Endless praises be to our Creator, whose majesty is exalted and thousands of blessings be on that chief of sub­lunary beings Ahmad Mustafa Muhammed the chosen, may the favour and the peace of God be on him and his race.

AFTER the expressing of praise and eulogy, be it known that the historians of events and narrators of facts have given us the following account of genealogy* of Taiben-Kahlān-ben-Rasn-ben-Nakhshab (ben-Nazrab) ben-Kahtan ben-Hūd. They have related that in the days of paganism Hūd was a man who obtained regal power in the territory of Yemen.* His father was chief of a village, and in course of time, when he died, the chieftainship of the village devolved on Hūd. Some time had thus passed when the reflection occupied his mind, “that to remain like the homely mouse in a situation such as this, and like the spider to live in obscurity, is unbecoming a youth of spirit.” Hav­ing assembled in council his clansmen and friends, he thus addressed them: “My dear friends, it is my intention to wrest my head from the servitude of our prince and to measure strength with him; and should God the Supreme aid me, I will possess myself of the tyrant’s throne, and will bestow such happiness on this country that my conduct will be approved of by every nation on earth.” The whole assembly, delighted, expressed their approbation in return, stating at the same time that (ample) funds were necessary or the enterprize.

Hūd therefore occupied himself for seven years in the collecting of stores, and at the end of the seven years he began to levy troops. Meanwhile, intelligence reached the King of Yemen that Hūd was employed in raising an army, and that it was uncertain what plans he had in view. The King of Yemen (on hearing this) got his troops in readiness, and when Hūd was informed of it, he took the field with an army of fifty thousand horse and foot, that he had levied and furnished with arms during the preceding seven years, with which force he was now resolved on resistance. He also bestowed most liberally the treasures that he had amassed; and all the men of the different districts flocked around him, and he received them into his service and gave them gold in profusion.

When (as it happened) the King of Yemen’s troops defeated and dispersed in the field of battle, gave intelli­gence and shewed evidence of the occurrence to their sovereign, the King in person, with the whole of his forces marched against Hūd; but as fortune had now withdrawn, her countenance from the King’s household, he also was vanquished, and taken prisoner by Hūd. The ruler of Yemen shortly alter died of grief, when Hūd succeeded him, and occupied the regal throne. For the space of a hundred years Hūd reigned over the kingdom of Yemen with equity and moderation, such as had never previously existed; and at the end of the century he died, when his son Kahtān ascended the throne. He also promoted the prosperity and happiness of the country. He had a son whom he called Nakhshab,* and whom he caused to be carefully brought up; but when the youth arrived at the goal of puberty, he rebelled against his father and spread sedition through the whole kingdom, thus setting his face on disobedience. Sometime after, his father died, and thence Nakhshab suc­ceeded as King of Yemen. To Nakhshab was born a son, whom they called by name Rasn. The youth becoming disaffected towards his father Naskshab in his capacity of sovereign, he was kept apart from the latter by his mother. Nakhshab (ignorant of the circumstance) became anxious for his son Rasn, and desired to have him brought to his presence; but the object of his wish was nowhere to be found. Shortly after, Nakhshab was deprived of reason (on discovering) that Rasn was bringing the country to ruin. Rasn had a son Kahlan, who caused his father to be seized and sent into confinement; nor would he never release him lest by so doing the kingdom should become a prey to calamity. At length the father died in confinement, and the crown was settled on Kahlan. To him was born a son whose name was Taï, and who on his father’s death became sovereign of Yemen. So strictly did Taï promote equity and administer justice throughout his dominions, that he gained the approbation and received the gratitude of all his subjects. To such extent did he increase his countless troops, that he soon reduced the whole empire of Arabia into his own possession. He further afforded his protection to the grandees of Yemen and the neighbouring provinces.

Shortly after this period, those who sat in court with him happened to mention the amiable qualities of Husn Banu, the daughter of Aden, by which the affection of Taï the king towards her was increased. This lady, the daugh­ter of his uncle, he took in marriage, and by her he had a son whose name was called Hatim, and (at whose birth) the philosophers and astrologers were in attendance. These discovered from Hatim’s horoscope that he should be sovereign of the seven regions; and that he should gird his loins in the service of God the Supreme, so that for his good qualities his name would last till the day of judgment. On hearing this, Tai was exceedingly delighted, and bestowed gifts on the philosophers and astrologers, and made (public) rejoicing.

