THE SONS OF YAHYA BIN KHALID AND SA’ID BIN SALIM AL-BAHILI



Quoth Sa’íd bin Sálim al’Báhilí, [FN#135] I was once in very narrow case, during the days of Harun al-Rashid, and debts accumulated upon me, burdening my back, and these I had no means of discharging.  I was at my wits’ end what to do, for my doors were blocking up with creditors and I was without cease importuned for payment by claimants, who dunned me in crowds till at last I was sore perplexed and troubled.  So I betook myself to Abdallah bin Málik al-Khuza’í [FN#136] and besought him to extend the hand of aid with his judgement and direct me of his good counsel to the door of relief; and he said, ‘None can save thee from this thy strait and sorrowful state save the Barmecides.’  Quoth I, ‘Who can brook their pride and put up patiently with their arrogant pretensions?’ and quoth he, ‘Thou wilt put up with all this for the bettering of thy case.’” -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Ninety-third Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdallah ibn Malik al-Khuza’i said to Sa’id bin Salim, “Thou wilt put up with all this for the bettering of thy case.”  “So I left him suddenly (continued Sa’id) and went straight to Al-Fazl and Ja’afar, sons of Yahyá bin Khálid, to whom I related my circumstances; whereto they replied, ‘Allah give thee His aid, and render thee by His bounties independent of His creatures and vouchsafe thee abundant weal and bestow on thee what shall suffice thee, without the need of any but Himself; for whatso He willeth that He can, and He is gracious with His servants and knoweth their wants.’  So I went out from the twain and returned to Abdallah, with straitened breast and mind perplexed and heavy of heart, and repeated to him what they had said.  Quoth he, ‘Thou wouldst do well to abide with us this day, that we may see what Allah Almighty will decree.’  So I sat with him awhile, when lo! up came my servant, who said to me, ‘O my lord, there are at our door many laden mules and with them a man, who says he is the agent of Al-Fazl and Ja’afar bin Yahya.’  Quoth Abdallah, ‘I trust that relief is come to thee: rise up and go see what is the matter.’  So I left him and, hastening to my house, found at the door a man who gave me a note wherein was written the following: ‘After thou hadst been with us and we heard thy case, we betook ourselves to the Caliph and informed him that ill condition had reduced thee to the humiliation of begging; where upon he ordered us to supply thee with a thousand thousand dirhams from the Treasury.  We represented to him: ‘The debtor will spend this money in paying off creditors and wiping off debt; whence then shall he provide for his subsistence?  So he ordered thee other three hundred thousand, and each of us hath also sent thee, of his proper wealth, a thousand thousand dirhams: so that thou hast now three thousand thousand and three hundred thousand dirhams wherewithal to order and amend thine estate.’”  See, then, the munificence of these magnificos: Almighty Allah have mercy on them!  And a tale is told of



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