The Story of Bu Ubaid and Jaban, in illustration of Muslim Brotherhood
A certain general of kind Yazdajerd
Became a Muslim’s captive in the wars;
A Guebre he was, inured to every trick
Of fortune, crafty, cunning, full of guile.
He kept his captor ignorant of his rank
Nor told him who he was, or what his name,
But said, “I beg that you will spare my life
And grant to me the quarter Muslims gain.”
The Muslim sheathed his sword. “To shed thy blood,”
He cried, “were impious and forbidden sin.”
When Kaveh’s banner had rent to shreds,
The fire of Sasan’s sons turned all to dust,
It was disclosed the captive Jaban was,
Supreme commander of the Persian host.
Then was his fraud reported, and his blood
Petitioned of the Arab general;
But Bu Ubaid, famed leader of the ranks
From far Hijaz, who needed not the aid
Of armies to assist his bold resolve
In battletide, thus answered their request.
“Friend, we are Muslims, strings upon one lute
And of one concord. Ali’s voice attunes
With Abu Dharr’s, although the throat be that
Of Qanbar or Bilal. Each one of us
Is trustee to the whole community
And one with it, in malice or in truce.
As the community is the sure base
On which the individual rests secure,
So is its covenant his sacred bond.
Though Jaban was a foeman to Islam,
A Muslim granted him immunity;
His blood, O followers of the best of men,
May not be spilled by any Muslim sword.”