FIFTY-SEVEN -- [The Amir finally
learns the identity of the Veiled One.]
Now please hear about Naushervan. He
had run off, and was in full flight to Ctesiphon, when on the way he saw
a great and glorious army encamped, he saw tents and pavilions standing
everywhere. He sent ‘ayyars to find out whose army this was, where
it was going, and from which land the lord of the army came. The
‘ayyars brought word that two brothers were the commanders in chief of
the army, and were very brave and fierce. One was named *Bareheaded
Tapishi and the other was named Madman Tapishi, and they had come to the
king’s assistance, bringing their whole army with them.
Naushervan camped there and, meeting with
them, showed them many kinds of grace and favor; he told them the whole
story from beginning to end. Bakhtak said, “Now Hamzah cannot survive--we
have never had such champions before!” Both brothers said with folded
hands, “We are utterly devoted to the King of Kings, we are your servants
in every way. Why, Hamzah is nothing--if all the high-headed ones
in the Seven Realms come against us, we will tear off their heads!”
The king, pleased with these words, bestowed on them valuable robes of
honor; he gave them many gifts and rewards, and had them drink wine in
Now please hear about the Amir. He married
Farzanah Bano at an auspicious hour, and for forty days and nights gave
himself up to the claims of luxury and enjoyment. On the forty-first
day, he held court, and said, “Does anyone know anything about Naushervan?”
‘Amar submitted, “Two princes from the land of Tapish, with a numerous
army, have joined Naushervan, and are waiting for you on the road.”
The Amir commanded ‘Adi, “Send off our vanguard, and order the army to
prepare as well.” ‘Adi at once obeyed him. The next day, the
Amir set out from there.
On the third day, he camped opposite the army
of the princes of Tapish, leaving space for a battlefield in between.
He had the attack-drum sounded, and announced his presence. And in
the field he arrayed his army in fourteen lines. The princes of Tapish
arrayed their army as well. First Bareheaded Tapishi galloped his
horse into the field; after proclaiming his martial prowess, he challenged
them to combat. Landhaur brought Shabrang out into the field.
Bareheaded Tapishi said, “All right, eunuch,
tell me your name, so you won’t be nameless when you’re killed!”
Landhaur said, “Oh animal, my name is Landhaur bin Sa’dan. Come on,
what kind of an attack can you make?” He struck a blow with his mace
at Landhaur’s head. Landhaur caught the blow on his shield, and gave
him so forceful a blow with his own mace, which had a striking force of
seventeen thousand pounds, that if it had fallen on a mountain, the mountain
would have been reduced to dust. But not a hair of Bareheaded Tapishi’s
head was disarranged. Both went on fighting with their maces till
the evening, they struggled together without pause. Finally the retiring-drum
was sounded. Both armies went back to their camps.
The Amir asked Landhaur, “How did you find
Bareheaded Tapishi?” Landhaur said, “Oh Sahib-qiran, not to speak
of men, even in Qaf I never saw a Dev to equal him!/1/
My mind is perplexed by him--what substance can he be made of?” The
Amir smiled and said, “Oh Landhaur, his body is made of steel--spear, sword,
mace can have no effect on him, he will never die of blows from these weapons.”
The next day, Bareheaded fought with ‘Adi, they encountered each other.
When ‘Adi struck with his mace, Bareheaded caught the blow on his head.
‘Adi struck and struck until he grew tired, but Bareheaded’s head didn’t
feel it at all.
Meanwhile, a cloud of dust arose from the
forest. The ‘ayyars of both armies brought word that *Aljosh the
Berber, with forty thousand horsemen, had come to Naushervan’s aid, he
had brought picked and chosen champions with him. Naushervan sent
a number of kings to welcome them. Eventually Aljosh presented himself.
They saw that he was ninety yards in stature: he was hardly a man,
he was a small mountain! Naushervan showed him extreme honor and
respect, and told him in detail about Amir Hamzah and ‘Amar ‘Ayyar.
And having the retiring-drum sounded, he brought him into the camp, and
arranged a party for him with wine and meat, music and dance; he provided
him with every comfort and luxury.
In the morning, Bareheaded Tapishi came into
the field and challenged them, with great force and power he gave a battle-cry:
“Hamzah, why don’t you come out to confront me? You seek to prolong
your life by sending such weakling champions against me! Is this
manly behavior, is this the way the chivalrous act?” Before the Amir
had emerged from the lines, a curtain of dust arose from the forest.
When the shears of the wind had cut open the skirts of the dust, forty
standards with orange pennants could be seen. ‘Amar, when he saw
them, said to the Amir, “Oh Sahib-qiran, this is the same Veiled One Dressed
in Orange who used to come to our aid when you were gone, in our dire need,
and who saved me from the hands of enemies.”
Meanwhile, the Veiled One came and arrayed
his army’s ranks nearby, he assigned suitable places to all the champions.
And addressing the infidel army he said, “Whoever is proud of his courage,
let him first fight with me, and afterwards make war on the people of Islam!”
The Amir sent word through ‘Amar, “From all that I’ve heard about your
virtues, I have been longing night and day for you to come so I could meet
you. Your valor and courage and compassion are known to me in full
measure. Now I want you to watch the spectacle of my battle, for
this fire-worshiper has already challenged me, he has called on me by name.
When the retiring-drums sound, please don’t go away without seeing me,
please do be so kind as to meet me without fail.” When ‘Amar gave
him the Amir’s message by word of mouth, he agreed most wholeheartedly.
The Amir took Ashqar Devzad’s reins, and said,
“To fight you with weapons would be a waste of time. Let there be
a trial of strength between us. If you lift my feet from the ground,
then I will submit to you; if I lift you up, then you will be my follower.
Do you agree to this?” Bareheaded Tapishi agreed most willingly,
and gave a favorable reply. The Amir leaped down from his horse,
and Bareheaded Tapishi too got down to the ground. Seizing the Amir’s
waist, he began to exert his strength. He exerted so much strength
that he sunk into the ground up to his knees. The Amir didn’t budge.
In defeat, he let go of the Amir, he proved helpless to lift him.
‘Amar called out to the army, “Get ready,
comrades--in a few moments the Amir will give his battle-cry!” Hearing
‘Amar’s words, all the infidels were astonished: “What did that ‘ayyar
mean? If Hamzah will give his battle-cry, then let him give it!
All the champions give battle-cries. As though champions would die
from hearing a voice!” Meanwhile, the Amir gave his battle-cry.
The greater part of the infidel army fell unconscious. Many had their
eardrums broken, thousands of men were rendered deaf. From hearing
this battle-cry men were stupefied, they all felt their senses leaving
In short, when the Amir put his hands on Bareheaded
Tapishi’s waist and exerted his strength, in the very first attack he lifted
him above his head, spun him around seven times in a circle, and, laying
him down on the ground, bound him hand and foot and turned him over to
‘Amar. Madman Tapishi, seeing his brother’s condition, drew his sword
and rushed at the Amir. The Amir, seizing his hand in mid-stroke,
kicked his horse so that the horse was flung ten paces back, and Madman
Tapishi landed on the ground. The Amir gave him no time to recover:
he bound him hand and foot, and gave him into ‘Amar’s custody.
Naushervan, downcast, had the retiring-drum
sounded, and entered his private apartments. Both armies returned
to their camps. The Veiled One Dressed in Orange ordered his army,
and showed them with gestures, to pitch their tents near the Amir’s camp.
And he himself went unheralded, by the most direct way, into the Amir’s
tent; he went alone. They had the delight of meeting each other.
The Amir treated him with honor and respect, and showed him many wonders
from Qaf, and thanked him for his support of ‘Amar during his own absence.
The Veiled One Dressed in Orange begged, “Oh Amir, enough; please don’t
embarrass me further! Please don’t shame me beyond all bounds!
I wasn’t able to do anything worthy of thanks. I myself am embarrassed
and ashamed that you have been back from Qaf for so long, and during this
time have endured so many hardships, and I was not able to come.”
The Amir suspected from the sweetness of the
voice that perhaps the Veiled One was a woman. At once, seizing his
hand, he took him into another tent, and saying, “I can’s stand it any
longer, nor can I reveal the secret openly--please forgive the impertinence,
please don’t blame me,” he instantly opened the ties of the veil, and pulled
it aside; he unveiled her face which was the envy of the moon. The
moment he saw her sun-like face, he fainted and fell to the ground.
‘Amar’s eyes too were dazzled, darkness spread
over his vision. But pulling himself together, he sprinkled the Amir’s
face with musk-willow perfume and rosewater. And he said to the Veiled
One, “Please excuse the liberty--please just place your mouth against the
Amir’s. For the Lord’s sake, please do this without delay!
So that Your Excellency’s perfume may enter the Amir’s brain, and he will
come to his senses and be soothed by the touch of your body.” The
one dressed in orange, who for a long time had been living day and night,
night and day, with just this longing, at once bashfully pressed her mouth
against the Amir’s mouth, she delighted him by embracing and kissing him.
The Amir opened his eyes.
‘Amar instantly brought the daughter of the
vine, who is the only real matchmaker, and presented it. When they
had drunk just two cups, the curtain of reserve was lifted from between
them. The Amir, taking her in his arms, began to ask her about herself.
The Veiled One began to tell her story: “*Naranj Pari is my name.
A long time ago I left Qaf to live in Mount Sailan. I have endured
a thousand griefs at being apart from you! The day you fought with
Gustahm, my throne was flying past in the air. When I saw your sun-like
face, I fainted. Nairanj Pari,/2/
my confidante, was with me; seeing me in a faint, she took me to Mount
“When I came to my senses, in my longing to
see you I went again to the place where I had seen you before. I
took others with me as well, and sent my ‘ayyar-girls to inquire about
you. I discovered that just as my confidante was bearing me home
in a faint, you were going with ‘Abdur Rahman the Jinn to the Realm of
Qaf! How can I describe all the griefs I’ve suffered this whole time
in your absence, all the pains I’ve endured at being separated from you!
Helpless, I used to worry over your well-being and pray for your return,
I was always occupied with these concerns and anxieties.
“When I learned that you had confided your
fiancee to the care of ‘Amar ‘Ayyar, and that Naushervan wanted to snatch
away your fiancee, his daughter, at the point of the sword, I posted some
Parizads to keep watch in relays, so that when ‘Amar was hard-pressed,
they would inform me, and let me know very quickly. So in fact it
happened thus: when I heard that ‘Amar was about to be overpowered
by the enemy, I rushed there and, through your victorious fortune, wiped
the enemy out and saved ‘Amar from the hands of his foes; I came most quickly
to his aid.”
The Amir, having heard these words, kissed
Naranj Pari’s sweet lips and said, “Oh beloved, you slew the enemy with
a harsh sword, and you’ve slain me with the sword of your kindness and
virtue.” With these words, he at once caused ‘Amar to perform the
marriage ceremony, and took her as his wife.
Hamzah’s own absence in Qaf, Landhaur too was lifted up into Qaf by Rashidah
Pari, who begged him to subdue the White Dev. She told him that she
had been inspired by the example of Asman Pari, who married a mortal and
obtained his protection. Landhaur did subdue the White Dev, but the
Dev escaped and tormented him and Rashidah Pari for years. Nevertheless,
the two married, and had a gallant son, Arshiyun.
== on to Chapter