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[pp. 224-226]


(d. 1030 A.D.)

Aḥmad Muḥ b. Ya'qūb b. 'Alī al-Ustādh Ibn al-Miskawaih. A Persian by birth, who lived at the Court of Baghdad. He continued Tabari.

EI (s.v. Ibn al-Miskawaih) ; Brockelmann 1, 342.

Tajārib al-umam (covering the period 295/369 H (= 907/970 A.D.)

Ed.: H.F. Amedroz, 2 vols.<ref>Parts III and IV (bound in one volume) edited by H. F. Amedroz, contain “Dhayl at-Tajārīb”, the continuation written by Abu Shujā’ ar-Rudhawarī (years 369-995 A. D.).</ref> Cairo 1914. (Partly: de Goeje, Fragmenta Historicorum Arab. 2, Leiden 1871, p. 551f.).

T.: De Goeje A:0

Al-Mutawakkil entrusted to Muhammad ibn 'Abdallah al-Qummī the [task of] fighting [the Beja] and gave him authority over the mines of this region. He went to fight the Buja: he wrote to 'Anbassa b. Iṣhāq aḍ-Ḍabbī, who was in charge (al-āmil) of war affairs in Egypt, to [ask him] to supply him with all that he needed, soldiers and mercenaries from Egypt. 'Anbasa gave him all that he asked for. All those who had been working in the mines joined him and many others, too, were recruited, so that his army amounted to about twenty five thousand, divided between horsemen and foot infantry. He moved by way of the Qulzum (Red Sea). He had seven ships on the sea loaded with flour, oil, dates, barley flour (suwayq) and barley and ordered that a party of his men should go by sea until they reached the coast of the Buja. Muhammad 'Abdallah al-Qummī advanced [overland] into the territory of the Buja until he passed beyond the mines [p. 225] in which they [his mercenaries] had been working and arrived at the Buja fortified places (ḥuṣūn) and strongholds (qilā’). Their king ‘Alī Bābā, who had a son called Bughshā, marched against him with a great army several times larger than al-Qummī’s. The Buja were mounted on camels and were armed with pikes; their camels (ibil) were similar to dromedaries (mahārī) because of their tawny colour (najābah).<ref>Tawny colour (najābah) in camels is a mark of nobility of race.</ref> They had encounters for several days and skirmished with knives without joining in decisive battle. Then the Bujan king began harassing al-Qummī and delaying him in order to cause (the enemy) to run short of the supplies they had with them; they would then have no more strength and the Buja would have an easy victory within their reach. When the Buja King ('azīm al-bujah) presumed that the supplies were used up, the seven ships which al-Qummī had laden, arrived and [the men] landed at a place called Ṣinjah<ref>See: at-Tabari, note 7.</ref> (today's Sinkāt?).

Al-Qummī sent a patrol of his men to protect the ships against the Buja and distributed among his men what they carried, so that they had enough of victuals and fodder. When 'Alī Bābā, chief (ra'īs) of the Bujah, became aware of this, he attacked them. Battle was joined and both sides fought fiercely. The Beja camels were bad-tempered and became afraid of everything. When 'Abdallah al-Qummī noticed this, he collected all the bells of the camels and horses in his camp and had them tied on the horses, then he charged the Bujah. Their camels scattered all around and their fright increased; they scattered the riders over the mountains and valleys into all directions. Al-Qummī chased them with his men, killing and taking [p. 226] prisoners until nightfall. It was impossible to count the dead because of their great number. When al-Qummī rose in the morning, he found that they [the Buja] had gathered many foot soldiers in a place which they believed to be impregnable. Al-Qummī advanced on them during the night with his cavalry. Their king took flight and his crown and the treasure were seized. Later on, he [the Buja king] asked that his life should be spared and that he be restored to his throne, declaring that he would pay all the arrears of tribute. Al-Qummī granted his request, had him replaced on the throne by his son Bughshā<ref>“Ibnu-huā” (“his son Bughshā”); other readings are found in parallel accounts by other historians. The editor of Fragmenta noted that the MS is written in poor handwriting.</ref> and went back [to Baghdad] with 'Alī Bābā to the court of al-Mutawakkil. He arrived there about the end of the year [2]41 [begun 25.5.855 A.D.]. His absence had lasted less than one year. Al-Qummī had 'Alī Bābā dressed in brocade tunic (durrā'ah dībāj), a black turban (’amāmah), and had a saddle covered with silk cloth (raḥl mudabbaj) put on his camel to distinguish him from his men. He stopped at "Bāb al-Ammah" with a party of Bujah mounted on camels holding their pikes, on the sharp end of which were suspended the heads of those whom al-Qummī had killed. Al-Mutawakkil ordered that they be taken away from al-Qummī. Later on, al-Mutawakkil appointed a slave (khadam) called Sa'd al-Itākhī<ref>See: Tabarī (q.v.), note 8.</ref> governor of the Bujah and the route between Mīṣr and Mecca. Sa'd [in his turn] entrusted the charge to 'Abdallah ibn Muḥammad al-Qummī, and al-Qummī left with 'Alī Bābā who was still maintaining the observance of his religion. (De Goeje, pp. 551-552<ref>This passage, which is of paramount importance for the history of Nubia, may be usefully collated with the parallel accounts by Tabarī, Ibn Hawqal, Maqrīzī and others.</ref>).