The story of Sultan Murad and the architect, in illustration of Muslim Equality
An architect there was, that in Khojand
Was born, a famous craftsman of his kind,
Worthy to be an offspring of Farhad.
Sultan Murad commanded him to build
A mosque, the which pleased not his majesty,
So that he waxed right furious at his faults.
The baleful fire flared in the ruler’s eyes;
Drawing his dagger, he cut off the hand
Of that poor wretch, so that the spurting blood
Gushed from his forearm. In such hapless plight
He came before the qazi, and retold
The tyrants’s felony, that had destroyed
The cunning hand which shaped the granite rock.
“O thou whose words a message are of Truth,”
He cried, “whose toil it is to keep alive
Muhammad’s Law, I am no ear‐bored slave
Patient to wear the ring of monarchs’ might.
Determine my appeal by the Quran!”
The upright cadi bit his lips in ire
And summoned to his court the unjust king
Who, hearing the Quran invoked, turned pale
With awe, and came like any criminal
Before the judge, his eyes cast down in shame,
Is cheeks as crimson as the tulip’s glow.
On one side stood the appellant, and on one
The high exalted emperor, who spoke.
“I am ashamed of this that I have wrought
And make confession of my grievous crime.”
“In retribution” quoth the judge, “is life,
And by that law life finds stability.
The Muslim slave no less is than free men,
Nor is the emperor’s blood of richer hue
Than the poor builder’s.” Listening to these words
Of Holy Writ, Murad shook off his sleeve
And bared his hand. The plaintiff thereupon
No Longer could keep silence. “God commands
Justice and kindliness,” recited he.
For God’s sake and Muhammad’s, he declared,
“I do forgive him.” Note the majesty
Of the Apostle’s Law, and how an ant
Triumphantly outfought a Solomon!
Before the tribunal of the Quran
Master and salve are one, the mat of reeds
Coequal with the throne of rich brocade.