Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-5
|Arabian Nights Stories-5|
|Story No 91-7-2|
Sindbaad on the Island of Sarandeeb
This story is according to Burton's book, The Previous Version was according to Lane.
Both the versions differ considerably.
On the 563rd Night
Next night, Shaharzaad again started her story of the account of Sindbaad's seventh voyage - "When Sindbaad had finished telling the account of his sixth voyage, all people dispersed. Hammaal also went back home. Next day he rose, said his morning prayers and came to Sindbaad of the Sea. When all people had gathered, Sindbaad started telling about his seventh voyage.
He said - "When I had come back from my sixth voyage I earned lots of profit, so I started living like before. I thought whatever has happened to me, it was enough and I started enjoying what I had; but again, one day, I longed for the sea voyage, so I again bought some merchandise, packed up my bales and sent them from Bagadaad to Basaraa. When I found a ship, I embarked it with by merchandise, and we sailed in our health and safety till we came to Madinat al-Sin.
But as we left it, we had to face a violent head-wind a heavy rainfall. We covered our bales with our clothes and started praying Allaah. That our Captain loosen his girdle and beat his head, so we asked him - "O Captain, What is the matter?" He replied -"The wind has mastered us, an it has taken us into an utmost sea of the world." Then he came down and took out a bag of blue cotton in which there were some powder like ashes. He put it on a dish wet with a little sea water, waited for a while, then tasted it. Then he took out a booklet and read it weeping - "It is written in this book that whoever will come here will surely die, without any hope, because this sea is called the Sea of Clime of the King. Here is the Sepulcher of our King Solomon and very huge serpents. And whichever ship comes here, a huge fish rises up and swallows her up along with everything in her."
As we were talking like this that a huge fish came, which lifted our ship from water and let her fall, and we saw a huge fish like a mountain, opening its mouth, and in the meantime another huge monstrous fish came, so we said good bye to each another. But Lo, a third fish came, bigger than the previous two fish, seeing which we had lost our mind completely. All the three fish started circling our ship. The third fish's mouth was as big as a city's gate and and its throat looked like a long valley. Suddenly a strong wind came and took our ship to settle on great reef. The ship had broken and all that was on her plunged into the sea.
I tore my clothes and swam in the sea for some distance till I held a plank of the ship. I said to myself - "O Sindbaad of the Sea, You are suffering so many hardships and problems still you never repent and leave these sea voyages. Now you keep patience and suffer which you deserve."
On the 564th Night
Shaharzaad continued - "Sindbaad continued his story - "When my ship was broken, and I had to swim in the sea I cursed myself again for my greed to gain. But this time I repented with my sincere heart that I will never travel, not even in my thoughts, and I continued to pray Allaah to save my life this time. I swam for two days on the plank and then landed on an island full of trees and streams. I ate fruits, drank fresh sweet water and gained my strength.
As I walked a little, I found a river of strong flow, so I remembered making raft for myself, that if it will take me somewhere, it is all right; or if I will perish, I will perish. So I collected some large pieces of trees and made a raft, and prayed that "if I am saved, it is Allaah's wish" and set it in the water current. It took me for the first day, the second day, and the third day without eating and drinking. Then I came to a mountain where the river ran under the mountain. Seeing it I feared for my life if I lay on the raft, but the current overtook me and I entered the subterranean passage under the mountain.
Luckily after a while my raft came out in the open space and I found myself in an open valley where the river fell making a great noise. I held on to the raft for the fear of falling off it. Waves were tossing me right and left, I could not control it till it stopped near a big city. The town people saw me and threw a rope to me to hold it, but I had not much strength, so they threw a net over the raft and drew it towards them. I fell like a dead man suffering from hunger, thirst and lack of sleep. After a while when I came to my senses, an old man came out of the crowd, gave me some handsome clothes, took me to bath, offered me Sherbet and took me to his house. His family members offered me rich food to eat. I ate it to my satisfaction and thanked Allaah for His grace. He gave me a place to stay in his house and appointed some pages and maids in my service.
I stayed there for three days recovering from my feat, till my heart and my mind was calm and at ease. On the fourth day the Sheikh came to me and said to me - "You have been cheering us with your company, but will you come now with me to sell thing? I have ordered my servants to collect your things from the sea and piled up on he shore. Don't be so careful nor be worried, take your things in the market, if somebody offers you the price you like, you sell it, otherwise I will keep it in my warehouse." I said to myself, "Let me see what he does for me." So I went with him to market and I saw that he had collected the wood of my raft which was made of sandalwood and the broker was trying to sell it.
