HOSHRUBA NOVEL PDF

Translated from Urdu by Musharraf Ali Farooqi One of the earliest accounts of the magical arts practiced in the Islamic world is found in the fourteenth-century work the Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun, acknowledged as the first work on the philosophy of history and the social sciences. Ibn Khaldun devoted several pages to the definition of magic, from which we learn that its practice is viewed in the Islamic tradition as a science—not based in pagan rituals of sacrifice to gods and goddesses but requiring instead a command of a number of physical and occult sciences. These sciences were used in different combinations to create magic. In the Urdu oral narrative tradition from South Asia, the special combination of occult sciences used to create a magical world, or tilism, is called himia. Different sources offer different definitions of himia. It is generally described as the science of conquering planetary forces and enslaving jinns, and is a combination of at least four occult sciences: simia, kimia, limia, and rimia.

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Translated from Urdu by Musharraf Ali Farooqi One of the earliest accounts of the magical arts practiced in the Islamic world is found in the fourteenth-century work the Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun, acknowledged as the first work on the philosophy of history and the social sciences. Ibn Khaldun devoted several pages to the definition of magic, from which we learn that its practice is viewed in the Islamic tradition as a science—not based in pagan rituals of sacrifice to gods and goddesses but requiring instead a command of a number of physical and occult sciences.

These sciences were used in different combinations to create magic. In the Urdu oral narrative tradition from South Asia, the special combination of occult sciences used to create a magical world, or tilism, is called himia. Different sources offer different definitions of himia. It is generally described as the science of conquering planetary forces and enslaving jinns, and is a combination of at least four occult sciences: simia, kimia, limia, and rimia.

Simia is the science of creating illusions and transferring spirits between bodies. It manipulates the imagination and presents non-existent and imaginary things to the human eye. Kimia is the science of the transmutation of physical properties of elements, of bringing them to the highest pinnacle of their essence.

Limia is the science of runes—letters or words that cause super-natural effects through interaction with the function of heavenly bodies. Rimia is the science of configuring and exploiting the inherent physical forces of the Earth to create extraordinary marvels.

When we consider that the word "magic" is interchangeable with "science," we realize that the magic fairy and magic slave are both automatons except that the magic slave is an intelligent robot. The magic claw is a flying machine that also acts as a drone and a conveyance, etc. The first section offers a brief history of the land and the tilism of Hoshruba where the story is set. It would be difficult to find such a mixture of baroque sensuousness, nature, and science in the literature broadly classified as science fiction.

The final section describes a scene in which the Emperor of Sorcerers Afrasiyab visits the mausoleum of a powerful sorcerer to acquire a magical gift to use against his adversaries. In this scene, the flesh sacrifice to the god of sorcerers takes place within the scientific construct of the tilism of Hoshruba.

Of the Tilism called Hoshruba and the Master of the Tilism, Emperor Afrasiyab We are told that in the bottom of the untold past a group of sorcerers met to create a magical world or tilism by using occult sciences to infuse inanimate matter with the spirits of planetary and cosmic forces.

In the tilism the sorcerers exercised powers that defied the laws of God and the physical world. Once the tilism was created the sorcerers named it Hoshruba. A sorcerer named Lachin ruled Hoshruba in its early years. Then one of his deputies—the cunning sorcerer Afrasiyab—deposed his master and usurped the throne. Afrasiyab became the Emperor of Hoshruba and the Master of the Tilism.

These regions were also tilisms and each contained countless dominions and smaller tilisms—filled with thousands of buildings, enclosures, gardens and palaces—governed by sorcerer princes and sorceress princesses. The ordinary citizens of Hoshruba lived in the region of Zahir the Manifest. Zulmat the Dark was a secluded region of Hoshruba that few could access. A bridge stretched over it that was made of smoke and guarded by two smoke lions. It was called the Bridge of the Magic Fairies and from it a three-tiered tower rose to the skies.

On the lowest tier of this tower, magic fairies stood alert holding trumpets and clarions to their lips. From the second tier another group constantly tossed pearls in the river to fish that swam carrying them in their mouths. On the topmost tier gigantic Abyssinians arrayed in double rows skirmished together with swords. The blood that flowed from their wounds poured into the water below and gave the River of Flowing Blood its name.

Emperor Afrasiyab moved freely between the three regions of Hoshruba. His left hand warned him of inauspicious moments and the right hand revealed auspicious ones. He possessed the Book of Sameri, which contained an account of every event inside and outside the tilism.

