The Book Of The Thousand Nights And One Night, Volume IV

Part 7 out of 8

ablution, what betides him from the angels and the devils?'
(A.) 'When a man prepares for ablution, the angels come and
stand on his right and the devils on his left hand. If he name
God, 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 God and craving pardon
for him, so long as he remains silent or calls upon the name of
God. But if he omit to begin with naming God (to whom belong
might and majesty) neither remain silent, the angels depart
from him and the devils settle upon him and whisper evil
thoughts unto him, till he falls into doubt and comes short in
his ablution. For (quoth he on whom be blessing and salvation)
"A perfect ablution driveth away the devils and assureth
against the tyranny of the Sultan; and he who neglecteth the
ablution, if calamity befall him, let him blame none but
himself."' (Q.) 'What should a man do, when he awakes from
sleep?' (A.) 'He should wash his hands thrice, before putting
them into the vessel.' (Q.) 'What are the ordinances, Koranic
and Traditional, of complete ablution?'[FN#219] (A.) 'The
Koranic ordinances are intent and covering the whole body with
water, so that it shall come at every part of the hair and
skin. The Traditional, previous partial ablution [as before
prayer,] rubbing the body, separating the hair and deferring in
words[FN#220] the washing of the feet till the end of the
ablution.' (Q.) 'What are the reasons [or occasions] for making
the ablution with other than water, and what are the ordinances
thereof, Koranic and Traditional?'[FN#221] (A.) 'The reasons
are seven in number, to wit, lack of water, fear, need thereto,
going astray on a journey, sickness, having the bones [broken
and] in splints and wounds. As for its ordinances, the Koranic
are four in number, to wit, intent, dust, applying it to the
face and to the hands, and the Traditional two, to wit,
nomination and preferring the right before the left hand.' (Q.)
'What are the conditions, the essentials [or fundamentals] and
the Traditional statutes of prayer?' (A.) 'The conditions are
five in number, to wit, (1) purification of the members (2)
covering the privy parts (3) observing the proper hours, either
of certainty or to the best of one's belief, (4) fronting the
Kaabeh and (5) standing on a clean place. The essentials are
twelve in number, to wit, (1) intent (2) the magnification of
prohibition (3) standing at the proper distance one from
another (4) repeating the first chapter of the Koran and also
(according to the Shafiyites) saying, "In the name of God the
Merciful, the Compassionate!" a verse thereof (5) bowing the
body and tranquillity [or gravity] therein (6) keeping the feet
and legs still and in the same position, [whilst the rest of
the body moves], and tranquillity therein (7) prostration and
tranquillity therein (8) sitting between two prostrations and
tranquillity therein (9) repeating the latter profession of
the Faith and sitting up therefor (10) invoking benediction
on the Prophet (whom God bless and preserve) (11) the first
Salutation[FN#222] and (12) the intent of making an end of
prayer, [expressed] in words. The Traditional statutes are
the call to prayer, the repetition of the words of the latter,
raising the hands to either side of the face, whilst pronouncing
the magnification of prohibition, pronouncing the magnification
before reciting the Fatiheh [First chapter of the Koran],
seeking refuge with God,[FN#223] saying "Amen," repeating
the (obligatory) chapter [of the Koran] after the Fatiheh,
repeating the magnifications during change of posture, saying,
"May God hear him who praiseth Him!" and "O our Lord, to Thee
be the praise!" uttering aloud the prayers in their places
and in like manner, under the breath, those so prescribed,
the first testification and sitting up thereto, blessing the
Prophet therein, blessing his family in the latter profession
[or testification] and the second Salutation.' (Q.) 'On what
is the poor-rate taxable?' (A.) 'On gold and silver and camels
and oxen and sheep and wheat and barley and millet and beans
and pulse and rice and raisins and dates.' (Q.) 'What is the
poor-rate on gold ?' (A.) 'Below twenty dinars, nothing; but,
on that amount and over, half a dinar for every score.'
(Q.) 'On silver?' (A.) 'Under two hundred dirhems, nothing;
then, five dirhems on every two hundred.' (Q.) 'On camels?'
(A.) 'For every five, an ewe, or for every twenty-five a
pregnant camel.' (Q.) 'On sheep?' (A.) 'On forty and over, an
ewe for every forty head.' (Q.) 'What are the ordinances of
the Fast [of Ramazan]?' (A.) 'The Koranic are intent,[FN#224]
abstinence from eating, drinking and copulation and stoppage of
vomiting. It is incumbent on all who submit to the Law, save
women in their courses and forty days after child-birth; 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 it be commenced by night.[FN#225] The Traditional
ordinances of fasting are, hastening to break the fast,[FN#226]
deferring the fore-dawn meal[FN#227] and abstaining from
speech, save for good works and for calling on the name of God
and reciting the Koran.' (Q.) 'What things vitiate not the
fast?' (A.) 'The use of unguents and eye-powders and the dust
of the road and the swallowing of one's spittle and the
emission of seed in dreams of dalliance or at the sight of a
strange woman and cupping and letting blood; none of these
things vitiates the fast.' (Q.) 'What are the prayers of the
two great [annual] Festivals?' (A.) 'Two one-bow prayers, after
the traditional ordinance, without call to prayer or the
repetition thereof by the devotee, who shall say, "Prayer is a
collector of all folk!"[FN#228] and pronounce the magnification
seven times in the first prayer, besides the magnification of
prohibition, and in the second, five times, besides that of
rising up, (according to the canon of the Imam Es Shafi, on
whom God have mercy) and make the profession of the Faith.'
(Q.) 'What are the prayers prescribed on the occasion of an
eclipse of the sun or moon?' (A.) 'Two one-bow prayers, without
call to prayer or repetition thereof by the devotee, who shall
make in each two standings up and two inclinations and two
prostrations, then sit up and testify and salute.' (Q.) 'What
is the ritual of prayer for rain?' (A.) 'Two one-bow prayers,
without call to prayer or repetition; then shall the devotee
make the profession and salute. Moreover [the Imam] shall
deliver an exhortation and (in place of the magnification, as
in the two exhortations of the two great Festivals) ask pardon
of God and reverse his mantle and pray and supplicate.' (Q.)
'What are the additional or occasional prayers?' (A.) 'The
least is a one-bow prayer and the most eleven.' (Q.) 'What
is the forenoon prayer?' (A.) 'At least, two one-bow prayers
and at most, twelve.' (Q.) 'What is the service of seclusion?'
[FN#229] (A.) 'It is a matter of Traditional ordinance.'
(Q.) 'What are its conditions?' (A.) '(1) Expression of 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 pilgrimage obligatory?' (A.)
'So a man be of full age and understanding and a true-believer
and it be possible to him; and it is obligatory [on all], once
before death.' (Q.) 'What are the Koranic statutes of the
pilgrimage?'' (A.) '(1) Assumption of the pilgrim's habit
(2) station at Arafat (3) compassing [the Kaabeh] (4) running
[between Sefa and Merweh[FN#230]] and (5) [previous] shaving
or clipping the hair.' (Q.) 'What are the Koranic statutes of
the lesser pilgrimage?' (A.) 'Reassuming the pilgrim's habit and
compassing and running [as before].' (Q.) 'What are the Koranic
ordinances of the assumption of the pilgrim's habit?' (A.)
'Putting off sewn garments, forswearing perfume and ceasing to
shave the head or cut the nails and avoiding the killing of
game and copulation.' (Q.) 'What are the Traditional statutes
of the pilgrimage?' (A.) '(1) The crying out, "Here I am, O our
Lord!"[FN#231] (2) the circuitings [about the Kaabeh] of
arrival [at] and departure [from Mecca] (3) the passing the
night at Muzdelifeh and Mina[FN#232] and (4) the stone-throwing.'
[FN#233] (Q.) 'What is the war in defence of the Faith and its
essentials?' (A.) 'Its essentials are (1) the descent of the
infidels upon us (2) the existence of the Imam[FN#234] (3) a
state of [armed] preparation and (4) firmness in meeting the
foe. Its ordinance is incital to battle, in that the Most High
hath said, "O my Prophet, incite the faithful to battle!"'
[FN#235] (Q.) 'What are the ordinances of buying and selling?'
(A.) 'The Koranic are (1) offer and acceptance and (2) if the
thing sold be a (white) slave, by whom one profiteth, to do
one's endeavour to convert him to Islam and (3) to abstain
from usury; the Traditional, resiliation and option before
separating, after the saying of the Prophet, "The parties
to a sale shall have the option [of cancelling or altering
the terms of a bargain,] whilst they are yet unseparated."'
(Q.) 'What is it forbidden to sell [or exchange] for what?'
(A.) 'On this point I mind me of an authentic tradition,
reported by Nafi[FN#236] of the Apostle of God, that he forbade
the sale of dried dates for fresh and fresh figs for dry and
jerked for fresh meat and cream for butter; in fine, of all
eatables of one and the same kind, it is unlawful to sell some
for other some.'[FN#237] When the professor heard her words
and knew that she was keen of wit, ingenious and learned in
jurisprudence and the Traditions and the interpretation of the
Koran and what not else, he said in himself, 'Needs must I go
about 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 the word wuzou?'[FN#238]
And she answered, 'Cleanliness and freedom from impurities.'
(Q.) 'And of prayer?' (A.) 'An invocation of good.' (Q.) 'And
of ghusl?'[FN#239] (A.) 'Purification.' (Q.) 'And of fasting?'
(A.) 'Abstention.' (Q.) 'And of zekat?'[FN#240] (A.) 'Increase.'
(Q.) 'And of pilgrimage?' (A.) 'Visitation [or quest].' (Q.) 'And
of jehad?'[FN#241] (A.) '[Endeavour in] repelling.' With this the
doctor's arguments were exhausted, so he rose to his feet and
said, 'Bear witness against me, O Commander of the Faithful,
that this damsel is more learned than I am in the Law. Quoth
she, 'I will ask thee somewhat, which do thou answer me
speedily, an thou be indeed a learned man.' 'Say on,' quoth he;
and she said, 'What are the arrows of the Faith?' 'They are ten
in number,' answered he; 'to wit, (1) Testification,[FN#242]
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) Enjoining to beneficence and (8)
Forbidding from iniquity, both of which are jealousy [for good]
(9) The communion of the faithful, that is, sociableness, and
(10) Seeking knowledge, that is, the praiseworthy way.' (Q.)
'What are the roots[FN#243] of Islam?' (A.) 'They are four
in number, to wit, sincerity of belief, truth of purpose,
observance of the limit [prescribed by the Law] 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[FN#244] of Islam?' But he was silent and made no
reply; and she said, 'Put off thy clothes, and I will expound
them to thee.' Quoth the Khalif, 'Expound them, and I will make
him put off his clothes for thee.' 'They are two-and-twenty in
number,' answered she, 'to wit, (1) holding fast to the Book of
God the Most High (2) taking example by His Apostle (whom God
bless and preserve) (3) abstaining from doing evil (4) eating
what is lawful and (5) avoiding what is unlawful (6) restoring
things wrongfully taken to their owners (7) repentance (8)
knowledge of the Law (9) love of [Abraham] the Friend [of God]
(10) and of the followers of the Revelation[FN#245] (11) belief
in the Apostles (12) fear of apostacy (13) preparation for
departure[FN#246] (14) strength of conviction (15) clemency in
time of power (16) strength in time of weakness (17) patience
under affliction (18) knowledge of God the Most High and (19)
of what His Prophet hath made known to us (20) gainsaying Iblis
the accursed (21) striving earnestly against the lusts of the
soul and gainsaying them and (22) guiltlessness of believing in
any other god but God.'

