An Account of the Expedition of Abu-Ibrahim-’bn-Ismaïl-’bn-Nuh, and of the Transactions which took place with him and Ilek-Khan, in Mawaralnahr, and with the General of the Army, Abul-Muzaffar-Nasr-’bn-Nasir-Addin-Sabaktagín, in Khurasan.

When Ilek-Khan took Bukhárá, Abu-Alha­reth, and Abdul-Malik, and Ibrahim, and Abu-Yakub, the sons of Núh-’bn-Mansúr, fell into his hands; and he, moreover, took their uncles, Abu-Zakaria and Abu-Salih, and all the other branches of the family of Sámán; and he retained posses­sion of them all and separated the brothers from each other, and kept them apart in prison, lest, if they had been together, they should have began to plot and to seek the means of escaping. And Ibrahim took the robe* of a certain female who was employed about the household, and drew it over his head, and by means of that dress he fled from his residence, and his condition resembled the condition of that (person)* who dressed himself in female clothes and escaped from confinement, and who wrote these verses (Verse)

“I have come forth just as an arrow comes forth — an arrow son of the aim, according to the force, whether it be direct or doubtful.
“Upon me were woman’s dresses, but beneath them was a manly mind; it was like a basket full of spear-points.”

And Muntasir,* when he had escaped from prison, took refuge in the house of a certain old woman of Bukhárá, until the first heat of the news and the first impression of the event was a little abated, and until those who were seeking him put on the dress of despair and no longer felt anxious to find him. Then he went in this disguise to Khwarizm; and, when he was in safety, he resolved to seek revenge. And the rest of the chiefs of the dynasty of the family of Sámán betook themselves to him, and collected a complete army; and Arslán-Balú, who was his Chamberlain, made him return to Bukhárá, where he took prisoner Jafar­tagin, with seventeen other of the principal lords and khans, and sent them to Jurjan. Upon this the others became dispirited and departed to join Ilek-Khan, and Arslán-Balú proceeded closely upon their track, as far as the borders of Samar­kand, and there they came to blows, and, when he arrived at the bridge of Kohak, Tagin-Khan, Governor of Samarkand, on behalf of Ilek-Khán, was posted there, with a complete army, and some forces, which had been driven from Bukhárá (i. e., by Arslán) had joined him; and they with one accord directed their course towards Arslán, nor did Arslán turn aside from them, but stood firmly to attack and engage them. And he broke through their ranks and carried away their property and heavy baggage as booty. And Mun­tasir came to Bukhárá, and the people of Bukhárá made great rejoicings at his arrival, and they con­gratulated one another.

And when Ilek-Khan observed these events he assembled his army and resolved to return. And Arslan-Balu came to His Highness Muntasir, and they perceived that the proceeding most suitable for that conjuncture and the most prudent resolu­tion was this, that they should proceed to Amil-Shatt, and should collect the revenues of those provinces, and should direct their march, by the way of the desert, to Abiward. And they also seized for their own use the troops of Abiward and the territory. And from that place they came to Nishapúr, and outside the gates of Nisha­púr there arose battles between them and the Amír Nasr-’bn-Násir-Addin, but the Amír Nasr, on account of the number of their forces and the crowded multitude of their troops, resolved as a measure of bulwarking security, that, like a brilliant sun,* he would be veiled under the canopy of the family of Abbas. He set his face towards Merú on the dusky chariot of night, and passing by Nishapúr, travelled during all that night at an elephant’s pace, under the young star of darkness, until, when the first streak of the dawn of morning appeared on the eastern horizon, he arrived at the frontiers of Jurjan, and from that place proceeded to Herát (Verse)

“The young* (horse) is no longer disgraced by the inspec­tion of his mouth (in order to ascertain his age). Truly his courage is known confidently upon trust.”

And when intelligence of this event reached the Sultán he forthwith marched, and came by a quick road to Nishapúr, and Muntasir when he received the news of the prospercus success of his standard went forward, and proceeded to Isfarain, and wished to obtain some profit by selling the revenue and forestalling the taxes of that province; but he did not succeed, and finding it impossible to remain there, he proceeded towards the province of Shams-Almuálí-Kabús, and applied himself to pro­cure succour from his Excellency Shams-Almuálí, who, on account of his former eminent dignity and venerable rank, was extremely pleased, and sent to him certain presents and donations, part of which consisted of ten Arabian horses with silver trap­pings, and with the upper part of the reins covered with gold, and thirty others with trappings of silver lace, and thirty housings of silk, and twenty mules with ornaments of gold and silver; and thirty mules of burden laden with precious carpets and rare merchandize, and with the productions of Tabaristán, and with furniture and vessels fit for royalty; and one thousand bales, each containing one thousand royal direms, and thirty thousand dinars of red gold, and fifty wardrobes adorned with splendid tapestry, (and cups with concealed handles*) (?) and precious trappings, and raw silks folded up, and Egyptian books. And the army gave unto him twenty well-prepared guards, who should be ready to fulfil his wishes, and his inten­tions, and (supply) his needs. And he said to him thus, “The most advisable plan at present is this, that thou shouldest proceed to Ray, whilst I send my sons Dará and Manuchhar to serve under your flag, since the throne of the kingdom of Ray is now undecorated (by a prince), and the affairs of that province are in confusion, and that province needs a victorious King, and a successful Emperor, and that a King should arise amidst them who might be the belt of the State. And as the army in that region is wavering, through differences of feelings, the confusion of the times, and the break­ing off of authority, it is needful to use the stirrup of severity, and to reduce those provinces again under our rule, and for one to be seated upon the throne of command, whilst I here quietly enter upon arrangements, and think of some means of your returning to Khurasán, and how to claim your hereditary house.” This intimation was favourably received, and, after offering the prayer for success, he gave orders to march, and he came down over against Ray, and the soldiers who were quartered in the city of Ray came into his camp, and brought pavilions to meet him. And Arslan-Balu and Abúl-Kasim-Simjur, and the other nobles of the State, sent traitors and beguiled them with gifts of ready money, and professions of service, until all began to disagree. And they diverted Muntasir from that plan, and said, “Thy glory and renown is too great for thee that thou should have any (ill) relations with or opposition to a community who are thy subjects, and desire the happiness of serving thy flag, and who are affectionately disposed towards thee by the obligations of near kindred, or who have armed and joined thee as allies and feu­datories” And with respect to them the opinion of a man of judgment was listened to who said, “Kabús would take us by the hand of thy chiefs and supporters, and would knead his scarcely-leavened dough in the oven which shall be found in the hand of thy followers and warriors; so that if the affair turns out according to his wishes, advantage may accrue unto him, or if (which God forbid some evil eye should blight the undertaking, or some cause of weakness supervene, the fault may rest upon some person of the Court.” Muntasir received this coloured and deceitful speech with favour, and marched from Ray, and proceeded by the way of Dámghán. And Dará and Manuchahar separated themselves again from his society, and proceeded to Jurján. Thus this design became abortive, and this decree was fulfilled, “Truly when God wills evil upon a people, then there are no means of repelling Him; nor is there for them any mediating deputy under Him.”

