THIRTY-FIVE -- Dastan about
the situation of the Sahib-qiran of the Age, the Earthquake of Qaf, the
Younger Solomon, Amir Hamzah the glorious.
The king arranged a royal assembly, and rejoiced
beyond all measure. All the Parizads and governors of cities and
other chiefs of Qaf who were in attendance gave gold and jewels in charity
for the Amir’s sake, out of joy and gratitude they offered heaps of gold
pieces and rupees. Congratulating the Amir, they gave him formal
gifts in token of victory, and along with this they offered up many prayers
and vows. A troupe of Parizads began to dance.
The king said to ‘Abdur Rahman, “You always
said that Hamzah was a suitable match for Asman Pari, that in every way
he was superior to all other humans. So what time could be better
than this, when all the governors and chiefs of Qaf are here in attendance?
By the grace of God all, great and small, are pleased with Hamzah’s courage.
Why do you delay in marrying Asman Pari to the Sahib-qiran, why do you
hesitate to perform such a worthy deed?”
‘Abdur Rahman rose and threw a perfume-orange/1/
against the Amir’s breast and congratulated him, and delighted his heart.
The Sahib-qiran asked, “Why have you thrown this perfume-orange, and why
have you congratulated me?” Then ‘Abdur Rahman said, “The king has
accepted you as his son-in-law, he has preferred you over all the Parizads.”
The Amir said, “I do not at all consent!
It is not my custom to undertake such things when I am in the condition
of a traveler. For if I married Asman Pari, I would have to postpone
going to the Realm of the World--I would then stay here with her, absorbed
in luxury and enjoyment. And the second problem is that I promised
Mihr Nigar, the daughter of Naushervan the King of Kings of the Seven Realms,
‘Until I marry you, I won’t even steal a glance at anyone else.’
Thus I cannot break my vow, and I cannot turn aside from my oath and promise.
To break a vow is very improper; it is incumbent upon every person to uphold
‘Abdur Rahman replied, “Oh Sahib-qiran, you
made that promise in the Realm of the World, and this is the Realm of Qaf!
It’s not at all contrary to that oath and pledge! It’s my responsibility
to send you to the World; that is a small part of discharging my own pledge
to you.” The Amir said, “When will you send me to the Realm of the
World, and let me take leave of this place?” ‘Abdur Rahman replied,
“Oh Sahib-qiran, this is a pledge of Qaf--please don’t argue about it!
Please accept what we tell you, and don’t by any means insist. But
after one year I’ll send you back to the World, I’ll see that you reach
your native land safe and well.”
The Amir saw no other recourse but to agree,
for without their consent he couldn’t manage to leave that place.
King Shahpal became absorbed in preparing for the wedding: he wrote
letters to summon all the kings and chiefs of Qaf, and ordered every kind
of decoration. Accordingly the kings of the realms of Emerald, Ruby,
Yellow Basin, Yellow Wilderness, Topaz, Darkness, the Dark Regions, etc.,
came to Garden of Iram, bearing gifts from their various lands, and joined
the marriage celebrations with great pomp and grandeur.
Since news of the killing of ‘Ifrit and Mal’unah
Jadu had spread to all the realms of Qaf, all the Devs had learned of it.
The Dev *Samandun the Thousand-armed, when he heard it, was very grieved
and infuriated; the fire of anger consumed him. He said, “The king
has sent for a son of Adam named the Earthquake of Qaf, the Younger Solomon,
from the Realm of the World, and has had him kill ‘Ifrit Dev and his father
and mother! This human showed not the slightest respect for us, and
he broke the tilism of the City of Gold--he destroyed our creations of
thousands of years. And the king himself came and took him to Garden
of Iram: he brought a son of Adam, from an alien species, into his
inner apartments, and married him to his daughter. In this he acted
very badly! In any case, it’s incumbent on me to take revenge for
‘Ifrit’s blood, and punish the human most severely for this transgression.”
With these words, he sent the *White Dev, who was his chief general and
a very brave and fierce warrior, together with four hundred Devs:
“Go quickly and bring that son of Adam, do this without any delay.”
