Anecdote (f. 79b).

Ibn '´A`isha relates that this Caliph, Sulaymán b. 'Abdu`l-Malik, one day mounted the pulpit, having anointed his beard with perfumed unguent (<Arabic>) so that it utmost dripped from him, and said, “I am the youthful King who is confi­dent in his kingdom and his youth”: and ere another Friday had come he was dead*. He was succeeded by 'Umar b. 'Abdu`l-'Azíz (reigned A. H. 99—101; A. D. 717—720), whose piety, justice, learning and clemency are become proverbial. He abolished the hateful practice of publicly cursing 'Alí, Fáṭima, Ḥasan and Ḥusayn (f. 80a), which, introduced by the Umayyads, had become pretty general throughout the Muḥammadan world, and substituted the reading of the verse (Qur`án, xvi, 92): “Verily God enjoins on you justice, well-doing, and charity towards kinsmen, and forbids you evil speech, unseemly acts and disobedience; He exhorteth you that perchance ye may be admonished.”

He also restored to the descendants of Fáṭima the property of Fadak, of which she had been wrongfully deprived, and it remained in their possession until the time of the 'Abbásid Caliph al-Mutawakkil (reigned A. H. 232—247: A. D. 847— 861)*. Concerning this reparation [the Sharíf] ar-Raḍí says:

<Arabic>* <Arabic>

“In Khwárazm,” says the author, “I heard Nidhám [u`d-Dín] Sam'ání say in the pulpit: ‘I saw in a dream one of the Substitutes (Abdál) of the Prophet seated in the chief seat of apostolic honour, and beside him 'Umar b. 'Abdu`l-'Azíz, and somewhat lower 'Umar b. al-Khaṭṭáb. “How,” I enquired, “hath 'Umar b. 'Abdu`l-'Azíz attained to such proximity?” “Because of his justice,” was the answer. “But,” said I, “was not 'Umar b. al-Khaṭṭab more just than he?” “He,” came the answer, “was just in an epoch of justice; but the other in an epoch of tyranny and injustice.”’”

Yazíd had written to Sulaymán that so great were the spoils of his campaign in Ṭabaristán that the string of camels bearing them would reach continuously even to Syria. 'Umar, into whose hands this letter passed on his accession, demanded of him these boasted spoils, and, as he made excuses, declaring that he had found himself unable to effect their transport, he was cast into prison. Meanwhile the Ispahbad Farrukhán restored in great measure the prosperity of his raided domains, but died in the course of the next year or two, after a reign of seventeen years. And it was he who was the grandfather of Manṣúr al-Mahdí.