When the Commander of the Faithful heard her words, he bade the
doctor put off his clothes and hood; and he did so and went
forth, beaten and confounded, from the Khalif's presence.
Thereupon arose another man and said to her, 'O damsel, hear a
few questions from me.' 'Say on,' quoth she; and he said, 'What
are the conditions of valid [purchase by] payment in advance?'
'That the amount [of the thing bought], the kind and the period
[of delivery to the purchaser], be [fixed or] known,' replied
she. (Q.) 'What are the Koranic canons of eating?' (A.) 'The
confession [by the eater] that God the Most High provideth him
and giveth him to eat and drink and thanksgiving to Him
therefor.' (Q.) 'What is thanksgiving?' (A.) 'The use by the
creature of that which God vouchsafeth to him in the manner and
to the ends for which He hath created it.' (Q.) 'What are the
Traditional canons of eating?' (A.) 'The [preliminary] naming
[of God] and washing the hands, sitting on the left buttock,
eating with three fingers and eating of that which is chewed.'
[FN#247] (Q.) 'What are the civilities of eating?' (A.) 'Taking
small mouthfuls and looking little at one's table-companion.'
(Q.) 'What are the heart's stays [or articles of faith] and
their correlatives?' (A.) 'They are three in number, to wit,
(1) holding fast to the Faith, the correlative whereof is the
shunning of infidelity, (2) holding fast to the Traditional Law
and its correlative, the shunning of innovation [or heresy] and
(3) holding fast to obedience and its correlative, the shunning
of disobedience.' (Q.) 'What are the conditions of ablution?'
(A.) '(1) Submission to the will of God[FN#248] (2) possession
of discernment of good and evil [or having attained the age of
discretion] (3) purity of the water and (4) absence of legal
or material impediments.' (Q.) 'What is belief?' (A.) 'It is
divided into nine parts, to wit, (1) belief in the One worshipped
(2) belief in the condition of slavery [of the worshipper]
(3) belief in one God, to the exclusion of all others (4) belief
in the Two Handfuls[FN#249] (5) belief in Providence (6) belief
in the Abrogating and (7) in the Abrogated (8) belief in God, His
angels and apostles and (9) in fore-ordained Fate, general and
particular, its good and ill, sweet and bitter.' (Q.) 'What
three things do away other three?' (A.) 'It is told of Sufyan
eth Thauri[FN#250] that he said, "Three things do away 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?' (A.) 'Quoth God the Most
High, "And heaven shall be opened, and it shall be [all] doors,"
[FN#251] and quoth he whom God bless and keep, "None knoweth the
number of the gates of heaven, save He who created it, and there
is no son of Adam but hath two gates allotted to him in the skies,
one whereby his subsistence cometh down and another where-through
his works [good and evil] ascend. The former is not closed,
save when his term of life comes to an end, nor the latter,
till his soul ascends [for judgment]."' (Q.) 'Tell me of a
thing and a half thing and a no-thing.' (A.) 'The thing is the
believer, the half thing the hypocrite and the no-thing the
infidel.' (Q.) 'Tell me of various kinds of hearts.' (A.)
'There is the whole [or perfect] heart, which is that of
[Abraham] the Friend [of God], the sick heart, that of the
infidel, the contrite heart, that of the pious, fearful ones,
the heart consecrated to God, that of our Lord Mohammed (whom
God bless and preserve) and the enlightened [or enlightening]
heart, that of those who follow him. The hearts of the learned
are of three kinds, to wit, those that are in love with this
world, with the next and with their Lord; and it is said that
hearts are three, the suspended, that of the infidel, the
non-existent [or lost], that of the hypocrite, and the constant
[or firm], that of the true-believer. Moreover, it is said that
the latter is of three kinds, namely, the heart dilated with
light and faith, that wounded with fear of estrangement and
that which feareth to be forsaken of God.'

Quoth the second doctor, 'Thou hast said well;' whereupon said
she to the Khalif, 'O Commander of the Faithful, he has
questioned me, till he is weary, and now I will ask him two
questions. If he answer them, it is well, and if not, I will
take his clothes and he shall depart in peace.' Quoth the
doctor, 'Ask me what thou wilt,' and she said, 'What is
religion?' 'Religion,' answered he, 'is confession[FN#252] with
the tongue and belief with the heart and doing with the
members. Quoth the Prophet, "The believer is not perfect in
belief, except five qualities be accomplished in him, namely,
trust in God, committal of his affair to Him, submission to His
commandment, acquiescence in His decrees and that he do all for
His sake; so is he of those who are acceptable to God and who
give and withhold for His sake, and he is perfect in belief."'
Then said she, 'What is the Koranic ordinance of ordinances
and the ordinance which is the preliminary 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 that whereby the latter is
completed?' But he was silent and made no reply; whereupon the
Khalif bade her expound and ordered him to doff his clothes and
give them to her. 'O doctor,' said she, 'the Koranic ordinance
of ordinances is the knowledge of God the Most High; that,
which is the preliminary of all others, is the testifying that
there is no god but God and that Mohammed is His apostle; that,
of which all others have need, is ablution; that, which
compriseth all others, is that of [total] ablution from
[ceremonial] defilement; the Traditional ordinance, that enters
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 manifest the
insufficiency of the doctor, who rose to his feet and said, 'I
call God to witness, O Commander of the Faithful, that this
damsel is more learned than I in the Law and what pertains
thereto.' So saying, he put off his clothes and went away,

