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Story No 80-3/3

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80-3 - The City of Brass (3 of 3) :
In the City of Brass

As they walked forward, they found a door in the midst of the palace. There were locks of silver on this door which opened by artifice without a key. Sheikh opened the locks with his knowledge. They all entered the door and came to a corridor which led to a saloon. Then they came to a domed pavilion. Under the dome was a canopy resting on pillars. On one pillar stood a bird of red rubies and holding in his bill a pearl shining like a star. There was a couch on which a girl was lying. She looked so lively that Moosaa said to her - "Peace be with you, O damsel." But Taalib said to him - "Allaah preserve you, O Ameer, this damsel is dead, so how will she return your Salaam? Of course, Her corpse has been embalmed with exceeding art. Her eyes were taken out after she was dead, then the quicksilver was set in the sockets and then the real eyes were set over it, that is why they shine and when the air moves the lashes, she seems to wink and it appears to a person that she is looking at him; although she is dead."

Then there were two steps to the couch on which this lady lay; and there were two slave statues on those two steps. One was white and another was black. The first one had a mace of steel and the second one held the sword. On one of the steps between them lay a golden tablet on which something was written in white silver. Along with other things the following was also written on that tablet - "Whoever comes to our city and is competent to enter, let him take the treasure all he can, but do not touch anything which is on my body because it is the covering of my shame and the outfit for the last journey."

Moosaa wept reading this, then he called his people and asked them to fetch the camels and load them with treasures and vases and jewels. Taalib asked him - "Shall we leave what is on this damsel's body. All that has no equal in this world?" Moosaa said - "Didn't you read on his tablet what this lady has said." Taalib asked - "And should we leave all this here just because it is written on this tablet, knowingly fully well that this lady is dead? What she will do of these ornaments? One garment to cover her body is enough to leave." So saying he mounted the steps of the couch, but as he came to reach of the two slaves, the mace bearer struck him on his back and the other struck him with the sword, and he dropped down dead.

Moosaa said - "Greed kills the man." He ordered his troops to load all the treasures. After which they left and Moosaa ordered them to shut the door as before. They walked along the shore for one month till they came in sight of a high mountain full of caves where lived a black tribe clad in hides speaking an unknown tongue. Their women and children were standing at the door of the caves, so Moosaa asked the Sheikh - "Who are these folks? He replied - "These are the folks whom we are seeking for our Caliph." 

So they dismounted, set down their loads, and pitched their tents. At the same time their King came to them. He knew Arabic, so when he came to them he saluted them with Salaam. He asked Moosaa - "Are you men or Jinn?" Moosaa replied - "We are men, but certainly you are Jinn because you are living here alone in this mountain, and you are inordinately bulky." The King said - "No, We are also children of Adam, in the lineage of Ham, son of Noah; and this sea is known as al-Karkar."

Moosaa asked - "O King, What is your religion and who do you worship?" He said - "We worship the God of Heavens and our religion is the religion of Muhammad." Moosaa asked seeing that no prophet came to visit this country - "And how did you come to know this?" The King replied - "A man came hear, he cried out loud, whose voice was heard far and near, and said - "O Children of Ham, There is no god but the God, and Muhammad is the messenger of the God. I am Aboo al-Abbaas al-Khizr. But who are you and what brings you here to this land?"

Moosaa said - "We are the officers of the Caliph of al-Islam Abd al-Malik bin Marvaan who has heard about Solomon on whom the Almighty has bestowed the power on all Jinn and beasts and birds. When he was angry with one of the Mareeds, he shut him in a flask of  brass and stopping its mouth with lead, then he impressed his seal of ring and cast him into the sea of al-Karkar. Now we have heard that this sea is your land, so our Caliph has sent us to bring him some of those flasks that he may look therein and satisfy himself with their sight. So we ask your cooperation to fulfill our mission."

The black King said - "With pleasure." He took them to his guest house and treated with utmost honor and furnished them with all they needed. They stayed there for three days, when he ordered his people to bring some of the flasks of Solomon. They dived and brought some 12 flasks. Moosaa also gave the king many gifts and the King also made him the gift of the wonders from the deep sea, being fishes in human form saying - "You ate these fishes for three days." At this Moosaa said - "Then we must take some to our Caliph also, because their sight will please him  more than these bottles."

Then they took leave of the King and set upon the journey back to their own country. They traveled till they came to Damascus, where Moosaa went to the Caliph that he had seen and heard of verses and legends and instances." The Caliph said - "I wish I had been with you to see and hear what you saw and heard." Then they opened the bottles and the devils came out of them saying, "We repent, never again will we return to this, never." As for the daughters of the deep, presented to them by the black King, the Caliph made them cisterns of planks, full of water and laid them there in, but they died of excessive heat.

End of Story No 80



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