[Go back to The Pilgrim Man and the Old Woman]
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, 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, 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 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, 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'aban, 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."
She seemed a full moon rising and a gazelle browsing, a girl of nine plus five 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."
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 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 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!"
She captivated all who saw her, with the excellence of her beauty and the sweetness of her smile, 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." 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; 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." 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 Siyyar 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. 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 ilah 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. (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 and the pronouncing 'Allaho Akbar' of prohibition." 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?" "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." 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-Shafi'i 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. 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; (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; (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. 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?" "The divine ordinances are intent and 'crowning' 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 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. 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 Takbir or magnification of prohibition; (3) standing when able to stand; (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, 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; 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 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 Zakat 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 Zakat 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." 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, 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; but let the Moslem say, 'Prayer is a collector of all folk!' 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'itikaf or retreat?" "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 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 Ihram or pilgrim's habit; (2) the standing at Arafat; (3) circumambulating the Ka'abah; (4) running between Safa and Marwah; and (5) shaving or clipping the hair." Q "What are the Koranic statutes of the 'Umrah 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?" "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!'4 (2) the Ka'abah-circuitings of arrival and departure; (3) the passing the night at the Mosque of Muzdalifah and in the valley of Mina, and (4) the lapidation." Q "What is the Jihad 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!'" 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 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 Naf'i 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." 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 Salat or prayer?" "An invocation of good" Q "And of Ghusl?" "Purification." Q "And of Saum or fasting?" "Abstention." Q "And of Zakat?" "Increase. Q "And of Hajj or pilgrimage?" "Visitation." Q "And of Jihad?" "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, 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, (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 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." 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?" "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; (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 Sufyan al-Sauri 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;' 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, 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, 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; the Traditional ordinance that entereth into the Koranic, is the separation of the fingers and the thick beard; and that, wherewith all Koranic ordinances are completed, is circumcision." 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; 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, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Lot, Elisha, Jonah, Salih, or Heber, Hud, Shua'yb or Jethro, David, Solomon, Zu'l-kafl or Joshua, Idris, Elias, Yahya or John the Baptist, Zacharias, Job, Moses, Aaron, Jesus and Mohammed, 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 (on whom be peace!), to wit, the bat." Q "Which is the most excellent chapter of the Koran?" "That of The Cow." 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;--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'" 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?'" 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.'" Q "By what school of intonation dost thou read?" "By that of the people of Paradise, to wit, the version of Naf'i." Q "In which verse doth Allah make prophets lie?" "In that wherein He saith, 'They (the brothers of Joseph) brought his inner garment stained with false blood.'" 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;' 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.'" Q "In which verse do the angels speak?" "In that which saith, 'But we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness.'" 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.'" Q "What signify the words 'seeking refuge' 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 (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." 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' 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?"; 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 ibn Abi Talib (whose face Allah honour!) therewith, and he read the chapter to them, but did not read the Basmalah." 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,' 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,' 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': and, according to Jabir bin Abdillah, that called 'The Covered' which preceded all others." Q "Which verset was the last revealed?" "That of 'Usury', and it is also said, the verse, 'When there cometh Allah's succour and victory.'"--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 Sabit, Abu Obaydah 'Aamir bin Jarrah, and Othman bin Affan (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'ud, Ubay bin Ka'ab, Ma'az bin Jabal and Salim bin Abdillah." Q "What sayest thou of the words of the Most High, 'That which is sacrificed to stones'"? "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'"? "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, '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?'" "My Shaykh (on whom Allah have mercy!) told me that the Companion Al-Zahhak 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-Kutadah declareth that it was revealed on account of sundry Companions of the Apostle of Allah, namely, Ali ibn Abi Talib and Othman 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'"? "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 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 Kafs, which sixteen Mims, which an hundred and forty 'Ayns and which section lacketh the formula, 'To Whom belong glory and glorification and majesty?'" 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 Hud and is the saying of the Most High, 'It was said, O Noah, go down in peace from us, and blessing upon thee!' 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'araf, where the Lord saith, 'And Moses chose seventy men of his tribe to attend our appointed time; to each man a pair of eyes.' 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; The Compassionate and The Event." 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. 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. There were made in man three hundred and sixty veins, two hundred and forty-nine bones, and three souls 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. The trunk is divided into spinal column, breast and basin. The spinal column is made up of four-and-twenty bones, called Fikar or vertebrae; 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 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. 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 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, 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.'" 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 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.'"
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 Jalinus 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 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'? 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.' Hence quoth the poet,
'O bibber of liquor, art not ashamed * To drink what Allah forbade thee drain?
Put it far from thee and approach it not; * It holds what Allah forbade as bane.'
And quoth another to the same purport,
'I drank the sin till my reason fled: * Ill drink that reason to loss misled!'