As it happened, the wedding had been celebrated
on that day. The king, seated in the Pavilion of Solomon on the Peacock
displayed his radiant presence. All the nobles and chiefs, high and
low, attained the high fortune of serving him. And the Sahib-qiran
shone in all his glory, with great grandeur and benevolence, on the throne
that Hazrat Solomon had had made for his own vazir, Asif Barkhiya, and
in which he had had thousands of kinds of jewels set. With lordly
grandeur he displayed his glory on that peerless throne. The kings
and chiefs of Qaf were seated on couches and chairs according to their
rank, duly enjoying the elegant gathering, and taking pleasure in the joyous
festivities--when the White Dev, with four hundred Devs bearing spears,
chains, cypress-tree staffs, millstones, and saws made of crocodile-backbone,
entered the court.
Without the least fear or doubt in his heart,
the White Dev said calmly to the king: “Oh King, Samandun Dev the
Thousand-armed says, ‘The king has treated the race of the Devs very harshly,
he has brought down a heavy misfortune onto himself, for he has sent for
a son of Adam from the Realm of the World and has had him kill a chief
like ‘Ifrit, together with his father and mother, without feeling the least
pity. He did not do well to take this step! Now it is proper
for the king to send that son of Adam to me. He should send that
cruel butcher without hesitation, so that in return for ‘Ifrit’s death
I can divide up his flesh and bones among the Devs, and take a bloody revenge
on this blood-drinker!’”
The Sahib-qiran, hearing the words of this
unclean one, grew angry and replied, “Oh petty creature, gallows-bait,
what are you jabbering so senselessly about? Hold your tongue, don’t
let any disrespectful words escape your lips. Otherwise I’ll punish
you right now, I’ll make you eat your rude words! Go tell that goose,
‘If you yearn to see ‘Ifrit, then come over here--I’ll send you to him,
and admit you also into Hell!’” The White Dev, hearing the Amir’s
words, was displeased and replied, “Oh son of Adam, with your black head
and white teeth, it seems that you alone are the one who killed ‘Ifrit!
Come along, my chief has sent for you! This whole troop of Devs have
come only to take you away.”
With these words, he stretched out his hand
toward the Amir, and showed his strength. The Sahib-qiran, remembering
the Lord in his heart, seized the White Dev’s hand and gave it such a pull
that the Dev fell on both knees. And when the Sahib-qiran drew his
dagger from his belt and struck the Dev in the breast, with a single sigh
the Dev drew his last breath; through the Lord’s help the Amir overcame
that high-headed Dev. The Devs who had come with him ran head over
heels away: they were thunderstruck by the killing of the White Dev, and
they all took flight.
All the kings of Qaf were filled with admiration
for the Amir’s prowess. The king gave trays of gold and jewels in
charity for the Amir’s sake, and in gratitude gave thousands of rupees
to the poor. He had the White Dev’s corpse thrown out in the desert;
even when dead this accursed one was thus humiliated by his order.
And since this was the day of the marriage,
for many days’ journey the king had lattices hung with lights set up on
both sides and in the middle of the road, and had flares and other fireworks
installed in the ground, and near the lights had gold and silver streamers
and rosettes suspended. Then, having put a royal robe of honor on
the Sahib-qiran, they mounted him on a horse and escorted him from the
Pavilion of Solomon to the royal ladies’ apartments; the bridegroom arrived
at the bride’s house. Look at the marvelous power of the Lord, that
a human arrived in the land of the Paris in such style!
When one watch of the night remained, ‘Abdur
Rahman joined the Amir with Asman Pari in marriage. Both bride and
groom gave their formal consent, both achieved their heart’s desire.
How many lands of Qaf the king gave to Asman Pari in dowry! Over
and above this, he showered many favors on the Amir. Then the Sahib-qiran
entered the palace. Through the Lord’s marvelous power, on that very
night an embryo found lodging in Asman Pari’s womb. Through the Lord’s
marvelous power, a son of Adam made of dust and a Pari made of fire--both
their natures came to be in harmony.
In the morning the Amir bathed, dressed, and
entered the court. A joyous and festive gathering began. Through
this close kinship, all distance vanished from between them. To make
a long story short, every sort of luxury was provided for the Amir night
and day, all his desires were at once fulfilled. But night and day,
the Amir kept counting the days: “When will the year be over, so
I can go to the Realm of the World and have the joy of seeing my near and
dear ones, and tell them about this realm, and show them the strange and
remarkable gifts I’ve obtained in the land of the Paris!”
. . .
. . . .
The dastan-reciters of ancient stories weigh
their words in the following way: When the year came to a close,
and the term of pregnancy had achieved its end, a girl bright as the sun
was born from Asman Pari’s womb; everyone was charmed by her beauty and
radiance. The king was very happy. But the Sahib-qiran was
thoroughly unhappy at the birth of a girl, and very disturbed in his heart.
The king learned that the Sahib-qiran was
unhappy at the birth of a daughter, and was feeling quite sorrowful.
Giving him the Robe of Honor of Solomon, the king said, “Oh Amir, this
is the decree of God, and nobody’s at fault in it! It’s not an occasion
for you to be grieved; this is not how the wise behave.” ‘Abdur Rahman
said, “Oh Sahib-qiran, this girl will be so powerful and favored by fortune
that she will subjugate all the high-headed Devs of Qaf, and she’ll be
called the Sahib-qiran of Qaf! She’ll achieve great rank in the whole
land of the Paris.” The Amir’s grief vanished when he heard this,
his heart became full of joy. The king celebrated the baby’s birth
for some months; he gave large amounts of gold, money and goods of every
kind to the needy and faqirs and poor.
When the girl was six months old, the Sahib-qiran
said to the king one day, “I have carried out all that you have commanded.
Now please send me to the Realm of the World; fulfill your promise.”
The king said, “Oh Sahib-qiran, in truth I am very grateful, and am very
happy with your qualities and behavior. Now I have no objection to
permitting you to go, and in every way your happiness is close to my heart.
“But the Silver Fort, which is to the north
of Qaf, is in a bad condition. Two Devs named *Kharchal and Kharpal
have established themselves there with an army of ten thousand Devs.
They are both very high-headed and mischievous. That fort is mine
by hereditary right. If you think it proper and if you’ll heed my
plea, then kill them and clean out the fort before you go--please take
that much more trouble! And if not, then as you wish; your happiness
is my object, for I am much indebted to you.”
The Amir said, “In any case, I am your servant
and your true friend, heart and soul. In the name of God, order a
conveyance and arrange for my trip: I’ll set off in that direction
and make an end of those impure ones.” The king ordered a throne
and had the Amir seated on it, and arranged for all the supplies necessary
for travel; he sent ten thousand male Devs with him, and ordered them to
serve the Sahib-qiran. The Sahib-qiran set out from there, and all
those Devs rendered him obedience.
. . .
. . . .
The Amir found and killed the rebel Devs Kharcal and Kharpal with very
little trouble. ‘Abdur Rahman appeared to escort him back to Garden
Kissing the Amir’s arm and hand, ‘Abdur Rahman
seated him on the throne beside him and returned to Garden of Iram; with
with extreme respect and honor he brought the Amir before the king.
The king pressed the Sahib-qiran to his breast, and showed him the greatest
affection, and said, “After six months I will send you to the Realm of
the World, no matter what; I will give you a fine send-off!” The
Amir entered his palace, and began to count the days. On the strength
of the king’s promise, he trusted his soul to patience.
perfume-orange [turanj ;xuushbuu kaa] was not a real orange, but a fragile
spherical perfume-holder, designed to break on impact and perfume the person
at whom it was thrown. It was used during Iranian wedding celebrations.
historical Peacock Throne [ta;xt-e :taa))uus], one of the wonders of the
world, belonged to Shah Jahan (r1627-1656) and was taken away as loot by
Nadir Shah in l739.
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