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p. 109


"Who knows one,
Who knows one?
One is Allah;
One is Allah

DO YOU hear that nasal, sing-song tune? Do you see that man wrapped in a brown abaye (gown)? And do you see his tan turban wound round his head?

That man is an Arab of long ago. He is praying in one of those temples with round domes above them. Those temples are the Arabic temples called mosques.

"Who knows one,
Who knows one?
One is Allah;
One is Allah

[paragraph continues] His voice rings out through the silent air.

The Jews had scattered throughout the world, and were now in a country called Arabia.

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Amongst the Arabian Jews, there was a man called Samuel Ibn Adijah. He was a great warrior and also a great poet.

In beautiful poems, he told the Arabs what a wonderful nation the Jews were. And in Arabic, the language of the Arabs, he told them what the Jews hoped to do in the future.

Samuel was a very rich man. He lived in a beautiful castle which was painted in many colors, and which had heavy, thick walls all around it.

One day it happened that an Arabian Prince had quarreled with his enemies. The enemies became so angry that they wanted to kill the Prince. They got up an army to fight against him. Even the Prince's best friends were afraid to side with him so they, too, left him. Soon the Prince found himself all alone, with only his daughter and his cousin to stand by him. He had heard, however, of Samuel, the great Jewish warrior.

"I will go to this Jewish warrior, Samuel Ibn Adijah," said the Prince to his daughter and to his cousin. "They say he is a fine man, besides being a great warrior. Maybe he will help me."

So, with his daughter and his cousin as his only companions, he came to Samuel, who received him kindly and protected him, from all his enemies,

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Some time afterwards, the Prince left Samuel in order to try to win back his kingdom. But before leaving for his mission, he entrusted to Samuel his daughter, his cousin, and all of his arms. The Prince said:

"I know, my friend, that no one will keep my daughter and cousin, and my armor more safely than you. Good-bye, I hope everything will go well until I return."

Every day, Samuel and his little son, the Prince's daughter and her cousin would walk through the beautiful gardens of Samuel's palace. Every day they would await the return of the Prince. Every day Samuel would tell the Prince's daughter not to worry, that her father would surely return. But he himself felt that the Prince must have been killed. In truth the Prince never did return.

Instead, the enemies of the Prince came upon Samuel. They surrounded his castle with their horses and their big army. With wild cries they commanded him to bring forth the Prince's daughter and his armor.

"Give us the Prince's daughter and his armor------or------or," they shouted. "If you don't------"

Just then, Samuel's little son ran out of the castle.

"Oh, look, Grazia," he clapped his hands with joy

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and excitement, as he called to his nurse, "look at all those soldiers!"

Before he knew it, the wild soldiers had seized him and cried:

"If you don't--we will kill your son right here. Yes, right before your eyes. Now you can choose. Either you give up the Prince's daughter or see your son killed."

Samuel could hardly believe his ears. He was stunned but for a little while only. Quickly he answered:

"No, I must protect the Prince's daughter, at any cost. She was placed in my trust and I must not give her up. It is better that I lose my son than that I lose my honor."

No sooner had Samuel announced his decision, than the cruel soldiers killed the boy right before his eyes.

Ever after, Samuel was called "The Faithful Samuel." And whenever the Arabs want to say that someone can be trusted, that he is very faithful--they say:

"Why, that man--he is as faithful as Samuel."

Did you ever know anybody as faithful as that?

Next: 21. The Law is Kind