Download PDF: [S] The Hajaam and Sultan Abdul Rashid

Fadl bin Rabee, who was one of the minsters in the court of Sultan Harun Rashid, says:


One day, the Khalifah asked me to find such a Cupper (Hajaam) who is even more silent than a rock when he is performing this duty. I informed him that I had a servant who could perform this duty and that he was extremely quiet. The Khalifah asked me to send this person to him. I then sent this person to the Khalifah and also warned him never to speak to the Khalifah when he is performing his task. I also warned him to take the best of equipment so that he can do a good job.


Later, when I went to visit the Khalifah, I found that he was in state of extreme anger. When he saw me, he said, “O Fadl! This servant of yours is a very strange person and I will speak to you later about him.”

I did not say a word but quietly went to one of the personal aids of the Khalifah to find out what had happened. He then revealed the true story to me about this Hajaam. He revealed, “When this person started his task, he then began to speak to the Khalifah without stopping.


The first question he asked was, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! I wish to ask you a question?”


The Khalifah asked him what he wanted to know, replied, “How is that you have nominated Mohammed above Mamun even though he is younger than Mamun?”


When the Khalifah heard this, he replied, “When I am complete with this task, I will answer that question”.


This Hajaam then remained quite for a few minutes. However, he wanted to ask another question and again the khalifah allowed him to do so. He asked, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! What is the reason that you had someone like Jafer bin Yahya Barmaki killed?”


The Khalifah replied that when he is complete with this task, he will answer that question. Again the Hajaam replied silent but could not stop himself. He asked another question and inquired from the Khalifah whether he could ask another question.


The Khalifah gave him permission to do so. He asked, “Why did you choose the city of Riqqah above that of Baghdad even though Baghdad is much prettier and better looking”.


Again the Khalifah informed him that he will give him an answer after he has completed this task.


Finally, when the Hajaam had completed his task, the Khalifah called his personal guard, Masrur, and said to him, “Do not drink cold water until this Hajaam is not beheaded. The reason is that he has asked me three questions which even if Mansur had asked me these questions, I would not have been able to answer him.”


While Fadl was thinking about all of this in a state of great concern, suddenly Abu Dulaamah, the famous poet in the court of Sultan Harun Rashid appeared and he was also weeping. In fact, his wife, Umme Dulaanah, had made a plan that he should go to the royal court and inform the Khalifah that Umme Dulaanah had died and she would go to the wife of Sultan Harun Rashid and inform her that Abu Dulaanah had died.


When the Khalifah saw Abu Dulaanah crying, he inquired what had happened. Abu Dulaanah then read a few verses of poetry which he had written about his wife and the close love he had for her and he also mentioned that he was now in great need of financial help so that he could arrange the funeral.


Sultan Harun Rashid Rashid then ordered that this poet be given a large sum of money.


In the other side of the court, Umme Dulaanah also approached the wife of the Khalifah weeping and informed her that her husband Abu Dulaanah had died. The Queen then handed her enough money with which she could take care of all the funeral arrangement.


At the same time, Sultan Harun Rashid was already extremely upset by the questions he was asked by the Hajaam and this is state in which he appeared in front of his wife. He was also sad about the news he had just received. When he saw his wife, she asked him about what had happened and he mentioned to her that the wife of Abu Dulaanah had died. When the Queen heard this, she started to laugh and mentioned that just now, the same lady had come for some financial assistance mentioning that her husband Abu Dulaanah had died.


Fadl continues that Sultan Harun Rashid passed him while he was still laughing about the incident. I was also surprised that the Khalifah had entered this chamber angry and was now leaving the same chamber while he was laughing. He then revealed the entire incident to me. When I saw the state of the Khalifah, I also decided to take advantage and asked him to pardon the Hajaam which he did. He then called Abu Dulaanah and asked him the reason for his actions.


He replied, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! To be able to acquire anything from the Khalifah, one has to use a scheme and a mean.” The entire court also laughed at this plan. (Nawaadir Al Qalyubi)