Ibn Khaldun

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[pp. 547-563]


IBN KHALDŪN

(1332-1406 A.D.)

‘Abd ar-Raḥmān b. Muḥ. Ibn Khaldūn Wālī ad-dīn at-Tūnisī al-Ḥadramī al-Iṣbīlī al-Mālīkī. The greatest of all Arab historians, born in Tunis, sometime a qāḍī at Cairo where he died.

Brockelmann 2, 242-245; EI (s.v.)

K. al-‘Ibar wa-diwān al-mubtadā’ wa-l-khabar (The Book of Admonitions; a history of the Arab and Berber tribes of North Africa and Spain)

Book 1 of it is the famous Muqaddimah (Introduction). "Al-Muqaddima", alone, edited in Arabic by M.G. De Slane, Prolégomènes, Algiers, I, 1847, II, 1851. Critical edition by Ali Abdel Wahid Wafi, 3 vols., Cairo 1957; English transl. by F. Rosenthal, 3 vols., New Haven 1958; French [p. 548] transl. by E. Quatremère, in: "Notices et Extraits des mss, de la Bibl.Imp." XVI-XVII, Paris 1958; V. Monteil, Discours sur l'Histoire Universelle, UNESCO Collections, 3 vols., Beirut 1967-68.

Ed.: 7 vols., Cairo 1867; 7 vols., Beirut 1960-67.

T.: Beirut A: 0


[Some Peoples of the Second Climate]<ref>Ibn Khaldūn’s description of the Nile, the boundaries of the Nūba and other Sūdān closely follows those of earlier Arab geographers. We have selected only those passages which are no mere quotations from earlier writers.</ref>

In the first and the second sections of it [the Second Climate] on their side, there is the land of Qanūriyya.<ref>Cf. Al-Ḥarrānī [q.v.].</ref> To their east, there is the upper land of Ghāna,<ref>Cf. Al-Ya’qūbī, n. 2.</ref> then the homes of the Zaghāwa, who are Sūdān, and in the lower part of the aforesaid sections there is the desert of Nistara, without interruption from west to east, a desert which the traders cross [when going] from the country of the Maghreb to the country of the Sūdān; there are the homes, of the people who wear a muffler (al-mulaththimūn); they are a branch of the Sanhāja. (Beirut I, p. 98).

To the east of the country of the Wanghāra (Wanqāra) and Kanem there is the country of the Zaghāwa and Tājira,<ref>This spelling, including vowels, is indicated in the Beirut edition. Ibn Khaldūn’s edition consistently has Tājira where Idrīsī wrote Tājuwa.</ref> which borders on the land of the Nūba in the fourth section of this Climate. Through it flows the Nile of Egypt, proceeding from its source near the equinoxial line, to the Mediterranean (al-baḥr ar-rūmi) in the north. (ibid. I, pp. 94 - 95).

[p. 549] [Trade Across the Great Desert]

The gold mine which, as we know, is found in this country [Western Sudan], lies in the country of the Sūdān<ref>These Sūdān are those dwelling south of the Maghrib. We include this passage as perhaps it can be comparatively to Nubia or other territories bordering on Nubia.</ref> and is nearer to the western side (maghrib). All goods that are in their land are exported for commerce. Were the cash money (al-māl) in their country ready at hand (ʿatīd) and plentiful (mawfūr), they would not export their goods to others to obtain their supplies, and would not obtain their cash money from others (by selling them their goods). (ibid. I, pp. 651 - 652).

For this reason [i.e. the distance of the journey] one finds that the merchants who ardently wish to enter the country of the Sūdān become the wealthiest of all men and the richest of all in money. Because of the distance of the journey and its hardships, and the crossing of the desert which is full of dangers and thirst ... the goods of the country of the Sūdān in our country are very few (qalīla); besides, they are very rare because of the high price. In like manner, our goods are very dear among them. Therefore, the commodities bought by the merchants are held in high esteem, because of the distance they have travelled and also the profit and wealth come to them quickly because of that reason. (ibid. I, p. 707).

[Dressmaking in the Hot Countries]

These two trades [tailoring and sewing] are old among mankind because man in the temperate countries needs warmth. But those who live in hot countries do [p. 550] not need warmth ... For this reason we are told that the majority of the inhabitants of the First Climate from among the Sūdān go naked. These trades are very old; people, in fact, attribute them to Idrīs<ref>Idrīs, the prophet popularly identified with the biblical Enoch, the inventor of handicrafts.</ref> - peace upon him -, who is the oldest of the prophets, (ibid. I, p. 734).