He had a magic mirror which projected his body into his court during his absence, and many magic doubles who replaced him when he was in imminent danger. Besides sorcerers and sorceresses, Afrasiyab also commanded magic slaves and magic slave girls who fought at his command and performed any and all tasks assigned them.

Emperor Afrasiyab was among the seven immortal sorcerers of Hoshruba who could not be killed while their doppelgangers lived.

But every tilism had a fixed life-span and a tilism key that contained the directions for its unravelling.

The conqueror of the tilism was the one who would use that key to unravel the tilism at the appointed time.

As the life of Hoshruba neared its end, Emperor Afrasiyab resolved to defend his empire and tilism, and foil the conqueror when he appeared.

Unbeknownst to Emperor Afrasiyab, the Master of the Tilism, events were already unfolding outside Hoshruba that would soon test his resolve. The false god Laqa—an eighty-five-foot-tall, pitch-black giant—was in flight after suffering fresh defeats at the hands of the Lord of the Auspicious Planetary Conjunction Amir Hamza, whose armies and spies hotly pursued him.

Each day brought Laqa and Amir Hamza a little nearer to Hoshruba. Section 2. Spring has come! Bahar recited a spell and clapped, causing clouds to rise from every direction. Mahrukh and her sorcerers recited counter spells and clapped to ward off the magic but to no avail. When they opened them, they saw expansive, luxurious orchards wherever they looked, orchards in which the breeze wafted intoxicatingly. They beheld a yard-high crystal wall that stretched for miles on end. Since the garden was a tilism, tricksters could not enter it to rescue their companions once they entered it and became its prisoners.

They beheld a luminous crystal platform that seemed to be made of light. A canopy of strung pearl rose over the platform. An ermine carpet was spread on the floor. Beautiful, moonlike cupbearers were gathered with goblets and ewers. They regarded Princess Bahar seated on a jewel-encrusted throne with lamps and bouquets placed before her. She wore a luxurious dress covered with jewels and held a jewel-enchased stick in her hand.

Even the beautiful Zulaikha had never seen such grace in her dreams. Show us favor in our miserable condition. Admit us into your servitude, O princess! Augment our honor by allowing us to wait upon you.

Again all of them closed their eyes. The bouquet dispersed and every single flower petal was transformed into a garland.

Now pardon our trespasses and lead us before Emperor Afrasiyab. Follow me! I will take you to the emperor. Her prisoners followed her like a frenzied crowd, passionately reciting love couplets. The tilism garden disappeared after Bahar stepped out of its bounds. Section 3. Hundreds of thousands of sorcerers were stationed there in gruesome and dreadful magical guises. A palace made entirely of jewels was suspended in the air. Thousands of bells hung from as many domes.

As Emperor Afrasiyab approached flying, the bells of the palace began to ring, creating a din. The handmaidens of Jamshed jumped off the swings and came toward him. Afrasiyab stood on one leg while he prayed to Jamshed and then cut a piece of flesh from his leg to place as an offering on the palace dome. Upon receiving admittance, as Afrasiyab stepped inside the palace, the seven handmaidens saluted him, and asked, "O Emperor of Hoshruba, what brings you here this day?

You can receive the gifts of the tilism even at this place. Tell us the purpose of your visit. Amar Ayyar who is denounced by the gods in the Book of Sameri has entered the tilism. Thousands of sorcerer disciples of Lord Jamshed have been killed and mutinies brew in Hoshruba.

But you will not find here his ring, necklace, and other souvenirs for they lie in the neighboring Tilism Nur-Afshan of Dazzling Light. Alas, you caused the destruction of your lands and now you are eyeing the souvenirs of the tilism. Lord Jamshed foretold that the last Emperor of Hoshruba would be an incompetent bungler; he would lose his writ over the tilism, and cause the destruction of all its souvenirs and marvels. It appears, indeed, that you are the one described.

It seems our end is near too, for you would one day also order us to fight at your side. You may take it for all we care! I have made every possible effort not to battle Mahrukh. That was the reason I indulged her even when she committed unforgivable offences. It is still my desire that the rebels should return to my allegiance. I seek the mantle only to overpower and arrest them, and restore them to honor after a quick reprimand. She would have guarded the sorcerers you sent, and Amar and his tricksters would not have had the field to themselves.

Upon my return I will dispatch the trickster-girls against those of the enemy. When he opened its lid, a flame leaped out of it and scorched Afrasiyab.

He cut open a vein and made an offering of his blood, which extinguished the flame. The mantle was proof against all magic, and rendered useless even the powerful magic of mighty sorcerers like Afrasiyab.

When it was snapped into the wind against a rival army they fell unconscious, no matter how powerful the sorcerers or how numerous their horde.

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