Las mil y una noches
The One Thousand and One Nights
When King Al-Mahdi ruled, a man named Isaac Said went up to the doorman of the palace and declared: -Announce me to the Emir of the believers.
And Rebi, the doorman, asked him:
-Tell me who you are and what you want.
And Said replied:
-I am a man that had a vision about the Emir of the believers and I want to reveal it to him.
And Rebi the doorman responded:
-Look at this one! If people usually tend to not give credit to what can be seen, how can they give it to what others say? Do you have a better joke?
But Said told the doorman:
It’s ok; but I warn you that if you do not announce my presence to the King, I will find someone else that will take me to him, and then I shall tell him that I begged you to take me to him but you refused to do so.
It was then that Rebi went to the King’s room and told him:
-Oh Emir of the believers! There is a man at the door who says he had a good vision of you and wishes to share it with you.
-Well, let him pass, said Al-Mahdi.
Said went in and approached the King. People say that Said is a good man with a handsome face and a very long beard and a loose tongue. And when the King finally saw Said, he asked him:
-So what is this vision you had of me? That way Allah may bless you.
-I saw someone come to me in a dream and tell me: “Tell the Emir of the believers that he shall sit in the throne for a total of thirty years, and in sight of that, he will see a ruby in his dream the night after, as well as thirty other rubies more”.
After hearing that, Al-Mahdi said:
-What a beautiful dream! I will try in my dream tonight what you just told me, and if it comes true, I will give you even more than what you could ever imagine; and if it doesn’t come true, I shall not punish you, since sometimes dreams can tell us the truth, but other times they can fool us.
After the King stopped talking, Said replied:
-Oh, Emir of the believers! When I go back to my home and tell my family that I had the honor to meet with the King – may Allah fill you with mercies – and see that I go back empty handed, what will they say? They will not believe me! -So what do you want me to do? asked Al-Mahdi.
-Oh, Emir of the believers! Give me in advanced a little bit of what you promised me.
And so, the King ordered ten thousand coins to be given to Said, but asked him to return them the next day.
Said took the money, and the King asked him:
-So, who will be your guarantor?
Said looked around himself and noticed a young man standing there, and replied to the King:
-He shall be my guarantor.
The king asked the young man:
-Will you be his guarantor?
The young man said:
-Yes, Emir of the believers. I shall be his guarantor.
After, Said left from there with the ten thousand coins. What happened then when the night fell was that the King in his dream had the vision of Said announcing to him exactly what he had done that day.
In the morning, Said woke up and went to the King’s door and asked for his presence to be announced to the King. Al-Mahdi gave the order for him to come in, and without looking at him the King said:
-Where is the truth of what you told me?
-Well, what did the Emir of the believers see?
The King took a bit long to answer and finally said:
-To be honest, I had the vision of you telling me about your vision of me.
And just then the King ordered for three thousand dinars and a basket full of all types of clothes, as well as three of the best horses he had, all to be given to Said.
Said took it all and left very happy. And it was there, by the door, where he bumped into the young man that served him as guarantor.
The young man told him:
-It is obvious that the vision was real.
And Said replied:
-For Allah, oh no!
The young man said:
-What do you mean, if the King had a dream of you telling him about the vision you had in a very detailed manner?
-Yes, replied Said, but those are deliriums without a cause. This is just due to the fact that I told the King about my vision and therefore impressed his spirit and captivated his heart and occupied his mind. And after falling asleep, he continued to worry about what he had in his heart and thus saw it in his dream.
The young man was astonished hearing all of this. Then Said told him:
-Now you know the secret; I have revealed it to you because of the favor you did to me by being my guarantor. However, for Allah, I beg of you to not share this with anyone.
And it was from that moment on that Said became the guest of the King, who grew fond of Said and named him judge, and did not remove any favors or attention from him so long as he lived. But Allah is wiser!
Anonymous. The Thousand and One Nights.
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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999 Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL