22. Judar and His Brethren

Judar’s father Omar dies and his brothers fight over the inheritance of him. They sue Judar and they all become poor. Judar starts fishing to make a living for his mother. One day he wants to throw his net out in Lake Karun. He meets two Maghribi who want him to tie their elbows and throw them into the Lake. They don’t survve and Judatr brings their mules to a Jew. Another day third Maghribi, Abd al-Samad, appears and tells that they are after the treasure of Al-Shamardal and that it is under command of the sons of the Red King who are now fishes. The Moor catches the fishes and asks Judar to come with him, as it is said only Judar can claim the treasure.

When Abd al-Samad and Judar appear at the place of the treasure, Abd al-Samad explains to Judar what he must do. There will be several doors with several in which Judar mostly must announce himself and show himself vunerable. The final test is an enchantment of his mother whom he must let undress. He fails this test and Abd al-Samad and Judar have to wait for a year for a new chance. The next year he succeeds and goes home with magical saddle-bags which limitlessly supply food.

When he gets in Cairo he finds his mother begging at the gate. She says her other sons Sálim and Salím ran away with the money Judar had given to her before he left. Judar gives his mother food and welcomes his returning brothers who ask for forgiveness. However, Judar’s brothers plot against him and sell him to a merchant and take the saddle-bags. They fight over them and are imprisoned and tortured by the King. Meanwhile, Judar gets shipwrecked and is taken in by a native of Jiddah. He meets Abd al-Samad later on who sets him free and gives Judar a ring which contains a Marid who will fulfil every wish of its bearer.

Judar wishes to go back home and free his brothers. He also lets the Marid get all the treasures of the King and the saddle-bags and lets it build  a palace. He invites his mother and brothers in the palace. The King wants to get rid of Judar but fails. He is invited by Judar and they become friends. Judar marries the King’s daughtet and becomes Sultan when the King dies. The jealous brother poison their brother and Sálim lets the Marid kill his brother Salím. Sálim is, however poisoned by the wife of Judar. She destroys the ring and the saddle-bags and says to the officers to choose out a new King.

A man named Omar has three sons: Sálim, Salím and Judar. He favours the youngest one, Judar, and when he dies his property is shared by the brothers. The elder sons disagree with the portion of Judar and sue him for it. Judar has to defend himself which costs him and his brothers so much money that they become ruined. The brothers go to their mother and beat her and steal her money. She curses them, but Judar says she musn’t. He takes up fishing. The money he earns is shared with his mother. The brothers don’t take any trade. They would come to their mother and complain for food. They get food secretly, but when Judar sees them one day he welcomes them and says they can stay.

One day Judar doesn’t catch any fish at all and gets some bread from the baker. The baker says that the next day he will get his payment. But for seven days Judar doesn’t catch anything. Desperately he goes to Lake Karun. When he is about to cast his net there comes a Maghribi, a Moor. The Maghribi asks Judar a favour. He needs to bind the Moor’s elbows together and throw him into the lake. Judar has to wait for a little while. If Judar sees two hands coming out of the water he knows the Maghribi is alive. He has to cast his net to get him out. When Judar sees two feet coming out of the water first, he knows the Maghribi is dead. He then has to go with the Moor’s mule to  a Jew called Shamaya. He will receive a hundred dinars for the mule with its saddle-bags. Judar has to keep the secret. The Maghribi dies in the lake and Judar brings the mule to the jew. He receives the money and buys food for his mother. He pays the baker and the butcher with the money he received. His brothers eat like cannibals and his mother receives the rest of the money to buy food for herself and Judar’s brothers.

When Judar goes back to Lake Karun and wants to throw his net again. But a second Maghribi appears on a mule with saddle-bags. He asks after the first moor. At first Judar wants to lie, because he’s afraid he is accused of murder, but in the end he tells the truth. The second Moor wants exactly the same as the first Moor and Judar obeys. Again the Maghribi comes to the surface of the lake with his feet up and Judar brings the mule with the saddle-bags to the Jew. Again he receives money, and again buys food for his mother and brothers.