[Sorcery Among the Sūdān]

Also we heard that in the land of the Blacks (Sūdān) and the land of the Turks, there are [people] who practice sorcery on the clouds and they cause rain [to fall] on the land they intend [to water]. (ibid. I, p. 928).

[Ptolemy Philometor]

After him [Alexander the Great], his son Philometor (Fīlumātor) reigned over Alexandria. The Greeks (al-gharīqiyyūn) invaded the territory of Rome (Rūma). Among the allies [of the Greeks] there were the Ruler of Macedonia and some people of Armenia and Iraq; the king of the Nūba, too, supported them. They came together, but the Rumāniyyūn beat them and took the Ruler of Macedonia prisoner. (ibid. II, p. 386).

[The War (fitna) of the Kītim Against the People of Ifrīqiya (ahl Ifrīqiya): The Destruction of Carthage (khurtajanna) and its Rebuilding by the Kītim, who are the Latinīyyūn]

After the Romans (ahl Rūma) had ended the wars, they returned to Spain and occupied it. Then they crossed the sea toward Carthage and conquered it, 900 years after its foundation and 700 years since the foundation of Rome.

[p. 551] Then war broke out between the Romans and the King of the Nūba. The king of the Nūba asked the Berbers (al-barbar) for help after the Romans had defeated him and pursued him as far as Qafsa and had occupied it and seized all the provisions. This town had been built by Heracles (Harkalish), the giant king of the Rūm. The Romans defeated them; the king of the Berbers were frightened by them. They vanquished one of the kings of the Nūba, who fell into their hands as a prisoner.

These wars took place in the time of Ptolemy Alexander (Batlīmūs al-Iskandar), after the generals of Some had agreed to rebuild Carthage and to restore it in the twenty-second year after its destruction. (ibid. II, p. 403).

[The Transfer of the Patriarchate from Alexandria]

In the year 223 Η. [830 A.D.] [the Caliph] al-Mu'taṣim conquered 'Ammūriyyah. The story of the conquest in his records is well known. This is what Ibn al-'Amīd states. We have omitted his statements on the Patriarchs since the conquest of Alexandria, because we thought that we could dispense with them. Their great Patriarchate, which was in Alexandria, was moved to "Rūma" [i.e. Byzantium], and there it belongs to the Melkites (al-Malakiyya); they call him Pope (al-bābā) which means "the Father of the Fathers". In the country of Egypt there remained the Patriarch of the Jacobites having jurisdiction over the kings of Nubia and of Ḥabasha. (ibid. II, p. 473).

[Christian Peoples]

Among the peoples of the Franks (umam al-Afranja) there are the Galicians (al-Jalāliqa) whose country is in Spain (Andalus): all these embraced [p. 552] Christianity following the Rūm, along with [the other peoples] who embraced it.

Also there were Christians among the Blacks (umam as-sūdān), the Ḥabasha, the Nūba and those Berbers of the Maghreb coast who were subjects to the empire of the Rūm, such as the Naghzāwa, the Hawāra in Ifrīqiya and the Maṣāmida in the extreme [border of] Maghreb. The king of the Rūm became very powerful and the Christian religion expanded. (ibid. II, p. 484).

[The Juhayna]

The Juhayna dwell between al-Yanbū' and Yathrib until today, in a vast desert of the Ḥejāz. To their north, as far as the mountain road (ʿaqabah) of 'Ailat lies the homeland of the Ballīy. Both these peoples live on the eastern shore of the Sea of Qulzum. Some of their people crossed to the western shore and spread out between the Ṣa'īd and the country of the Ḥabasha: there they outnumbered the other native peoples and conquered the country of the Nūba; they spread their own religion (kalima) and put an end to their [the Nūba] kingdom. They waged war against the Ḥabasha and oppressed them until the present time. (ibid. II, p. 516).

[The Conquest of Miṣr: The Tribute on Egyptians and Nubians]

'Amrū and Zubayr laid siege on them [Egyptians] for a time until they concluded an agreement on the basis of the jizya and carried away what they had previously taken from them forcibly. [‘Amrū] drew up the agreement and they laid, as a condition, the return of the prisoners. Omar Ibn al-Khaṭṭāb wrote to them requesting that the prisoners should be permitted to remain within Islam. The agreement was then put into writing and this is the text.