Then turned she to the rest of the learned men present and
said, 'O masters, which of you is the reader,[FN#253] versed in
the seven readings and in syntax and lexicography?' Thereupon
the professor arose and seating himself before her, said, 'Hast
thou read the Book of God the Most High and made thyself
throughly acquainted with its verses and its various parts,
abrogating and abrogated, equivocal and unequivocal, Meccan and
Medinan? Dost thou understand its interpretation and hast thou
studied it, according to the various versions and readings?'
'Yes,' answered she; and he said, 'What, then, is the number of
its chapters, how many are Meccan and how many Medinan? How
many verses and decades[FN#254] does it contain, how many
words and how many letters and how many acts of prostration
and how many prophets and birds are mentioned in it?' 'It
contains a hundred and fourteen chapters,' replied she, 'whereof
threescore and ten were revealed at Mecca and forty and four at
Medina, six thousand three hundred and thirty-six verses, six
hundred and twenty-one decades, 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, accrue ten benefits. The
acts of prostration it contains are fourteen in number, and
five-and-twenty prophets are named therein, to wit, Adam, Noah,
Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Elisha, Jonah, Lot,
Salih, Houd,[FN#255] Shuaib,[FN#256] David, Solomon, Dhoulkifl,
[FN#257] Idris,[FN#258] Elias, Yehya,[FN#259] Zacharias, Job,
Moses, Aaron, Jesus and Mohammed, the peace of God and His
blessing be on them all! Moreover, nine birds [or flying
things] are mentioned in the Koran, namely, the gnat, the bee,
the fly, the ant, the hoopoe, the crow, the locust, the bustard
and the bird of Jesus[FN#260] (on whom be peace), to wit, the
bat.' (Q.) 'Which is the most excellent chapter of the Koran?'
(A.) 'That of the Cow.'[FN#261] (Q.) 'Which is the most magnificent
verse?' (A.) 'That of the Throne;[FN#262] it has fifty words, in
each fifty blessings.' (Q.) 'What verse hath in it nine signs [or
wonders]?' (A.) 'That in which quoth God the Most High, "Verily,
in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation
of night and day and the ship that runneth in the sea with what
profiteth mankind and in what God sendeth down from heaven of
water and quickeneth therewith the earth, after its dearth, and
spreadeth abroad therein all manner cattle, and the shifting of
the winds and the clouds, pressed into service betwixt heaven
and earth, are signs for folk who understand."'[FN#263] (Q.)
'Which is the most just?' (A.) 'That in which God saith, "Verily,
God commandeth to justice and beneficence and giving to those
that are near unto us and forbiddeth from profligacy and iniquity
and oppression."'[FN#264] (Q.) 'Which is the most yearnful?' (A.)
'That in which quoth God, "Shall every man of them yearn to
enter a garden of delight?"'[FN#265] (Q.) 'Which is the most
hopeful?' (A.) 'That in which quoth God the Most High, "Say, 'O
ye my servants, that have transgressed against your own souls,
despair not of the mercy of God! Indeed, God forgiveth sins,
all of them, for He is the Forgiving, the Compassionate.'"'
[FN#266] (Q.) 'By what version dost thou read?' (A.) 'By that of
the people of Paradise, to wit, the version of Nafi.'[FN#267]
(Q.) 'In which verse doth God make prophets lie?' (A.) 'In that
wherein He saith, "They [the brothers of Joseph] brought lying
blood upon his shirt."'[FN#268] (Q.) 'In which doth He make
infidels speak the truth?' (A.) 'In that wherein He saith, "The
Jews say, 'The Nazarenes are [grounded] on nought,' and the
Nazarenes say, 'The Jews are [grounded] on nought;' and [yet]
they [both] read the Scripture."[FN#269] And [in this] both speak
the truth.' (Q.) 'In which doth God speak in His own person [in
the singular]?' (A.) 'In that in which He saith, "Neither have I
created Jinn and men, but that they should worship."'[FN#270]
(Q.) 'In which do the angels speak?' (A.) 'In that which saith,
"We celebrate Thy praises and hallow Thee."'[FN#271] (Q.) 'What
sayst thou of the formula, "I seek refuge with God from Satan
the Stoned"?' (A.) 'It is obligatory, by commandment of God,
on all who read the Koran, as appears by His saying, "When
thou readest the Koran, seek refuge with God from Satan the
Stoned."'[FN#272] (Q.) 'What are the words and variants of
the formula?' (A.) 'Some say, "I take refuge with God the
All-hearing and knowing, etc.," and others, "With God the
Strong;" but the best is that of which the noble Koran and the
Traditions speak. The Prophet was used, whenas he was about to
open the Koran, to say, "I take refuge with God from Satan
the Stoned." And quoth a Tradition, reported by Nafi on the
authority of his [adopted] father, "The apostle of God used,
when he rose in the night to pray, to say aloud, 'God is Most
Great, with [all] greatness! Praise be to God abundantly! Glory
to God morning and evening!' Then would he say, 'I seek refuge
with God from Satan the Stoned and from the instigations of the
Devils and their evil suggestions."' And it is told of Ibn
Abbas[FN#273] (of whom God accept) that he said, "The first
time Gabriel came down to the Prophet [with a portion of the
Koran,] he taught him [the formula of] seeking refuge, saying,
'O Mohammed, say, "I seek refuge with God the All-hearing and
knowing;" then say, "In the name of God the Compassionate, the
Merciful!" And read, in the name of thy Lord who created men
from clotted blood.'"'[FN#274] (Q.) 'What sayst thou of the
verse, "In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful"?
Is it one of the verses of the Koran?' (A.) 'Yes; it is a verse
of "The ant"[FN#275] and occurs 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.'
(Q.) 'Why is not the formula written at the head of the chapter
of Immunity?'[FN#276] (A.) 'When this chapter was revealed for
the dissolution of the alliance between the Prophet and the
idolaters, the former sent Ali ibn Abi Talib (whose face God
honour) therewith [from Medina to Mecca] at the season of the
greater pilgrimage;[FN#277] and he read the chapter to them,
but did not read "In the name, etc."'[FN#278] (Q.) 'What of the
excellence of the formula and the blessing that attaches to
it?' (A.) 'It is told of the Prophet that he said, "Never is
'In the name, etc.' pronounced over aught, but there is a
blessing in it;" and it is reported, on his authority, that the
Lord of Glory swore by His glory that never should the formula
be pronounced over a sick person, but he should be healed of
his sickness. Moreover, it is said that, when God created the
empyreal heaven, it was agitated with an exceeding agitation; but
He wrote on it, "In the name, etc.," and its agitation subsided.
When the formula was first revealed to the Prophet, he said, "I
am safe from three things, earthquake and metamorphosis and
drowning;" and indeed its virtues are great and its blessings
too many to enumerate. It is told of the Prophet that he said,
"There will be brought before God, 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 say, 'O my God,
Thou hast not dealt justly by me!' Then shall God (to whom belong
might and majesty) say, 'How so?' and the man will answer, saying,
'O Lord, for that Thou callest Thyself the Compassionate, the
Merciful, yet wilt Thou punish me with the fire!' And God
(extolled be His majesty) shall say, 'I did indeed name myself
the Compassionate, the Merciful. Carry My servant to Paradise,
of My mercy, for I am the most Merciful of those that have
mercy.'"' (Q.) 'What was the origin of the use of the formula?'
(A.) 'When God revealed the Koran, they wrote, "In Thy name, O
my God!"; when He revealed the words, "Say, pray ye to God or
pray ye to the Compassionate, what days ye pray, for to Him
[belong] the most fair names,"[FN#279] they wrote, "In the name
of God, the Compassionate;" and when He revealed the words,
"Your God is one God, there is no god but He, the Compassionate,
the Merciful,"[FN#280] they wrote, "In the name of God, the
Compassionate, the Merciful!"' (Q.) 'Did God reveal the Koran
all at once or at intervals?' (A.) 'Gabriel the Faithful
[Spirit] (on whom be peace) descended with it from the Lord of
the Worlds upon His Prophet Mohammed, Prince of the Apostles
and seal[FN#281] of the Prophets, by detached verses, containing
commandment and prohibition, promise and menace, anecdotes
and similitudes, as the occasion called for it, in the course
of twenty years.' (Q.) 'Which chapter was first revealed?'
(A.) 'According to Ibn Abbas, that of the Clot of Blood,[FN#282]
and according to Jabir ben Abdallah,[FN#283] that of the Covered
[with a cloak].'[FN#284] (Q.) 'Which verse was the last revealed?'
(A.) 'That of Usury,[FN#285] and it is said [also], the verse,
"When there cometh God's succour and victory."'[FN#286] (Q.) 'Tell
me the names of the Companions who collected the Koran, in the
lifetime of the Apostle of God.' (A.) 'They were four in number,
to wit, Ubai ibn Kaab, Zeid ibn Thabit, Abou Ubeideh Aamir ben
Jerrah and Othman ben Affan,[FN#287] may God accept of them all!'
(Q.) 'Who are the readers, from whom the [accepted] reading of
the Koran is taken?' (A.) 'They are four in number, namely,
Abdallah ben Mesoud, Ubai ben Kaab, Maadh ben Jebel[FN#288] and
Salim ben Abdallah.'[FN#289] (Q.) 'What sayst thou of the words
of the Most High, "That which is sacrificed to stones"?'[FN#290]
(A.) 'The stones are idols, which are set up and worshipped, instead
of God the Most High, and [from this] we seek refuge with Him.'
(Q.) 'What sayst thou of the words of the Most High, "[Quoth
Jesus] Thou knowest what is in my soul, and I know not what is
in Thy soul"?'[FN#291] (A.) 'They mean "Thou [God] knowest the
truth of me and what is in me and I [Jesus] know not what is in
Thee;" and the proof of this are his words,[FN#292] "Thou [God]
art He that knoweth the hidden things;" and it is said, also,
"Thou [God] knowest my essence, but I [man] know not Thine
essence."' (Q.) 'What sayst thou of the words of the Most High,
"O ye that believe, deny not yourselves the good things that
God hath made lawful to you!"?'[FN#293] (A.) 'My master (on
whom God have mercy) told me that Ez Zuhak[FN#294] said, "There
was a people of the true-believers who said, 'We will dock our
yards and don sackcloth;' whereupon this verse was revealed."
But El Cutadeh[FN#295] says that it was revealed on account of
sundry Companions of the Apostle of God, Ali ibn Abi Talib and
Othman ben Musaab and others, who said, "We will dock ourselves
and don hair [cloth] and make us monks."' (Q.) 'What sayst thou
of the words of the Most High, "And God took Abraham to
friend"?'[FN#296] (A.) 'The friend [of God] is the needy, the
poor, and (according to another saying) he is the lover, he who
is absorbed in the love of God the Most High and in whose
exclusive devotion there is no falling away.'

When the professor saw her pass on in speech with the passing
of the clouds[FN#297] and that she stayed not in answering, he
rose to his feet and said, 'I take God to witness, O Commander
of the Faithful, that this damsel is more learned than I in
Koranic exegesis and what pertains 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.' 'Ask
on,' quoth the Khalif; and she said, 'Which verse of the
Koran has in it three-and-twenty Kafs,[FN#298] which sixteen
Mims,[FN#299] which a hundred and forty Ains,[FN#300] and which
section[FN#301] lacks the formula, "To whom [God] belong might
and majesty"?' He could not answer, and she said to him, 'Put
off thy clothes.' So he doffed them, and she said, 'O Commander
of the Faithful, the verse of the sixteen Mims is in the
chapter Houd and is the saying of the Most High, "It was
said, 'O Noah, go down in peace from us, and blessing upon
thee!'"[FN#302]; 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 Ains is in the chapter of El Aaraf,[FN#303]
"And Moses chose seventy men of his tribe to [attend] our
appointed time;[FN#304] to each man a pair of eyes."[FN#305]
And the set portion which lacks the formula, "To whom [God]
belong might and majesty," is that which comprises the chapters
"The Hour draweth nigh and the Moon is cloven in twain," "The
Compassionate" and "The Event."'[FN#306] And the professor
departed in confusion.

Then came forward the skilled physician and said to her, 'We
have done with 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 chief vein and why Adam was
named Adam?' 'Adam was called Adam,' answered she, 'because of
the udmeh, to wit, the tawny 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 soil of its surface. His breast was made
of the earth of the Kaabeh, his head of earth from the East and
his legs of earth from the West. There were created for him
seven doors [or openings] in his head, to wit, the eyes, the
ears, the nostrils and the mouth, and two passages, the urethra
and the anus. The eyes were made the seat of the sense of
sight, the ears of that of hearing, the nostrils of that of
smell, the mouth of that of taste and the tongue to speak forth
what is in the innermost heart of man. Adam was originally
created of four elements combined, water, earth, fire and air.
The yellow bile is the humour of fire, being hot and dry, the
black bile that of earth, being cold and dry, the phlegm that
of water, being cold and moist, and the blood that of air,
being hot and moist. There are in man three hundred and
threescore veins, two hundred and forty bones and three souls
[or natures], the animal, the rational and the essential or
[natural], to each of which is allotted a separate function.
Moreover, God made him a heart and spleen and lungs and six
guts and a liver and two kidneys and marrow [or brain] and
buttocks and bones and skin and five senses, hearing, seeing,
smell, taste and touch. The heart He set on the left side of
the breast and made the stomach the exemplar [or governor]
thereof. He appointed the lungs for a ventilator to the heart
and set the liver on the right side, opposite thereto. Moreover,
He made, besides this, the midriff and the intestines and set
up the bones of the breast and ribbed them with the ribs.'
(Q.) 'How many ventricles are there in a man's head?' (A.) 'Three,
which contain five faculties, styled the intrinsic senses, i.e.
common sense, fancy, thought, apperception and memory.' (Q.)
'Describe to me the scheme of the bones.' (A.) 'It 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 skull and face. The skull is constructed of eight bones,
and to it are attached the teeth, two-and- thirty in number,
and the hyoid bone, one. The trunk is divided into spinal column,
breast and basin. The spinal column is made up of four-and-twenty
bones, called 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 the coccyx. The extremities
are divided into arms and legs. The arms are again divided into
shoulder, comprising shoulder-blades and collar-bone, the upper-
arm, one bone, the fore-arm, composed of two bones, the radius and
the ulna, and the hand, consisting of the wrist, the metacarpus
and the fingers. The wrist is composed of eight bones, ranked in
two rows, each comprising four bones; the metacarpus of five
and the fingers, which are five in number, of three bones each,
called the phalanges, except the thumb, which has but two.
The lower extremities are divided into thigh, one bone, leg,
composed of three bones, the tibia, the fibula and the kneepan,
and the foot, divided like the hand, with the exception of the
wrist,[FN#307] which is composed of seven bones, ranged in two
rows, two in one and five in the other.' (Q.) 'Which is the
root of the veins?' (A.) 'The aorta from which they ramify, and
they are many, none knoweth the tale of them save He who
created them; but, as I have before observed, it is said that
they are three hundred and threescore in number. Moreover, God
hath appointed the tongue to interpret [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 the
ventilators, the stomach the storehouse and the heart the
pillar [or mainstay] 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
of disease in the members of the body, both internal and
external?' (A.) 'A physician, who is a man of understanding,
looks 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 [whites of the] eyes, which
denotes jaundice, and bending of the back, which denotes
disease of the lungs.' (Q.) 'What are the internal symptoms of
disease?' (A.) 'The science of the diagnosis of disease by
internal symptoms is founded upon six canons, to wit, (1) the
actions [of the patient] (2) what is evacuated from his body
(3) the nature and (4) site of the pain he feels (5) swelling
and (6) the effluvia given off by his body.' (Q.) 'How cometh
hurt to the head?' (A.) 'By the introduction of food upon food,
before the first be digested, and by satiety upon satiety; this
it is that wasteth peoples. He who will 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 cupping
and blood-letting and 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 befits that he
appoint six for food, six for drink, and six for air. 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
God the Most High, "Walk not boisterously [or proudly] upon the
earth."'[FN#308] (Q.) 'What are the symptoms of yellow bile and
what is to be feared there-from?' (A.) 'The symptoms are,
sallow complexion and dryness and bitter taste in the mouth,
failure of the appetite, and rapid pulse; and the patient has
to fear high fever and delirium and prickly heat and jaundice
and tumour and ulceration of the bowels and excessive thirst.'
(Q.) 'What are the symptoms of black bile and what has the
patient to fear from it, if it get the mastery of the body?'
(A.) 'The symptoms are deceptive appetite and great mental
disquiet and care and anxiety; and it behoves that it be
evacuated, else it will generate melancholy 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?'
(A.) '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?' (A.)
'When the sap runs in the wood and the grape thickens in
the cluster and the auspicious planets[FN#309] are in the
ascendant, then comes in the season of the efficacy of drinking
medicine and the doing away of disease.' (Q.) 'What time is it,
when, if a man drink from a new vessel, the drink is wholesomer
and more digestible to him than at another time, and there
ascends to him a pleasant and penetrating fragrance?' (A.)
'When he waits awhile after eating, as quoth the poet:

