Roj Jamyad Mah Adar, 1382 Yz.
“Zaban bar kushadand bar Shaharyar, ke kardim ba charkhe gardun shumar;
Chunin amad az rahe akhtar padid, ke an aab-e raoshan bekhahad daveed;
Azin dokhte Mehrab-o az pure Saam, gavi purmanesh zayad-o neknaam
Padidar gardad gavi zurmand, ke nabvad chunu zire charkhe baland”
“They said thus in front of the King: ‘We have examined the revolving heavens. From their movement it appears that the result of this union of the daughter of Mehrab and the son of Saam shall be auspicious. There is nothing wrong in it. From this union will spring forth a strong, most wise and famous Pahelwan, whose greatness will not be surpassed by anyone else beneath the sky.”
As the years passed, Zaal grew up to be a strapping youth, in the mould of his illustrious ancestors. As he resided in the area of Zabulistan, which was gifted to his family by King Minocher, Zaal came into contact with Rodabeh, the most beautiful daughter of the vassal King Mehrab (who was descended from the accursed Zohak) and his wise and sagacious Iranian wife Sindokht. The courtship of Zaal and Rodabeh is most beautiful and romantic, but the tension is palpable as Saam is wary of forging a union with the descendant of Zohak. Yet, unable to say no to his son, Saam requests for permission for this union from his Lord, King Minocher. The King decides to test both father and son, and directs Saam to forthwith attack and destroy Kabul. Without any doubt or hesitation, Saam agrees to the demand and makes his preparations.
When this dire news reached Kabul there is great consternation. At this time the sagacious Queen Sindokht uses her wisdom and meets Saam. This encounter is most noteworthy for the description of the gifts which the Queen takes for Saam from her husband’s treasury. Thus Firdausi:
“Then Sindokht went to the treasury of Mehrab, and took three hundred thousand Dinars of gold. And she took with her, to the house of Saam, ten famous horses caparisoned in gold, along with fifty slaves with cummerbunds of gold; thirty Arab horses from the province of Fars, caparisoned in silver; sixty servants bedecked with silver necklaces, each holding a golden cup in their hands, filled to the brim with musk and camphor, and rubies, and turquoise, and precious stones of every kind, some with the finest wine and some with sugar; forty lengths of silk, embroidered with gold, the hems of each studded with precious stones; two hundred Indian swords of silver and gold, their edges seasoned and sharpened with poison water; one hundred camels with crimson manes; one hundred load bearing and travel worthy mules; a crown fit for a king, bedecked with precious jewels, along with chains, necklaces and bracelets; a heavenly throne made of gold and studded with precious stones, whose width was as much as twenty kingly hands and whose height was as much as a rider on a steed with his head held high; and four elephants from India, laden with the best carpets and rugs; and the train reached for two miles beyond Saam’s gates.”
If this were the wealth of a small vassal king, then what wealth must have resided in the treasuries of the Emperor of Iran?
Thereafter, Saam sends Zaal to King Minocher with his personal request to allow him to marry Rodabeh. The wise King asks his court Mobeds and astrologers to look up an answer to this union. After three days of deliberations, the Mobeds returned and gave the reply which I have quoted at the beginning. The King bears this advice in mind and also decided to test the wisdom of young Zaal through a series of question and answer sessions with 6 wise men of the court. The questions and their right answers are most revealing and show us the deep knowledge of astronomy which was prevalent in those so called primitive days.
Not content with testing his wisdom, King Minocher then tests Zaal’s skills in battle and arms. Finally after passing through these tests with flying colours, Zaal is given permission to marry Rodabeh. He races from the court of King Minocher and arrives in Kabul to a rapturous welcome. Finally the two lovers are united in a solemn ceremony and with seven days of festivities. So eager is the Queen Sindokht to have a perfect function, that Firdausi writes, in his colourful poetry:
“Feshanad bar sar hami mushk-o zar; ke shud as golaab aan hamah khaak tar”
They threw musk and gold dust in the air, and sprinkled rosewater on the ground to settle the dust.”
These descriptions of the days of glory of our beloved motherland should produce a deep longing in the minds of readers of Frashogard. Patience! Soon those days will return!
In this manner, the sacred union of Zaal and Rodabeh took place, thereby setting the stage for the birth of the world’s greatest warrior.
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Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram