Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-4

Arabian Nights Stories-4

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Story No 80-2/3

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80-2 - The City of Brass (2 of 3) :
Story of the Jinn

So the Jinn said - "One of the sons of Iblis had an idol of red carnelian (red quartz) and I was its guardian and a King of Kings served it. He had 1,000,000 warriors under him and all these were under me too, but they all were rebels to Solomon. I used to enter the belly of the idol and order them. Now the King's daughter loved the idol and frequently prostrated before it in its service. Somebody told Solomon about her and he asked the King to give her daughter to him and break the idol of carnelian. If he would not do this then he would kill him.

When the King heard this, he cried to his Vazeers - "What is this? Solomon wants my daughter as his wife, break my idol and accept his faith?" His Vazeers said - "How can he do this to you? Even if he came here, your Jinn will fight him and your idol will help you to win him. You consult you idol and hear what does it say." So the King went to his idol, offered sacrifices and prayed. Then I entered the belly of the idol and said to him - "Do not worry, I will fight with him and kill him." Hearing my boastful reply, the king waged the war against the Prophet.

Solomon collected 600 million devils, all mounted upon his carpet, took flight through air. Beasts came under him and the birds flew over him. When he had come here, he sent for our King saying - "I have come, defend yourself or submit to me. Give your daughter to me and break your idol." The King also collected all his Jinn under him and fought with Solomon for two days; but on the third day, Allaah punished us. The first ones to be punished were I and my troops. I fled from there. Solomon's Vazeer al-Dimiryaat followed me for three months till I felt tired and he overtook me. He took me to Solomon and he ordered to bring his pillar and hollow it out. Then he set me in it and chained me and sealed me with his signet ring. He asked an angel to guard me and I will be here till the Judgment Day."

His story was really strange. Then Sheikh asked him - "I want to ask you one thing. Are there any of the Ifrits imprisoned in the bottles of brass from the time of Solomon?" "Yes, There are a few in the sea of al-Karkar on the shores where the people from Noah's lineage live. Their country was not reached by the Deluge, and they are cut off from the mankind." Abd al-Samad asked - "And which is the way to the City of Brass and the place where these bottles can be found? And how far is it?" The Ifrit said - "It is very near." And he directed them there.

The City of Brass

So they left him and came to a place in a great blackness where two fires were facing each other. Moosaa asked - "What is this blackness and these two fires?" Abd al-Samad said - "Be happy O Moosaa, as this is the City of Brass, as it is described in the Book of Hidden Treasures which I have with me. Its walls are of black stones and it has two towers of Andalusian brass which look like two fires and hence it is named the City of Brass." They went forward near the city and it looked to them as if it were a piece of mountain or a mass of iron cast - just impenetrable for the height of its walls while its buildings were very beautiful.

So they dismounted and looked for an entrance, but could not find even a trace of opening in the wall, although there were 25 gates to the city, but none of them was visible from outside. Moosaa asked the Sheikh - "We cannot see any gate to enter the city although there are 25 gates. Has this city been described thus in your book?" His Vazeer Taalib replied - "Let us rest here for a couple of days and God willing we can enter this city then." Moosaa asked his one man to go around the city in search of any opening. So he mounted on his camel took the provision with him and rode round it for two days and two nights without rest, but found the wall as if it were one rock. The third day he joined his people and said - "The easiest place to access is this, where you are."

So Moosaa took Taalib and Abd al-Samad and ascended the highest hill which overlooked the city. When they reached at the top, they looked at the city with beautiful houses and mansions, flowers and streams and fruits. Birds were chirping, owls were hooting but the city was empty and still. Meanwhile Moosaa saw seven tablets of white marble. Something was written on them so he called Sheikh and asked him to read it. He told him that some warning and instances were written on them. Moosaa copied all the inscriptions written on all the tablets. Then he came down the hill and passed the rest of the day.

Moosaa again asked his Vazeer Taalib "How to enter the city and see its beauty?" Taalib said - "Let us make a ladder and maybe we can see some gate from within." Moosaa said - "I also thought so, your advice is admirable." He ordered his people to build a ladder of wood, plated and banded with iron. So they built a strong ladder in a month time. Then Moosaa asked his people - "Who will go first and go around the wall to look for the place to descend into the city?" One of them said, "I will go and look for the place to descend and if found one, then open the gate for you." "Go, and the blessings of Allaah will go with you."

He went up the ladder and cried out clapping - "By Allaah, You are fair." And cast himself down into the place. Moosaa cried, "Oh, He is a dead man." Then another man came up and said - "He was a madman. Let me go up and open the gate for you." "Go, but be careful do not lose your head as your comrade did." So he also climbed up the ladder and no sooner he reached at the top he also cried "Well done, well done." And jumped down into the city and died forthright. Moosaa said - "How can all people behave like this? Let us go from here, we have no concern with this city." But a third one said, "Maybe the third one is steadier than the previous ones." So he also climbed up the ladder and jumped into the city. It continued till a dozen people jumped into the city and died.

Then the Sheikh Abd al-Samad came forward and said - "This is reserved only for me." But Moosaa said - "You will not go there, nor I will let you go there, because if you die, we will be without guide." Sheikh said - "What you are seeing, will be accomplished at my hands." So the people let him go and he went up calling the name of Allaah and reciting the verses of safety. But as he reached at the top, he also clapped his hands and looked own into the city; the then all cried, "Do not throw into the city." And they added, "If Sheikh will fall we are dead men, one and all."

The Sheikh stayed there for an hour reciting the verses for safety and then he cried out - "Do not fear now, no hurt will fall on you. Allaah has warded off Satan through me." Moosaa asked him - "What do you see?" Sheikh said - "I saw 10 maidens who signed to me, "Come to us." And it seemed to me as if there was a lake of water below me, so I thought to throw myself down, when I saw my 12 companions lying dead, so I controlled myself from jumping down and called Allaah, and He saved me from jumping down." Then he walked along the wall and came to those two towers and saw there two golden gates without any means of opening.

He gazed at them for some time and found a horseman in the middle of one gate as if pointing towards something and something was written on his palm. He went up to it and read the words written on its palm - "O you who comes to this place, you would enter this city by turning the pin in my navel 12 times and the gate will open." So he examined the horseman, found a gold pin in his navel, and turned it 12 times. The horseman revolved like a lightning and the gate swung open with a noise like thunder.

He entered the gate and found himself in a long passage, then he came to a room furnished with benches on which dead men sat. Then he came to the main gate of the city which was secured with iron bars and wrought locks and bolts and chains. He thought that maybe the keys are with those dead men. So he came back and looked at those dead men, he found one seated high. He lifted his gown and the keys were hanging from his girdle. He took the keys, opened the locks and bolts and bars. 

All people were about to enter at once, but Moosaa said - "Maybe if we go in at once we will not be safe. Let only half of us enter first." So he sent half of his men first with all kinds of weapons. They found their dead comrades, and they buried them. They saw many kinds of people there but they were all dead. Then they came to a market place. The shops were open, their scales were hung, merchants were sitting on shop-boards dead with rotted bones. They saw four different markets but all were in the same condition - silk market, pearl and rubies and other jewels market, perfumes market, drug market. All shopkeepers were dead. After the drug market there came a palace which was magnificently decorated, but the men in it were dead there. Moosaa got very surprised to see all this.

Then they went into inner palace. There they found four pavilions in each of its four corners. They entered the first pavilion and found it full of gold and silver and pearls and jacinth and other precious stones. The second pavilion was full of arms and armors, helmets and swords etc. The third pavilion had closets full of weapons adorned with open work and with gold and silver. The fourth pavilion also had closets full of eating and drinking vessels of gold and silver with platters of crystal and goblets sets with fine pearls. So they took all what they liked and what they could.

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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/14/14