As for the advantages that be therein, it disperseth stone and gravel from the kidneys and strengtheneth the viscera and banisheth care, and moveth to generosity and preserveth health and digestion; it conserveth the body, expelleth disease from the joints, purifieth the frame of corrupt humours, engendereth cheerfulness, gladdeneth the heart of man and keepeth up the natural heat: it contracteth the bladder, enforceth the liver and removeth obstructions, reddeneth the cheeks, cleareth away maggots from the brain and deferreth grey hairs. In short, had not Allah (to whom be honour and glory!) forbidden it, there were not on the face of the earth aught fit to stand in its stead. As for gambling by lots, it is a game of hazard such as diceing, not of skill." Q "What wine is best?" "That which is pressed from white grapes and kept eighty days or more after fermentation: it resembleth not water and indeed there is nothing on the surface of the earth like unto it." Q "What sayest thou of cupping?" "It is for him who is over full of blood and who hath no defect therein; and whoso would be cupped, let it be during the wane of the moon, on a day without cloud, wind or rain and on the seventeenth of the month. If it fall on a Tuesday, it will be the more efficacious, and nothing is more salutary for the brain and eyes and for clearing the intellect than cupping."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Fifty-third Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel enumerated the benefits of cupping, quoth the doctor, "What is the best time for cupping?" "One should be cupped 'on the spittle,' that is, in the morning before eating, for this fortifieth the wit and the memory. It is reported of the Prophet that, when anyone complained to him of a pain in the head or legs, he would bid him be cupped and after cupping not eat salt food, fasting, for it engendereth scurvy; neither eat sour things as curded milk immediately after cupping." Q "When is cupping to be avoided?" "On Sabbaths or Saturdays and Wednesdays; and let him who is cupped on these days blame none but himself. Moreover, one should not be cupped in very hot weather nor in very cold weather; and the best season for cupping is springtide." Quoth the doctor, "Now tell me of carnal copulation." Hereupon Tawaddud hung her head, for shame and confusion before the Caliph's majesty; then said, "By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, it is not that I am at fault, but that I am ashamed; though, indeed, the answer is on the edge of my tongue." Said the Caliph; "Speak, O damsel," whereupon said she, "Copulation hath in it many and exceeding virtues and praiseworthy qualities, amongst which are, that it lighteneth a body full of black bile and calmeth the heat of love and induceth affection and dilateth the heart and dispelleth the sadness of solitude; and the excess of it is more harmful in summer and autumn than in spring and winter." Q "What are its good effects?" "It banisheth trouble and disquiet, calmeth love and wrath and is good for ulcers, especially in a cold and dry humour; on the other hand excess of it weakeneth the sight and engendereth pains in the legs and head and back: and beware, beware of carnal connection with old women, for they are deadly. Quoth the Iman Ali (whose face Allah honour!), 'Four things kill and ruin the body: entering the Hammam on a full stomach; eating salt food; copulation on a plethora of blood and lying with an ailing woman; for she will weaken thy strength and infect thy frame with sickness; and an old woman is deadly poison.' And quoth one of them, 'Beware of taking an old woman to wife, though she be richer in hoards than Karun'" Q "What is the best copulation?" "If the woman be tender of years, comely of shape, fair of face, swelling of breast and of noble race, she will add to thee strength and health of body; and let her be even as saith a certain poet describing her,
'Seeing thy looks wots she what thou desir'st, * By inspiration; wants nor word nor sign;
And, when thou dost behold her rarest grace, * The charms of every garden canst decline.'
Q "At what time is copulation good?" "If by night, after food digested and if by day, after the morning meal." Q "What are the most excellent fruits?" "Pomegranate and citron." Q "Which is the most excellent of vegetables?" "Endive." Q "Which of sweet-scented flowers?" "Rose and Violet." Q "How is the seed of man secreted?" "There is in man a vein which feedeth all the other veins. Now water is collected from the three hundred and sixty veins and, in the form of red blood, entereth the left testicle, where it is decocted, by the heat of temperament inherent in the son of Adam, into a thick, white liquid, whose odour is as that of the palm-spathe." Q "What flying thing is it that emitteth seed and menstruateth?" "The flitter-mouse, that is the bat." Q "What is that which, when confined and shut out from the air liveth, and when let out to smell the air dieth?" "The fish." Q "What serpent layeth eggs?" "The Su'ban or dragon." With this the physician waxed weary with much questioning, and held his peace, when Tawaddud said to the Caliph, "O Commander of the Faithful, he hath questioned me till he is tired out and now I will ask him one question, which if he answer not, I will take his clothes as lawful prize."