As-Sayrafi

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[pp. 93-94]

AṢ-ṢAYRĀFĪ

(about 916 A.D.)

Abū Zayd al-Haman aṣ-Ṣayrāfī, author of "Silsilat at-tawārikh", the journal written by a merchant named Salayman (about 851 A.D.).

Brockelmann, S1, 405.

Ed.: Langlès, Relations des Voyages (Arabic), Paris 1811; M. Reinaud, Paris 1845, with a French translation; G. Ferrand, Voyage du marchand arabe Sulayman, Paris 1922.

T.: MC (Reinaud) A: 1


The territory of the Zanj covers a very wide area. All their crops, such as dhurra, which is their basic food, sugar cane and other trees, are black. Their kings fight against each other. [In the courts of] their kings [there are] some men called "mukhazzamūn" [those who have pierced nostrils]. Their noses are pierced and they wear a ring in the holes; a chain is attached to the ring. Whenever there is a war, they go forward; then a man holds the end of each chain and pulls it to prevent anyone [of the "mukhazzamūn"] from going ahead. (Reinaud, pp. 131, 132).

[p. 94] In the [Indian] Sea there is an island called Suqūtrā, where the [tree of the] Suqūtrī myrrhe grows ... Most of the inhabitants of the island are Christians. (op.cit., p. 133).

The [Red] Sea ... touches the land of the Ḥabasha, whence the skins of the Barbarī leopards (an-numūr al-barbariyya) are exported... Then it touches Zayla', where the amber (al-‘ambar) and the tortoise-shells (dhabl) are found. (op.cit., p. 136; MC fol. 562 v).