Page images
PDF
EPUB

mitted; nor did the Holy City, and the neighbouring regions and coasts cease to remain in the hands of the Franks, destitute of help, for more than ninety years.

Until that time came, the appointed season manifested of God, and (when God) revealed those events to which no parallel can be found, which may be called the greatest of events of that description; and when the night, darkened into gloom, broke forth into its dawn, and that period arrived which bears in its womb, among heavenly beings, the secrets of fate; until the time of manifestation be fulfilled, and that time came from that Only One, with whom assemble all the times and seasons of action, and from that King whose tabernacle is the Heaven; of which tabernacle the systems of constellations are the ropes, and the earth the expanded canvas, and mountains the fastening-pegs; whose gold coin is the sun, and whose silver coin is the moon; whose servants are the rolling orbs, and whose sons are the stars; and when the great Sultán reigned—a king of the age, the superexcellent, the accomplisher, the efficient executer. In that his rule made him chief among princes ; for that the reward of the efficient actor was not lost unto him. He who granted the just desire. He who confided in God; for that he was to be trusted for preserving his servant in safety. He who firmly

rested in God for the repulsion of every proud devil. He whose help was implored by a numerosity of number. He who was skilled in (explaining) God's truth among relatives and servants, faithful in the just obligations of lying secretly in ambush, and making sacred war with the tyrants and the proud : a destroyer, with contempt and scorn, of the drinking-spots of the infidels, and associators (Trinitarians). The intelligent Eye of his age, and illuminated by the glitter of lightning, the Sultan Al-Málik-Al-Násir, Saláh Addunya (as well as) Addin-Abú-Mustapha-YusufIbn-Ayyub. May God rain upon him in abundance the rain of his compassion and satisfaction, and grant him to dwell in the higher mansions of the angels! And may God Almighty, according to his power, give such victories as he hath here tofore given, and such a descent of angels and spirits as he gave in the days of our lord the Imám-Al-Nasír-Uddín-Allah, Commander of the Faithful, descended in a right line from the Prophet's uncle, Al Abbás. May the peace of God be upon him, and upon his sainted fathers, and upon the just Khalífs and the orthodox Rulers ! And these were the days in which those who then flourished saw him, and saw the accomplishment of their struggle, in the termination of the Holy City's humiliation. (Thus abundantly in those

days was fulfilled the design) and thus arrived that which made those days supereminent in splendour, and acceptable in glory, and glorious in merit. Thus arrived that which exalted the brilliancy of their grandeur, and adorned them with ensigns of power, and blessed them with showers of blessing, and when the last watch of the night dawned with the light of prosperity in streams. And with respect to the Sultán-Al-Málik-AlNásir-Saláh-Uddin, him did prayer assist, and victory claim. Him did the willing choose as chief, and the alien entrust with his affairs. He to whose rescript men appealed in their affairs. Skilled in command, submissive to wisdom, he was thrown forward (by Providence) for this distinguished capture; and he caused the second restoration of Islám to the Holy City. He obtained an exaltation to the satisfaction of martyrs, by means of his fixed design for the overthrow, for the second time, of the Trinitarians and Infidels. Him may God bless with the strength of Islám ! May he bless him with the best of content! May he.give him of his excellence and liberality in the other world! May covenants be executed, and content be complete ! May a Refuge still remain in store for him, and may this turn of events bring him to the reward remaining for the good from God, who is the most potent causer of vicissitudes.

of men.

And this is the most potent of hopes, for whatever wealth one may barter it, and is true in the fulfilment of God's good promises, and in the prosperity he gives to the propositions of the hopes

He multiplies numbers, and routs enemies, and as a giver is liberal, and as liberal gives, and wishes to grant, and grants the wish, and causes the mean to expend, and makes the riches of the great vanish for others. And he (Salah-Uddín) was raised up for the complete deliverance of the Holy City from the Infidels; for he was the most exalted of lions, and the brightness of fire.

Now he set out from Damascus in the beginning of the year 583; and he knew victory to be sure, and was victor in his sure knowledge. And God saluted him chief, for the purpose of giving victory to Islám, and for the payment of the debt of the faith. And he wrote to regions and provinces, to demand a collection of money, an assemblage for the sacred war, and also the people already summoned, and the people prepared. So he went, and (good) intention stirred him up, and might made him earnestly desire; and the faith went forth with him, and victory was given him, and his assemblage came to the summoner, and his army to the furious one; and his troops formed a junction with him. Thus he went forth to the

sacred war with the Associators, enemies of the faith, (that war) which is the most just of sacrifices made to God's service, and the most direct of all roads. And there went out in the direction of the Holy City the people of those places, spoken of in 'The Book of Sacred Victories’ with long explications. (In effect) a number of people went to the assistance of the throes of truth and right—the struggle with the people of the Associators-of existence with annihilation. Thus, he thundered on, in taking possession of castles, and strongholds, and coasts, with the risk of his head; the accomplishment of his decree terrifying the market-places (of the Christians); and the earth was stripped bare, and its inhabitants; and the canterer (i. e. the horse) perished, and his food. Then signs appeared, and wonders shone, and ghosts (wandered). Then his torrent (of troops) flowed, and he was prospered in every respect. And He who gives vigour gave him strength ; and He who gives firmness gave him victory. He who is the Happy, gave him bright

He who is mighty made him illustrious ; and the Conquering One was his guardian ; and Islám gave him thanks, and God the glorious and mighty gave him victory, until victory brought him on to Ascalon, and gave bim possession of all that was in the hands of the Infidels-castles, and

ness.

« PreviousContinue »