Amir Hamza & Laqa
The deft fingers of narrators weave this splendid legend with the golden thread of sorcery and spread it out thus, before marvelling eyes.
Emperor Naushervan of Persia dreamt one night that a crow coming from the East flew off with his crown, then a hawk flew in from the West, killed the crow and restored him his crown. In the morning he asked the interpretation of this dream from his minister, Buzurjmehr, who was singularly adept in all occult arts. Buzurjmehr made his calculations and replied that in the future a raider named Hashsham from the eastern city of Khaibar would defeat the emperor’s army and capture his crown and throne. A warrior named Hamza from the western city of Mecca would then appear on the scene and would kill the raider and restore the regalia to the emperor.
Hearing the auspicious news, Naushervan sent Buzurjmehr to Mecca in anticipation of Hamza’s birth to declare the boy the emperor’s protégé.
On the day Hamza was born to the chieftain of a tribe, two other boys, named Amar and Muqbil, were also born in Mecca. Buzurjmehr predicted from occult foreknowledge that they would be Hamza’s trusted companions. He foretold that Amar would become a devious trickster and Muqbil a matchless archer.
Meanwhile, in the far-away, enchanted land of Mount Qaf, a daughter was born to Emperor Shahpal, the lord of the jinns, fairies and demons. She was named Aasman Peri. Shahpal’s minister and diviner made her horoscope and revealed that after eighteen years, the demons of Mount Qaf would rebel and overthrow Emperor Shahpal. Then a human being named Hamza would come from the world of men to defeat the demons and restore Shahpal to the throne. The horoscope also disclosed that Hamza would marry Aasman Peri. Upon learning of this, Emperor Shahpal sent for Hamza’s cradle from Mecca and kept him in Mount Qaf for seven days. Before he was sent back, Hamza was nursed on the milk of jinns, demons, fairies, ghouls and other beasts to expel the fear of those creatures from his heart.
As Hamza, Amar and Muqbil grew up they met with many adventures and received holy gifts and talents with whose help they triumphed over powerful enemies. Their fame and exploits won them friends and followers. Hamza was chosen as their amir or leader, and became renowned as Amir Hamza. Because he was born under a lucky astrological conjunction of Jupiter and Venus, he was titled the Lord of the Auspicious Planetary Conjunction.
As foretold by Buzurjmehr, Amir Hamza defeated the raider Hashsham who captured Naushervan’s crown and throne and restored them to the emperor. While at Naushervan’s court, Amir Hamza fell in love with the emperor’s daughter, Princess Mehr-Nigar. Their love attracted the notice of Naushervan’s evil minister, Bakhtak. He was no idle hand at mischief and, suspecting Hamza of carrying on secret trysts with Mehr-Nigar, Bakhtak began to stir trouble at court. Buzurjmehr did his best to protect Amir Hamza but Amir Hamza’s amorous passion and reckless trysts with the princess made Buzurjmehr fear for his own reputation.
When the King of India rebelled against Emperor Naushervan, Buzurjmehr saw an opportunity to send Amir Hamza on a far-away campaign. He advised the emperor to promise Princess Mehr-Nigar’s hand in marriage to the one who would subdue the rebel king. As Buzurjmehr expected, Amir Hamza accepted the challenge, was engaged to Mehr-Nigar, and sent off on the campaign to India.
In Amir Hamza’s absence, Bakhtak hatched countless treacherous plots against him with the sanction of the fickle-minded emperor. But Amir Hamza foiled them with the help of his holy gifts, Amar Ayyar’s cunning stratagems, and Buzurjmehr’s assistance. When Amir Hamza returned victorious from his adventures, the palace intrigues continued against him. However, to the shame and chagrin of Naushervan and his court, Mehr-Nigar left to join Hamza.