Part I, Chapter XVI. On pithy and judicious answers given by wise men.
f202a f146b 838 Introduction. The Cailph ‘Umar excuses a sinner, when he reminds him of his neglect of three injunctions.
839 Happy retorts of a drunkard to the Amír of Balkh.
f202b f147a 840 The retaliation of the Imám Ḥasan against Mu‘áwiya.
841 Muḥammad ibnu’l-Ḥanafiyya’s reply about the Caliph ‘Alí’s sending him to the field and keeping Ḥasan and Ḥusayn at home.
842 ‘Abdu’llah b. ‘Abbás supports his prediction about the rule of ‘Abdullah b. Muṭí‘ and ‘Abdu’llah b. Ḥanẓala by a clever reply, when challanged by questioners.
843 Admonishing reply of Muḥammad ibnu’l-Ḥanafiyya to al-Ḥajjáj.
844 Hishám b. ‘Abdu’l-Malik cooled down by the pointed reply of a convicted servant.
845 The three occasions upon which the Caliph al-Ma’mún was reduced to silence in spite of his ready wit.
f203a 846 ‘Abdu’l-Masiḥ, the archbishop of Ḥíra, gives evasive replies to Khálid b. Walíd while settling peace terms.
f147b 847 bis Witty remarks of a divine about cheese on and off the table of a Caliph.
847a The Caliph Mu‘áwiya’s three piquant replies to Iyás, when three of his defects were pointed out to him.
f203a f147b 848 Jaḥáma (?) the Zindíq, when brought before the Caliph Hárún and questioned about his heretical conduct, acquits himself by blaming the Caliph in return.
849 The conspiracy of Dihqán of Baḥrayn against Mughíra b. Shu‘ba, and the latter’s counterstroke before the Caliph ‘Umar.
f203b 850 Brutal rejoinder of a rich pilgrim, a notable of Bukhárá, to a poor pilgrim, who had impudently challanged him. (Cf. Qábús-Náma, Litho. Ṭihrán. P 20/1, Anec. same.)
* 851 Why Mu‘áfá (?) b. Nu‘aym and Ma‘bad b. Ṭawq were saluted respectively by the Baní ‘Anbar.
f147b 852 Sátigín, the Turkish guard, defends the Turks from the charge of insolence by asking his critics the fate of the first four Caliphs, when there was no fear of Turks.
f148a 853 The Qádhí Sharík b. ‘Abdu’llah’s moral courage and bold replies to the Caliph al-Mahdí.
854 Bárbad the Minstrel in jealousy kills his slave musician, and Parwíz’s order for his execution is averted by a clever reply.
855 Another witty reply of Bárbad, at which Parwíz releases a condemned courtier and rewards Bárbad. (Cf. N. S. N. p. 118 and also T. F. S. pt. I, ch. IV, pp. 72—3).
f204a 856 Murra (?) a friend of al-Ḥajjáj passes a witty remark about the government officials while blaming the scribes.
857 The wilful silence of Thumáma b. Ashras when the Wazír Fadhl b. Sahl wanted a corroboration of his denunciation of ‘Abdu’llah b. Málik al-Khuzá‘í, and his clever defence.
f148b 858 ‘Abdu’l-Malik b. Marwán appreciates the explanation of Ibn-i-‘Uyayna on his refusal of the offer of Egypt.
859 Ma‘n b. Zá’ida’s happy replies to the Caliph Hárún’s queries.
860 ‘Attábí, the poet’s, mixed condolence and congratulation, at the death of al-Hádí and the accession of Hárún to the Caliphate.
861 ash-Sha‘bí as an ambassador to the court of the Qayṣar of Rúm, and how he removed the unfavourable impression produced by the Qayṣar’s letter on al-Manṣúr (?). (Cf. Ibn Khallikán. Wüst. Biog. no. 316, story ascribed to Sha‘bi and the Caliph ‘Abdu’l-Malik b. Marwán).
f204b 862 ash-Sha‘bí’s young nephew plays a practical joke on a retainer of an Amír, who took him as a bearer.
863 Ibn Ḥamdún’s humorous remark about Yúnus (?), a favourite slave of the Caliph al-Mu‘tazz.
864 Khálid b. Azhar’s puns on his own, his father’s name and the name of his native town, and his witty remark about a line of a poet on the bread of Káshán, his native place, and how the Caliph al-Ma’mún appreciated it and installed him as the governor of Jurján and Ṭabaristán.
f149a 865 On the Caliph al-Manṣúr expressing resentment at the inefficiency of his own generals, and citing the instance of al-Ḥajjáj among the Umayyads, ‘Abbás the courtier submits that al-Ḥajjáj was almost absolute, and that if the Caliph chose there were to be found many more efficient than he in the Caliph’s army.
f204b f149a 866 A eunuch obtains his release by sophistry, when brought before the court of the Amír Siddí (or Sindí) for peculation, by saying that just as the people falsely call him Siddí or ‘Black’, so also they have con­victed him falsely.
f205a 867 Thumáma retorts upon Aḥmad b. Abí Khálid, the sensitive Wazír, by hinting that he was fit for the post of a minister, if offered.
868 A Rabbi taunts Khálid-i-Qasrí for his disregard of the worshipfulness of Zayd b. ‘Alí the descendant of the Prophet.
869 Hibatu’llah Ibráhím b. al-Mahdí embarrassed at the witty remark of the young son of al-Ma’mún about his signet-ring.
870 An Arab among the ‘Helpers’ makes a sarcastic remark on the irritability of Aḥmad b. Abí Khálid.
* 871 Duwayd of Khurásán impeaches Qásim b. Mujáshi‘ for asking leave from the battle-field; the latter’s reply and Abú Muslim of Marw’s appreciation.
f149a 872 The Imám Ḥasan abhors war and bloodshed, and refuses to fight for Mu‘áwiya against the rising of Duwaydatu’l-Asadí.
f205b f149b 873 An Arab’s trenchant remark on Mu‘awiya’s miserliness at meals.
874 The Caliph al-Hádí forgives a condemned secretary who recites apologetic verses proper to the occasion.
875 The Caliph al-Manṣúr arrests Ja‘far b. Muḥammad b. ‘Alí b. Ḥusayn and forgives him on his describing a certain type of hypocrisy, illustrated by Ibráhím and Muḥammad the sons of ‘Abdu’r-Raḥmán b. al-Ḥusayn.
876 Ṭurayḥ b. Ismá‘íl ath-Thaqafí the poet’s clever defence before the Caliph al-Manṣúr for having written an ode in honour of the Caliph Walid b. Yazid. (Cf. Ibn Qutayba’s ash-Shu‘ará, p. 427).
* 877 A drunkard and a Zindíq are brought before the tribunal; the former escapes punishment by a witty remark, while the latter is executed. (T. F. S. pt. I, ch. IV. p. 73).