Historical Tales and Anecdotes of the Time of the Early Khalifahs/How Hind daughter of en-Nu'am^bi revenged herself upon el-Hajjaj

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IT is said that Hind, the daughter of en-Nuam^n,* was the most beautiful woman of her time ; and

  • There appears to be some confusion here, consequent upon

the possession of the same name by two women who lived about the same time, and both of whom were celebrated for beauty of person and power of mind. Ibn-Khalikdn, in his Biographical Dictionary, gives a slightly different version of the lines in the text which he attributes to Hind, daughter of en-Nuaniin, but states that she composed them upon her husband, Abu-Zaraa, Riih-ibn-Zinba, whom she detested. This Abu-Zaria was the head of the tribe of Judim, and was appointed Gqvernor of Palestine by the Khalifah 'Abd-el-Mdlik, whose intimate and inseparable companion he became. Ibn- Khalikin says that the lines were also attributed to Humaidah, Hind's sister ; and he makes no mention of Hind having been married either to el-Hajjij or to 'Abd-el-Mdlik. According to the same author, the Hind who married el-Hajjdj was daughter of el-Muhdllab, who when el-Hajjij was made ruler over 'Irak, Sijistan, and Khorassan, was appointed to administer the affairs of the last-mentioned province in the name of el-Hajjdj. On el-Muhdllab's death-bed, he nominated his son Yezid as his successor ; but el-Hajjij, having conceived a. violent dislike to, and jealousy of, him, persuaded the Khalifah to dismiss him. He then fell into the power of el-Hajjij, who extorted money from him with tortures so cruel that he could not restrain his

172 'ilAm-en-nAs,

her beauty being highly extolled before el-Hajj&j, he sought her in marriage, and laid out large sums upon her, and settled two hundred thousand dirhems upon her over and above the dowry. Then he married her, and she went down with him to el-Madrrah, her father's country.* And el-Hajjclj remained with her in el-Madrrah for a long while, and then set off with her for 'Irdk, where she abode with him according to the will of God.

And Hind was well-educated and eloquent ; and it happened that one day as el-Hajjdj was going to see her, he heard her reciting :

How can Hind, the perfect little Arabian mare,

The daughter of noble blood, have mated with a mule ?

Should foal of hers prove thoroughbred — richly has Allih

endowed her. If mulish be his nature — 'tis from the mule his sire.

And when el-Hajj&j heard this, he would have

screams. His sister, Hind, who heard his cries, began to weep and lament, whereupon el-Hajjij divorced her. Whether, how- ever. Hind were the daughter of el-Muhdllab, or of en-Niiamdn, she must have been a woman of great spirit and determination ; for she seems to have been the only person capable of coping with such a monster of cruelty as el-Hajjaj is represented tr have been.

  • Madrrat-en-Nuaman lay in the territory of el-'Awisim, a

large district in Syria, having Antioch for its capital.


nothing more to say to her, but determined to divorce her, and sent 'Abd-AUah-ibn-THhir to her with two. hundred thousand dirhems (which were what he owed her) saying to him, " O ibn-THhir ! divorce her in two words, and add nothing thereto."

So 'Abd-AllUh-ibn-Tdhir went to her and said, " Abu-Muhammad, el-Hajjdj, says to thee — Kunti fabintL* And here are the two hundred thousand dirhems which are due to thee from him." Where- upon she made answer : " Know, O ibn-Tcihir, that by Allih ! I was — (his wife) but I did not glory in


it, and I am repudiated, but I do not regret it. And as for this two hundred thousand — it is thine, for bringing me the good news of my deliverance from that dog of a Thakify ! "

And after a while, the Commander of the Faithful,

  • Abd-el-Mdlik-ibn-Marw&n, heard of her, and her

beauty was greatly praised to him. So he sent to demand her in marriage for himself. But she wrote a letter to him in reply, wherein, after compliments, she said, "Kno\yr, O Commander of the Faithful! that I have already had one dog for a husband."

♦ "Thou wert (ellipsis for, Thou wert my wife) — and thou hast been repudiated.'*

174 'ILAM-EN'NAs.

And when 'Abd-el-Mdlik read this, he laughed at her words, and wrote to her a second time; after which it was no longer possible for her to refuse him. So she addressed another letter to him, saying — after compliments — " Know, O Commander of the Faithful ! that upon one condition only will I proceed with the contract. And wert thou to ask, What is the condition 1 I should reply, That el-Hajjaj might lead my litter from el-Madrrah to the country where- insoever thou mayst be. And that he should do this walking barefoot, but with the accoutrements which he always wore.'*

And when 'Abd-el-Malik read her letter, he laughed a hearty laugh, and sent to el-Hajj^j, ordering him the same ; and he, on reading the mandate of the Commander of the Faithful, accepted it, not daring to disobey, but acted according to the command, and sent to Hind warning her to equip.

So she made ready ; and el-Hajjclj travelled with his cavalcade until he reached el-Maarrah, Hind's country. Then she mounted her litter, and her slave- girls and servants rode around her; but el-Hajj§LJ walked barefoot. And he journeyed thus with her,

ding her camel by the bridle.



Then she took to mocking him, and laughing at

him, with her nurse, el-Hift. And by-and-by she

said, " O my nurse ! open me the curtains of the

litter, that I may smell the perfume of the breeze/'

So the nurse opened them, and Hind and el-Hajjdj

found themselves face to face. And she mocked him,

but he recited, saying :

Spite of thy jeering now, O Hind ! for how long a time Have I forsaken thee, like a thrown-off garment ?

But she answered, saying :

It troubled me not when bereft of high estate. Through what I had lost of wealth and rank ; For wealth may be acquired and honour recalled, If Allih preserve the soul from death.

And she continued deriding and laughing, until

they drew nigh unto the Khalifah's country. And

when they came near the town, she dropped some

dinars out of her hand on to the ground, and then

cried, " Ho, cameleer ! we have let some dirhems fall ;

pick them up for us." So el-Hajjelj looked on the

ground, but seeing only dinars, said, "They are

dinars." "Not so," said she; "they are dirhems."

He repeated, "They are dindrs!* Whereupon she

exclaimed, " All&h be praised ! Dirhems fell from

our hand, and Alldh has replaced them by dinirs ! "

Then was el-Hajjclj covered with confusion, and was silent, and made no answer ; but went with her into the presence of 'Abd-el-Mdlik-ibn-Marwcln, who married her. And according to her will, so was everything.