On the 565th Night
Shaharzaad continued her story - "Sindbaad told them further - "I saw the broker selling the wood of my raft and people bidding for it 1,000 Deenaar." The broker said to me - "This is the current price of this wood, if you want to sell at this price, I can sell it, otherwise I can keep it in my store." I said - "The business is in your hands, do as you wish." He asked me - "Will you sell me this for 100 gold pieces more than its bidding by buyers?" "OK, I have sold it you for the money to be received." So he took the wood to his storehouse and myself to his house and counted the money to me.
After a few days the Sheikh said to me - "I wish to propose you something with the hope that you will not refuse it." "What is it?" He said - "I am an old man, I don't have a son, I have a daughter who is beautiful and young. I wish to marry her to you so that you can live in our country. I will give you everything what I have." I was silent for sometime. He again said - "It is my wish, if you will agree then the girl will be yours as from now and you will be my son. If you would like to travel to your home, then also there will not be any problem. You may sell my property and go home." I said - "You are like my father, it is because of your guidance that I have survived here. You yourself may decide as what should I do."
At this he called for his daughter and a Qaazee, married her to me, and made a good feast. She was indeed very beautiful. We loved each other and lived happily till her father died. I became the master of his whole property. The merchants installed me in his office as he was their Sheikh and Chief and none of them purchased anything without his knowledge. Thus I became acquainted with the town folks. I noticed that in the beginning of each month they transformed, means their faces changed, they became like birds and flew in the sky and none remained in the city except the women and the children.
So once I thought that in next month I will ask one of them to carry me with him just to see where they go. So when the first of the month came and their complexion changed, I asked one of them to carry me with him and that I will return with him. But he said - "This is not possible." But I pursued him till he consented. I went with him riding on his back without telling anybody from my family, friends, or servants. He flew up very high in the sky, that I heard the Angels glorifying God in the dome of Heavens. At this I wondered and exclaimed - "Praised be Allaah."
As soon as I pronounced these words that a fire came from Heaven and all but consumed the company . They fled from there cursing me and casting me down on a high mountain. I repented for what I had done. I was thinking that where should I go, that Lo, two young men came there carrying a staff of red gold. I greeted them and asked - "Who are you and what are you?" "We are the servants of Allaah and we live in this mountain." They gave me their staff and went away leaving me there. The then a serpent came carrying a man in her jaw. She had swallowed him up to the navel and he was crying out - "Whoever will deliver me from this serpent, Allaaah will deliver him from all problems." So I hit the staff on the serpent's head and she cast the man from her mouth."
On the 566th Night
Next night, Shaharzaad resumed the story - "When I hit her on her head, she cast the man out from her mouth. When I hit her second time, she fled from there. The man said to me - "Since you have freed me from the serpent, I will never leave you and will be always with you on this mountain." "Welcome." And we roamed about till we came to a company of people. I saw that man who cast me on that mountain, among those people. I went to him and spoke to him in a friendly way. He said - "It was you who destroyed us by your Tasbeeh." I asked for his forgiveness saying that I did not know about it and requested him to take me back and not to say a word. He took a promise from me that as long as I will be on his back, I will not take the name of Allaah. I did that. Then I gave my staff of gold to the man whom I delivered from the serpent and rode on the back of my friend.
He brought me to my home where my wife welcomed and warned me to go anywhere with these folks for they were brothers of the devil. They do not know how to take the name of Allaah nor they worship Him. I asked her - "Then how did your father do?" She said - "He was not one of them. I think you should sell whatever we have because I do not want to live here any more since both my parents are dead." So I sold everything and looked for somebody who was going to Basaraa. I found a company of people going to Basaraa, so we, my wife and myself, went them taking all the movables and leaving house etc. there only.
I came to Basaraa, I did not stay there, I just came directly to Bagdaad. I had returned from my seventh voyage after 27 years. They had given up all hope of my return, but as they saw me they were very happy. I told them what befallen me on this voyage. After this voyage I swore that I will never travel either by sea or by land. So O Sindbaad, You can think what sufferings and calamities I had to face to come to this stage." Sindbaad the Porter said - "Please forgive me for any wrong I have done to you." And they continued live in friendship till they died."
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/24/14