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me to my family, and I will then return it to you." The bargain was struck, and I caused the Arab to swear that he would take care of his daughter. Proud of an act of beneficence, of which I had set the first example amongst the Arabs, I made a vow that, as often as I heard of a daughter being about to be buried alive by her father, I would redeem her at the price of two she-camels just delivered, and a he-camel. From that time till the moment when this custom was abolished by Islamism, I have redeemed three hundred and sixty young girls. Have I thereby merited
favour from heaven ?' Mahomet replied: "Thou hast done a good and meritorious deed, and God has this day rewarded thee for it, in granting thee the happiness of embracing the Musulman faith.”'
With respect to Ghaleb, he was cited as a model of liberality, a virtue which the Arabs prize above all others, and regard as the peculiar attribute of their nation.
Three men of the tribe of Kelb had laid a wager respecting the comparative generosity of certain families descended from Tamim and Bekr. They agreed amongst them to select certain individuals out of these families, to whom they would successively make a request : the person who should grant it at once, without inquiring who they were, was to be declared the most generous. Each of the three pointed out a person to be subjected to the experiment. Their choice fell upon Omayr, of the far::lr of Shaiban; Thalabeh, of that of Mankar; and Ghaleb, of that of Mejasheh. They went first to Ossays, whom they besought to give them a hundred camels. “Who are ye?" said Omayr. Without replying, they withdrew, and proceeded to Thalabeh. Receiving the same question from him, they went to Ghaleb, and asked him for a hundred camels Ghaleb gave them what they ved immediately, and slaves to take care of them besides without asking them a single question. They retired, and next day returned the camels.
In the caliphat of Osman, a famine raging at Cufs, where Ghaleb then resided, most of the inhabitants quitted the city and took up their abode in the country. The Benu Handala, of whom Ghaleb ras chief, and the Benu Riah, whose chief was Sahin, son of Wathil, happened to meet together in a spot called Sawar, in the neighbourhood of Samawa, in the territory of the Benu Kelb, a day's journey from Cufa Ghaleb killed a camel for the rpast of his own people; he boiled the flesh, and distributed porringers of soup amongst the principal members of his family. He sent likewise a porringer to Sahim, who threw it on the ground,
and beat the servant who brought it, saying: “ Am I in want of any of Ghaleb's meal? If he kills a camel, I will kill one too.” And he accordingly slaughtered a camel for food for his family. Thenceforward, the two chiefs vied with each other. Next day, Ghaleb killed two camels ; Sahim did the same.
The third day, Ghaleb killed three; Sahim slew the same number. The fourth day, Ghaleb slaughtered a hundred camels. Sahim, who had not brought so many with him, killed none, and conceived a bitter enmity against his rival.
When the famine ceased at Cufa, and the people had returned, the Benu Riah said to Sahim: “ You have brought upon us an indelible disgrace. Why did you not kill as many camels as Ghaleb”? Sahim alleged as an excuse the impossibility, under the circumstances in which he was placed, of imitating his rival. Soon after, however, in order to obliterate the memory of his defeat, and to signalize his generosity, he caused three hundred camels to be slaughtered, and invited every one without distinction to partake of the feast. Some scrupulous persons, however, consulted Ali, son of Abutaleb, then at Cufa, as to whether religion permitted an acceptance of this invitation. Ali replied by formally prohibiting the eating of the flesh of these camels, “because," said he, “it is ostentation
and pride that has induced Sabim to slay them, and not the laudable desire of offering to his fellowcreatures the necessary sustenance of life." In consequence of this decision, the flesh of the three hundred camels was thrown into the receptacle of the filth of the city, and became the food of dogs and ravens Sahim thus failed in his object, and Ghaleb triumphed.
Farazdak was born at Bassorah, in the latter years of the caliphat of Omar ben Khattab; and in the reign of Osman, he began to make himself known by his satirical verses. He may have been fiften or sixteen years of age when his father presented him to the caliph Ali, in the city of Basso rah, shortly after the “ Day of the Camel," or the decisive victory gained by Ali, before Bassorah, over Talha and Zobayr.* " My son," said Ghaleb, * notwithstanding his youth, is one of the poets of Modhar." “Make him study the Coran," replied Ali; “ that will be better for him." This remark made an impression upon young Farazdak. When he returned to his father's house, he tied his feet together, and vowed he would not untie them till he had learnt the Coran by heart. It is not said whether he fulfilled his vow.
• Ayesha, the farourite wife of Mahomet, was in the army of the rebels, mounted on a camel; this circumstance originated the name given to this celebrated battle.
A few years after, in the beginning of the reign of Moawiyah, he lost his father, whose virtues he commemorated in an elegy still extant. Farazdak always retained a deep veneration for the memory of his father ; he paid a sort of worship, out of the abundance of filial love and respect, at his tomb, and every one who invoked his aid in the name of Ghaleb was sure of his espousing his interests. There are several verses of Farazdak, in the Kitáb al Aghani, or Book of Songs, which relate to acts of beneficence done towards persons who pitched their tents near the grave of Ghaleb, in order to avail themselves of the charity of his son.
About the middle of the reign of Moawiyah, Farazdak, whose talents were now in high esteem, was obliged to quit Bassorah, his native place, in order to elude a peril in which his satirical vein had involved him. He had launched some bitter epigrams against the families of Fakim and Nehshel, who complained to the governor of Irak, then resident at Bassorah. This governor was Zyad, an illegitimate son of Abu Sofyan, but whom the caliph Moawiyah had acknowledged as his brother, in spite of his defect of birth, by reason of his distinguished merit. Zyad had a great regard for some members of the two families attacked by Farazdak, and wished to seize and punish the poet,