Auspicious is the casting of the auspicious omen!
Not in fixing the hand on the rukh; nay, in fixing (it) on the sháh-rukh:


The ka'ba. See Sale's Ḳurán, chap. iii. iv.; Preliminary Discourse, section iv.; Lane's “Modern Egyptians,” pp. 213, 322; Osborne's “Islám under the Arabs,” pp. 72, 75, 77, 95; “Notes on Muhamma-danism,” by Hughes; “Islám and its Founder,” 1878, by J. W. Stobart, art. Kaaba (Ka'ba); “History of Arabia,” by David Price, 1824; “A Pilgrimage to Makka and Madina,” by Richard F. Burton, edition of 1856, vol. iii. pp. 223, 101, 197, 149, 245, 265, 280, 305, and 317; edition of 1879, vol. i. pp. 379, 403, 489, 416, 426, 433, 444, and 451. The edition of 1856 contains more information than that of 1879.

To the Ka'ba or Baitu-'lláh. To the tomb of a saint.

The pilgrimage is called hajj ziyárat
The pilgrim is called hájí zá,ir
The conductor is called amíru-l-hajj muzawwir (?)

The second line may be:—

Not in casting the lot of the rukh (which is low); nay, in casting that of the sháh-rukh (which is lofty).

In the move of sháh-rukh at chess, the rukh (the castle) is captured and check given to the sháh (the king).

(In) exhibiting loftiness in (the state of inward) abjectness;
Being composed in (the state of outward) confusion:

(In) consuming in wardly the liver like the candle;
Kindling outwardly with gladness.

When man becomes helpless as to remedy-devising,
He goes helplessly to omens:


Brings to his grasp the (iron) key (of remedy) from sand and stone (the implements of geomancy);
For iron (of the key of remedy) often springs from sand and stone (of the mountain-mine).

Of the door (of concealed work) that from the hidden becomes not open;
Save the knower of the hidden (God), none knows the key.

From well-being, cast the omen that is profitable to thee;
For thy—“May it be well”—is the source of thy well­being.

Grieve not at thy state of emaciation; for thou mayst become fat;
When thou sayest—“Let me be better than this,”—thou wilt become better.


“Reg” signifies—'ilm-i-reg, or geomancy, which is practised by drawing lines with the finger on sand spread on a stone slab; and disposing about them certain points, from the combination of which the Arabs foretell future events.

“Sang” may signify—the tomb-stone of the great and the holy at which people pray.

Hence, by sang, or by reg, one may find a remedy.

Iron is supposed to be produced in the mine through the effects of Mars.


In the happy omen that comes from the tongue is also happiness of state.

For us, to cast the die regarding (the beginning of) a work (relying on God's mercy);
For the work-creator (God), the doing our work.


In this enigma (presaging happiness), in which justice is the aid-giver,
If thou gain not the bad omen,—it is well.

O (luminous, spiritual) heart! the screen (of purity) is scanty. Be thou my friend;
Be thou my chamberlain from the screen-renders (bad deeds).

Of my lustrous verse, the representer (my pen),
—Whose beauty (written verse) becomes my adorner,—

Gives news that that king, world-seizing,
When (by victory) he pitched the court on the sphere,—

The messenger (Aristotle) to that land and clime,
Sent to the powerful ones of Rúm.


When he became fearless as regards the sorcery of the world (of Irán),
He kept watch over the world by patrolling.

At the glad tidings of his justice, all the world (Irán)
Drank not even a drop (of wine) without remembrance of him (saying—Long be his life!)


The first parda signifies—tafawwul-i-nek; the second, fál.


In this screen (the world) in which justice (of man) is the helper,

If thou bring not the false note (the sinful deed),—it is well.


When the robe is tight or scanty on the body a slight motion rends it.


The first line may be:—

Of my lustrous dwelling (the body) the representer (the heart); for the external beauty of the body of the holy traveller is due to his internal purity.


This couplet should be:—

The king sent the messenger to that land.


Having sent Roshanak and the booty to Rúm, he feared no longer that the enemy could injure him.

Sikandar, who was the happy world-keeper,
Was night and day vigilant in business.

On the musical instrument of the world,—through kindness,
He played no note save of graciousness.

Although the world came within his noose,
Whatever pleasure appeared agreeable to him, he exercised not.


He used not his judgment to the vexing of any;
Planted not a foot outside of the line of justice:

Vexed not any of the arrogant ones (of Irán);
Rendered conspicuous the sign of safety.

And, if he even slew one equality-claiming (the enemy),
Than him, he strengthened the back of that one better (in kindliness).

And if he rendered waste the land of a city,
Better than it, he founded another city.

Time considers not proper—save this indeed,
That it should make this good (in state) and that bad.


Sikandar, who effected that prosperousness (of 'Ajam),—
The Iskandrian wall (of shelter) is—where to where?


“Pahlu zan” signifies—barábarí kunanda.


The “Asiatic Journal,” vol. x. January-April, 1833, p. 70, says:—

The wall of Darband, said to extend along the whole chain of the mountains of Tabassaran, was first known in Europe in 1722, when Peter the Great undertook a campaign against the Persians. From Arabic and Turkish historians we learn that the inhabitants of the Caucasus attribute its construction to Iskandar Zú-l-Ḳarnain-i-Akbar (not Alexander the Great); and that Kay Ḳubád (Dijoces, B.C. 696), to prevent the irruption of the Turks and Khazars living north of the Caucasus, built, with the consent of their Kháḳán, this wall on the ancient foundations (shown to him by the archangel Gabriel) of the wall built by Sikandar Zú-l-Ḳarnain-i-Akbar.

Kay Ḳubád placed in it gates of iron, and finished it in seven years. Thus, with a hundred men at each gate he could repel a hundred thou­sand men of the enemy.

Succeeding monarchs of Persia continued to fortify the wall. Sikandar Zú-l-Ḳarnain-i-Așghar (Alexander the Great, B.C 356-323) built Dar-band; Yazdijird (A.D. 440-457) freed the southern part of the city from sand; and Naushíraván (A.D. 542) completed the work and fortified the town.

In 1832 some Russian officers visited the place and reported as follows:—

The Caucasian wall begins at the southern angle of Fort Narym, and runs from east to west over the heights and along the ravines. Where the wall follows the slope, the upper bricks (2⁄12; ft. long, 1⁄34; ft. wide, 1 ft. thick), placed without cement, project beyond the lower ones. The three hundred towers between Darband and the gate of Allan are filled with earth, and of the same height as the wall.

No trace of an arch is to be seen, a fact that tends to show the great antiquity of the wall.

In the gates of Darband semicircular arches (not known in Arabian architecture) are observable; but these are of later construction.

The “Indian Antiquary,” December, 1872, says:—

Gog and Magog are said to be descendants of Japhet, son of Noah. Gog is of Turkish and Magog of Gilání descent. They are anthropo­phagi. Ḳurán, xviii. and xxi.

The wall of Gog and Magog is doubtless the great wall of China, A.D. 100.

Caussin de Perceval (vol. i. p. 66) identifies the wall with the fortifica-cations from the west shore of the Caspian to the Euxine, built by Alexander the Great (?), and repaired by Yazdijird (A.D. 448).

Reinegg (“Beschreib des Caucasus,” ii. 79) makes Gog the same as the mountain Ghef Ghogh; the syllable ma in Magog is the Sanskrit mahá, great. Conf. Rodwell's Ḳurán, p. 181-223.

See canto xiii. couplets 25, 47, and 49.

From the circle of Chín (in the east) to the boundary of the west,
A foot-messenger ran to his court.

Every potentate sought a treaty of alliance,
In seeking protection against every country:

And of those curiosities which were heart-fascinating,
Each one sent with adornment and beauty.


“Kírván” (Arab ḳayraván, káraván) may signify—east; west; a karavan. Since kír signifies—pitch, Kírván may signify—the west (Africa) where the people are black.

The world-possessor ordered that with pure musk (black ink)
They should write a reply to every quarter.


After that, when some time passed over this (writing of the answers),
The sky struck down the head of some on the earth (in homage to Sikandar).

The world-ruler, in respect to world-assaulting,
Determined upon marching.

He had read the science-books (of verse) of Arabia;
Had remained for years in that desire,

That, as his power was over Persia,
Arabia also might be the slave of his path (of regulation).

(That) he might also view the beauty of the ka'ba,
Might become gladdened by that picture of victorious omen.


When the country of Persia became obedient to the king,
He moved his camp to the country of Arabia:

Took up gold-treasure in ass-loads;
Took the road with the purpose of traversing the desert.

The chiefs of Arabia, on account of his gold-scattering,
Brought their heads (in obedience) at the line of his order.

