While on his travels, Jesus passed by a rotting skull. He commanded it to speak. The skull said, ‘Spirit of God, my name is Balwan ibn Hafs, king of Yemen. I lived a thousand years, begat a thousand sons, deflowered a thousand virgins, routed a thousand armies, killed a thousand tyrants, and conquered a thousand cities. Let him who hears my tale not be tempted by the world, for it was like nothing so much as the dream of a sleeper.’ Jesus wept.


– al-Tuturshi, from the Siraj al-Muluk


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