Saeed bin Al-Aas - Family Unity
Arabian Knights - Volume 2

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Kaan Ya Makaan, Fee Qadeem Al-Zamaan…
There was a Place, in Times of Old…

Where a man named Saeed bin Al-Aas looked at his fifteen sons with proud eyes and an equally proud heart. They were all growing up well and would soon become men any father would be proud of. But what would they do when he was no longer there to guide them?

It troubled Saeed that Amr, one of his younger sons, was the wisest and most clever of the boys. Amr would be a good leader for the family once Saeed himself passed away, but Amr's older brothers would never accept him as the head of the family. Tradition dictated that the eldest son should be the one to care for and lead the family. Unfortunately in this situation, tradition couldn’t be more wrong.

After a great deal of thought, Saeed finally decided to speak to his sons of his hopes and fears for their future. He gathered them all together, with the exception of Amr, and spoke in grave and passionate tones, "My boys, you all know that a father knows his son best. Your brother, Amr, has great promise and will one day be strong, powerful and of great renown. I ask that if anything were to happen to me, should I die, that you will follow him, support him, and treat him well. If you do, then he will bring you all honor, power and a renown that will last forever."

Saeed's sons exchanged bitter glances, then they angrily replied, "You always put him first, and you love him more than you love us."

Disappointed by his sons' reactions, but not surprised, Saeed said, "I will show you what your jealousy has hidden from you."

He then ended the meeting and dismissed his sons from his presence. For the time being, Saeed decided, he would set the matter aside and wait for his sons' indignation to cool.

After enough time had passed that he was sure they had all but forgotten his words, Saeed called his sons, save Amr, together again, and he said to them in agitated tones, "Your brother, Amr, keeps bothering me and insisting that because of his youth and tender years, I should leave him all my wealth. I realized it must be his mother who made him behave this way, so I upbraided her for her greed but she would not repent. Amr even came to me and demanded that I bestow on him the famous sword Al-Sumsamah, as if I had no other sons! I have decided to leave you boys all of my wealth, and leave nothing for Amr!"

Surprised and filled with wicked glee, not a single one of the half-brothers objected to the idea of depriving their younger half-brother of his rightful share of their father's wealth. Instead, the young men said sagely to their father, "This, dear father, is the result of your indulgence of him, and the many times you have favored him over us."

Saeed was displeased with his sons' reaction, and when he replied to them it was in a voice made very, very soft with disappointment, "My sons, by God I have never favored him financially over you. Everything I just said, I made up. I said it hoping you would reveal to me your good judgment and virtuous hearts."

A heavy silence fell when the young men realized that they had been tested by their father, and found sadly wanting. Their father allowed the shame-filled silence to stretch on in the hope that his sons would become more aware of their prejudice and would examine the nature of their feelings towards their younger brother. Finally, he briskly ordered his abashed sons to hide in an adjacent room while he called Amr in to speak with him.

Once Amr stood before his father, Saeed confidingly addressed him, "My boy, your youth gives you the most claim to my worry and attention, and though all my sons are precious to me, you are more precious. With my inevitable death in mind, I have saved a special treasure for you that shall be yours and yours alone. I felt that you should know about it, and now that you do, you must not speak of it to your brothers."

Amr stood before his father with a look of unhappy surprise on his face. He shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot, then he cleared his throat and addressed his father respectfully, "O' father, may you live long and ever be of consequence, I wish you many good things in the days to come. Regarding the treasure you mentioned, I would not like to be the sole possessor of it to the exclusion of my brothers, and I would not like to create any feelings of resentment between myself and my brothers."

Saeed beamed proudly at his younger, wiser and more just son, "Go my boy, fidak abuk (may your father perish before any harm comes to you)! By God there is no treasure, I only wished to test your feelings towards your (half) brothers, the sons of your father."

Relived that there was no treasure, and that he had successfully passed his father's test, Amr left with a happy smile on his face and a slight bounce in his youthful steps. Meanwhile, Amr's brothers all came trooping out of the adjacent room where they had been hiding and listening intently to every word that passed between their father and their half-brother.

The young men faced their father and, one by one, quietly apologized for their selfish and jealous behavior. Then the brothers all solemnly promised their father that when the time came, Amr, with his wisdom and just heart, would lead the family with the love and support of all of his brothers. Saeed was filled once again with pride because of his sons' faithful promises, and from that day forth, he felt at ease knowing that his sons would stand together and prosper as one, the way brothers should.

*Written by © 2012. Care to read or leave Comments?

Notes:
  1. Names, Translations and Aliases:
    • Amr bin Saeed bin Al-Aas: عمرو بن سعيد بن العاص.
    • Saeed bin Al-Aas: الصحابي الجليل سعيد بن العاص.

Sources:
  1. Ibrahim, M., Al-Mowla, M., Al-Bajawi, A. (2011 AD, 1432 H). قصص العرب [Stories of the Arabs]. Beirut: Al-Maktaba Al-Assrya. Volume 1. Page 244.

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