When they saw the victoriousness of his army,
Arabia also became obedient to him.

Against the territory of the Arabs in such a way he hastened
That from it, injury reached not the Arabs.


The text has—az án fál fíroz fál.

It should properly be—az án naḳḳash fíroz hál.


The first line may be:—

Of the chiefs of Arabia,—his gold-scattering.


“Táz” signifies—faromaya.

The second line may be:—

That from it injury reached not the Arab steeds.


At every stage where he went,
They brought him both victuals (in hospitality) and also a magnificent present;

Besides victuals fit for eating,
Verily, (numbers) of sheep fit for eating.

To the limit of their own resources,
They brought before him much treasure.

Both of Arab-steeds, desert-travelling,
And of swords like water (in lustre), poisoned-water-devouring:

Of spears of Khatay, thirty cubits,—
Their points, nurture found in blood:


The camel also, both the female and the two-year old,
The hastener like the wind, pure of dust:

Perfumed leather and other rare curiosities,
Both of the kind of jewels, and of the kind of perfumes.

Time to time (continually), in accordance with his rank,
They carried a present to his court.

The world-possessor—when he saw that treasure revealed
In ass-loads—became the examiner of the treasure.

All the desert supported satin cloths;
The earth became hidden beneath the rubies.


He went face-illumined towards the ka'ba,—
The manner of the ceremonies learned.


“'Inán khúsh kardan” signifies—raftan va árám giriftan.


“Bí surák” (dur sarra) is a camel young and strong, dam Arabian and sire two-humped (do kohán).


Hisáb-i-manásik” signifies—the custom of pilgrimage according to Abraham.

Placed his foot on the summit of the world's navel (Makka);
Much musk (blessings),—which he opened from the world's navel.

Like the compass of the sphere, around that centre-place (of the world)
He measured the road with the foot of worship.

The circuiting around the ka'ba, from which there is escape to none,
He performed, and became (in supplication) ring-seizer of the (door of the) house (the ka'ba):

First he kissed the door of the ka'ba;
Called to mind his own protector (God):


Beat his head on that threshold;
Gave much treasure to the darvesh.

His giving of dirams was the Ganj-i-raván (Koráh's treasure);
His giving of camels, káraváns.

When he established himself in the house of the true (the ka'ba),
He became the worshipper of the Lord (God):

Adorned all the house of the ka'ba with treasure and jewels;
Adorned the door and roof with musk and ambergris.


The second line may be:—

He became ring-taker (circler) about the house (the ka'ba).

For the ceremony of circumambulation, see “A Pilgrimage to Makka and Madina,” by Richard Burton.

Burton relates how he saw—a poor wretch, with arms thrown on high so that every part of his person might touch the ka'ba (the baitu-'lláh, the house of God),—clinging to the kiswat (the curtain enveloping the upper part of the ka'ba), and sobbing as though his heart would break.

awwáf, a circumambulator; awáf, circumambulating; muawwaf, the conductor of the circumambulation.


See canto xxiv. couplet 7.


“Dar giriftan.” See canto xxvii. couplet 71; xxxvi. 37; xxxviii. 9.

When he had performed the conditions of worship,
He brought the perfumed leather (the land) of Yaman beneath his foot:


Illumined Yaman with the dust of his host (his army),
As the star Canopus illumines Yaman:

Entered the country of Irák by another way;
Agreed (to go) towards his own house (of Rúm).

A messenger like the noble one entered,
From the ruler (Sikandar's viceroy) of the people of Ázar-ábád,

Saying:—“When the world-king subdued the world,
“He made lost the name of tyranny in the world.

“Why did he languidly let go the work of Arman (the abolishing of fire-worshipping)?
“Why made he not fresh search as to that land and soil?


“That land nearer to thy morning (of existence, the west),
“Why remained it darker (through infidelity) than Syria?

“They perform fire-worshipping in Arman;
“They show obedience to another king (not Sikandar).

“In Abkház is a champion of 'Ád descent,
“—Who brings not to mind (recks not) battle with Rustám,—

“Daválí by name; that bold horseman
“Brings forth the thong from (the hide of) the body of the fierce lion.


Among the old writers, chunán chún signifies—chunánki.


“Tahí nám kardan” signifies—gum nám va ma'dum kardan.


The second line may be:—

Further, they make (consider) the king a subject.