Judar again goes to the lake and meets a third Maghribi. He explains what he has done with the previous Moors. The third asks exactly the same, but he comes out with both his hands first, holding a fish in each. Judar throws out his net to capture the Moor and get him out.  The fish are put in a casket which is taken from the saddle-bags.

The Moor says he is called Abd al-Samad and the other two Moors and the Jew are his brothers. The Jew is actually not a Jew but a follower of the Maliki school. Their father taught them magic and the art of solving mysteries and bringing hoards to light. They made the Ifrits and the Marids of the Jinn to do them service. When their father died he left them a book called “The Fables of the Ancients”. They bring the book to an old man named Cohen Al-Abtan, who taught their father. He tells them them if they want to own the volume for their own they have to achieve the treasure of Al-Shamardal and bring him the celestial planisphere, the Kohl-phial, the seal-ring and the sword. The ring has a Marid inside and will make the wearer master of the earth. The burning sword will route any army. The planisphere will show any country or place as if they were placed between his hands. He then can burn the place with the planisphere. The Kohl-phial will show all the treasures of the earth. The treasure of Al-Shamardal is under the commandment of the sons of the Red King. Judar’s father said to Abd al-Samad he tried to open the treasure but could not as the sons of the Red King fled into the lake and he could not follow. Cohen Al-Abtan fortold the Moor’s father a fisherman named Judar bin Omar could help gaining the treasure.

Two of the Moor’s brothers would go after the treasure but one, Abd al-Rahim; had no mind going after the treasure and would, disguised as a Jew, receive the mules with the saddle-backs if his brothers would perish. The third son succeeded, the fish he bore up were the Ifrits guarding the treasure. As the treasure can only be opened by Judar he is asked to come along to the city of Fez and Mequinez. Judar at first refuses to come with the Moor, because of his mother and brothers. Abd al-Samad says that that can be solved easily. He would give Judar one thousand dinars to support his family. Judar consents and brings the money to his mother.

When Judar and Abd al-Samar are on their way, Judar grows hungry and discovers they have forgotten to bring any food. But Abd al-Saman says they are well provided. He has magical saddle-bags from which any food can be taken. After a month and five days they arrive at Fez and Mequinez. They come to a house where his daughter resides. The mule disappears in the earth for it is an Ifrit. Judar receives a valuable dress and remains twenty days in the house of Abd al-Saman. Then the Maghribi says it is time to claim the hoard of Al-Shamandal. They set out and at a river they stop. The Moor takes out the fishes he caught earlier and threatens to burn them if they will not show the treasure. They reply that they promised him if he would bring Judar. Judar is brought forward and Abd al-Samar has to do some conjurations to make the water disappear. But before he does, he teaches Judar how to reach the treasure.

After the water has dried up a golden door will appear. Judar has to knock on the door lightly, then a second time louder, and then give three quick knocks in succession. A voice will ask who is at the door and Judar must state: “I am Judar the fisherman son of Omar”. The door will open and a man will appear with a burning sword. Judar has to stretch out his neck to let it be struck off and have no fear. The man will fall down. Then he will come to another door on which he has to knock. A horseman will reside behind it with a lance. He has to bare his breast and let the horseman storm at him. The horseman will fall as a body without a soul.

Then he has to go to the third door behind which is a bowman. Again Judar has to bare his breast and after the bowman shoots he will fall down. After the fourth door Judar will find a lion ready to devour him. He has to present his hand upon which the lion will bite at it and fall straightaway. The he has to enter the fifth door and will find a black slave to whom Judar has to say: “I’m Judar”. Then he has to open the sixth door by saying: “O Isa tell Musa to open the door”. The door will open and behind it are two dragons. They will fly towards Judar and he has to present both his hands to the dragons. The will bite at his hands and fall down dead. Behind the seventh door will be Judar’s mother who will welcome him, but he must tell her to undress. She will resist but he has to be firm. When she does so she will fall down. Then he will find a hoard of gold but he must ignor it and go to a closet to the upper end of the hall. Judar must draw the curtain and will see the enchanter Al-Shamardal lying on a couch of gold. He has the celestial planisphere on his head. Around his belt is the sword and around his neck on a chain the Kohl-phial. He has to take the talismans to Abd al-Saman.

