Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-4

Arabian Nights Stories-4

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Story No 74-2-1

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74-2-1 - The Three Apples: 
Noor al-Deen Alee and His son

Then Vazeer Zaafar said to the Caliph - "Long time ago Egypt was ruled by a Sultaan with justice and generosity. His Vazeer was wise, experienced and conversant in affairs. Now this mister who was an old man, had two very handsome sons - the elder one was Shams al-Deen Muhammad and the younger one was Noor al-Deen Muhammad. The younger one was better than the elder one in qualities, so he was heard even in foreign countries and men used to come to see him from far countries.

In due course of time their father, Vazeer, died. He was mourned and the Sultaan called his two sons, gave them the dresses of honor and said - "Do not be so sorry for your father, for you will be placed at your father's place." They performed the ceremonial mourning and within a month they were appointed as Vazeer, each doing his duty for a week. They lived in one house and their world was one. Whenever the Sultaan traveled they used to go with him.

One night the Sultaan decided to go on a journey next morning. It was elder brother's turn to accompany him. The previous night of his journey, he was talking to his younger brother - "I wish that we should marry two sisters and go to them on the same night." The younger one replied - "Do, as you think is proper." So they agreed upon this. Shams said - "If Allaah agrees that we marry two girls and go to them the same night, and they shall conceive on the same night, and by Allaah your wife bears a son, and my wife bears a daughter, then we will marry them." Noor asked - "What dower you will require from my son for you daughter?" Shams said - "I will take at least 3,000 Deenaars, three pleasure gardens, and three farms." Noor said - "What kind of dower is this you are imposing upon my son? We both are brothers, we both are Vazeers, we both hold equal offices. You should marry your daughter to my son without any marriage settlement or for a nominal value. You know that a man is better than a woman, and since son is a male our memories will be preserved by him only, not by your daughter."

Shams said - "But what is she to have?" Noor said - "We shall not be remembered through her among the Ameers of the earth. But I can see that you will do according to the saying, "You will bluff a buyer by asking a higher price; or as a man did when he went to a friend and asked something being in necessity and was answered "I will do whatever you say, but come tomorrow." [When some body says "come tomorrow", it means you beg or borrow.]

Shams said - "I am seeing that you are giving more importance to your son than my daughter. It shows that your intentions are not good. You are reminding me our partnership as Vazeer, which I am sharing in pity to you, otherwise you might have been assisting me. Since you are talking to me like this, I will never marry my daughter to your son, not even for her weight in gold." Noor said - "And me too. I will never marry my son to your daughter, even if I die." Shams said - "Allaah does whatsoever He wills." At all this conversation, Noor got filled with rage but did not show it. Both passed that night far apart and in anger.

In the morning, Sulataan set off on his journey with Shams and came to the outskirts of Cairo and made for Pyramids; while Noor got up and read his prayers. The he went to his treasury, made a small pair of saddle bags and filled them with gold. He got a mare-mule who had a silk and a prayer carpet for seat, loaded the bags, and said to his servants, "I am going on a pleasure trip outside the city on the road to Kalyoob town. I will be there for three nights, so none of you should follow me because something is paining in my heart." And off he went.

About noon time, he entered Bilbis city, rested for a while, ate something, gave food to his mule, bought something for himself and continued his journey. As the night was to fall, he came to a city Saadiyaa where he dismounted from his mule, ate something, prayed, set the saddle bags under his head, and slept in open air. Next morning, he again started his journey and came to the Holy City, Jerusalam, and then made to Aleppo. There he rested for three days. Then he proceeded again not knowing where he was going. At last he came to Basaraa city and came to a Khaan's house where he prayed and gave his mule to the doorkeeper to take her around.

Now it so happened that the Vazeer of Basaraa was sitting at the lattice window, opposite the Khaan's house and he saw the porter walking the mule up and down. He was struck by her look and thought it would be good for Vazeers to ride upon her, so he sent one of his servants to bring that porter to him. When the porter had come, he asked him  "Who is the owner of this mule and what kind of person he is?" He said - "The owner of this mule is a young handsome lovely person and doubtless a son of a merchant." The Vazeer immediately went to the Khaan and saw Noor. Noor greeted him, Vazeer welcomed him in Basaraa and asked - "When did you come here and what do you seek?

Noor said - "I have come from Cairo city where my father was a Vazeer." And he told him all that had happened and said - "I have decided not to return home until I have seen all the cities and countries of the world." The Vazeer said - "Don't be so emotional that you fall in a pit, because many regions are only useless places and Time can be bad for you." Then he loaded the saddle bags and took Noor to his home and he lodged him in a pleasant place, treated him honorably. He started loving him as a son.

After a while he said to Noor - "I am an old man and I have no male children, but I have a beautiful daughter like yourself. I have rejected many suitors for her, but since I have started loving you, tell me that you will be her husband. If you accept this, I will take you to the Sultaan of Basaraa, and will tell him that you are my nephew, son of my  brother and I have brought him to be appointed as your Vazeer, so that I may take some rest." Noor agreed to this and Vazeer prepared for a great feast and decorated the great assembly hall where they were to celebrate the marriage.

He assembled his friends and notables and declared that he had a brother who was a Vazeer in Egypt and Noor was his nephew. Allaah blessed him with two sons and me with one daughter. My brother asked me to marry my daughter to one of his sons. This young man is now present here, and I am marrying my daughter to him. After the marriage, if he would like to travel to his home, I will send my daughter to his home." All hailed his decision. The Vazeer gave Noor a bath, dressed like a Vazeer, he looked like a Moon of the 14th night. The Vazeer said - "Go to your wife, and tomorrow I will take you to the Sultaan."

Now coming to Shams: he was away with the Sultaan for a long time, and when he came back he did not find his brother, so he asked about him. The servants said - "The day you left, he also took a mule and went away saying, "I am going on a pleasure trip towards Kalyoob town for about two-three days, saying that "for my heart is aching and none of you follow me." Shams became very sad at this sudden disappearance of his brother and said to himself - "It is all because I chided him the night before my departure, but I must send for him."

So he went to the Sultaan and told him everything. He wrote letter and dispatched to every province. But during these 20 days of Shams' absence, Noor had already reached Basaraa so those letters could not reach there. Thus Shams did not get any news of his brother. He thought many times, "If I had not talked to him in this way, perhaps he did not go like this. This is all my fault."

Soon after this he married the daughter of a merchant of Cairo and it so happened that he went to her the very same night, Noor went to his wife - this being accordance to the will of Allaah. The two wives got pregnant the same night and both delivered their child the same day - Shams' wife gave birth to a daughter in Egypt, and Noor's wife gave birth to a son in Basaraa. The boy was named Badar al-Deen Hasan and his grandfather, the Vazeer of Basaraa rejoiced in him and on the 7th day made entertainments and feasts.

Then he took Noor to the Sultaan. The Sultaan welcomed him and asked the Vazeer "Who is this young man?" Vazeer said - "This is my brother's son." and told him his whole story. The Sultaan asked - How come that we have never heard about you brother?" The Vazeer said - "He was the Vazeer of Egypt's Sultaan. He had two sons. When he died, his elder son was appointed as the Vazeer of Egypt, and the younger one came to me. I had already sworn that I would marry my daughter to him, so when he came to me, I married my daughter to him. Now he is young and I am old. I request you to appoint him as your Vazeer in my place, for he is my brother's son and my daughter's husband. He is fit for the position." The Sultaan liked him so he presented him with the dress of honor and appointed him as his Vazeer. Noor got very happy and went home.

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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/13/14