[p. 553] "In the name of the Merciful and the Clement. This is what 'Amrū Ibn al-‘Āṣ has given to the people of Miṣr as a guarantee for their lives, their property and all other things, their goods and chattels: nothing must be added [to this treaty], nothing must be left unaccomplished.

The Nūb must not live among them. The people of Miṣr must pay the jizya if they consent to this peace-treaty (sulḥ). If the flooding of their river reaches the optimum level, [they will pay] 50 million; by doing so, they will have assured their security. If any of them refuses to pay, the jizya should be levied, however, from the community and our protection (dhimma) will cease in regard to him who refused the payment.

If their river fails to reach the full flood: when it is over, they will levy from them [Egyptians] [the tribute] in proportion to that [flood].

Those of the Rūm and Nūb who come under the peace-treaty will have the same rights and duties as the others; those who refuse and prefer to go, will have safe conduct as far as the frontier and go out of our jurisdiction. They will [have to] pay one-ninth of the taxes, and one-third of what the [others] have to pay.

On the terms of this writ remains the guarantee (ʿahd) of God and His protection (dhimma), the protection of His Envoy, the protection of the Caliph, Commandant of the Faithful, and the protection of the Faithful.

The Nubians (an-Nūba) who respond must help with such and such a number of heads [of slaves] and so many horses provided that they do not carry out raids [in our territory] and, do not hinder the traders going to, and coming from [their country]."

[p. 554] This treaty was witnessed by Zubayr and his two sons, 'Abdalla and Muḥammad, and was written by Wardān, who was present.

The above is the text as quoted from at-Ṭabarī. (ibid. II, pp. 971 - 972).

[Al-Omarī]<ref>Ibn Khaldūn’s account of al-Omarī’s murder is a summary from earlier historians.</ref>

There was in Egypt one Abū 'Abdarraḥmān al-Omarī; his full name was 'Abdalḥamīd ibn 'Abdal'azīz 'Abdalla ibn Omarī; he was living in the region of Qōs in the Ṣa’īd. The beja (al-Bujāh) were carrying out raids in those regions and they [the inhabitants] sought for help. The [Beja] came out one feast day, pillaged and killed some people. Omarī rose full of zeal for the cause of God, and set an ambush to them on their way and defeated them, then he marched into their country, until they offered to pay him the jizya, and his pressure on them became ever more harassing.

The Alide<ref>Ibn aṣ-Ṣūfī, a preacher, mentioned by al-Balawī [q.v.]. Ibn Khaldūn gives a more detailed story about his adventures in Egypt.</ref> went out to challenge him, but Omarī defeated him, and in the year [2]60 [= 873-874 A.D.]. Alide had previously risen in the Ṣa'īd in the year [2]57 [= 870-871 A.D.]. It is said that his name was Ibrāhīm ibn Muḥammad ibn Yaḥyā ibn 'Abdalla ibn Muḥammad ibn 'Αlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, and is commonly called "aṣ-Ṣūfī". He occupied the town of Esna and pillaged it, then he troubled [the population] taking spoils in that region.

Ṭūlūn sent an army against him but he defeated it, cut it to pieces and captured the commander. Then [Ibn Ṭūlūn] sent another army against him, but aṣ-Ṣūfī withdrew to the Oases. Then he came back to the Ṣa'īd in [p. 555] the year [2]59 [= 872 A.D.] and marched on Ashmunein, then he went out to attack Omarī, but was defeated and withdrew to Aswān and began molesting [the population] in those parts. Ibn Ṭūlūn sent an army against him. He fled to 'Aydhāb and crossed the sea to Mecca, but the Wālī of Mecca arrested him and sent him to Ibn Ṭūlūn, who put him in jail for a time, then released him. He eventually died at Medina.

Then Ibn Ṭūlūn sent the army against Omarī, who met the general of the array and said: - 'I did not come out to cause destruction, nor to do harm to any Moslem or to a dhimmī: but I have come here to carry out the holy war: consult your Emir about me. The general refused, and gave him battle, but his army was defeated and they returned to Ibn Ṭūlūn and gave their reports about him. Ibn Ṭūlūn said: - 'Did you ever consult me about him? Actually God gave him victory against you, because of your shortcomings.'

