Fatimah Khanum, The Princess
Seven centuries had passed since afore said Zubaydah canal was created and now it was in its worst with the passage of time despite being looked after by the subsequent rulers. Almost all the wells and springs had gone dried and dead and Zubaydah canal was filled with shifting sand and stones and its concrete wall was broken here and there and water was no more once again. It was the year 965H (1557 A.D) when all those days had returned which had urged Zubaydah to come to the rescue.
Fortunately another Zubaydah had come in to the world in the shape of the Turk princess Fatimah Khanum, daughter of the great ‘Uthman ruler Sultan Salim. When the things came to her knowledge, she under took to solve the problem once for all. She assigned the task to her trusted aide Ibrahim ibn Takrim to restore the canal and extend it to Makkah to bring it in to the easy reach of every Makkan and the pilgrims.
The repair of the canal proved not very difficult and it was done positively with the help of Egyptian, Syrian and the Yemenite engineers and the masons. But ahead, a huge rock whose length was not less than two thousand feet and the width more than fifty had stopped their advance.
Ibrahim, the chief of the project lost his heart, as it looked quite impossible to turn aside or to break through the gigantic rock. Fatimah Kanum was informed of the failure. But the resolute princess stood to her previous order. She reprimanded her assignee and told him in clear words that nothing could hamper the human courage and determination.
The inspiring order of the princess invigorated the entire arena. In those days neither the dynamite was invented yet, nor were the titanic machines of today, which blow out the sky rising mountains. The only method to cut the stone was to heat them up to a very high degree and then cut them with sharp tools.
It took hundreds of workers long ten years to make a break through, after having been burnt millions tons of fuel and spending thousands of arduous days and nights. It came at last that auspicious day when in 979H (1571 A.D) the proud rock was conquered which, years before looked duly insurmountable.
The water began to flow up to Makkah. No one could imagine the delight of the Makkans that day. The event was celebrated fervently with the participation of the government and the masses. All, the bigs and smalls of the project were rewarded beyond their expectations. The Princess came to be called empress Zubaydah Thani (the second).
(Monthly Al-Hasanat, Rampur – India)