; but the man will cry, 'O my God, Thou hast not dealt justly by me!' Then shall Allah (to whom be honour and glory!) say, 'How so?' and the man shall answer, O Lord, for that Thou callest Thyself the Compassionating, the Compassionate, yet wilt Thou punish me with the Fire!' And Allah (magnified be His Majesty!) shall reply, 'I did indeed name myself the Compassionating, the Compassionate. Carry My servant to Paradise, of My mercy, for I am the most Merciful of the mercifuls!'" Q "What was the origin of the use of the Basmalah?" "When Allah sent down from Heaven the Koran, they wrote, 'In Thy name, O my God!'; when Allah revealed the words, 'Say: Call upon Allah, or call upon the Compassionating, what days ye pray, for hath He the most excellent names,'[FN#370] they wrote, 'In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate; and, when He revealed the words, 'Your God is one God, there is no God but He, the Compassionating, the Compassionate,'[FN#371] they wrote, 'In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate!'" Now when the Koranist heard her reply, he hung down his head and said to himself, "This be a marvel of marvels! How hath this slave-girl expounded the origin of the Basmalah? But, by Allah, needs must I go a bout with her and haply defeat her." So he asked, "Did Allah reveal the Koran all at once or at times manifold?" She answered, "Gabriel the Faithful (on whom be peace!) descended with it from the Lord of the Worlds upon His Prophet Mohammed, Prince of the Apostles and Seal of the Prophets, by detached versets: bidding and forbidding, covenanting and comminating, and containing advices and instances in the course of twenty years as occasion called for it." Q "Which chapter was first revealed?" "According to Ibn Abbas, that entituled 'Congealed Blood':[FN#372] and, according to Jbir bin Abdillah,[FN#373] that called 'The Covered' which preceded all others.[FN#374]" Q "Which verset was the last revealed?" "That of 'Usury',[FN#375] and it is also said, the verse, 'When there cometh Allah's succour and victory.'"[FN#376]—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel told the Koranist which was the last verse he said, "Thou hast replied aright; now tell me the names of the Companions who collected the Koran, in the lifetime of the Apostle of Allah." And she answered "They were four, Ubay ibn Ka'ab, Zayd ibn Sbit, Ab Obaydah 'Aamir bin Jarrh, and Othmn bin Affn[FN#377] (Allah accept of them one and all!)" Q "Who are the readers, from whom the accepted reading of the Koran is taken?" "They number four, Abdallah bin Mas'd, Ubay bin Ka'ab, Ma'az bin Jabal and Slim bin Abdillah." Q "What sayest thou of the words of the Most High, 'That which is sacrificed to stones'"?[FN#378] "The stones are idols, which are set up and worshipped, instead of Allah the Most High, and from this we seek refuge with Allah." Q "What sayest thou of the words of the Most High 'Thou knowest what is in my soul, and I know not what is in Thy soul'"?[FN#379] "They mean, 'Thou knowest the truth of me and what is in me, and I know not what is in Thee;' and the proof of this are His words,[FN#380] 'Thou art He who wottest the hidden things'; and it is said, also, 'Thou knowest my essence, but I know not Thine essence.'" Q "What sayst thou of the words of the Most High, 'O true believers, forbid not yourselves the good things which Allah hath allowed you?'"[FN#381] "My Shaykh (on whom Allah have mercy!) told me that the Companion Al-Zahhk related: 'There was a people of the True-believers who said, 'We will dock our members masculine and don sackcloth;' whereupon this verse was revealed. But Al-Kutdah declareth that it was revealed on account of sundry Companions of the Apostle of Allah, namely, Ali ibn Ab Tlib and Othmn bin Musa'ab and others, who said, 'We will geld ourselves and don hair cloth and make us monks.'" Q "What sayest thou of the words of the Most Highest, 'And Allah took Abraham for His friend'"?[FN#382] "The friend of Allah is the needy, the poor, and (according to another saying) he is the lover, he who is detached from the world in the love of Allah Almighty and in whose attachment there is no falling away." Now when the Koranist[FN#383] saw her pass on in speech with the passage of the clouds and that she stayed not in reply, he rose to his feet and said, "I take Allah to witness, O Commander of the Faithful, that this damsel is more learned than I in Koranic exegesis and what pertaineth thereto." Then said she, "I will ask thee one question, which if thou answer it is well; but if thou answer not, I will strip off thy clothes." Quoth the Commander of the Faithful, "Ask on," and she enquired, "Which verset of the Koran hath in it three-and-twenty Kfs, which sixteen Mms, which an hundred and forty 'Ayns[FN#384] and which section[FN#385] lacketh the formula, 'To Whom belong glory and glorification and majesty[FN#386]?'" The Koranist could not reply, and she said to him, "Put off thy clothes." So he doffed them, and she continued, "O Commander of the Faithful, the verset of the sixteen Mims is in the chapter Hd and is the saying of the Most High, 'It was said, O Noah, go down in peace from us, and blessing upon thee!'[FN#387] that of the three-and-twenty Kafs is the verse called of the Faith, in the chapter of The Cow; that of the hundred and forty Ayns is in the chapter of Al-A'arf,[FN#388] where the Lord saith, 'And Moses chose seventy men of his tribe to attend our appointed time;[FN#389] to each man a pair of eyes.'[FN#390] And the lesson, which lacketh the formula, 'To Whom be glory and glorification,' is that which comprises the chapters, The Hour draweth nigh and the Moon shall be cloven in twain[FN#391]; The Compassionate and The Event."