Tell me, Abdullah, Which taste better, the fruits in Kufa or the fruits we have here? I don’t know. I haven’t tasted the fruits here. How strange! Everyone, young and old, even the dogs and the birds, eat of our abundant fruits, and you work in the grove, yet you’ve never tasted them? That’s because you didn’t give me permission to do so. Are you pretending to be pious? By God, if you were Sufian Al-Thawri himself, you wouldn’t be so pious. Peace be upon you. Peace be upon you too. If this old man repeats what he said to the Ruler’s men, they would come for me. Actually, I have doubts… He claimed that he didn’t eat any of the fruits. By God, if he was Sufian Al-Thawri himself. How would you know? Perhaps it’s him. – Describe him to me. – He’s of medium height and a light brown complexion, and he has a beard which indicates his piety. It’s him. Let’s go apprehend him to collect the reward. Let’s go before he gets away. He’s gone, and so is our reward. Peace and blessings be upon you. Peace and blessings be upon you too. Are you looking for someone to work in the shop for a small wage? Provided I don’t have to work during prayer times. I need a porter to carry my merchandize from the market to the shop. If you can handle such tough work, that is. I can, with God’s will and help. How much will you charge me? Bear in mind that I’m a poor man and I have 10 children, 3 wives and my parents to feed. If you let me sleep in the shop and not work during prayer times, then my sustenance will be enough. Deal. Now, close the shop and follow me to the market. May My Lord Al-Mahdi have a safe trip, and may God help him with the people of Khorasan. What’s this letter? It’s a letter from My Lord Issa bin Moussa. I received your letter where you mentioned your intentions to do what’s wrong and what violates God’s commands by severing ties with your own kin, and violate the pact you made before God to the people to be loyal to the Caliphate and having me as your successor, so that you would afterwards sever the ties which God commanded, divide that which God had brought together, and bring together that which God had divided. What’s the matter, My Lord? – Send for Abu Ayyoub. – Right away, My Lord. – Come here, Abu Ayyoub. – Yes, My Lord. I want you to go to Issa bin Moussa and talk to him kindly. Before I inflict my wrath on him, for I’m still grateful for his favors. Yes, My Lord.
ابو جعفر المنصور قسط نمبر 28
Why didn’t you ask me to do that, My Lord? I don’t understand why you prefer Abu Ayyoub to me in everything. – Rabie. – Yes, My Lord. What’s on your mind? Nothing, My Lord. Nothing. Go check the post. Go. As you wish, My Lord. I heard you more than once say that you are one of the Caliph’s soldiers. So why wouldn’t you give him this? Besides, he will make you next in line of succession after his son Al-Mahdi, which means you’re still in it. By God, My Lord, the Emir of the Believers only speaks highly of you, even after you sent him that scathing letter. So, why would you bring dispute into the Abbasid house? Especially after it had become so harmonious. Abu Ayyoub, go back to Abu Jaafar and tell him that I am his Successor, and I won’t be anything else. I don’t think he’d let it go, and I don’t understand why he’s so determined, My Lord. If I didn’t know him, I would say he wanted his son Moussa to succeed him. You’re right, Abu Ayyoub. He wants his son Moussa to succeed him. – Rabie. – Yes, My Lord. Send for Al-Musayyab. Yes, My Lord. Get away from the gate, get away. Peace be upon you, Issa. Woe be to you! Are you out of your mind? How dare you break into my palace and address me with my first name when I’m your master? Calm down, Issa. We were chasing a thief and we thought he entered your palace. You have no excuse. I shall have your beheaded. You? You will have me beheaded? If you weren’t a relative of the Emir of the Believers, I would make an example out of you. I wish you waive the succession in favor of Al-Mahdi. I’m afraid you’d incur the Caliph’s wrath. I will talk to our son about this. The time wasn’t good to turn against him. I didn’t want to rush into anything before seeing you and consulting you. I only came to you after I heard that Sallama’s son wanted to depose me as his Successor and name one of his sons as Successor instead. This is the time, Abu Muslim. He’s pleased with you and he wants to appoint you as a Ruler over Egypt and Syria. I used every trick in the book with him. Can you believe, My Lord, that I agreed with him on overthrowing you? And he refused? Yes, My Lord. He refused. He was eager to return to Khorasan more than anything else. I even went as far as telling him that the Caliph intends to depose me as his Successor in favor of his son Muhammad. I was trying to reassure him, but he went back to talking about Khorasan. What’s this? You’re stopping me from going inside? Don’t you realize the consequences