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel said to the Commander of the Faithful, "Verily he hath questioned me till he is tired out, and now I will ask him one question, which if he answer not I will take his clothes as lawful prize," the Caliph cried, "Ask on." So quoth she to the physician, "What is that thing which resembleth the earth in roundness, whose resting-place and whose spine are hidden from men's eyes; little of price and estimation; narrow of chest and shackled as to throat though it be nor runaway slave nor pestilent thief; thrust through and through, though not in fray, and wounded, though not in fight: time eateth its vigour and water wasteth it away; now it is beaten without blemish, and then made to serve without stint; united after separation; submissive, but not to him who caresseth it; pregnant without child in belly; drooping, yet not leaning on its side; becoming dirty yet purifying itself; cleaving to its fere, yet changing; copulating without a yard, wrestling without arms: resting and taking its ease; bitten, yet not crying out: now more complaisant than a cup-companion and then more troublesome than summer-heat; leaving its mate by night and embracing her by day and having its abode in the corners of the mansions of the noble?" The physician was silent awhile in perplexity and his colour changed and he bowed his head and made no reply; whereupon she said to him, "Ho, sir doctor, speak or doff thy dress." At this, he rose and said, "O Commander of the Faithful, bear witness against me that this damsel is more learned than I in medicine and what else, and that I cannot cope with her." And he put off his clothes and fled forth. Quoth the Caliph to Tawaddud, "Ree us thy riddle," and she replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, it is the button and the button-loop."--Then she undertook the astronomers and said, "Let him of you who is an astronomer rise and come forward." So the astronomer advanced and sat down before her; and, when she saw him, she laughed and said, "Art thou the astronomer, the mathematician, the scribe?" "Yes," answered he. Quoth she, "Ask of what thou wilt; success resteth with Allah." So he said, "Tell me of the sun and its rising and setting." And she replied: "Know that the sun riseth from the shadows in the Eastern hemisphere and setteth in the shadows of the Western, and each hemisphere compriseth one hundred and eighty degrees. Quoth Allah Almighty, 'I swear by the Lord of the East and of the West.' And again, 'He it is who hath ordained the sun to shine by day, and the moon for a light by night; and hath appointed her station that ye might know the number of years and the computation of time.' The moon is Sultan of the night and the sun Sultan of the day, and they vie with each other in their courses and follow without overtaking each other. Quoth Almighty Allah, 'It is not expedient that the sun overtake the moon in her course; neither doth the night outstrip the day, but each of these luminaries moveth in a peculiar orbit.'" Q "When the day cometh, what becometh of the night; and what of the day, when the night cometh?" "He causeth the night to enter in upon the day, and He causeth the day to enter in upon the night." Q "Enumerate to me the mansions of the moon?" "They number eight-and-twenty, to wit, Sharatan, Butayn, Suraya, Dabaran, Hak'ah, Han'ah, Zira'a, Nasrah, Tarf, Jabhah, Zubrah, Sarfah, 'Awwa, Simak, Ghafar, Zubani, Iklil, Kalb, Shaulah, Na'am, Baldah, Sa'ad al-Zabih, Sa'ad al-Bul'a, Sa'ad al-Su'ud, Sa'ad al-Akhbiyah, Fargh the Former and Fargh the Latter; and Rishaa. They are disposed in the order of the letters of the Abjad-hawwaz or older alphabet, according to their numerical power, and in them are secret virtues which none knoweth save Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) and the stablished in science. They are divided among the twelve Signs of the Zodiac, two Mansions and a third of a Mansion to each Sign. Thus Sharatan, Butayn and one-third of Suraya, belong to Aries, the other two-thirds of Suraya, Dabaran and two-thirds of Hak'ah to Taurus, the other third of Hak'ah, Han'ah and Zira'a to Gemini; Nasrah, Tarf and a third of Jabhah to Cancer, the other two-thirds of Jabhah, Zubrah and two-thirds of Sarfah to Leo; the other third of Sarfah, 'Awwa and Simak to Virgo; Ghafar, Zubani and one-third of Iklil to Libra; the other two-thirds of Iklil, Kalb and two-thirds of Shaulah to Scorpio; the other third of Shaulah, Na'aim and Baldah to Sagittarius; Sa'ad al-Zabih, Sa'ad al-Bul'a and one-third of Sa'ad al-Su'ud to Capricorn, the other two-thirds of Sa'ad al-Su'dd, Sa'ad al-Akhbiyah and two-thirds of Fargh the Former to Aquarius, the other third of Fargh the Former, Fargh the Latter and Rishaa to Pisces."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,
She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel enumerated the Mansions and distributed them into their Signs, the astronomer said, "Thou hast replied aright; now tell me of the planets and their natures, also of their sojourn in the Zodiacal Signs, their aspects, auspicious and sinister, their houses, ascendants and descendants. She answered, "The sitting is narrow for so large a matter, but I will say as much as I can. Now the planets number seven; which are, the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. The Sun, hot-dry, sinister in conjunction, favourable in opposition, abideth thirty days in each Sign. The Moon, cold-moist and favourable of aspect, tarrieth in each Sign two days and a third of another day. Mercury is of a mixed nature, favourable in conjunction with the favourable, and sinister in conjunction with the sinister aspects, and abideth in each sign seventeen days and a half day. Venus, temperate and favourable, abideth in each sign five-and-twenty days. Mars is sinister and woneth in each sign ten months. Jupiter is auspicious and abideth in each sign a year. Saturn, cold-dry and sinister, tarrieth in each sign thirty months. The house of the Sun is Leo, her ascendant is Aries, and her descendant Aquarius. The Moon's house is Cancer, his ascendant Taurus, his descendant Scorpio and his sinister aspect Capricorn. Saturn's house is Capricorn-Aquarius, his ascendant Libra, his descendant Aries and his sinister aspects Cancer and Leo. Jupiter's house is Pisces-Sagittarius, his ascendant Cancer, his