I rede thee drink not after food in haste, but tarry still;
Else with a halter wilt thou lead thy body into ill.
Yea, wait a little after thou hast eaten, brother mine; Then
drink, and peradventure thus shalt thou attain unto thy

(Q.) 'What food is it that giveth not rise to ailments?' (A.)
'That which is not eaten but after hunger, and when it is
eaten, the ribs are not filled with it, even as saith Galen the
physician, "Whoso will take in food, let him go slowly and he
shall not go wrong." To end with the saying of the Prophet,
(whom God bless and preserve,) "The stomach is the home of
disease, and abstinence is the beginning[FN#310] of cure,
[FN#311] for the origin of every disease is indigestion,
that is to say, corruption of the meat in the stomach."' (Q.)
'What sayst thou of the bath?' (A.) 'Let not the full man enter
it. Quoth the Prophet, "The bath is the delight of the house,
for that it cleanseth the body and calleth to mind the fire [of
hell]."' (Q.) 'What waters[FN#312] are best for bathing?' (A.)
'Those whose waters are sweet and plains wide and whose air is
pleasant and wholesome, its climate [or seasons] being fair,
autumn and summer and winter and spring.' (Q.) 'What kind of
food is the most excellent?' (A.) 'That which women make and
which has not cost overmuch trouble and which is readily
digested. The most excellent of food is brewis,[FN#313]
according to the saying of the Prophet, "Brewis excels other
food, even as Aaisheh excels other women."' (Q.) 'What kind of
seasoning[FN#314] is most excellent?' (A.) 'Flesh meat (quoth
the Prophet) is the most excellent of seasonings; for that it
is the delight of this world and the next.' (Q.) 'What kind of
meat is the most excellent?' (A.) 'Mutton; but jerked meat is
to be avoided, for there is no profit in it.' (Q.) 'What of
fruits?' (A.) 'Eat them in their prime and leave them when
their season is past.' (Q.) 'What sayst thou of drinking
water?' (A.) 'Drink it not in large quantities nor by gulps,
or it will give thee the headache and cause divers kinds of
harm; neither drink it immediately after the bath nor after
copulation or eating (except it be after the lapse of fifteen
minutes for a young and forty for an old man) or waking from
sleep.' (Q.) 'What of drinking wine?' (A.) 'Doth not the
prohibition suffice thee in the Book of God the Most High,
where He saith, "Verily, wine and casting lots and idols and
divining arrows are an abomination of the fashion of the Devil:
shun them, so surely shall ye thrive."[FN#315] And again, "If
they ask thee of wine and casting lots, say, 'In them are great
sin and advantages to mankind, but the sin of them is greater
than the advantage.'"[FN#316] Quoth the poet:

O wine-bibber, art not ashamed and afraid To drink of a thing
that thy Maker forbade?
Come, put the cup from thee and mell with it not, For wine and
its drinker God still doth upbraid.

And quoth another:

I drank the sweet sin till my wit went astray: 'Tis ill
drinking of that which doth reason away.

As for the useful qualities that are therein, it disperses
gravel from the kidneys and strengthens the bowels, banishes
care, moves to generosity and preserves health and digestion.
It assains the body, expels disease from the joints, purifies
the frame of corrupt humours, engenders cheerfulness and
gladdens and keeps up the natural heat. It contracts the
bladder, strengthens the liver and removes obstructions,
reddens the face, clears away cobwebs from the brain and defers
gray hairs. In short, had not God (to whom belong might and
majesty) forbidden it, there were not on the face of the earth
aught fit to stand in its place. As for drawing lots, it is a
game of hazard.'[FN#317] (Q.) 'What wine is the best?' (A.)
'That which is pressed from white grapes and ferments fourscore
days or more: it resembleth not water and indeed there is
nothing on the surface of the earth like unto it.' (Q.) 'What
of cupping?' (A.) 'It is for him who is [over] full of blood
and has no defect therein. Whoso will be cupped, let it be at
the wane of the moon, on a day without cloud or wind or rain
and 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 memory than cupping.'
(Q.) 'What is the best time for cupping?' (A.) 'One should be
cupped fasting, for this fortifies the wit and the memory. It
is reported of the Prophet that, when any one complained to him
of a pain in the head or legs, he would bid him be cupped and
not eat salt [meat] fasting, for it engendered scurvy, neither
eat sour milk immediately after [cupping].' (Q.) 'When is
cupping to be avoided?' (A.) 'On Wednesdays and Saturdays, and
let him who is cupped on these days blame none but himself.
Moreover, one should not be cupped in very hot nor in very cold
weather; and the best season for cupping is Spring.' (Q.) 'Tell
me of copulation.'

At this Taweddud hung her head, for shame and confusion before
the Khalif; 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 tip of my tongue.' 'Speak, O
damsel,' said the Khalif; whereupon quoth she, 'Copulation hath
in it many and exceeding virtues and praiseworthy qualities,
amongst which are, that it lightens a body full of black bile
and calms the heat of love and engenders affection and dilates
the heart and dispels sadness; and the excess of it is more
harmful in summer and autumn than in spring and winter.' (Q.)
'What are its good effects?' (A.) 'It doth away trouble and
disquiet, calms love and chagrin and is good for ulcers in a
cold and dry humour; but excess of it weakens the sight and
engenders pains in the legs and head and back: and beware,
beware of having to do with old women, for they are deadly.
Quoth the Imam Ali,[FN#318] (whose face God honour), "Four
things kill and ruin the body: bathing on a full stomach,
eating salt meat, copulation on a plethora [of blood] and lying
with an ailing woman; for she will weaken thy strength and
infect thy body 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 goods than Caroun."'[FN#319]
(Q.) 'What is the best copulation?' (A.) 'If the woman be
young, well-shaped, fair of face, swelling-breasted and of
honourable extraction, she will add to thee strength and health
of body; and let her be even as saith the poet, describing her:

Even by thy looks, I trow, she knows what thou desir'st, By
instinct, without sign or setting forth of sense;
And when thou dost behold her all-surpassing grace, Her charms
enable thee with gardens to dispense.'

(Q.) 'At what time is copulation good?' (A.) 'If by day, after
the morning-meal, and if by night, after food digested.' (Q.)
'What are the most excellent fruits?' (A.) 'The pomegranate and
the citron.' (Q.) 'Which is the most excellent of vegetables?'
(A.) 'The endive.' (Q.) 'Which of sweet-scented flowers?'
(A.) 'The rose and the violet.' (Q.) 'How is sperma hominis
secreted?' (A.) 'There is in man a vein that feeds all the
other veins. Water [or blood] is collected from the three
hundred and threescore veins and enters, in the form of red
blood, the left testicle, where it is decocted, by the heat of
man's temperament, into a thick, white liquid, whose odour is
as that of the palm-spathe.' (Q.) 'What bird [or flying thing]
is it that emits seed and menstruates?' (A.) 'The bat, that is,
the rere-mouse.' (Q.) 'What is that which, when it is shut out
[from the air], lives, and when it smells the air, dies?' (A.)
'The fish.' (Q.) 'What serpent lays eggs?' (A.) 'The dragon.'

With this the physician was silent, being weary with much
questioning, and Taweddud said to the Khalif, 'O Commander of
the Faithful, he hath questioned me till he is weary, and now I
will ask him one question, which if he answer not, I will take
his clothes as lawful prize.' 'Ask on,' quoth the Khalif. So
she said to the physician, 'What is that which resembles the
earth in [plane] roundness, whose resting-place and spine are
hidden, little of value and estimation, narrow-chested, its
throat shackled, though it be no thief nor runaway slave,
thrust through and through, though not in fight, and wounded,
though not in battle; time eats its vigour and water wastes it
away; now it is beaten without a fault and now made to serve
without stint; united after separation, submissive, but not to
him who caresses it, pregnant[FN#320] without a child in its
belly, drooping, yet not leaning on its side, becoming dirty
yet purifying itself, cleaving to [its mate], yet changing,
copulating without a yard, wrestling without arms, resting and
taking its ease, bitten, yet not crying out, [now] more
complaisant than a boon-companion and [anon] more troublesome
than summer-heat, leaving its wife by night and clipping her
by day and having its abode in the corners of the mansions of
the noble?' The physician was silent and his colour changed and
he bowed his head awhile in perplexity and made no reply;
whereupon she said to him, 'O physician, speak or put off thy
clothes.' 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
Khalif to Taweddud, 'Expound to us thy riddle,' and she
replied, 'O Commander of the Faithful, it is the button and the
button loop.'

