Part II, Chapter XXIII = XLVIII: On Beauty and Nobility of Character.
ff179 f225b-
1500 Introduction dealing with the inherent qualities in man. A striking con­trast of the natural tendencies of ‘Adí b. Ḥátim of Ṭayy and his brother; their mother’s experience while they were infants and later when they distributed charity from the Tower of Doles.
f179b f226a 1501 Ghunayya, daughter of ‘Afíf and wife of the famous Ḥátim of Ṭayy, could not resist the noble passion of generosity even though she possessed only a few camels which had been allotted to her after she had suffered much distress.
f180a 1502 The sad experience of an Arab who brought up a wolf-cub on the milk of a she-goat in the hope of changing the natural ferocity of the beast.
1503 The long-cherished hostility of ‘Abdu’llah b. Málik towards Yaḥyá b. Khálid the Barmecide, and the noble attitude of Yaḥyá towards a scribe who forged a letter of recommendation from Yaḥyá to his enemy.
f180b f226b 1504 The Caliph ‘Alí’s advice to an old man on conduct.
1505 The Prophet’s grief at the death of an ill-natured orphan, and his expla­nation to his wife ‘Á’isha.
1506 ‘Amr b. Sa‘d’s astonishment at al-Ma’mún’s wearing an old and worn-out silk robe, and the Caliph’s remark that the real dignity of the Caliphate does not consist in good clothes.
f181a 1507 After the victorious entry of al-Ma’mún into Baghdád, he gives a fair warning to the notables of the Quraysh and to the sons of ‘Abbás, who had raised the banner of revolt under Ibráhím b. Mahdí.
1508 Aḥmad-i-Mudabbir (?)’s statement about al-Mutawakkil’s secret order, con­cerning the execution of his proclamations and commands, to carry out immediately those that enhance the welfare of the public, and to submit the others to him again for his consideration.
f181a f227a 1509 Thumáma b. Ashras’s interpretation of the saying of the Prophet about the 72 sects in Islám, and the Caliph al-Ma’mún’s appreciation. (Anec. repeated I, i, 35).
1510 al-Ma’mún’s early attempts to suppress rumours afloat in Baghdád; the gossip of the mill-owner and the gentle admonition of the Caliph. (Ta’ríkh-i-Ṭabarí as the source.)
f181b 1511 The happy marriage of an accomplished couple, arising chiefly from the nobility of their characters; Rajá, the son of Málik b. Sa‘d, one of the ruined nobles of the court of al-Ma’mún, is married to the beautiful and virtuous daughter of Málik b. Ḥíra (?), the governor of Baṣra.
f182b f227b 1512 Muḥammad b. Zayd, the ‘Alawí ruler of Ṭabaristán, recounts the story of the clemency of Muḥammad b. Zayd b. Ḥasan b. ‘Alí towards Muḥammad b. Hishám b. ‘Abdu’l-Malik, their traditional enemy, in the affair of the ruby which al-Manṣúr wanted to extort from him, and prevents his people from hurting a descendant of Yazíd. (Cf. T. F. S., pt. II, ch. VII, pp. 2—3).
f183a f228a 1513 Sa‘íd b. Hishám’s anxiety to understand the connection between the Qur’án and the conduct of the Prophet; and ‘Á’isha’s explanation that the Qur’án was his code of life.
1514 The Caliph ‘Alí’s supreme testimony to the glorious character of the Prophet.
f183b 1515 Ṭáhir II presents to al-Mutawakkil a couple of verses, composed by his learned tutor Abú ‘Ubayd Muḥammad, in the form of a panegyric, embodying the ten prime qualities found in ‘Abdu’llah b. Ṭáhir, where­upon the Caliph reinstates him in place of his father, as the governor of Khurásán.
1516 Courteousness of the youthful al-Ma’mún towards al-Aṣma‘í, his tutor, who had punished him severely, and his refusal to complain against him.
f184a f228b 1517 The Caliph Hárún’s practical demonstration before Zubayda of the con­trast between the habits and tastes of his two sons al-Amín and al-Ma’mún; the former as a pleasure-loving prince, and the latter as a serious student of the problems of the state and ever ready for emergencies. (The Siyaru’l-Mulúk is mentioned as the book which al-Ma’mún used constantly to study, probably the work of ‘Abdu’llah ibnu’l-Muqaffa‘, called the Khudáy-Náma, see above, pp. 55—9).
f184b f229a 1518 Ja‘far b. Sulaymán al-Háshimí, the governor of Baṣra, unable to bear the sight of an old servant of his being flogged severely for having stolen a precious necklace of pearls from his treasury, excuses the man on the pretext of his forgetfulness. (Cf. T. F. S. pt. II, p. 25).
f185a 1519 The secretary Amír ‘Abbás [b.] ‘Amr-i-Ghanawí strikes three blows on the neck of one of the poor nobles of the Diyár-i-Rabí‘a, and atones for his misplaced joke by offering a patent to him in return, which the man presents to one of his governors, demands a high price for it, and is relieved from poverty. (T. F. S. as the source).
      The chapter ends with an encomium on the Wazír.