TWO -- Amir Hamzah’s cradle goes to the Realm of Qaf, and takes that sun of perfection to Mount Qaf.

Now the narrator of sweet speech tells to the lovers of old stories and fables, a few words of the dastan of *Qaf.  One day Shahpal son of Shahrukh, ruler of Mount Qaf, was seated on the Throne of *Solomon in royal state and infinite grandeur.  From all parts of the #Realm of Qaf eighteen kings who rendered service to him, and paid the tribute due him, were in attendance at court, and also countless nobles and dignitaries, who stood respectfully with hands folded, waiting upon the king.

The chamberlain presented himself, made obeisance to the king, and gave the good news that a star of the sign of auspiciousness and chastity, a Venus of the heaven of rectitude and purity--that is, a princess with the qualities of Jupiter and the beauty of the sun, had adorned the cradle, and increased the radiance of the brilliant family.  The king spoke to Khvajah ‘Abdur Rahman, who was his vazir, and was the companion and disciple of Hazrat Solomon, and was eminently learned in all the arts, and commanded, “Give this girl a name, and look at her fate; tell me how it will be, and what her star of fortune foretells.”

Khvajah ‘Abdur Rahman, according to the king’s command, named the princess *Asman Pari.  Throwing the divining-dice and casting her horoscope, he put the patterns together, and most joyously told the king the good news:  “Let Your Majesty be congratulated. This girl will reign over all eighteen realms of Qaf, and will rule and govern these kingdoms in grandeur and glory.  But in the eighteenth year from now, those high-handed Devs, who at present are under your hand, will grow thoroughly arrogant; rebelling utterly, they will step outside the path of obedience and behave insolently.  Except for #Garden of Iram, all the cities--Gold, Silver, Ermine, etc.--will slip from Your Majesty’s control.  But at that time a son of *Adam, coming from the inhabited region of the world, will destroy and break those rebels with his might, retake the land, and give it back into Your Majesty’s hand.”

The king, hearing this, was extremely happy, almost beside himself with delight, and commanded, “See if that boy has been born or not--has he filled his mother’s lap with radiance, or not?  In what land does he dwell?  Of what happy constellation is he the shining star?”  Khvajah ‘Abdur Rahman threw the divining-dice and said, “In the land of Arabia is a city, Mecca; he is the son of the chief of that place, and today is the sixth day since his birth.  He has been named Hamzah, and today his father has put his cradle on the upper story.”   The king ordered, “Let four *Parizads go and bring his cradle here before me, let this light of the eye of magnificence and grandeur appear before me.” 

The king was still celebrating when the Parizads brought Hamzah’s cradle and set it down before the throne, and for this good service the Jinns began demanding a reward.  All the onlookers stood transfixed like painted images, wonderstruck at his beauty; the Parizads almost fainted, thunderstruck by his form and graces.  The king, lifting the Amir from the cradle into his lap, kissed him, and sending for the #Kohl of Solomon, put it in his eyes, and ordered that the ayahs and nannies and wet-nurses should attend him.  As commanded, they all immediately came, and for seven days fed him the milk of Devs, Paris, Jinns, Ghouls, tigers, and leopards.  Khvajah ‘Abdur Rahman said, “According to #geomancy, it seems that Princess Asman Pari will marry this very boy, and sons of Adam and sons of the Jinns will know kinship and joy.”

The king happily ordered from his palace a cradle with rods and feet of emerald, and sides of ruby, inlaid with many precious jewels.  In it he laid the Amir and most carefully put him to sleep.  Causing many night-glowing rubies to be strung on red silken thread, he put them in the cradle, and had many other valuable stones put in the cradle.  And the king commanded the Parizads who had brought him, “Take him back most carefully to the place where you found him; then come tell me all about the trip, and about the boy and the land where he lives.”  As soon as they were given the order the Parizads returned the Amir’s cradle to the same upper story from which they had taken it, and after a little while they happily described the whole trip to the king in detail.

== on to Chapter 3 ==

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