Then said she, 'Let him of you who is an astronomer come
forward.' So the astronomer came forward and sat down before
her. When she saw him, she laughed and said, 'Art thou the
astronomer, the mathematician, the scribe?' 'Yes,' answered he.
'Ask of what thou wilt,' quoth she; 'success rests with God.'
So he said, 'Tell me of the sun and its rising and setting?'
And she replied, 'The sun rises in the Eastern hemisphere and
sets in the Western, and each hemisphere comprises ninescore
degrees. Quoth God the Most High, "Verily, I swear by the Lord
of the places of the sunrise and of the sunsetting."[FN#321]
And again, "He it is who appointed the sun for a splendour and
the moon for a light and ordained to her mansions, that ye
might know the number of the years and the reckoning."[FN#322]
The moon is Sultan of the night and the sun Sultan of the day,
and they vie with one another in their courses and follow each
other in uninterrupted succession. Quoth God the Most High, "It
befits not that the sun overtake the moon nor that the night
prevent the day, but each glides in [its own] sphere."'[FN#323]
(Q.) 'When the day cometh, what becomes of the night, and what
of the day, when the night cometh?' (A.) 'He maketh the night
to enter into the day and the day into the night.'[FN#324] (Q.)
'Enumerate to me the mansions of the moon.' (A.) 'They are
eight-and-twenty in number, to wit, Sheretan, Butain, Thureya,
Deberan, Hecaaeh, Henaaeh, Dhiraa, Nethreh, Terf, Jebheh, Zubreh,
Serfeh, Awwaa, Simak and Ghefr, Zubaniya, Iklil, Kelb, Shauleh,
Naaim, Beldeh, Saad edh Dhabih, Saad el Bulaa, Saad el Akhbiyeh,
Saad es Suwoud, Fergh the Former and Fergh the Latter and Rishaa.
They are disposed in the order of the letters of the alphabet,
according to their numerical power, and there are in them secret
virtues which none knoweth save God (glorified and exalted be
He) and those who are firmly stablished in science. They are
divided among the twelve signs of the Zodiac, in the ratio of two
mansions and a third of a mansion to each sign. Thus Sheretan,
Butain and one-third of Thureya belong to Aries, the other two-
thirds of Thureya, Deberan and two thirds of Hecaaeh to Taurus,
the other third of Hecaaeh, Henaaeh and Dhiraa to Gemini, Nethreh,
Terf, and a third of Jebheh to Cancer, the other two-thirds of
Jebheh, Zubreh and two-thirds of Serfeh to Leo, the other third
of Serfeh, Awwaa and Simak to Virgo, Ghefr, Zubaniya and one-third
of Iklil to Libra, the other two-thirds of Iklil, Kelb and two-
thirds of Shauleh to Scorpio, the other third of Shauleh, Naaim
and Beldeh to Sagittarius, Saad edh Dhabih, Saad el Bulaa and
one-third of Saad es Suwoud to Capricorn, the other two-thirds
of Saad es Suwoud, Saad el Akbiyeh and two-thirds of Fergh the
Former to Aquarius, the other third of Fergh the Former, Fergh
the Latter and Rishaa to Pisces.' (Q.) 'Tell me of the planets
and their natures, also of their sojourn in the signs of the
Zodiac, their aspects, favourable and sinister, their houses,
ascendants and descendants.' (A.) 'The sitting is narrow [for
so comprehensive a matter], but they are seven in number, to
wit, the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and
Saturn. The sun is hot and dry, sinister in conjunction,
favourable in opposition, and abides thirty days in each sign.
The moon is cold and moist, favourable of aspect, and abides
two days in each sign 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 [asterisms],
and abides in each sign seventeen and a half days. Venus is
temperate, favourable and abides in each sign five-and-twenty
days. Mars is sinister and abides in each sign ten months.
Jupiter is favourable and abides in each sign a year. Saturn is
cold and dry and sinister and abides in each sign thirty
months. The house of the sun is Leo, its ascendant is Aries and
its descendant Aquarius. The moon's house is Cancer, its
ascendant Taurus, its descendant Scorpio and its sinister
aspect Capricorn. Saturn's house is Capricorn and Aquarius, its
ascendant Libra, its descendant Aries and its sinister aspects
Cancer and Leo. Jupiter's house is Pisces and Sagittarius, its
ascendant Cancer, its descendant Capricorn and its sinister
aspects Gemini and Leo. Venus's house is Taurus, its ascendant
Pisces, its descendant Libra and its sinister aspects Aries and
Scorpio. Mercury's house is Gemini and Virgo, its ascendant
Virgo, its descendant Pisces and its sinister aspect Taurus.
Mars's house is Aries and Scorpio, its ascendant Capricorn, its
descendant Cancer and its sinister aspect Libra.'

When the astronomer saw her acuteness and skill and heard her
fair answers, he bethought him for a device to confound her
before the Commander of the Faithful and said to her, 'O
damsel, will rain fall this month?' At this she bowed her head
and pondered so long, that the Khalif 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.' The Khalif laughed and said, 'How
so?' Said she, 'I would have thee give me a sword, that I may
strike off his head, for he is an infidel.' At this the Khalif
and those about him laughed, and she said, 'O astronomer, there
are five things that none knoweth save God the Most High;' and
she repeated the following verse: 'Verily, with God is the
knowledge of the hour; He sendeth down the rain and knoweth
what is in the wombs. None knoweth what the morrow shall bring
forth for him nor in what land he shall die. Verily, God is the
All-wise, the All-knowing.'[FN#325]

Quoth the astronomer, 'Thou hast said well, and by Allah, I
thought but to try thee.' 'Know,' rejoined she, 'that the
almanack-makers have certain signs and tokens, referring to the
planets, relative to the coming in of the year, and in which
are tribulations for the folk.' (Q.) 'What are they?' (A.)
'Each day hath a planet that rules it. So, if the first day of
the year fall on a Sunday, that day is the sun's and this
portends (though God alone is All-knowing) oppression of kings
and sultans and governors and much miasma and lack of rain and
that the folk will be in great disorder 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
Toubeh[FN#326] to the end of Beremhat.[FN#327] Moreover, in
this year there will be much fighting among kings, and there
shall be great plenty of good in this year.' (Q.) 'What if the
first day fall on Monday?' (A.) 'That day belongs to the moon
and portends righteousness in administrators and deputies 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 Keyehk;[FN#328] also that plagues will be rife and
that half the sheep and goats will die, that grapes will be
plentiful and honey scarce and cotton cheap.' (Q.) 'What if it
fall on Tuesday?' (A.) 'That is Mars's day and portends death
of great men and much destruction and outpouring of blood and
dearness of grain, lack of rain and scarcity of fish, which
will anon be in excess and anon fail [altogether]. In this
year, lentils and honey will be cheap and linseed dear and only
barley will thrive, to the exception of all other grain: 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 Wednesday?' (A.) 'That is Mercury's day and portends
great anarchy among the folk and much enmity and rotting of
some of the green crops and moderate rains; also that there
will be great mortality among cattle and infants and much
fighting by sea, that wheat will be dear from Burmoudeh to
Misra[FN#329] and other grains cheap: thunder and lightning
will abound and honey will be dear, palm-trees will thrive and
bear apace and flax and cotton will be plentiful, but radishes
and onions will be dear.' (Q.) 'What if it fall on Thursday?'
(A.) 'That is Jupiter's day and portends equity in viziers and
righteousness in Cadis and fakirs and the ministers of religion
and that good will be plentiful: rain and fruits and trees and
grain and fish will abound and flax, cotton, honey and grapes
be cheap.' (Q.) 'What if it fall on Friday?' (A.) 'That day
belongs to Venus and portends oppression in the chiefs of the
Jinn and talk of forgery and calumny; 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: lewdness will be
rife by land and sea, linseed will be dear, also wheat, in
Hatour,[FN#330] but cheap in Amshir:[FN#331] honey will be
dear and grapes and melons will rot.' (Q.) 'What if it fall
on Saturday?' (A.) 'That is Saturn's day and portends the
preferment of slaves and Greeks and those in whom there is no
good, neither in their neighbourhood; there will be great
drought and scarcity; clouds will abound and death will be rife
among mankind 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.'

With this, the astronomer hung his head, [being at an end of
his questions], and she said to him, 'O astronomer, I will ask
thee one question, which if thou answer not, I will take thy
clothes.' 'Ask on,' replied he. Quoth she, 'Where is Saturn's
dwelling place?' And he answered, 'In the seventh heaven.' (Q.)
'And that of Jupiter?' (A.) 'In the sixth heaven.' (Q.) 'And
that of Mars?' (A.) 'In the fifth heaven.' (Q.) 'And that of
the sun?' (A.) 'In the fourth heaven.' (Q.) 'And that of
Venus?' (A.) 'In the third heaven.' (Q.) 'And that of Mercury?'
(A.) 'In the second heaven.' (Q.) 'And that of the moon?' (A.)
'In the first heaven.' Quoth she, 'Well answered; but I have
one more question to ask thee. Into how many parts are the
stars divided?' But he was silent and answered nothing; and she
said to him, 'Put off thy clothes.' So he put them off and she
took them; after which the Khalif said to her, 'Tell us the
answer to thy question.' 'O Commander of the Faithful,'
answered she, 'the stars are divided into three parts, one
whereof is hung in the sky of the earth,[FN#332] as it were
lamps, to give light to the earth, another suspended in the
air, to give light to the seas and that which is therein, and
the third is used to transfix the demons withal, when they draw
near by stealth to [listen to the talk of the angels in]
heaven. Quoth God the Most High, "Verily, we have decked the
sky of the earth with lamps and have appointed them for
projectiles against the demons."'[FN#333] Quoth the astronomer,
'I have one more question to ask, which if she answer, I will
avow myself beaten.' 'Say on,' answered she. Then said he,
'What four incompatible things are based upon other four
incompatibles?' 'The four elements,' replied she; 'for of heat
God created fire, which is by nature hot and dry; of dryness,
earth, which is cold and dry; of cold, water, which is cold and
moist; of moisture, air, which is hot and moist. 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 four [several]
humours, three, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, fiery, Taurus, Virgo
and Capricorn, earthy, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, airy, and
Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, watery.' With this, the astronomer
rose, and saying, 'Bear witness against me that she is more
learned than I,' went away beaten.

Then said the Khalif, 'Where is the philosopher?' whereupon one
came forward and said to Taweddud, 'What is Time?' 'Time,'
answered she, 'is a name applied to the [lapse of the] hours of
the day and night, which are but the measures of the courses of
the sun and moon in their several orbits, even as God the Most
High telleth us, when he saith, "And a sign to them [is] the
night, from which we strip off the day, and behold, they are in
darkness, and the sun runneth to a fixed abode, [appointed] to
it; this is the ordinance of the Sublime, the All-knowing."'
[FN#334] (Q.) 'How comes unbelief to the son of Adam?' (A.) 'It
is reported of the Prophet that he said, "Unbelief runs in a man,
as the blood runs in the veins, when he reviles the world and Time
and night and the hour." And again, "Let none of you revile Time,
for Time is God; neither the world, for it saith, 'May God not
help him that reviles me!' neither the hour, for 'Verily, the hour
cometh, without doubt;'[FN#335] neither the earth, for it is a
portent, according to the saying of the Most High, 'From it we
created you, to it we will return you and from it we will bring
you forth yet again.'"'[FN#336] (Q.) 'What are the five that ate
and drank, yet came not out of loins nor belly?' (A.) 'Adam and
Simeon and Salih's she-camel[FN#337] and Ishmael's ram and the
bird that Abou Bekr the Truth-teller saw in the cave.'[FN#338]
(Q.) 'Tell me of five that are in Paradise and are neither
mortals, Jinn nor angels?' (A.) 'Jacob's wolf and the Seven
Sleepers' dog and Esdras's ass and Salih's camel and the
Prophet's mule.' (Q.) 'What man prayed a prayer neither on
earth nor in heaven?' (A.) 'Solomon [son of David], when he
prayed on his carpet, borne by the wind.' (Q.) 'A man once
looked at a handmaid in the morning, 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 evensong, she was a third time unlawful, but by daybreak, she
became once more lawful to him.' (A.) 'This was a man who looked
at another's handmaid 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 enfranchised her, and she became unlawful to
him, but at sundown he married her and she was again lawful to
him. At evensong, 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
fared on with him that lay buried therein?' (A.) 'The whale,
when it had swallowed Jonah.' (Q.) 'What spot of ground is it,
upon which the sun shone once, but will never again shine till
the Day of Judgment?' (A.) 'The bottom of the Red Sea, when Moses
smote it with his staff, and the sea clove asunder in twelve
places, according to the number of the tribes; then the sun
shone on the bottom and will do so never again till the Day of
Judgment.' (Q.) 'What was the first skirt that trailed upon the
surface of the earth?' (A.) 'That of Hagar, out of shame before
Sarah, and it became a custom among the Arabs.' (Q.) 'What is
that which breathes without life?' (A.) 'Quoth God the Most
High, "By the morning, when it breathes!"'[FN#339] (Q.) '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?' (A.) 'Twelve: seven alighted on the tree and five

With this the philosopher put off his clothes and fled forth:
whereupon she turned to those present and said, 'Which of you
is the rhetorician that can discourse of all kinds of
knowledge?' There came forward Ibrahim ben Siyyar and said to
her, 'Think me not like the rest.' Quoth she, 'It is the more
sure to me that thou wilt be beaten, for that thou art a
boaster, and God will help me against thee, that I may strip
thee of thy clothes. So, if thou sentest one to fetch thee
wherewithal to clothe thyself, it would be well for thee.' 'By
Allah,' cried he, 'I will assuredly conquer thee and make thee
a byword among the folk, generation after generation!' 'Do
penance [in advance] for thy [void] oath,' rejoined she. Then
said he, 'What five things did God create, before He made man?'
And she replied, 'Water and earth and light and darkness and
the fruits [of the earth].' (Q.) 'What did God create with the
hand of omnipotence?' (A.) 'The empyreal heaven and the tree
Touba[FN#340] and Adam and the garden of Eden; these God
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 Islam?' (A.) 'Mohammed, whom God bless and preserve!'
(Q.) 'Who was the father [in Islam] of Mohammed?' (A.) 'Abraham
the Friend of God.' (Q.) 'What is the Faith of Islam?' (A.)
'The professing that there is no god but God and that Mohammed
is the apostle of God.' (Q.) 'What is thy first and thy last?'
(A.) 'My first is troubled water[FN#341] and my last filthy
carrion. The first of me is dust and the last dust. Quoth the

Created wast thou of the dust and didst a man become, Ready in
question and reply and fluent in debate.
Then to the dust return'dst anon and didst become of it, For
that, in very deed, of dust at first thou wast create.'

(Q.) 'What thing was it, whose first [state] was wood and its
last life?' (A.) 'Moses' rod, when he cast it on the ground and
it became, by permission of God, a writhing serpent.'[FN#342]
(Q.) 'What is the meaning of the verse in the Koran, "And I
have other need [or occasion] for it"?'[FN#343] (A.) 'He
[Moses] was wont to plant his staff in the ground, and it would
flower and fruit and shade him from the heat and the cold.
Moreover, it would carry him, when he was weary, and guard his
sheep from the wild beasts, whilst he slept.' (Q.) 'What woman
was born of a man alone and what man of a woman alone?' (A.) 'Eve
of Adam and Jesus of Mary.' (Q.) 'What fire eats and drinks, what
fire eats but drinks not, what fire drinks but eats not and what
other neither eats nor drinks?' (A.) 'Hellfire eats and drinks,
the fire of the world eats but drinks not, the fire of the sun
drinks but eats not, and that of the moon neither eats nor drinks.'
(Q.) 'Which is the open [door] and which the shut [door]?' (A.)
'The Traditional Ordinances are the open, the Koranic the shut
[door].' (Q.) 'Of what does the poet speak, when he says:

A dweller in the sepulchre, at 's head his victual lies; Whenas
he tastes thereof, he speaks and questions and replies.
He rises up and walks and talks, yet silent is the while, And
turns anon unto the tomb wherefrom he did arise.
No living one is he, that hath a title to respect, Nor dead,
that folk should say of him, "God's mercy him comprise!"?'

(A.) 'The pen.' (Q.) 'What does the poet refer to in these

Two breasts in one it hath; its blood is eath and quick of
flow, Wide-mouthed, though all the rest be black, its ears
are white as snow.
It hath an idol like a cock, that doth its belly peck, And half
a dirhem is its worth, if thou its price wouldst know?'

(A.) 'The inkhorn.' (Q.) 'And in these:

Say to men of wit and learning and to doctors everywhere,
Skilled to find the hidden meanings riddles and enigmas
Come expound to me what is it that ye see a bird produce,
'Mongst the Arabs and barbarians and wherever else ye
Neither flesh nor blood, I warrant, hath the thing whereof I
speak; Neither down nor feathers, birdwise, for a garment
doth it wear.
Boiled it is and likewise roasted, eaten hot and eaten cold;
Yea, to boot, and when 'tis buried in the glowing embers'
Colours twain in it are noted, one as silver clear and white,
And the other lucent yellow, gold therewith may not
Living can it not be reckoned, neither may we count it dead:
Tell me, then, what is this wonder, rarity of all things

(A.) 'Thou makest long the questioning of an egg worth a doit.'
(Q.) 'How many words [or times] did God speak to Moses?' (A.)
'It is related of the Prophet that he said, "God spoke to Moses
fifteen hundred and fifteen words [or times]."' (Q.) 'Tell me
of fourteen things that speak to the Lord of the Worlds?' (A.)
'The seven heavens and the seven earths, when they say, "We
come, obedient."'[FN#344] (Q.) 'How was Adam created?' (A.)
'God 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 the exertion of His omnipotent
will, according to His saying (exalted be His name!), "His
commandment is only when He willeth aught, that He say, 'Be,'
--and it is."'[FN#345] (Q.) 'What is meant by the poet in the
following verses:

A things sans mouth or maw that eats in wondrous wise; On trees
and beasts it feeds and all beneath the skies.
Give it to eat, it thrives and flourishes amain; But give it
not to drink of water, or it dies?'

(A.) 'Fire.' (Q.) 'And in these:

Two lovers, that are still estopped from all delight:
Embracing, each with each, they pass the livelong night.
They guarantee the folk from all calamity, And with the risen
sun they're torn apart forthright?'

(A.) 'The leaves of a gate.' (Q.) 'Tell me of the gates of
Hell?' (A.) 'They are seven in number and their names are
comprised in the following verses:

Jehennem first, then Leza comes and eke Hetim as well; Then
must thou count Sair, and fifth comes Seker, sooth to
Sixth comes Jehim and last of all, Hawiyeh; thus thou hast, In
compass brief of doggrel rhyme, the seven rooms of Hell.'

(Q.) 'To what does the poet refer in these verses:

A pair of ringlets long she hath, that trail for aye Behind
her, as she comes and goes upon her way,
And eye that never knows the taste of sleep nor sheds A tear,
for none it hath for shedding, sooth to say;
Nor wears it aught of clothes, from year to ended year; Yet in
all manner wede it doth the folk array?'

(A.) 'A needle.' (Q.) 'What is the length and breadth of the
bridge Es Sirat?' (A.) 'Its length is three thousand years'
journey, a thousand in descent, a thousand level and a thousand
in ascent: it is sharper than a sword and finer than a hair.'
(Q.) 'How many intercessions [with God] hath the Prophet [for
each soul]?' (A.) 'Three.' (Q.) 'Was Abou Bekr the first that
embraced Islam?' (A.) 'Yes.' (Q.) 'Yet Ali[FN#346] became a
Muslim before him?' (A.) 'All came to the Prophet, when he was
a boy of seven years old, for God vouchsafed him the knowledge
of the truth in his tender youth, so that he never prostrated
himself to idols.' (Q.) 'Which is the more excellent, Ali or

Now she knew that, in propounding this question, Ibrahim was
laying a trap for her; for, if she said, 'Ali is the more
excellent,' she would fall in disgrace with the Khalif; so she
bowed her head awhile, now reddening, now paling, then said,
'Thou askest me of two excellent men, each having [his own
especial] excellence. Let us return to what we were about.'
When the Khalif heard her reply, he rose to his feet and said,
'By the Lord of the Kaabeh, thou hast said well, O Taweddud!'
Then said Ibrahim, 'What means the poet, when he says:

Slender of skirts and slim of shape and sweet of taste it is,
Most like unto the spear, except it lacks of the spontoon.
In all the countries of the world the folk make use of it, And
eaten 'tis in Ramazan, after mid-afternoon?'

She answered, 'The sugar-cane;' and he said, 'Tell me of many
things.' 'What are they?' asked she; 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 the debt that the worst
payer 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 malady that may not be healed, what is the
reproach that may not be done away, what is the beast that
harbours not in cultivated fields, but lodges in waste places
and hates mankind and hath in it somewhat of the make of seven
strong beasts?' Quoth she, 'Hear what I shall say in answer;
then put off thy clothes, that I may expound to thee.' Then the
Khalif said, 'Expound, and he shall put off his clothes.' So
she said, 'That, which is sweeter than honey, is the love of
pious children to their parents; that, which is sharper than
the sword, is the tongue; that, which is swifter than poison,
is the evil eye; the delight of a moment is coition 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 payer denieth
not, is death; the prison of the tomb is an ill son; the joy of
the heart is a woman obedient to her husband, (and it is said
also that, when fleshmeat descends upon the heart, it rejoiceth
therein); the snare [or vexation] of the soul is a disobedient
slave; death in life is poverty; the malady, that may not be
healed, is an ill nature and the reproach, that may not be done
away, is an ill daughter; lastly, the beast that harbours not
in cultivated fields, but lodges in waste places and hates
mankind and hath in it somewhat of the make of seven strong
beasts, is the locust, whose head is as the head of the 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 body as the body of the scorpion and
its horns as the horns of the gazelle.'

The Khalif was astounded at her quickness and understanding and
said to Ibrahim, 'Put off thy clothes.' So he rose and said, 'I
call all who are present in this assembly to witness that she
is more learned than I and all the learned men.' And he put off
his clothes and gave them to her, saying, 'Take them and may
God not bless them to thee!' The Khalif ordered him fresh
clothes and said to Taweddud, 'There is one thing left of
that for which thou didst engage, namely, chess.' And he
sent for professors of chess and draughts and backgammon. 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, till she beat him and he found himself check-mated.
Quoth he, 'I did but lead thee on, that thou mightest think
thyself skilful; but set up again, and I will show thee.' So
they placed the pieces a second time, and he said to 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, 'Check-mate.' When he saw this, he was confounded at
her quickness and skill; but she laughed and said, 'O master,
I will make a wager with thee on this third game. I will give
thee the queen and the right-hand rook and the left-hand knight;
if thou beat me, take my clothes, and if I beat thee, I will
take thine.' 'I agree to this,' replied he, and they replaced
the pieces, she giving him the queen, rook and knight. Then
said she, 'Move, O master.' So he moved, saying in himself,
'I cannot but win, with such an advantage,' and made a combination;
but 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 with it.[FN#348]
Accordingly, he took it and she said to him, 'The measure is meted
out and the equilibrium established. Eat, O man, till thou pass
repletion; nought shall be thy ruin but greediness. Knowest thou
not that I did but tempt thee, that I might beguile thee? See:
this is check-mate: put off thy clothes.' 'Leave me my trousers,'
quoth he, 'so God requite thee;' and he swore by Allah that he
would contend with none, so long as Taweddud abode at the Court
of Baghdad. Then he took off his clothes and gave them to her
and went away.

