Historical Tales and Anecdotes of the Time of the Early Khalifahs/The Reign of Sulaiman-ibn-'Abd-el-Malik


AMONG his other good deeds, it is related that a man came before him and cried, "O Commander of the Faithful! I adjure thee by AUdh, and the Izh^n (notification)!" "As to *I adjure thee by A113.h!'" said Sulaimin, "verily we understand that, but what dost thou mean by the IzhAn (notification)?" The man replied, " These are the words of the Most High : ' The Muazh-zhin (crier) will proclaim amongst them that the curse of God is upon oppressors/"* "What is thy wrong?" asked Sulaimdn. The man answered, " Thy vicegerent So-and-so has taken Such- and-such a village away from me by force."

Then Sulaimin descended from his throne, and turned back the carpet, and laying his cheek upon the ground, said, " By AUih ! I will not lift up my

  • El-Kurin, Siir. vii., V. 42. The Muazh-zhin, or " crier, is

supposed by some to allude to the angel Isrlfvl.


cheek from the earth until he has been written to and

ordered to restore the village." So the scribes wrote,

and he remained with his cheek laid upon the ground

that he might hear the words of the Lord who created

him and surrounded him with good things, fearing the

curse of God, and banishment from His presence.

. It is said that he released from the prison of

el-Hajj^j three hundred thousand souls, between men

and women* But he honoured the family of el-

Hajjclj. And he chose for his wazir and councillor

'Omar, the son of his uncle *Abd-el-Aziz.

Ibn-Khalikin in his biography states that Sulai-

man*s appetite was enormous : he ate about a

hundred Syrian rails every day.+

Muhammad-ibn-Sirin J says that Sulaimcln opened

  • The figures here given seem truly incredible. But it is also

computed by Arabian historians, that el-Hajjij killed a hundred and twenty thousand men, besides those who fell in war ; and suffered fifty thousand men and thirty thousand women to perish in prison.

f I believe the Syrian r^//here mentioned was the same as the present Egyptian rati. The latter weighs from i lb. 2 oz. 51 dwt. to about I lb. 2 oz. 8 dwt. Troy.

X Abu-Bekr-Muhammad-ibn-Sirin was a native of el-Bdsrah. His father was an enfranchised slave, and he himself was one of the jurisconsults by whose opinion the people of el-Bdsrah were guided. He was famed for his piety, and his knowledge of the Traditions. He was born a.h. 33, and died a.h. iio (a.D. 729).

his reign with well-doing, and sealed it with well- doing. He opened it well by establishing the earliest hour for prayer, and he sealed it well by appointing

  • Omar-ibn-'Abd-el-Aztz as his successor.

Sulaimin-ibn-'Abd-el-Mdlik-ibn-Marwin succeeded his brother el-WalM A.H. 96. He died at Marj-Dabek, in the district ot Kinnafrtn, A.H. 99 (a.d. 718). He possessed quick parts and surprising eloquence, and endeared himself to his sub- jects by his mild and merciful disposition. They sumamed him Miftdh-el'Khairy The Key of Goodness, on account of his clemency and the multitude of prisoners whom he released.