THE STORY OF SAIF-UL-MALOOK

Lake Saif-ul-Malook is a famous tourist spot and it is located about 8 kilometers (5 miles) North of Naran, in Kaghan Valley, in District Mansehra, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is located at an altitude of 3,224 metres (10,578 feet) above sea level. It the place, where the story of Prince Saif-ul-Malook and Badi-U-Jamal was started.

Story of Saif ul Malook

The legendary story of Lake Saif-ul-Malook is penned by the Sufi poet Mian Muhammad Bakhsh, in the form of poetry.

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The story describes the tale of an Egyptian Prince, Saif-ul-Malook, who fell in love with a fairy, Badi-u-Jamal. He saw her in his dreams and after waking up the prince at once set out in search of his beloved fairy Badi-u-Jamal. Until he met a Saint, he was clueless regarding his journey. The Saint told him how and from where he could find the fairy. He informed him about the hurdles which he would face before he could find and marry Badi-u-Jamal, because she was a fairy and the prince himself was a human being.

Hence the prince started the journey in the name of love for a fairy, but after facing many challenges and with his courage and valiance, his journey turns into the spiritual explorations.

The prince, Saif-ul-Malook lived in Egypt. He was a handsome man after Joseph, on the face of the earth; tall, lean, gleaming skin, sharp eye-brows, dark-black deep eyes and jet-black hair that billowed over his shoulders. He was brave, a skilled hunter, rider and trained swordsman, true to his Arabic name the “Sword of the Kings”. Prince Saif-ul-Malook was born in riches. He had never asked for anything in his life; until he saw a dream of a fairy that had changed the whole course of his life and his peace of mind was stolen by her.

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He saw a lake, which he had never seen before, surrounded by sky-high mountains that they seemed to touch the sky and the shimmering water of the lake looked emerald-green in the silvery moonlight.  In the lake seven fairies were taking bath, tender, slim and delicate creature, with creamy skins, golden eyes, and curly blonde hair. Beauty of all the fairies outmatched to one another but the glamour of the seventh one surpassed the charm of the rest with her black hair. Her face was as glooming as the full moon (badr). It was her laughter that seized the heart of the prince, even on waking up it still rang sweetly in his ears. He did never see such a spell-bounding dream in his whole life.

He went out in search of fairy and kept on wandering to and fro. One day while he was in the outskirts of the Cairo city, the prince happened to meet a Saint who sitting under a shady olive tree. He thought the Saint might be helpful to him. As soon as he approached him, the old man looked at him expectantly and a smile lit up his face. He informed the prince that he was waiting for him. He narrated the story of the prince and revealed his predictions of coming life the prince. He warned the prince of the obstacles in the way towards Badi-u-Jamal. He guided Saif-ul-Malook about the direction to access the fairy.

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The prince reached at the Lake Saif-ul-Malook after intense hardships and barriers. At last he saw his beloved, Badi-u-Jamal in the emerald-green water of the lake. There she entered the Lake in the last, gliding into the water effortlessly, with her long black hair spread over her back, her face was as radiant as the full moon and her eyes were twinkling. Prince Saif-ul-Malook felt himself in the heavens after undaunted and tiring struggle for consecutive six years and forty days. He was right there to see the palpable fairy, whom he could touch, feel and to live with!

Author: Fehmeeda Farid Khan

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