“Abkház” may mean—a province of Georgia (Rashídí); of Turkistán (Burhán); a tribe (Ḳámús).

“The brave ones of Arman, his well-wishers,
“Loin-girt as to his order and path (of fire-worshipping),


“Drink every cup of wine to his memory;
“Take to him the tribute of the country.

“If the king be unable to attack him,
“He will make this country void of us.”

The world-possessor, when he heard of this one of strong arm,
Led his army from Babylon to Arman:

Entered Arman like an angry river;
—Of the wind, the foot became slow on account of the dust he raised.—

Washed that country of the stain (of infidelity);
—(The climate of) Arman was agreeable to the king.—


Cast from it the order and custom of the evil ones,—
The fire-priests, fire-worshipping;

And thence made a sudden assault against Abkház;
Opened the door of hate against the men of Abkház.

The war-drum began to throb;
The (lofty) lance-tip uttered its secret to the sky.

At every fortress to which he gave his message (demanding surrender),
They brought to him the key of the gate of the fortress.

Daválí, army-leader of the land of Abkház,
When he knew that the monarch of Rúm had come,


Quickly bound on his loins the leathern strap of fidelity (to Sikandar);
Washed his illumined heart from malice towards the king.

Like those versed in affairs, he despatched the escort
For the kissing of the hand of the world-king:

Took much valuable treasure;
Entrusted it to the Khusrau's treasure-keepers:

Entered the court and kissed the dust;
Purified his heart of the claim of hostility.

Sikandar, world-possessor, world-wanderer,
When he saw such manliness on the part of the noble man,


Gave (displayed) to him the path of courteousness;
Gave him the place near his throne:

Asked him first in a gentle voice (of his state);
Warmed his heart with a soft tongue:

Ordered that the treasurer, quickly rising (to order),
Should scatter for him treasure to the height of the elephant:

The royal dress of honour, worthy of him,
Should adorn with collar and ear-ring,

With brocade and jewel; (and) with sword and cup,
Should bestow the decoration of perfect royalty.


The treasurer, practised in action, did so,
As the monarch of good judgment directed.

When with good fortune Daválí
Put on the black Iskandrian robe,

With collar of gold and crown, jewel-scattering,
He became neck-exalting among those neck-exalting (the great ones).

Opened his tongue in thanks to the monarch;
Invoked a blessing on him from God:


Formerly, when kings honoured anyone, they gave a golden collar, a jewelled girdle, and an ear-ring (or two).

Became the greater hastener in that service;
Became head-exalter (in honour) instead of head-lowerer (in shame):


Bound his loins in the monarch's service;
And afterwards all his service was work for him (only).

He thus became, in Khusrau-adorning, special to such a degree,
That he surpassed all the confidential ones.

In that land more resplendent than the garden-court,
The king's eye became illumined like the lamp.

The keeper of the age (Sikandar) so regarded the environs (of Abkház),
(That) he rested and obtained a share of that joyousness.

That man, the old villager (the historian), thus spoke,
Saying:—“Tighlís, through him (Sikandar), became prosperous.”


On the dust of that land and clime (of Abkház), he ordered
(Them) to establish a foundation (Tighlís) after the fashion of Rúm (prosperous).

He went hunting from that halting-place (of Abkház),
Rein let loose for hunting in the desert.

Two weeks, less or more, in the mountain and plain,
(Towards Burda') he travelled the road (engaged) in game-overthrowing.


Tighlís is the capital of Arman (Armenia), in the vicinity of Abkház, founded by Sikandar.


In some copies, after this couplet the following occurs:—

In that land of Abkház adorned like Paradise,

Night and day he sowed no seed save goodness.

When he made the place (the mountain and the plain) void of bird and of fish,
He showed desire (to go) towards Núshába (the Queen of Burda'):

Was mindful of reverence to that lady;
For she was possessed of much territory and much wealth.


He beheld the world (of Burda') fresh by reason of many sown-fields and streams;
With joyousness he alighted at that place.

Come, cup-bearer! that wine (of senselessness),—which is soul-cherishing;
Is, like running (pure) water, fit for the thirsty one,—

In this grief (of desire of gold) in which from thirst I have burned,
Give me; for I have learned drinking the wine (of sense­lessness).


“Naushába,” commonly, Núshába, properly, signifies—the water of life.

Firdausí, in his Sháh-Náma, calls her—Ḳaydáfa.