of that? Excuse me, My Lord, you must get permission from My Lord Al-Rabie. Look where you’ve gotten us, Abu Jaafar. Al-Rabie gives permission to me? He’s Al-Mahdi, but he resembles the shining moon. They look so much like each other that one can mix them up. One lights the darkness of the night, and the other shines by day. But God privileged one over the other with pulpits and thrones. Your father has excelled over kings until they came to eat their hearts out with envy. And you came after him, following in his footsteps, not slacking or stalling, so people said that these are men of merit, If the older one came first then it’s only natural, for the old have precedence over the young. And if the young achieved high stature, it’s because he takes after the old. Beautiful. Well said. Well said, poet. Butler. Yes, My Lord. Give this poet 20,000 Dirhams. 20,000 Dirhams, My Lord? Poet, go collect your reward. May God grant you long life, My Lord. Peace be upon you. Peace be upon you too. What’s this, Rabie? What’s going on? Excuse me, My Lord. The Caliph gave orders that nobody was to enter his majlis without permission, except for My Lord Al-Mahdi. I have nothing to do with this. I’m just the Caliph’s butler. Don’t antagonize me. You know very well how much I respect you, My Lord. But if I can’t disobey the Caliph’s orders, as he is My Lord and yours. Rabie. Go in, poet. Woe be to you! Didn’t you tell him I was here? I did, My Lord. But the Caliph told me to let the poet go in before you. Here’s Laila of Quraish again. I wait for her like earth awaits the rain. Is she still stuttering with her waist? Yes, she is in deed. She has the most beautiful wide, black eyes. And her words are as sweet as the fruits of Paradise. When she walks, she twists her waist, as if her bones were made of bamboo. Where are you going, My Lord? To the majlis. The Emir of the Believers didn’t give you permission. What? He told me to ask you what you wanted, and I will tell him about it. I tell you what I want, Rabie? I, Issa bin Moussa, tell you what I want? I didn’t ask you to do that, My Lord. These are the Caliph’s orders. My Lord. The Emir of the Believers tells you not to come to the majlis next time. If you need something, tell the guards at the gate. Moussa. What are you doing here? I came to prevent a falling out between my father and the Caliph. You mean over the succession? Yes. What are you going to do? My father loves me so much, he wouldn’t want me to be harmed in any way. – Keep talking. – No. I will say the rest to the Emir of the Believers. Wait a minute. I will ask the Caliph’s permission. What’s this? Why did you come back quickly? And where are the things I asked for? I’m not going the market again, Father. We must leave Kufa as soon as possible. Leave Kufa? Why? What happened, Daughter? That blind poet went back to flirting with me. He makes fun of me and violates my modesty too, Father. Bashar bin Burd? God damn him! Let’s go, come with me. I became blind, wise man, as wisdom comes with blindness, so I became a skeptic and an interpreter of knowledge. I wish you were mute too! Please, sir. You’re still up? I couldn’t sleep. I feel as if salt was sprinkled into my eyes. You’re still thinking about the succession? Actually, I’m thinking about Abu Jaafar. He antagonized me for no reason. If it wasn’t for my sword, he wouldn’t be on that throne now. I can’t believe it. How could Abu Jaafar do all this to me? He was so fast to forget everything I did for him. Did I have to support Abu Muslim to overthrow him when he was away for Pilgrimage? Did I have to stand by and watch his archenemies, the sons of Al-Mahd? Is this how you repay my favor, Abu Jaafar? – You’re the one who started it. – Me? Yes, after you sent him your harsh letter. I heard you read it before you sent it. He’s the Emir of the Believers; you couldn’t address him like that. Had you addressed him kindly and refused to waive your right, you wouldn’t have antagonized him.
He’s the Emir of the Believers, Issa. He’s the one in charge and he has the upper hand. I heard his Minister Abu Ayyoub say that the Caliph wanted to put his son before you in the line of succession, but he didn’t want to leave you out of it. If I waived my right today, I will waive it tomorrow. A man’s steadfastness is like a string of beads; if one bead falls, the others will follow. Peace be upon you. May God forgive us! What’s the matter, folks? Why didn’t you return my greeting? I’m your Emir, and the Successor, and you don’t return my greeting? Make way! Okay. Start planting around the buildings now. Get out of my way. Make way. Out of my way! Get out of my way. – Out of my way! – Stop, Sire. – Out of my way. – Please, hold on. You will make the Caliph angry. Stop. Pardon me, My Lord. Sit down, Issa, and wait until I’m done. I want a labyrinth that connects my majlis with my private square. Yes, My Lor