[FN#392] Thereupon the professor departed in confusion.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel defeated the Koranist and took off his clothes and sent him away confused, then came forward the skilled physician and said to her, "We are free of theology and come now to physiology. Tell me, therefore, how is man made; how many veins, bones and vertebrae are there in his body; which is the first and chief vein and why Adam was named Adam?" She replied, "Adam was called Adam, because of his udmah, that is, the wheaten colour of his complexion and also (it is said) because he was created of the adim of the earth, that is to say, of the surface-soil. His breast was made of the earth of the Ka'abah, his head of earth from the East and his legs of earth from the West. There were created for him seven doors in his head, viz., the eyes, the ears, the nostrils and the mouth, and two passages, before and behind. The eyes were made the seat of the sight-sense, the ears the seat of the hearing-sense, the nostrils the seat of the smell-sense, the mouth the seat of the taste-sense and the tongue to utter what is in the heart of man.[FN#393] Now Adam was made of a compound of the four elements, which be water, earth, fire and air. The yellow bile is the humour of fire, being hot-dry; the black bile that of earth, being cold-dry; the phlegm that of water, being cold-moist, and the blood that of air, being hot-moist.[FN#394] There were made in man three hundred and sixty veins, two hundred and forty-nine bones, and three souls[FN#395] or spirits, the animal, the rational and the natural, to each of which is allotted its proper function. Moreover, Allah made him a heart and spleen and lungs and six intestines and a liver and two kidneys and buttocks and brain and bones and skin and five senses; hearing, seeing, smell, taste, touch. The heart He set on the left side of the breast and made the stomach the guide and governor thereof. He appointed the lungs for a fan to the heart and stablished the liver on the right side, opposite thereto. Moreover, He made, besides this, the diaphragm and the viscera and set up the bones of the breast and latticed them with the ribs." Q "How many ventricles are there in a man's head?" "Three, which contain five faculties, styled the intrinsic senses, to wit, common sense, imagination, the thinking faculty, perception and memory." Q "Describe to me the configuration of the bones."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Fiftieth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the physicist said to her, "Describe to me the configuration of the bones," she replied, "Man's frame consists of two hundred and forty bones, which are divided into three parts, the head, the trunk and the extremities. The head is divided into calvarium and face. The skull is constructed of eight bones, and to it are attached the four osselets of the ear. The face is furnished with an upper jaw of eleven bones and a lower jaw of one; and to these are added the teeth two-and-thirty in number, and the os hyoides.[FN#396] The trunk is divided into spinal column, breast and basin. The spinal column is made up of four-and-twenty bones, called Fikr or vertebr; the breast, of the breastbone and the ribs, which are four-and-twenty in number, twelve on each side; and the basin of the hips, the sacrum[FN#397] and os coccygis. The extremities divided into upper and lower, arms and legs. The arms are again divided: firstly into shoulder, comprising shoulder blades and collar bone; secondly into the upper arm which is one bone; thirdly into fore-arm, composed of two bones, the radius and the ulna; and fourthly into the hand, consisting of the wrist, the metacarpus of five and the fingers, which number five, of three bones each, called the phalanges, except the thumb, which hath but two. The lower extremities are divided: firstly into thigh, which is one bone; secondly into leg, composed of three bones, the tibia, the fibula and the patella; and thirdly into the foot, divided, like the hand, into tarsus, metatarsus and toes; and is composed of seven bones, ranged in two rows, two in one and five in the other; and the metatarsus is composed of five bones and the toes number five, each of three phalanges except the big toe which hath only two." Q "Which is the root of the veins?" "The aorta, from which they ramify, and they are many, none knoweth the tale of them save He who created them; but I repeat, it is said that they number three hundred and sixty.[FN#398] Moreover, Allah hath appointed the tongue as interpreter for the thought, the eyes to serve as lanterns, the nostrils to smell with, and the hands for prehensors. The liver is the seat of pity, the spleen of laughter[FN#399] and the kidneys of craft; the lungs are ventilators, the stomach the store-house, and the heart the prop and pillar of the body. When the heart is sound, the whole body is sound, and when the heart is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt." Q "What are the outward signs and symptoms evidencing disease in the members of the body, both external and internal?" "A physician, who is a man of understanding, looketh into the state of the body and is guided by the feel of the hands,[FN#400] according as they are firm or flabby, hot or cool, moist or dry. Internal disorders are also indicated by external symptoms, such as yellowness of the white of the eyes, which denoteth jaundice, and bending of the back, which denoteth disease of the lungs." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Fifty-first Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel had described to the doctor the outer signs and symptoms quoth he, "Thou hast replied aright! now what are the internal symptoms of disease?" "The science of the diagnosis of disease by internal symptoms is founded upon six canons: (1) the patient's actions; (2) what is evacuated from his body; (3) the nature of the pain; and (4) the site thereof; (5) swelling; and (6) the effluvia given off his person." Q "How cometh hurt to the head?" "By the ingestion of food upon food, before the first be digested, and by fullness upon fullness; this it is that wasteth peoples. He who would live long, let him be early with the morning-meal and not late with the evening-meal; let him be sparing of commerce with women and chary of such depletory measures as cupping and blood-letting; and let him make of his belly three parts, one for food, one for drink and the third for air; for that a man's intestines are eighteen spans in length and it befitteth that he appoint six for meat, six for drink, and six for breath. If he walk, let him go gently; it will be wholesomer for him and better for his body and more in accordance with the saying of the Almighty, 'Walk not proudly on the earth.'"[FN#401] Q "What are the symptoms of yellow bile and what is to be feared therefrom?" "The symptoms are sallow complexion and bitter taste in the mouth with dryness; failure of the appetite, venereal and other, and rapid pulse; and the patient hath to fear high fever and delirium and eruptions and jaundice and tumour and ulcers of the bowels and excessive thirst." Q "What are the symptoms of black bile and what hath the patient to fear from it, an it get the mastery of the body?" "The symptoms are false appetite and great mental disquiet and cark and care; and it behoveth that it be evacuated, else it will generate melancholia[FN#402] and leprosy and cancer and disease of the spleen and ulceration of the bowels." Q "Into how many branches is the art of medicine divided?" "Into two: the art of diagnosing diseases, and that of restoring the diseased body to health." Q "When is the drinking of medicine more efficacious than otherwhen?" "When the sap runs in the wood and the grape thickens in the cluster and the two auspicious planets, Jupiter and Venus, are in the ascendant; then setteth in the proper season for drinking of drugs and doing away of disease." Q "What time is it, when, if a man drink water from a new vessel, the drink is sweeter and lighter or more digestible to him than at another time, and there ascendeth to him a pleasant fragrance and a penetrating?" "When he waiteth awhile after eating, as quoth the poet,
'Drink not upon thy food in haste but wait awhile; * Else thou with halter shalt thy frame to sickness lead: And patient bear a little thirst from food, then drink; * And thus, O brother, haply thou shalt win thy need.[FN#403]'"
Q "What food is it that giveth not rise to ailments?" "That which is not eaten but after hunger, and when it is eaten, the ribs are not filled with it, even as saith Jlns or Galen the physician, 'Whoso will take in food, let him go slowly and he shall not go wrongly.' And to conclude with His saying (on whom be blessing and peace!), 'The stomach is the house of disease, and diet is the head of healing; for the origin of all sickness is indigestion, that is to say, corruption of the meat'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Fifty-second Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel said to the doctor, "'The stomach is the house of disease and diet is the head of healing; for the origin of all sickness is indigestion, that is to say, corruption of the meat in the stomach;'" he rejoined, "Thou hast replied aright! what sayest thou of the Hammam?" "Let not the full man enter it. Quoth the Prophet, 'The bath is the blessing of the house, for that it cleanseth the body and calleth to mind the Fire.'" Q "What Hammams are best for bathing in?" "Those whose waters are sweet and whose space is ample and which are kept well aired; their atmosphere representing the four seasons—autumn and summer and winter and spring." Q "What kind of food is the most profitable?" "That which women make and which hath not cost overmuch trouble and which is readily digested. The most excellent of food is brewis[FN#404] or bread sopped in broth; according to the saying of the Prophet, 'Brewis excelleth other food, even as Ayishah excelleth other women.'" Q "What kind of kitchen, or seasoning, is most profitable?" "'Flesh meat' (quoth the Prophet) 'is the most excellent of kitchen; for that it is the delight of this world and the next world.'" Q "What kind of meat is the most profitable?" "Mutton; but jerked meat is to be avoided, for there is no profit in it." Q "What of fruits?" "Eat them in their prime and quit them when their season is past." Q "What sayest thou of drinking water?" "Drink it not in large quantities nor swallow it by gulps, or it will give thee head-ache and cause divers kinds of harm; neither drink it immediately after leaving the Hammam nor after carnal copulation or eating (except it be after the lapse of fifteen minutes for a young man and forty for an old man), nor after waking from sleep." Q "What of drinking fermented liquors?" "Doth not the prohibition suffice thee in the Book of Almighty Allah, where He saith, 'Verily, wine and lots and images, and the divining arrows are an abomination, of Satan's work; therefore avoid them, that ye may prosper'?[FN#405] And again, 'They will ask thee concerning wine and lots': Answer, 'In both there is great sin and also some things of use unto men: but their sinfulness is greater than their use.'[FN#406] Hence quoth the poet,