descendant Capricorn and his sinister aspects Gemini and Leo. Venus's house is Taurus, her ascendant Pisces, her descendant Libra, and her sinister aspects Aries and Scorpio. Mercury's house is Gemini-Virgo, his ascendant Virgo, his descendant Pisces, and his sinister aspect Taurus. Mars' house is Aries-Scorpio, his ascendant Capricorn, his descendant Cancer and his sinister aspect Libra." Now when the astronomer saw her acuteness and comprehensive learning and heard her fair answers, he bethought him for a sleight to confound her before the Commander of the Faithful, and said to her, "O damsel, tell me, will rain fall this month?" At this she bowed her head and pondered so long, that the Caliph thought her at a loss for an answer and the astronomer said to her, "Why dost thou not speak?" Quoth she, "I will not speak except the Commander of the Faithful give me leave." So the Caliph laughed and said, "How so?" Cried she "I would have thee give me a sword, that I may strike off his head, for he is an Infidel, an Agnostic, an Atheist." At this, loud laughed the Caliph and those about him laughed, and she continued "O astronomer, there are five things that none knoweth save Allah Almighty;" and she repeated the verset; "'Aye! Allah!--with Him is the knowledge of the hour and He causeth the rain to descend at His own appointed time --and He knoweth what is in the wombs of females--but no soul knoweth what it shall have gotten on the morrow; neither wotteth any soul in what land it shall die: Verily Allah is knowing, informed of all.'" Quoth the astronomer, "Thou hast said well, and I, by Allah, thought only to try thee." Rejoined she, "Know that the almanack-makers have certain signs and tokens, referring to the planets and constellations relative to the coming in of the year; and folk have learned something by experience." Q "What be that?" "Each day hath a planet that ruleth it: so if the first day in the year fall on First Day (Sunday) that day is the Sun's and this portendeth (though Allah alone is All-knowing!) oppression of kings and sultans and governors and much miasma and lack of rain; and that people will be in great tumult and the grain-crop will be good, except lentils, which will perish, and the vines will rot and flax will be dear and wheat cheap from the beginning of Tubah to the end of Barmahat. And, in this year there will be much fighting among kings, and there shall be great plenty of good in this year, but Allah is All-knowing!" Q "What if the first day fall on Second Day (Monday)?" "That day belongeth to the Moon and portendeth righteousness in administrators and officials and that it will be a year of much rain and grain-crops will be good, but linseed will decay and wheat will be cheap in the month Kiyahk; also the plague will rage and the sheep and goats will die, grapes will be plentiful and honey scarce and cotton cheap; and Allah is omniscient!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,
She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel ended her notice of Second Day the astronomer said to her "Now tell me what will occur if New Year's day fall on Third Day (Tuesday)." She replied, "That is Mars' day and portendeth death of great men and much destruction and deluge of blood and dearness of grain; lack of rain and scarcity of fish, which will anon be in excess and anon fail. Lentils and honey in this year will be cheap and linseed dear and only barley will thrive, to the exception of all other cereals: great will be the fighting among kings and death will be in the blood and there will be much mortality among asses." Q "What if it fall on Fourth Day?" "That is Mercury's day and portendeth great tumult among the folk and much enmity and, though rains be moderate, rotting of some of the green crops; also that there will be sore mortality among cattle and young children and much fighting by sea; that wheat will be dear from Barmudah to Misra and other grains cheap; thunder and lightning will abound and honey will be dear, palm- trees will thrive and bear abundantly and flax and cotton will be plentiful, while radishes and onions will be dear; but Allah is All-knowing!" Q "What if it fall on Fifth Day?" "That is Jupiter's day and portendeth equity in Wazirs and righteousness in Kazis and Fakirs and the Ministers of religion; and that good will be plentiful: rains and fruit and trees and grain will abound, and flax, cotton, honey, grapes and fish be cheap; and Allah is Omniscient!" Q "What if it fall on Meeting Day or Friday?" "That day appertaineth to Venus and portendeth oppression in the chiefs of the Jinn and talk of forgery and back-biting; there will be much dew; the autumn crops will be good in the land and there will be cheapness in one town and not in another: ungraciousness will be rife by land and sea; linseed will be dear, also wheat, in Hatur, but cheap in Amshir; honey will be dear and grapes and water-melons will rot; and Allah is Omniscient!" Q "What if it fall on the Sabbath (Saturday)?" "That is Saturn's day and portendeth the preferment of slaves and Greeks and those in whom there is no good, neither in their neighbourhood; there will be great drought and dearth; clouds will abound and death will be rife among the sons of Adam and woe to the people of Egypt and Syria from the oppression of the Sultan and failure of blessing upon the green crops and rotting of grain; and Allah is All-knowing!" Now with this, the astronomer hung his head very low, and she said to him, "O astronomer, I will ask thee one question, which if thou answer not, I will take thy clothes." "Ask," replied he. Quoth she, "Where is Saturn's dwelling-place?"; and he answered, "In the seventh heaven." Q "And that of Jupiter?" "In the sixth heaven." Q "And that of Mars?" "In the fifth heaven." Q "And that of the Sun?" "In the fourth heaven." Q "And that of Venus?" "In