This is one of the best known poems in Al-Sira Al-Hilaliya, recounting the amorous liaison between Younis Al-Hilali and Aziza, the daughter of Al-Wahidi Mebed, a Zanati prince.
Aziza falls in love with Younis when she learns about his exceptional beauty from a former female slave of his. Younis has just arrived in Tunis, accompanied by his uncle Abu Zeid and his brothers Yehya and Marei. They run out of money and decide to sell a necklace belonging to their mother, Shamma. Younis takes the necklace to the market, where an old woman uses subterfuge to take him to Aziza's palace, promising him that he will be able to sell the necklace there.
In her palace, Aziza is being held captive by a father determined to keep her away from men; and the captivity makes her wild. Aziza wastes no time in trying to seduce Younis, but he keeps objecting. Every time he objects, she refutes his argument. They are now at the ninth stairwell, having their ninth argument:
The ninth is made of silver
Younis bends down and hands her a jar
He says: Girl, give me (water) to wash
It's prayer time and I have to pray
She says: No need for prayers or religion
Leave the prayers of the All Merciful alone
Stay with me and don't drift away
This is not a mosque, if you know what I mean
Younis, come on, let's have fun
I will be a boat and you'll be the pilot
Let's sail in our own sea
Let's see how your body fits with mine
She says: Younis, this is fate
Think of me getting dressed up everyday
Think of my breasts, ripping through my robe
I am pleading with you, my master
Younis is hesitant and reminds her of the Day of Reckoning:
He says to her: Daughter of the Sultan
We are descendants of the Prophet himself
Let me tell you, Daughter of the Sultan
One day we'll answer to the Lord
On the Day of Reckoning
What shall we say?
This story of seduction is reminiscent of the Quranic tale of Joseph with the wife of the Egyptian governor, which explains its added popularity.
Aziza, having failed to seduce Younis, conspires to keep him and his brothers captive until his uncle, Abu Zeid, pays the blood money for the slaves he killed. This sets the stage for the Beni Helal epic of exodus.