Slave and King

Stories of Ayaz the slave and King of Ghazna have been popular in the middle East for a thousand years. Mahmud , who died in 1030,was absolute ruler by conquest of huge areas of Persia and india but was himself in truth the slave of the humble Ayaz. The stories werw popularized among others writers by Maulana   Rum, and the following examples are taken from his Mathnavi, by which time the strange affection between king and slave had became legendary.

How Ayaz came to the King

There was once a slave called Ayaz who was ill thought of on account of his ugliness and the mean rags he used to wear .Even though he was a slave ,no one wanted  to buy him.

It so happened that king Mahmud sent his overseer to the market to purchase more slaves for his service. Ayaz was thrown in as part of the ‘job lot’.

Now nobody could think of any task for Ayaz ,but eventually it was decided he could do least damage in the stables,which are in a shocking state.

Undeterred ,Ayaz set to work and before long the stables and the horses were much improved. The kings observed that his horses had transformed from the merely beautiful to the magnificent ,and demanded to know who was responsible .
He went to the stables and was immediately captivated by Ayaz -not his looks, which were far from beautiful, but by his spirit of willing service. From that moment Ayaz began to rise in the king’s favour and later became first in the land. The king showered him with attention and Ayaz showed total devotion to the king.



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