the third heaven." Q "And that of Mercury?" "In the second heaven." Q "And that of the Moon?" "In the first heaven." Quoth she, "Well answered; but I have one more question to ask thee;" and quoth he, "Ask!" Accordingly she said, "Now tell me concerning the stars, into how many parts are they divided." But he was silent and answered nothing; and she cried to him, "Put off thy clothes." So he doffed them and she took them; after which the Caliph said to her, "Tell us the answer to thy question." She replied: "O Commander of the Faithful, the stars are divided into three parts, whereof one-third is hung in the sky of the earth, as it were lamps, to give light to the earth, and a part is used to shoot the demons withal, when they draw near by stealth to listen to the talk in heaven. Quoth Allah Almighty, 'Verily, we have dight the sky of the earth with the adornment of the stars; and have appointed them for projectiles against every rebellious Satan.' And the third part is hung in air to illuminate the seas and give light to what is therein." Quoth the astronomer, "I have one more question to ask, which if she answer, I will avow myself beaten." "Say on," answered she.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the astronomer said, "Now tell me what four contraries are based upon other four contraries?" Replied she, "The four qualities of Caloric and Frigoric, Humidity and Siccity; for of heat Allah created fire, whose nature is hot-dry; of dryness, earth, which is cold-dry; of cold, water which is cold-wet; of moisture, air, which is hot-wet. Moreover, He created twelve Signs of the Zodiac, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces; and appointed them of the four humours; three fiery, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius; three earthly, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn; three airy, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius; and three watery, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces." Hereupon the astronomer rose, and saying, "Bear witness against me that she is more learned than I," away he went beaten. Then quoth the Caliph, "Where is the philosopher?"; at which one rose hastily and came forward and said to Tawaddud, "What is Time and what be its limits, and its days, and what things bringeth it?" Replied she, "Time is a term applied to the hours of the night and day, which are but the measures of the courses of the sun and moon in their several heavens, even as Allah Almighty telleth us when he saith, 'A sign to them also is the Night, from which we strip off the day, and lo! they are plunged in darkness, and the Sun runneth to her place of rest; this is the ordinance of the Sublime, the All-knowing.'" Q "How cometh unbelief to the son of Adam?" "It is reported of the Apostle (whom Allah bless and preserve!) that he said, 'Unbelief in a man runneth as the blood runneth in his veins, when he revileth the world and Time and night and the Hour.' And again, 'Let none of you revile Time, for Time is God; neither revile the world, for she saith, 'May Allah not aid him who revileth me!;' neither revile the hour, for, 'The Hour is surely coming, there is no doubt thereof'; neither revile the earth, for it is a portent, according to the saying of the Most High, 'Out of the ground have we created you, and into the same will we cause you to return, and we will bring you forth yet thence another time.'" Q "What are the five that ate and drank, yet came not out of loins nor womb?" "Adam and Simeon and Salih's she-camel and Ishmael's ram and the bird that Abu Bakr the Truth-teller saw in the cave." Q "Tell me of five that are in Paradise and are neither humans, Jinns nor angels?" "Jacob's wolf and the Seven Sleepers' dog and Esdras's ass and Salih's camel and Duldul the mule of the Prophet (upon whom be blessings and peace!)." Q "What man prayed a prayer neither on earth nor in heaven?" "Solomon, when he prayed on his carpet, borne by the wind." Q "Ree me this riddle:--A man once looked at a handmaid during dawn-prayer, and she was unlawful to him; but, at noonday she became lawful to him: by mid-afternoon,, she was again unlawful, but at sundown, she was lawful to him: at supper time she was a third time unlawful, but by daybreak, she became once more lawful to him." "This was a man who looked at another's slave-girl in the morning, and she was then unlawful to him; but at midday he bought her, and she became lawful to him: at mid-afternoon he freed her, and she became unlawful to him; but at sundown he married her and she was again lawful to him. At nightfall he divorced her and she was then a third time unlawful to him; but, next morning at daybreak, he took her back, and she became once more lawful to him." Q "Tell me what tomb went about with him that lay buried therein?" "Jonah's whale, when it had swallowed him." Q "What spot of lowland is it, upon which the sun shone once, but will never again shine till Judgment-Day?" "The bottom of the Red Sea, when Moses smote it with his staff, and the sea clave asunder in twelve places, according to the number of the tribes; then the sun shone on the bottom and will do so nevermore until Judgment-Day." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Fifty-eighth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the philosopher then addressed the damsel saying, "What was the first skirt that trailed over the face of the earth?" She replied, "That of Hagar, out of shame before Sarah; and it became a custom among the Arabs." Q "What is that which breatheth without life?" "Quoth Almighty Allah, 'By the morning when it breatheth!'" Q "Ree me this riddle:--A number of pigeons came to a high tree and lighted, some on the tree and others under it. Said those on the tree to those on the ground, 'If one of you come up to us, ye will be a third part of us all in number; and if one of us descend to you, we shall be like unto you in number,' How many pigeons were there in all?" "Twelve: seven alighted on the tree and five beneath; and, if one go up, those above would be eight to four; and, if one go down, both would be six and Allah is all-knowing." With this the philosopher put off his clothes and fled: whereupon the next contest took place, for she turned to the Olema present and said, "Which of you is the rhetorician that can discourse of all arts and sciences?" There came forward a sage hight Ibrahim bin Siyyar and said to her, "Think me not like the rest." Quoth she, "It is the more assured to me that thou wilt be beaten, for that thou art a boaster; and Allah will help me to victory over thee, that I may strip thee of thy clothes. So, if thou sentest one to fetch thee wherewithal to cover thyself, 'twould be well for thee." Cried he, "By Allah, I will assuredly conquer thee and make thee a byword among the peoples, generation after generation!" Rejoined she, "Do penance in advance for thy broken oath." Then he asked, "What five things did Allah create before he made man?"; and she answered, "Water and earth and light and darkness and the fruits of the earth." Q "What did Allah create with the hand of omnipotence?" "The 'Arsh, throne of God or the empyreal heaven and the tree Tuba and Adam and the garden of Eden; these Allah created with the hand of His omnipotence; but to all other created things He said, 'Be,'--and they were." Q "Who is thy father in Al-Islam?" "Mohammed, whom Allah bless and preserve!" Q "Who was the father in Al-Islam of Mohammed?" "Abraham, the Friend of God." Q "What is the Faith of Al-Islam?" "The professing that there is no god but the God and that Mohammed is the apostle of God." Q "What is thy first and thy last?" "My first is man's seed in the shape of foul water and my last filthy carrion: the first of me is dust and the last of me is dust. Quoth the poet,
'Of dust was I created, and man did I become, * In question ever ready and aye fluent in reply,
Then, I unto the dust return'd, became of it again, * For that, in very deed, of dust at first create was I.'"
He continued, "What thing was it, whose first state was wood and its last life?" "Moses' staff, when he cast it on the valley-ground and it became, by permission of Allah, a writhing serpent." Q "What is the meaning of the word of the Lord, 'And I have other occasion for it?'" "He, Moses, was wont to plant his staff in the ground, and it would flower and fruit and shade him from the heat and from the cold. Moreover, it would carry him when he was weary, and whilst he slept, guard his sheep from lions and wild beasts." Q "What woman was born of a man alone and what man of a woman alone?" "Eve of Adam and Jesus of Mary." Q "Tell me of the four fires, what fire eateth and drinketh; what fire eateth but drinketh not; what fire drinketh but eateth not and what other neither eateth nor drinketh?" "The fire of the world eateth but drinketh not; the fire which eateth and drinketh is Hell-fire; the fire of the sun drinketh but eateth not, and the fire of the moon neither eateth nor drinketh." Q "Which is the open door and which the shut?" "The Traditional Ordinances are the open door, the Koranic the shut door." Q "Of what doth the poet speak, when he saith,
'And dweller in the tomb whose food is at his head, * When he eateth of that meat, of words he waxeth fain:
He riseth and he walketh and he talketh without tongue; * And returneth to the tomb where his kith and kin are lain.
No living wight is he, yet, in honour he abides; * Nor dead yet he deserveth that Allah him assain.'"
She replied, "The reed-pen." Quoth he "What doth the poet refer to in these verses,
'Two vests in one; blood flowing easiest wise; * Rosy red ears and mouth wide open lies;
It hath a cock-like form, its belly pecks * And, if you price it, half a dirham buys.'"
She replied, "The ink-case." Quoth he, "And in these,
'Ho say to men of wisdom, wit and lore * To sapient, reverend, clever counsellor:
Tell me what was't you saw that bird bring forth * When wandering Arab-land and Ajam o'er?
No flesh it beareth and it hath no blood, * Nor down nor any feathers e'er it wore.
'Tis eaten cooked and eke 'tis eaten cold; * 'Tis eaten buried 'neath the flames that roar:
It showeth twofold colours, silver white * And yellow brighter than pure golden ore:
'Tis not seen living or we count it dead: * So ree my riddle rich in marvel-store!'"
She replied, "Thou makest longsome the questioning anent an egg worth a mite." Q "And this?,
'I waved to and fro and he waved to and fro, * With a motion so pleasant, now fast and now slow;
And at last he sunk down on my bosom of snow; * 'Your lover friend?'"
"No friend, my fan;" said she. Q "How many words did Allah speak to Moses?" "It is related of the Apostle that he said, 'God spoke to Moses fifteen hundred and fifteen words.'" Q "Tell me of fourteen things that speak to the Lord of the Worlds?" "The seven heavens and the seven earths, when they say, 'We come obedient to Thy command.'"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Fifty-ninth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel made the answer, the philosopher continued, "Tell me of Adam and how he was first created?" and she said, "Allah created Adam of clay: the clay He made of foam and the foam of the sea, the sea of darkness, darkness of light, light of a fish, the fish of a rock, the rock of a ruby, the ruby of water, and the water He created by His Omnipotence according to His saying (exalted be His name!), 'His commandment when He willeth aught, is but to say, BE,--and IT IS.'" Q "What is meant by the poet in these verses,
'And eater lacking mouth and even maw; * Yet trees and beasts to it are daily bread:
Well fed it thrives and shows a lively life, * But give it water and you do it dead?'"