Then came the backgammon-player, and she said to him, 'If I
beat thee, 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 dinars, and if I beat thee,
I ask nothing but that thou write me an acknowledgment thereof.'
'To it, then,' replied she, 'and do thy best.' So they played,
and he lost and went away, jabbering in the Frank jargon and
saying, 'By the bounty of the Commander of the Faithful, there
is not her like in all the world!' Then the Khalif summoned
players on instruments of music and said to her, 'Dost thou
know aught of music?' 'Yes,' answered she. So he bade bring
a peeled and polished lute, whose owner [or maker] was ground
down by exile [or estrangement from the beloved] and of which
quoth one, describing it:

God watered a land and straight a tree sprang up on its root:
It cast forth branches and throve and flourished with many
a shoot.
The birds, when the wood was green, sang o'er it, and when it
was dry, Fair women sang to it in turn, for lo, 'twas a
minstrel's lute!

So they brought a bag of red satin, with tassels of
saffron-coloured silk: and she opened the bag, and took out a
lute, on which were graven the following verses:

Full many a tender branch a lute for singing-girl has grown,
Wherewith at banquets to her mates she makes melodious
She sings; it follows on her song, as 'twere to teach her how
Heart's troubles in clear perfect speech of music to make

She laid her lute in her lap and letting her breasts hang over
it, bent to it as bends a mother, suckling her child; then
preluded in twelve different modes, till the whole assembly was
agitated with delight, and sang the following verses:

Leave your estrangement, I pray, and bid your cruelty hold,
For, by your life, my heart will never for you be
Have pity on one who weeps, afflicted and ever sad, A slave of
passion, who burns for thee with longings untold.

The Khalif was ravished and exclaimed, 'May God bless thee and
receive him who taught thee[FN#349] into His mercy!' Whereupon
she rose and kissed the earth before him. Then he sent for
money and paid her master Aboulhusn a hundred thousand dinars
to her price; after which he said to her, 'O Taweddud, ask a
boon of me.' 'O Commander of the Faithful,' replied she, 'I ask
of thee that thou restore me to my lord who sold me to thee.'
'It is well,' answered the Khalif and restored her to her
master and gave her five thousand dinars for herself. Moreover,
he appointed Aboulhusn one of his boon-companions and assigned
him a monthly stipend of a thousand dinars so long as he should
live, and he abode with the damsel Taweddud in all delight of

Marvel then, O King, at the eloquence of this damsel and the
greatness of her learning and understanding and her perfect
excellence in all branches of knowledge, and consider the
generosity of the Khalif Haroun er Reshid, 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 Khalifs, may God the Most High have
mercy upon them all!

End of Vol. IV

Arabian Nights, Volume 4

[FN#1] A very famous legist and wit of the eighth century and a
prime favourite with Er Reshid. He was one of the chief pupils
of the Imam Abou Henifeh (see note, Vol. II. p. 131 {see Vol. 2
FN#91}) and was Cadi of Baghdad under the third, fourth and
fifth Khalifs of the Abbaside dynasty.

[FN#2] Shown in choosing so learned a Cadi.

[FN#3] Governor of the two Iraks (i.e. Bassora and Cufa) in the
reign of Hisham, tenth Khalif of the Ommiade dynasty (A.D.
723-741). He was celebrated for his beneficence and liberality.

[FN#4] Koran iii. 178, etc.

[FN#5] "The hand of a thief shall not be cut off for stealing
less than a quarter of a dinar."--Mischat ul Masabih.

[FN#6] El Asmai the poet, author or compiler of the well-known
romance of Antar.

[FN#7] Zanzibar (ant. Zengibar).

[FN#8] The word Sherif (lit. noble) signifies strictly a
descendant of the martyr Hussein, son of the Khalif Ali; but it
is here used in the sense of "chief" [of the bazaar].

[FN#9] Quaere Mensour en Nemri, a well-known poet of the time
and (originally) a protege of Yehya's son, El Fezl.

[FN#10] Intendant of the palace to Haroun er Reshid and captain
of his guards.

[FN#11] i.e. the Khalif

[FN#12] i.e. As if he were an old Bedouin, with forehead
disfigured by the friction of the rope of camel's hair, which
is part of the Bedouin headdress.

[FN#13] Mohammed said, "Change the whiteness of your hair, but
not with anything black." Henna is the approved hairdye for a
true-believer; it changes the hair to a reddish-brown.

[FN#14] i.e. thou that art as dear to me as my sight and

[FN#15] A fountain of Paradise.

[FN#16] Syn. languishing (munkesir).

[FN#17] A river of Paradise.

[FN#18] i.e. Orthodox.

[FN#19] These words are a quotation from a well-known piece of

[FN#20] Of the Prophet.

[FN#21] Usually made of palm-fibres.

[FN#22] The distinctive headdress of the Muslims.

[FN#23] The bridge that spans Hell, finer than a hair and
sharper than a sword, and over which all must pass on the Day
of Judgment.

[FN#24] Or leader of the people at prayer, who stands opposite
the niche sunk into or painted on the wall of the mosque, to
indicate the direction of Mecca.

[FN#25] All this is an audacious parody of the Muslim ritual of

[FN#26] Lit. "exclamations of 'Glory be to God!'" which are of
frequent recurrence in the Mohammedan formulas of prayer. See
last note.

[FN#27] i.e. governor.

[FN#28] The word ucwaneh, here used in the dual number, usually
designates the teeth, in its common meaning of "camomile-
flower": but the lips are here expressly mentioned, and this
fact, together with that of the substitution, in the Breslau
edition, of the word akikan (two cornelians or rubies) for
ucwanetan (two camomiles), as in the Calcutta and Boulac
editions, shows that the word is intended to be taken in its
rarer meaning of "corn-marigold."

[FN#29] Syn. Fortune (ez zeman).

[FN#30] One of the tribes of the Arabs and that to which the
renowned Maan ben Zaideh (see Vol. III. p. 317, {Vol. 3,
FN#121}) belonged.

[FN#31] The Muslims accuse the Jews of having corrupted the
Pentateuch and others of their sacred books, even as the
Christians the Gospels (see Vol. II. page 149, note {Vol. 2,
FN#97}), by expunging or altering the passages foretelling the
coming of Mohammed.

[FN#32] See Vol. I. p. 135, note 2. {Vol. 1, FN#45}

[FN#33] i.e. as a martyr.

[FN#34] The force of this comparison will best appear from the
actual figuration of the Arabic double-letter Lam-Alif (Anglice
L.A.) which is made up of the two letters *,
(initial form of Lam) and * (final of Alif,)
and is written thus, *.

[FN#35] i.e. O thou, whose glance is as the light of the
glowing embers.

[FN#36] Thus figured in Arabic *.

[FN#37] Thus *.

[FN#38] Thus *.

[FN#39] Koran xxvil. 12.

[FN#40] Koran iii. 103.

[FN#41] Koran xcii. 1,2.

[FN#42] Sauda, feminine of aswed (black), syn. black bile

[FN#43] The distinctive colour of which is white.

[FN#44] Koran li. 26.

[FN#45] Mohammed.

[FN#46] Koran ii. 64, referring to an expiatory heifer which
the Jews were commanded, through Moses, to sacrifice.

[FN#47] See note, Vol III. p. 104 {Vol. 3, FN#19}

[FN#48] Sulafeh.

[FN#49] Sewalif, plural of salifeh (equivalent of sulafeh). A
play upon the double meaning of the word is, of course,

[FN#50] Syn. yellowness (isfirar).

[FN#51] A title of the Prophet.

[FN#52] His wife Zubeideh.

[FN#53] i.e. his beautiful slave-girls.

[FN#54] i.e. his beautiful slave-girls.

[FN#55] Title of Saladin (Selaheddin) and several other
Eyoubite Sultans of Egypt and Syria. It is equivalent to our
"Defender of the Faith."

[FN#56] Koran xli. 46.

[FN#57] A town of Upper Egypt.

[FN#58] Meaning the merchant, whose name, Abou Jaafer or the
like, he had learnt from the tailor.

[FN#59] Muslim Jews.

[FN#60] A well-known jurist at Baghdad in the reign of the
Khalif Mamoun.

[FN#61] Medina.

[FN#62] One of the gates of the great mosque there, wherein is
the tomb of the Prophet.

[FN#63] Tenth Khalif of the Abbaside dynasty, A.D. 849-861.

[FN#64] Muwelledat, women born in Muslim countries of
slave-parents; syn. mulatto-women.

[FN#65] Lieutenant of the Prefect of Baghdad.

[FN#66] Muwelledat, women born in Muslim countries of
slave-parents; syn. mulatto-women.

[FN#67] El Hakim bi Amrillah, sixth Fatimite Khalif of Egypt
(A.D. 995-1021), cruel and fantastic tyrant, who claimed to be
an incarnation of the Deity. He was the founder of the religion
of the Druses, who look to him to reappear and be their Messiah

[FN#68] Bastard or Spanish pellitory.

[FN#69] Or dyed.

[FN#70] Or interlocking.

[FN#71] Or torn.

[FN#72] Sufreh, a round piece of leather used (mostly by
travellers) as a table-cloth and having a running string
inserted round its edge, by means of which it can be converted
into a bag or budget for holding provisions, as in this

[FN#73] Lower India.

[FN#74] i.e. as master of the house in which I have sought

[FN#75] Uns el Wujoud.

[FN#76] A pun upon his name, Uns wa joud, pleasance and bounty.

[FN#77] See supra, p. 95, note 3. {Vol. 4, FN#38}

[FN#78] The fourteenth letter of the Arabic alphabet, in its
medial form () closely resembling an eye underlined
with kohl.

[FN#79] See Note, Vol. III. p. 274. {Vol. 3, FN#102}

[FN#80] i.e. in dreams..

[FN#81] One of the months in which war was forbidden to the
pagan Arabs and a sort of Treve de Dieu prevailed.

[FN#82] The Arabic word fakir means literally, "a poor man;"
but it would appear, from what follows, that Uns el Wujoud had
disguised himself as a religious mendicant and was taken for
such by the people of the castle.

[FN#83] i.e. one absorbed in the contemplation of supra-
terrestrial things.

[FN#84] Uns el Wujoud.

[FN#85] To salute them and wish them joy, according to Oriental

[FN#86] Mosul is called the land of purity, in a religious
sense, it having never been polluted with idolatrous worship.