Judar goes through all the tests with success but can’t force his mother to undress and is thrown out by the servants of the treasure. He has to wait for a full year to have a second try. He lets the enchantment strip and moves on to the enchanter Al-Shamardal. When he takes the talismans music is heard saying: “Mayest thou be assained with that thou hast gained, O Judar”. Judar and Abd al-Saman return to Fez where Judar gets the enchanted saddle-bags and saddle-bags full of gold and jewels.

When Judar is at the Gate of Victory in Cairo he sees his mother begging for money. She tells him his brothers have taken all the money and she has to beg to survive. Judar gives her plenty of food from the saddle-bags. The brothers return home weak with hunger and are forgiven. Salím and Sálim find out where the food comes from and set a trap for Judar. They sell him to a merchant and Judar remains silent as a galley-slave for a year. The brothers tell their mother Judar has gone with the Moors. They ask if she doesn’t love them as well as their brother but she says she has never seen any good in them since their father’s death. Upon hearing this they beat their mother and take the saddle-bags. However, they fight over the enchanted saddle-bags and are taken prisoner by the King of Egypt, Shams al-Daulah. The King takes the saddle-bags.

After a year being in service Judar gets shipwrecked on a voyage. He meets some Badawi and a native of Jiddah takes pity on him and asks him if he wants to take service with him, which Judar does. They go to Mecca where they meet Abd al-Samad. Judar weeps and tells him everything. The Moor shows him the present state of his brothers. Judar leaves the native of Jiddah and receives the enchanted ring of Abd al-Samad. Within resides a servant named Al-Ra’ad al-Kasif who will do everything his master asks. Judar has to rub the ring and it will appear. He wants to go to his native city, to his mother, and his brothers freed. He forgives his brothers and decides to take back the saddle-bags and the King’s treasure. He rubs the ring and orders Al-Ra’ad to do so. Judar also commands him to build a magnificent palace. When he enters the palace he asks for servants. Meanwhile the Treasurer of the King finds the treasury empty and Sálim and Salím gone from the goal. It is also known to them that Judar has returned.

Emir Othman has to go to Judar’s palace with an invitation. If he finds him weak he can do what he wants. Othman finds an eunuch at the palace-gate. He offends the eunuch but gets beaten by him as it is Al Ra’ad in disguise. Othman’s men are killed and they return to the King. The King sends another one hundred men but they get beaten as well, then two hundred but they also get beaten. Then the King sends his Wazir who says he will not need soldiers to get in contact with Judar. The Wazir shows a respectful attitude and may speak to Judar. He says to him that the King invites him for a banquet, but Judar says the King must come to him.

Judar prepares the arrival of the King by letting the Marid summon fifty Ifrits and dress them as magnificent guards. When the King arrives he is left standing and grows afraid. He excuses himself for what he had done to Judar’s brothers. And Judar gives him robes of honour and they eat. The King returns every day but grows afraid Judar will take over his kingdom. So the Wazir advises him to let Judar marry his daughter. Judar demands for her hand and the King obliges. The King and Judar become close friends, but when Shams al-Daulah dies, Judar, against his will, becomes Sultan.

Sálim and Salím are not satisfied and see themselves as slaves to Judar. They set up a plan to kill Judar. They poison him. Sálim wants to take the ring off Judar’s finger but it resists, so he cuts it off. He rubs the ring and the Marid appears. He lets it kill his brother Salím and proclaims himself to be Sultan. He threatens to kill everyone with the ring if they don’t accept. He also claims the wife of Judar and shares his bed with her. Later she poisons him and destroys the ring and tears up the saddle-bags. She tells the Officers to choose out a new King.

From: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 06

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