"This," quoth she, "is Fire." "And in these;" he asked,
"Two lovers barred from every joy and bliss, * Who through the livelong night embracing lie:
They guard the folk from all calamities, * But with the rising sun apart they fly?"
She answered, "The leaves of a door." Quoth he, "Tell me of the gates of Gehenna?" Quoth she, "They are seven in number and their names are comprised in these two couplets,
'Jahannam, next Laza, and third Hatim; * Then count Sa'ir and Sakar eke, five-fold,
Sixth comes Jahim and Hawiyah the seventh; * Here are seven Hells in four lines briefly told.'"
Quoth he "To what doth the poet refer when he saith,
'She wears a pair of ringlets long let down * Behind her, as she comes and goes at speed,
And eye that never tastes of sleep nor sheds * A tear, for ne'er a drop it hath at need;
That never all its life wore stitch of clothes; * Yet robes mankind in every-mode of weed?'"
Quoth she, "A needle." Q "What is the length and what the breadth of the bridge Al-Sirat?" "Its length is three thousand years' journey, a thousand in descent and a thousand in ascent and a thousand level: it is sharper than a sword and finer than a hair."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Sixtieth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel had described to him Al-Sirat, the philosopher said, "Inform me how many intercessions with Allah hath the Prophet for each soul?" "Three." Q "Was Abu Bakr the first who embraced Al-Islam?" "Yes." Q "Yet Ali became a Moslem before him?" "Ali came to the Prophet, when he was a boy of seven years old, for Allah vouchsafed him knowledge of the way of salvation in his tender youth, so that he never prostrated himself to idols." Quoth he, "Tell me which is the more excellent, Ali or Abbas?" Now she knew that, in propounding this question, Ibrahim was laying a trap for her; for if she said, "Ali is more excellent than Abbas," she would lack excuse with the Caliph for undervaluing his ancestor; so she bowed her head awhile, now reddening, then paling, and lastly said, "Thou askest me of two excellent men, each having his own excellence. Let us return to what we were about." When the Caliph Harun al-Rashid heard her, he stood up and said, "Thou hast spoken well, by the Lord of the Ka'abah, O Tawaddud!" Then quoth Ibrahim the rhetorician, "What meaneth the poet when he saith,
'Slim-wasted one, whose taste is sweetest-sweet, * Likest a lance whereon no head we scan:
And all the lieges find it work them weal, * Eaten of afternoon in Ramazan.'"
She answered, "The sugar-cane;" and he said, "Tell me of many things." Asked she, "What are they?" and he said, "What is sweeter than honey; what is sharper than the sword; what is swifter than poison; what is the delight of a moment and what the contentment of three days; what is the pleasantest of days; what is the joy of a week; what is that debt the worst debtor denieth not; what is the prison of the tomb; what is the joy of the heart; what is the snare of the soul; what is death-in-life; what is the disease that may not be healed; what is the shame that may not be wiped off; what is the beast that woneth not in cultivated fields, but lodgeth in waste places and hateth the sons of Adam and hath in him somewhat of the make of seven strong and violent beasts?" Quoth she, "Hear what I shall say in reply; then put off thy clothes, that I may explain to thee;" and the Caliph said, "Expound, and he shall doff his clothes." So she said, "Now that, which is sweeter than honey, is the love of pious children to their two parents; that, which is sharper than the sword, is the tongue; that, which is swifter than poison, is the Envier's eye; the delight of a moment is carnal copulation and the contentment of three days is the depilatory for women; the pleasantest of days is that of profit on merchandise; the joy of a week is the bride; the debt, which the worst debtor denieth not, is death; the prison of the tomb is a bad son; the joy of the heart is a woman obedient to her husband (and it is said also that, when fleshmeat descendeth upon the heart, it rejoiceth therein); the snare of the soul is a disobedient slave; death-in-life is poverty; the disease that may not be healed is an ill-nature, and the shame that may not be wiped away is an ill daughter; lastly, the beast that woneth not in cultivated fields, but lodgeth in waste places and hateth the sons of Adam and hath in him somewhat of the make of seven strong and violent beasts, is the locust, whose head is as the head of a horse, its neck as the neck of the bull, its wings as the wings of the vulture, its feet as the feet of the camel, its tail as the tail of the serpent, its belly as the belly of the scorpion and its horns as the horns of the gazelle." The Caliph was astounded at her quickness and understanding, and said to the rhetorician, "Doff thy clothes." So he rose up and cried, "I call all who are present in this assembly to witness that she is more learned than I and every other learned man." And he put off his clothes and gave them to her, saying, "Take them and may Allah not bless them to thee!" So the Caliph ordered him fresh clothes and said, "O Tawaddud, there is one thing left of that for which thou didst engage, namely, chess." And he sent for experts of chess and cards and trictrac. The chess-player sat down before her, and they set the pieces, and he moved and she moved; but, every move he made she speedily countered,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Sixty-first Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel was playing chess with the expert in presence of the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, whatever move he made was speedily countered by her, till she beat him and he found himself checkmated. Quoth he, "I did but lead thee on, that thou mightest think thyself skilful: but set up again, and thou shalt see." So they placed the pieces a second time, when he said in himself, "Open thine eyes or she will beat thee." And he fell to moving no piece, save after calculation, and ceased not to play, till she said, "Thy King is dead!