One night Haroon Al-Rashid, the Commander of the Faithful felt restless, turning sides and could not sleep, when he called Masrur to help him get a sound sleep. Masrur suggested many things such as taking a stroll into his palace-garden, or meet with his concubines residing in his palace itself, or summon the doctors of law and religion and hear their tales, but the Commander refused to accept either.
The heartbroken Masrur offered Rashid to behead Masrur, to which the Commander laughed and ordered him to call one of the boon-companions at the door. There appeared Ali bin Mansur of Damascus and was ordered to narrate a story to Rashid.
Ali bin Mansur continued, “Once when I was honoured by the Sultan of Basrah to rest at his palace, I decided to visit the marketplace of Basrah. Roaming on the streets, I felt thirsty and came across a huge palatial door. Peeping inside through an opening of the curtain, I found a beautiful lady singing a melodious tone. When she turned towards me, she asked her maid for me. I then informed them that I was dying of thirst and sought their excuse. The lady agreed.”
Shahrazad stopped at the dawn of day.