[FN#87] The people of Aleppo seem to have been noted for

[FN#88] i.e. Do not express admiration openly, lest it attract
the evil eye, but vent your wonder by saying, "God bless and
preserve the Prophet!" according to general Muslim wont.

[FN#89] A gorge near Mecca, the scene of one of Mohammed's

[FN#90] i.e. as made out of a crooked rib, according to the

[FN#91] i.e. the land of the virgin.

[FN#92] The word Jamiain means "two congregational mosques,"
which would only be found in a large town like Baghdad. It is
possible, therefore, that the expression, "land of Jamiain,"
may mean Baghdad or some other great city, noted for its
debauched manners.

[FN#93] Oriental substitute for slate.

[FN#94] A pre-Mohammedan poet.

[FN#95] King of Hireh in Chaldaea, a fantastic and bloodthirsty
tyrant, whom he had lampooned.

[FN#96] Aboulabbas er Recashi, a well-known poet of the time.

[FN#97] Koran xxvi. 224, 5, 6.

[FN#98] Half-brother of Abdallah ben ez Zubeir, the celebrated
pretender to the Khalifate, see Vol. III. p. 194, note 3. {Vol.
3, FN#62}

[FN#99] Grand-daughter of the Khalif Aboubekr and the most
beautiful woman of her day.

[FN#100] A famous Medinan Traditionist of the eighth century.

[FN#101] Er Zubeir ibn el Awwam, cousin-german to Mohammed and
one of his Companions.

[FN#102] Abou Mohammed el Aamesh, a Cufan Traditionist of the
eighth century.

[FN#103] A Traditionist of the seventh century.

[FN#104] One of the Companions.

[FN#105] Traditionists of the seventh and eighth centuries.

[FN#106] Traditionists of the seventh and eighth centuries.

[FN#107] Traditionists of the seventh and eighth centuries.

[FN#108] Companions of the Prophet.

[FN#109] Traditionists of the seventh and eighth centuries.

[FN#110] Traditionists of the seventh and eighth centuries.

[FN#111] Traditionists of the seventh and eighth centuries.

[FN#112] Companions of the Prophet.

[FN#113] A.D. 530-579. The founder of the great Persian dynasty
of the Kisras (Chosroes). Mohammed was born in the reign of
this monarch, whose name is a synonym with Eastern writers for
all that is just and noble in a King.

[FN#114] Wife of Mohammed.

[FN#115] Daughter of Mohammed.

[FN#116] Lit. "of the ancestors," i.e. those pious and blessed
persons who have gone before. The word es selef (the ancestors)
is specially applied to Mohammed, his wife Aaisheh, the first
three Khalifs and certain other early Muslims.

[FN#117] Khusrau Perviz, grandson of Kisra Anoushirwan (see
supra, p. 228). {Vol. 4, FN#113}

[FN#118] The famous beauty, daughter of Maurice, Emperor of the
East, and heroine of Nizami's well-known poem.

[FN#119] First cousin of Haroun er Reshid.

[FN#120] Son and successor of Er Reshid.

[FN#121] A well-known grammarian and traditionist of the time,
afterwards governor of part of Khorassan, under the Khalif El

[FN#122] Intendant of the palace under Er Reshid.

[FN#123] i.e. lover.

[FN#124] Muslim version of Susannah and the Elders.

[FN#125] Lit. O frosty-beard (fool), how frosty was thy beard!

[FN#126] Descendant of the Prophet.

[FN#127] Name of a tribe.

[FN#128] A descendant of Ishmael, from whom the Arab
genealogists trace Mohammed's lineage.

[FN#129] Koran xxxiii. 38.

[FN#130] Koran xxxviii. 2.

[FN#131] One of the Companions of the Prophet.

[FN#132] Of the Prophet i.e. those who had personally known

[FN#133] i.e. the builders, who, in the East, use mud or clay
for mortar.

[FN#134] About a penny.

[FN#135] Mohammed.

[FN#136] A woman's name.

[FN#137] For putting out the fire in a brasier or

[FN#138] The last Kings of Hireh were Christians.

[FN#139] A prae-Islamitic poet.

[FN#140] King of Persia and En Numan's suzerain.

[FN#141] A celebrated poet of the eighth and ninth centuries at
the court d the Abbaside Khalifs.

[FN#142] A quarter of Baghdad.

[FN#143] Another well-known poet of the time, Dibil's teacher
and friend.

[FN#144] Underground rooms are much used in Baghdad and Central
Asia, for coolness' sake, in the season of the great heats.

[FN#145] Dibil's surname.

[FN#146] An idol of the pagan Arabs, before the coming of

[FN#147] In the attitude or a pupil before his master.

[FN#148] i.e. heart's blood.

[FN#149] A well-known poet, who flourished at Baghdad in the
ninth century

[FN#150] Aboulabbas Mohammed ben Yezid eth Thumali, surnamed El
Muberred, a famous Baghdad grammarian of the ninth century.

[FN#151] A monastery in the town of Hemah in Syria, so called
from the Emperor Heraclius, who retired thither, to end his.

[FN#152] These verses are addressed to the Prophet Mohammed.

[FN#153] The most learned grammarian of his day. He flourished
at Baghdad in the first half of the tenth century.

[FN#154] Anatolia.

[FN#155] The Lights.

[FN#156] Servant of the Messiah.

[FN#157] The monk.

[FN#158] The desireful servant of God. Abdallah is the name
commonly given to a Christian convert to Islam. This question
and answer are a good example of the jingle of rhymes so much
affected by the Arabs.

[FN#159] i.e. of gods (shirk).

[FN#160] Koran vii. 195.

[FN#161] i.e. saints.

[FN#162] Koran x. 36.

[FN#163] A well-known man of letters and one of El Mamoun's

[FN#164] Prefect of Baghdad under El Mamoun.

[FN#165] i.e. the persons in authority under them.

[FN#166] Surname of Ali ben Hisham.

[FN#167] A renowned chieftain and poet of the time of Mohammed.

[FN#168] A famous singer and composer of the first century of
the Hegira.

[FN#169] One of the greatest of Arab poets; he flourished in
the first century of the Hegira.

[FN#170] i.e. as to the sound of music.

[FN#171] Sixth of the Abbaside Khalifs, A.D. 809-813.

[FN#172] See note, Vol. III. p. 324. {See Vol. 3, FN#130}.

[FN#173] Tenth Abbaside Khalif, A.D. 849-861.

[FN#174] Vizier and favourite of El Mutawekkil, killed A.D. 861
whilst endeavouring to defend the Khalif against the parricide
El Muntestr.

[FN#175] Virginitatem tollere.

[FN#176] Johannes, a Greek physician in high favour with El
Mutawekkil and others of the Abbaside Khalifs.

[FN#177] i.e. Princess of the Doctors or men of learning.

[FN#178] A.D. 1166.

[FN#179] Or heads of the various sects or schools of religion.

[FN#180] Koran iv. 38.

[FN#171] As witness to a debt, Koran ii. 282.

[FN#182] Koran iv. 175.

[FN#183] Or "eye-glance."

[FN#184] Abou Temmam et Tai (of the tribe of Tai), a famous
poet of the first half of the ninth century and postmaster at
Mosul under the Khalif Wathic Billah (commonly known as
Vathek), A.D. 842-849. He was the compiler of the famous
anthology of ancient Arabian poetry, known as the Hemaseh

[FN#185] Aboulcasim el Heriri, the famous poet and grammarian,
author of the Mecamat, the most celebrated single work in
Arabic literature. He holds much the same rank in Arabic
letters as Pope and Boileau in the literature of England
and France and may, with much better reason, be styled "le
legislateur du Parnasse (Arabe)." He was a native of Bassora
and died early in the twelfth century.

[FN#186] i.e. the languishing glance of his eye.

[FN#187] i.e. his whiskers.

[FN#188] Koran xii. 51.

[FN#189] Or quare palm-spathes.

[FN#190] Or quare "an exposition of women."

[FN#191] Koran xxvi. 165, 166.

[FN#192] i.e. the whiteness of his face.

[FN#193] Or "freeborn," the Arabic word used here having this
double meaning. The Arabs hold that the child of freeborn
parents (Lat. ingenuus) must of necessity be noble and those
born of slave parents or a slave mother the contrary.

[FN#194] Or "freeborn," the Arabic word used here having this
double meaning. The Arabs hold that the child of freeborn
parents (Lat. ingenuus) must of necessity be noble and those
born of slave parents or a slave mother the contrary.

[FN#195] A famous statesman, soldier, poet and musician,
governor of Khorassan, Egypt and other provinces under the
Khalif El Mamoun.

[FN#196] Abou Abdallah ibn el Casim el Hashimi, surnamed Abou
el Ainaa, a blind traditionist and man of letters of Bassora,
in the ninth century, and one of the most celebrated wits of
his day.

[FN#197] An island near Cairo, on which is situate the
Nilometer. It is a favourite pleasure-resort of the Cairenes.

[FN#198] The port of Cairo.

[FN#199] i.e. the report of its being haunted.

[FN#200] i.e. by the Sortes Coranicae or other similar process.

[FN#201] The word shabb (young man) is applied by the Arabs to
men of all ages from early adolescence to forty or even
(according to some authorities) fifty.

[FN#202] i.e. recited the first chapter of the Koran seven

[FN#203] i.e. affixed the tughraa, the royal seal or rather

[FN#204] i.e. health and security.

[FN#205] See Vol. III. p. 225, note 1. {Vol. 3 FN#78}

[FN#206] A pile of stones or other land-mark, set up to show
the way to travellers in the desert.

[FN#207] The eyebrows of a beautiful woman are usually compared
to the new moon of Ramazan (see note, Vol. I. p. 71 {see Vol. 1
FN#26}). The meaning here is the same, the allusion being
apparently to the eagerness with which the pagan Arabs may be
supposed to have watched for the appearance of the new moon of
Shaaban, as giving the signal for the renewal of predatory
excursions, after the enforced close-time or Treve de Dieu of
the holy month Rejeb.

[FN#208] Quaere fourteen [years old].

[FN#209] i.e. the abrogated passages and those by which they
are abrogated.

[FN#210] Koran iv. 160.

[FN#211] Traditions of the Prophet.

[FN#212] i.e. saying, "I purpose to pray such and such

[FN#213] i.e. saying, "God is most Great!" So called, because
its pronunciation after that of the niyeh or intent, prohibits
the speaking of any words previous to prayer.

[FN#214] i.e. saying, "I purpose, etc."

[FN#215] i.e. saying, "I purpose, etc."

[FN#216] i.e. saying, "In the name of God, etc."

[FN#217] i.e. saying, "I purpose, etc."

[FN#218] It may be noted that these answers of Taweddud form an
excellent compendium of devotional practice, according to the
tenets of the Shafy school.

[FN#219] Obligatory as a preparation for the Friday prayer and
on other occasions when legal purification is necessary.

[FN#220] i.e. saying, "I purpose to defer, etc."

[FN#221] i.e. with sand, earth or dust.

[FN#222] i.e. saying, "Peace be on us and [all] the righteous


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