Of all the animals found in nature, the mule, though not a prodigy, is incapable of reproduction. Ever wondered why? The parents of the mule are certainly not mules: it happens to be the offspring of a male ass and a female horse, a mare, and never the other way around. Surely a male horse, a stallion, has self-respect and would certainly not cover a female ass; whereas a mare in heat would not hesitate to accept an erect phallus of an ass in the business end of her birth canal. Herein lies the mystery of the mule.
In a figurative sense, a mule is the child born of a woman of a higher station after union with her inferior. Mother Nature does not differentiate between and within species. To her an ass is no way inferior to the horse. But we, miserable humans, consider the horse a lot above the ass. It was Herodotus, the Greek historian, who elucidated this point in his History of Persia.
Human beings have long considered it vile and improper for a woman to have coition with a man who is considered her inferior. If memory does not fail me there are umpteen examples of our Aryan heroes in the Mahabharata, Bhima and Arjuna, begetting children of Non Aryan women and also of Rakshasas. But there is not a single instance of a Brahmin or Kshatriya woman in conjugal bliss with a Sudra or a Rakshasa.
If we glance at the story of the Mughals we come across a remarkable fact that though the Princes of the Blood Royal invariably married, the Princesses however had to remain a spinster in the harem all her life. I have read it somewhere that it was the decree of the Grand Moghul, Akbar, who stipulated that a woman born of the loins of the Royal Family would remain untouched by male hands! This was one of the reasons of the shenanigans and lecheries in the Moghul harems.
Even half a century ago, there were indeed very few white women married to a black man in the USA. Black men faced the ire of the whites, if he was foolhardy enough to venture to woo and marry a Caucasian lady.
In South Africa it was a penal offense for a black man to marry a white girl during the apartheid. The retribution was quick and thorough: not only the might of the state but also the white vigilantes ganged up against the man. Matters were carried to a ludicrous extent as seen by the censorship of the immortal Shakespearean drama ‘Othello’ where the Moor, Othello, marries the white woman Desdemona.
Let us see what the history of Arabia has to tell us. The most colourful man in all Islam was the Caliph of Baghdad, Haroon Rashid. He was the stuff legends are made of. Not only was he the Commander of the Faithful but was also the redoubtable hero of the Arabian Nights. He was of immense potential: unparalleled in wisdom, graceful in victory and benevolent to the supplicant. He was twice blessed, for he had among his closest friends one Zafar, of the house of Barmici, who was second to none in intelligence and fidelity. The Caliph had raised Zafar to the post of the chief Vizier or Prime Minister.
Haroon Rashid had a younger sister who was the apple of his eye. When she came of age, Haroon decided to give her in marriage to Zafar. It was indeed a marriage made in Heaven. On the night of the wedding, Haroon drew Zafar aside and told him in no uncertain terms that though he was now married to his sister, he must never forget that she was of the Caliph’s blood. Under no circumstances should he do unto her as a man does to a woman. A crestfallen Zafar foreswore to comply.
Time passed and the marriage remained unconsummated. Then Zafar approached Haroon with a polite request that he desired to stay in a far off land with his beloved wife to which the Caliph agreed. It was a sixmonth’s journey that the couple undertook to be quite away from the prying eyes of Baghdad. There they were happy in their isolation. But Mother Nature being Mother Nature the unpreventable could not be prevented. She conceived and in due course of time gave birth to a son. It was a hush-hush affair.
Not for nothing was Haroon Rashid the Caliph of Baghdad. The news reached him of his sister’s confinement. He made arrangements to travel to his brother-in-law with all his royal entourage. Zafar was delighted to meet his good friend, lord and master. The Caliph was sumptuously entertained for three days and three nights as was the custom.
On the forth day Haroon invited Zafar for a walk in the outskirts of the city and asked him if the news that his sister had delivered a child was true. Zafar had no scope to hide the fact and he replied in the affirmative. When asked if he was the father of the child he again replied in the affirmative.
Zafar, well renowned for his benevolence and justice, called for his executioner and had Zafar dismembered into four pieces which were hung in the four corners of the city.