And when Muntasir arrived at Nishapúr, the Amír Nasr was there, and he (Nasr) thought that if he refrained from then opposing Muntasir and delayed awhile, it would be impossible that any evil eye should interrupt his project, as upon occasion of the first collision and the past occurrence. He therefore rose up and retreated towards Jurján. Thus in the month Shawal, in the year 391, Mun­tasir again took up his position at Nishapúr, and sent for the collectors of taxes, and began to demand money, and the produce of the revenue. And the General of the Army, Nasr-Ibn-Násir-Addín re­quested some men from the Sultán, who sent to his assistance the Chamberlain Altontash, who was Governor of Herát, with a complete army. And when he was reinforced by these troops he went towards Nishapúr; and Muntasir sent Arslan-Balú and Abúl-Kasim-Simjúr to fight with him, and between them there ensued many blows, and much slaughter; and the army of the Amír Nasr took vengeance on the army of Muntasir, and de­feated them. “Yes, they have turned their backs in flight, and the word of God hath become effec­tually supreme.” And the Amír Nasr came into Nishapúr, and the men of the city displayed glad­ness, and arranged ceremonies of triumph; and they scattered gifts of gold and silver like drops of rain. And Muntasir went by the way of Abiward, and the army of the Amír Nasr went after him, until they had driven him as far as the frontiers of Jurjan. And the Amír Shams-Alumuáli* sent on to repulse him two thousand men of the Kurdish tribes, that they might give him his answer, and expel him from the frontiers of the kingdom. Into this misfortune did Muntasir fall, and did not con­sider that he had committed a great fault in his determination at Ray, and that in opposing Kabús, and rejecting his sound advice he had lost the right road. And he became alienated from Arslan-Balu on account of the contentions which he caused, and on account of his assumed imperiousness over the affairs of the kingdom and in matters of im­portance. And through his injustice disputing words ensued, and this ill-feeling and malevolence obtained a firm and settled hold upon the mind of Muntasir, and they objected to him another fault which took place in the defeat of Nishapúr, saying that through the calumnies and envy of Abúl-Kasim-Simjúr he refused to renew the fight, but resolved upon inactivity. And this was the pretext for the augmentation of the ill-will of Muntasir, and his hatred increased to such a degree that he put Arslan-Balu to death. This event threw the whole army into confusion, and all moved the tongue of disavowal and aversion towards Muntasir. And Abúl-Kasim-Simjúr exerted himself to repair that state of affairs, and to mend that ragged cloak, and succeeded in quenching that fire, and extin­guishing those burning embers, until all was quiet. And this uproar and disturbance was diminished, and they agreed to a design to be carried out in the direction of Sarkhas. And the Prince of that country, who is called by the name of Pír*-Fakih, who was an ally and supporter of Muntasir, made in his favour offers of service, and gave him money, and provisions, and several regiments. And when they arrived at Sarkhas, and had been replaced in a prosperous condition by the money and revenues and property of Sarkhas, and by the assistance and abundance and liberality of the Prince,* (literally the bailiff), the Amír, commander of the army, Nasr, was convinced that their stay in that place was caused by their grasping covetousness and base designs; therefore he turned against them with his army, and Muntasir confronted him with his forces. A severe engagement ensued between the two parties, but the heavenly decree, and the Divine determination respecting changing the state of affairs, and altering all that could be altered was triumphant, and the happy breeze of the good for­tune of the Amír Nasr blew from the benign quar­ter of the heaven above, and he struck the army of Muntasir against the wall of ruin, and scattered them into dust. And they brought Abúl-Kasim-Simjúr bound with a halter before the Amír Nasr; and in like manner the chamberlain Toztásh, who was the arm, and the efficient friend, and the faith­ful supporter of Muntasir, was taken prisoner. And the greater portion of the army were also taken captive, and all conducted to Ghazna in the robes of reproach and shame. And Muntasir, thus dis­graced and ruined by repeated unlucky strokes of fortune, and by successive blows, became an undone wanderer; whilst the Amír Nasr, placing himself under the canopy of prosperity and might, the pledge of stability and victory, applied himself to the consolidation of his power. And Abu-Mansur-Thaalibi thus speaks in commemoration of this event (Verse)

“Time hath illuminated the white spot of fortune and hath let slip, against the followers of rebellion, the breaking of backs.
“The Lord of the World hath caused these sons of destruction to turn their backs,
“And hath judged amongst them in victory,” &c.

And also this fragment was composed by Abu-Said, his friend (Verse)

“Unto the Amír Al-Muzaffar, wise and just, there is vic­tory. Glorious in heroism and abundance he hath possessed empire with conquest.”