--Checkmate." When he saw this he was confounded at her quickness and understanding; but she laughed and said, "O professor, I will make a wager with thee on this third game. I will give thee the queen and the right-hand castle and the left-hand knight; if thou beat me, take my clothes, and if I beat thee, I will take thy clothes." Replied he, "I agree to this;" and they replaced the pieces, she removing queen, castle and knight. Then said she, "Move, O master." So he moved, saying to himself, "I cannot but beat her, with such odds," and planned a combination; but, behold, she moved on, little by little, till she made one of her pawns a queen and pushing up to him pawns and other pieces, to take off his attention, set one in his way and tempted him to take it. Accordingly, he took it and she said to him, "The measure is meted and the loads equally balanced. Eat till thou are over-full; naught shall be thy ruin, O son of Adam, save thy greed. Knowest thou not that I did but tempt thee, that I might finesse thee? See: this is check-mate!" adding, "So doff off thy clothes." Quoth he, "Leave me my bag-trousers, so Allah repay thee;" and he swore by Allah that he would contend with none, so long as Tawaddud abode in the realm of Baghdad. Then he stripped off his clothes and gave them to her and went away. Thereupon came the backgammon-player, and she said to him, "If I beat thee, this day, what wilt thou give me?" Quoth he, "I will give thee ten suits of brocade of Constantinople, figured with gold, and ten suits of velvet and a thousand gold pieces; and if I beat thee, I ask nothing but that thou write me an acknowledgment of my victory." Quoth she, "To it, then, and do thy best." So they played, and he lost and went away, chattering in Frankish jargon and saying, "By the bounty of the Commander of the Faithful, there is not her like in all the regions of the world!" Then the Caliph summoned players on instruments of music and asked her, "Dost thou know aught of music?"; when she answered, "Even so!" He bade bring a worn lute, polished by use, whose owner forlorn and lone was by parting trodden down; and of which quoth one, describing it
"Allah watered a land, and upsprang a tree * Struck root deep down, and raised head a-sky:
The birds o'ersang it when green its wood; * And the Fair o'ersing now the wood is dry."
So they brought the lute in a bag of red satin, with tassels of saffron-coloured silk: and she opened the bag, and took it out and behold on it was graven,
"Oft hath a tender bough made lute for maid, * whose swift sweet lays at feast men's hearts invade:
She sings; it follows on her song, as though * The Bulbuls taught her all the modes she played."
She laid her lute in her lap and with bosom inclining over it, bent to it with the bending of a mother who suckleth her child; then she preluded in twelve different modes, till the whole assembly was agitated with delight, like a waving sea, and she sang the following,
"Cut short this strangeness, leave unruth of you; * My heart shall love you aye, by youth of you!
Have ruth on one who sighs and weeps and moans, * Pining and yearning for the troth of you."
The Caliph was ravished and exclaimed, "Allah bless thee and be merciful to him who taught thee!": whereupon she rose and kissed the ground before him. Then he sent for money and paid her master Abu al-Husn an hundred thousand gold pieces to her price; after which he said to her, "O Tawaddud, ask a boon of me!" Replied she, "I ask of thee that thou restore me to my lord who sold me." "'Tis well," answered the Caliph and restored her to her master and gave her five thousand dinars for herself. Moreover, he appointed Abu al-Husn one of his cup-companions for a permanence,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Sixty-second Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph gave the damsel five thousand dinars for herself and restored her to her master whom he appointed one of his cup-companions for a permanence and assigned him a monthly stipend of a thousand dinars so long as he should live; and he abode with the damsel Tawaddud in all solace and delight of life. Marvel then, O King, at the eloquence of this damsel and the hugeness of her learning and understanding and her perfect excellence in all branches of art and science; and consider the generosity of the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, in that he gave her master this money and said to her, "Ask a boon of me;" and she besought him to restore her to her lord. So he restored her to him and gave her five thousand dinars for herself and made him one of his boon-companions. Where is such generosity to be found after the Abbaside Caliphs?--May Allah Almighty have mercy upon them, one and all! And they tell a tale of...
[Go to The Angel of Death With the Proud King and the Devout Man]
Burton, Richard (1821-1890). The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. London. 1885-1888. Gutenberg Vol. I. Gutenberg Vol. II. Gutenberg Vol. III. Gutenberg Vol. IV. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. VII. Gutenberg Vol. VIII. Gutenberg Vol. IX. Gutenberg Vol. X. Please consult the Gutenberg edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version.
1001 Nights Hypertext. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. The texts presented here are in the public domain. Thanks to Gene Perry for his excellent help in preparing the texts for the web. Page last updated: January 1, 2005 10:46 PM