Last writing of Muhammad ibn az Zaiyat

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Last writing of Muhammad ibn az Zaiyat
by Muhammad ibn az Zaiyat
As vizier of Baghdad's Caliph al-Mutawakhil, ibn az Zaiyat was imprisoned in a torture device similar in form to the w:iron maiden of his own invention, for forty days. The day before he passed away, he begged leave to write a letter to the Caliph begging compassion. When the Caliph read the letter the following day, he ordered the prisoner released, only to discover he had died in the tortureous cage. This translation is taken from Ibn Khall. Volume III, pp 254-255


Letter to Caliph: "Such is the way of earthly things; from day to day they fleet on and pass away , as visions seen in sleep. Cease repining! Such events are the vicissitudes which fortune transmits from man to man"

Scrawled on the side of the torture cage: "Let him who knows where sleep is to be found direct toward it one who longs for it. May God have mercy on the compassionate man who will lead sleep to my eyes! I wake, but he sleeps by whom I am despised"