Now (it happened that) on the very day on which Hatim was born, six* thousand male children were born in the city. Taï gave orders, and issued a proclamation that every male child born on such a day should be brought to his court. His servants accordingly collected the six thou­sand infants, and Taï having procured as many nurses, took upon himself the care of bringing them up. He also appointed four youthful nurses, fair of countenance, to wait on Hatim, who (it was observed) would not suck milk. The father was informed of this circumstance, and having assembled the philosophers and astrologers, he said to them, “what is the reason that Hatim does not suck milk?” They replied, “this child is destined to become famous in the world for his liberality, and unless he be suckled along with others (and thus share the milk with them), he will not otherwise accept of any.” This plan they adopted, and Hatim began to suck milk in company with the other children. He never used to cry, nor suck milk if alone, nor listlessly indulge in sleep. After he had been weaned, and began to live on (ordinary) food, if at any time he was taken out and saw a poor person, he used to make signs with his hands, (imploring) his attendants to give him alms. When they presented him with food, he used to sit down at table and eat it in company with six thousand boys who were brought up with him. For the whole day his sports and occupations were such that his hand never ceased from giving;* and till he was twelve years of age, his avocation consisted in liberality. His father had amassed boundless treasure, and the son gave it away with liberality, and was the stranger’s friend.

When he used to go a hunting, he never wounded a liv­ing creature with an arrow or any other deadly weapon; on the country, he used to catch them in nets and again set them at liberty. He never uttered violent (or abusive) lan­guage; but expressed his sentiments in the mildest strain. Beauty he possessed in the extreme, so that all men and women admired him. When any one approached him with a complaint, and laid hold of his horse’s bridle, he used in the most consoling language to examine the grievances of such, and afford his protection, for tyranny and oppression he countenanced not.

In this same manner some time elapsed, when the flow­ers of youth began (to blossom) on the rosebud of his cheeks and his beauty was daily on the increase; and notwith­standing the multitude of men and women who used to come for the purpose of beholding the beauty of Hatim, he never prevented them from seeing his person. He would say to them, “my subjects, why behold a fellow-creature? You ought to contemplate and praise that Creator who has made both me and you, and to occupy yourselves in deeds of humanity and bravery.”

Thus the renown of Hatim’s beauty and bravery and liberality and affabillity reached the extremities of the earth, and all the world admired him and came to see him.

One day Hatim went to the desert, where on a sudden a lion met him: he said in his heart, “If I attack this lion with my weapon it will be remote from humanity, and if I smite him not the lion will devour me; perhaps by the divine favour I may soothe the lion’s heart.”* In mild language he addressed the lion, saying, “Creature of God, if thou hungerest for my flesh, it is at thy service; and if thy longing be for flesh wherewith to fill thy belly, here is my horse— eat and appease thy hunger: but if thou hast a wish for my own flesh, for the sake of God I will give it thee; devour me, and be not sad-hearted.” At these mild expres­sions the lion crouched, and Hatim removed his armour from his person, and took down the saddle from his horse and with clasped hands came before the lion and said, “of the two, whichsoever be thy choice, eat, and depart not sad in heart.” At these words the lion lowered his head and fell at the feet of Hatim, and began to wipe his eyes against them. Hatim said, “Creature of God, far be it from Hatim that thou shouldst depart hungry; for God the Supreme has created the horse for the benefit of his creatures, therefore eat; and if thou hast a desire for my own flesh, as a divine duty I bestow it on thee; but go not away hungry and distressed in heart. Of my own free will I give (up myself), and if thou eat me not, thou wilt distress me.” The lion laid his face in the dust, and then departed to his haunt. Thus did Hatim practise beneficence and kindness, which he extended towards his fellow-creatures. He never gave way to selfish repining or regret, and in the way (which is pleas­ing) to God, he devoted his life and person to the service of humanity.