Later on, two of his [Omarī's] servants assaulted and, murdered him and brought his head to Aḥmad Ibn Ṭūlūn, but he ordered that the two servants should be executed. (ibid. IV, pp. 646 - 647).

[Abū Rakwa]

Al-Faḍl advanced [from Fayum] towards the Ṣa'īd to capture Abū Rakwa. Māḍī ibn Muqarrib, of the Banī Qurra, abandoned Abū Rakwa. The Banī Qurra said to Abū Rakwa: - 'Save yourself in Nubia!' He arrived at their border villages (tukhūm) and introduced himself saying: - ‘I am the messenger of al-Ḥākim.' They said: - 'It is absolutely necessary to have permission from the king [in order to enter Nubia].' They trusted him and informed the king of the affair. He [the king] was young and had acceded after the death of his father. He sent a delegate [p. 556] to al-Faḍl [to enquire] about him [Abū Rakwa], then had him arrested.

Then he wrote to Shajara ibn Mīnā, the commandant of the cavalry on the frontier to hand him over to the representative of al-Ḥākim. - The messenger of Faḍl took him and Faḍl gave him lodging in his tent and took him to Miṣr. [There] he was driven around riding a camel, and clad in a long, tight tunic (tartūr) and behind him a monkey was beating him. Then he was taken out of Cairo to be killed, but he died before he arrived there. He was beheaded and crucified... Al-Ḥākim was victorious over Abū Rakwa in the year [3]97 [= 1006 - 1007 A.D.]. (ibid. IV, pp. 122 - 123).

[The Assault of the Nubians in Cairo]

At the time of al-'Aḍid, a eunuch was superintendent over all the court (qaṣr) and was called "the Commissioner of the Caliphate". As the supporters of the [Fatimid] dynasty (ahl ad-dawlah) resented the vizirate of Saladin over many of them, he [the Commissioner of the Caliphate] wrote to the Franks (al-afranj) asking for their help so that Saladin might go out [of Cairo] against them; then they would rise in the rear and would attack him. He invited the Franks to march against him.

They sent the letter by means of a man wearing shabby clothes; he carried it in his sandals. Some Turks (Turkumānī) stopped him; as they noticed the new sandals and had suspicions about them, they brought him before Saladin. He read the letter. The man who wrote [the letter] was brought to Saladin and there he confessed the whole truth. Saladin concealed the whole matter, waited until the Commissioner of the Caliphate went to some country-villages of his for amusement and sent someone to behead him. Then he canned the eunuchs of the [p. 557] Palace from all the state affairs and appointed one Bahaudain Qarāqūsh, a white eunuch, who was one of his servants, to run all the affairs of the Palace.

The Sūdān of Fusṭāṭ (Miṣr), angered by [the murder of] the Commissioner of the Caliphate, assembled to fight Saladin. They, numbered five thousand and came forth against Saladin near the Palace, in the month or Dhū-l-Qa'da of the same year. Saladin sent someone to burn their houses in [the city quarter of] al-Manṣūra, together with their relatives and children. When they heard of this, they withdrew and [many] were killed by the sword in the streets. They asked for safe-conduct, and crossed to Gīza, but Shams ad-dawla, the brother of Saladin, went there with a company of soldiers and exterminated them... (ibid. V, pp. 623 - 624).<ref>Ibn Khaldūn’s account of Tūrānshāh’s expedition in Nubia [1172 A.D.] which is a summary of the same story told my earlier writers with no new detail, follows here.</ref>

[The Revolt of Kanz in the Ṣa'īd]

There was an emir of the Arabs in the environs of Aswān who was known as Kanz ad-Dawla. He belonged to the Fatimid sect (shī'a li-l-‘uluwīyya) of Egypt, was well advanced in age and widely known. When Saladin became king, he divided the Ṣa'īd into fiefs (iqtāʿ) among his emirs. One of them was the brother of Abū-l-Hayjā ("The Father of the Army") as-Samīn, whose fief was in their [the Arabs] neighbourhood. Kanz-ad-Dawla, in the year [5]70 [1174 A.D.], would not tolerate him. Many Arabs and Sūdān gathered around him [Kanz]. He attacked the brother of Abū-l-Hayjā as-Samīn in his fief and killed him.

