Ibn Ali and the Wandering Mariner

Off the coast of Kosia, Borean Sea

Ibn Ali stood on the deck of his dhow. A dhow is a small boat propelled by the wind pushing against a sail and guided by a controllable rudder. With the wind against his dark skin and the salty smell of the sea filling his nostrils, he felt free and in control. He sailed alone, to the chagrin of his mother.

He preferred the long silences of the sea. He enjoyed watching the angelfish project out of the water like popcorn jumping from an open pot. He enjoyed the peace of the sea. Farther out, the sea was more busy. Heavy cargo ships sailed through the deep waters further away sending cargo to and from the busy ports of the Borea-Itur waterway.

While he was on his boat, not too far from his hometown, he was satisfied and free. He lay down and looked at the stars. The wind suddenly picked up. He decided to open the sail and turn the rudder and go back to the land. The sea gradually got more violent. The waves rose and fell with sharp intensity.

He stood up and yelled gleefully. He enjoyed these jests that the sea played with him. He skillfully maneuvred the dhow over and around the waves, using the wind to go forward. Large clouds formed in the sky. They were black and heavy. They began to pour and pour, sending heavy pelting drops onto him. The sea got too great. He slipped on the wet floor and fell down.

His dhow flipped over and fell into the water. He struggled against the mighty sea, but his strength left him and fear struck him. He lost consciousness. He could hear the sound of men calling out. He felt strong arms drag him across a wet hard floor. He felt a hard pounding on his chest. Sea water crept up his throat and out of his mouth, leaving him with a burning sensation.

In his exhausted state, all he could do was catch the name of one of the sailors, Sabira, before losing consciousness.

On a ship in the Borean Sea

Ibn Ali was rudely woken up, feeling jolted from the comfort of sleep. The light was dim. Old lamps cast long shadows of the eery figures in the room. He tried to move his legs and arms, but his wrists and ankles screamed out in pain. He looked up at them and saw manacles holding him to the wall.

A dark skinned man stepped toward him. His head and the lower half of his face were wrapped in a cloth. He lifted some thing up. Ibn Ali adjusted to the dim light and saw what it was. It was his special pendant. He wore it around his neck wherever he went.

“Muharamu!”, Ibn Ali cried out. "Villain! That belongs to me!.

The man pulled down his cloth revealing a dark, ugly scarred face. “U kole ko hai i korano e?”

Ibn Ali replied, "It’s mine! It belongs to me ".

The man turned to speak to one of his crew mates (or so it seemed) and they kept looking back at him. The man said, " Do you not know that this pendant belongs to Ali ibn Salman al Hussein?"

The boy proclaimed, “I am Hashem Ibn Ali Ibn Salman al Hussein! Ali al Hussein was my father”.

The crew mates collectively gasped in awe. They muttered to one another. The man proclaimed, “Akhar!” and the crew grew silent.

He drew a scimitar and held it at Ibn Ali’s throat. He lifted it up, ready to cut his head off. To Ibn Ali’s relief he cut the chains to which Ibn Ali was bound. The boy fell down. "Follow me!, the man commanded.

In spite of his pain, Ibn Ali followed the man onto the deck.