The Emir and the Pomegranate

Long ago, in the days of Al-Andalus, there lived a powerful emir in the south. After a long life spent fighting and ruling his domain with justice and fairness. The emir, who was now of an advanced age, felt himself growing old and losing his strength. Aware of the need to bequeath his crown and having only one daughter for descent. The powerful emir persuaded himself to find her a husband, who would at the same time become his heir.

Emir and the pomegranate

Emir and the pomegranate

Within days, many riders carried the message throughout the country and far beyond.

”The Emir of Granada is looking for a suitor for his sweet daughter Noûr. Which one will inherit the kingdom.”

Subsequently, three suitors had the audacity to appear before the powerful sovereign. The decision was difficult to make. So the emir decided to launch a challenge in order to decide between them.

“My lords, you who covet my lovely daughter, as well as my emirate, I challenge you. In three days, bring me the most precious thing that can exist on our earth. So I will make up my mind.”

The first suitor, who was the prince of a powerful border kingdom. Chose his fastest horse. He traveled the paths of Al-Andalus as fast as the wind could blow, in order to find a precious object. The second was the sultan of a distant kingdom. He took his lightest boat and sailed the sea in search of sumptuous treasures.

Finally, the last suitor was a young governor of the emirate, hardly known and with little fortune. The latter, having neither ship nor fast horse, went to fetch his present on foot.

The three days passed and the hour of the verdict came. The whole court, the viziers and all the influential people of the kingdom had come to the palace to witness the event. The emir entered, sat down and asked the suitors for their answers to the challenge.

The prince spoke and said:
“Oh great emir, I traveled the roads of Al-Andalus to the Taifa of Valencia. Here is the most precious thing that can exist on our earth. Here is the crown of an ancient princess, of gold and set with precious stones and ivory.”

Then the sultan came forward and spoke:
“Oh mighty ruler, I sailed the seas to Maghreb al-Aqsa. From her womb came the most precious object of our earth. Here is this ruby whose value exceeds that of my kingdom”.

Finally, it was the turn of the young governor:
“Oh great ruler of Granada. I went not far from your palace and humble as I am, I offer you this present”. The young man while a grenade.

The dubious emir seized the fruit of these hands and asked:
“A mere fruit! What is so precious about it?”

The governor replied:
“Emir, I am not offering you a fruit, but time. The most precious thing on our earth. The thing that everyone loses and cannot buy, whether rich or poor. My sovereign, I picked this ripe, juicy fruit three days ago and now it is going soft. I therefore offer you the passage of time and each of its seeds represents the choices we make or not.

The old emir, aware more than any other of the importance of time. He decided to marry his daughter Noûr to the young governor and the wedding took place the same day.