The king of Basra has an evil vizier, al-Mu'in, and a good and generous vizier, al-Fadl. On the king's orders, al-Fadl buys a slave girl, Anis al-Jalis. She is beautiful and intelligent. He keps her in his house for a few days so that she can recover from her long journey, but his womanizing son Nur al-Din Ali falls in love with her and she with him, and they consummate their love. Al-Fadl reluctantly agrees to their marriage.

After al-Fadl's death, Nur al-Din Ali squanders his inheritance. Anis al-Jalis tells him to sell her at the slave market, but the vizier al-Mu'in sees her and lusts after her. The master of the slave market warns Nur al-Din Ali, and the couple hurries home after a fight with the vizier. They move to Baghdad and enter the palace, not realizing that they're trespassing. Harun al-Rashid sees their lanterns, and he, Ja'far the vizier, and Masrur the executioner disguise themselves as merchants to investigate. They see the two celebrating and Harun, now disguised as a fisherman, joins them. Seeing Harun's affection for Anis al-Jalis, Nur al-Din gives her to him. After hearing their story, Harun decrees that Nur al-Din become the new king. Nur al-Din takes the caliph's decree to Basra, but the vizier al-Mu'in has him imprisoned. At the point of Nur al-Din's execution, Ja'far arrives and saves him, and al-Mu'in is punished instead.


  • This story appears in the oldest preserved manuscript and is one of the core stories of hte Arabian Nights.