Abū-l-Hayjā was one of the mast powerful emirs: many soldiers assembled around him and marched to Aswān, [p. 558] crossed the Ṣa'īd, invaded it in great numbers, defeated the inhabitants arid cut them to pieces. Then they marched against Kanz, killed him and defeated his army; all his men were slain and cut to pieces and the region of Aswān and the Ṣa'īd were pacified. God is the One who gives success. (ibid. V, p. 634).

[Nubian Events]

About the year [6]75 [= 1276 A.D.] the king of the Nubians [Mintashkīl ?]<ref>Below, the name of this Nubian King is consistently written as “M.R.T.Sh.K.N.”. Therefore, the reading “Mintashkīl”, may be a distortion by some copyist. In Al-Maktaba (p. 277), it is written min tashkīl.</ref> came to al-Malik aẓ-Ẓāhir [Baybars] seeking help [in a contention he had] against the son or his brother (ibn akhī-hi), Dāwūd because this had overpowered him and wrested the kingdom from his hand.

The Sultan promised him [help] and he stayed there waiting. King Dāwūd became bold and crossed the frontiers of his kingdom towards Aswān in the extreme part of the Ṣa'īd. The Sultan sent the army against him under the command of Aqsonqor al-Fariqānī and Aybek al-Afram, the superintendent of his house (ustādh dāri-hi) and, with them, Merteshakin (M.R.T.Sh.K.N.), the refugee king of the Nūba; they all marched towards Nubia. They also recruited the Arabs [of Upper Egypt] and went up to the Cataracts, conquered that country and pacified its inhabitants. The army marched further into the country; Dāwūd met them but they defeated him and made a great slaughter among his soldiers; they took his brother prisoner also his sister and his mother. [Dāwūd] fled to a kingdom of the Blacks (Sūdān) [called] al-Abwāb. That king on seeing him, fought and defeated him, had him arrested and sent in fetters to the Sultan, who detained him in the fortress until he died.

[p. 559] Then Merteshekin was established as a king of the Nūba, on condition that he paid the prescribed tribute and certain gifts, every year, and also on condition that the fortresses in the neighbourhood of Aswān were to belong solely to the Sultan, and that he would seize all the property of his nephew (ibn akhī-hi), Dāwūd and all his partisans (asḥābi-hi) in their country, which he did.

Later on, aẓ-Ẓāhir died [1277 A.D.], his power collapsed, as well as the power of his children,<ref>Bereken Khān and Salāmish, who reigned between 1277 and 1279 A.D. died a violent death.</ref> and the kingdom passed to al-Manṣur Qalāwūn.

In the year [6]86 [= 1287 A.D.], he [Qalāwūn] sent the army to Nubia, under the leadership of Alamaddin Sanjar al-Khayyāt and 'Izz ad-dīn Aidamer al-Kūrānī. With them went also the governor (nā’ib) of Qōs by name 'Izz ad-dīn Aidamer as-Sayfī, who had already recruited the Arab nomads: viz. the Awlād Abū Bakr, Awlād Omar, Awlād Sharīf, Awlād Shaybān, Awlād Kanz ad-Dawla and a party of men from the Gharb, (jam'a min al-gharb) and the Banī Hilāl. They marched on [both] the western and eastern banks as far as Dongola. The king [of the Nubians] was one Baitamāmūn<ref>This name occurs only in Ibn Khaldūn. It is, almost surely, due to the misreading of some copyist for Simāmūn, which we find a little further on in the same story. </ref>: so is he named by an-Nawāwī; I think he was the brother of Merteshekin. They [the Nubians] rose against the regular armies [of Egypt]; but the latter defeated them and pursued them beyond Dongola for 15 days.

The son of the sister of Baitamāmūn was put on the throne, then the armies returned to Egypt. Baitamāmūn came to Dongola and occupied the country. The son of his [p. 560] sister rushed to Egypt, [and went] directly to the Sultan who sent with him ‘Izz ad-dīn, the governor of Qōs; this happened in the year [6]86 [= 1289 A.D.]. They sent a flotilla down the Nile, loaded with the provisions and arms. The king of the Nubians died at Aswān and was buried there: his second in command (nā’ibu-hu) went directly to the Sultan who sent back with him Dāwūd,<ref>If this is the correct name, we have here another King Dāwūd [III], unknown from other documents, nor mentioned by Monneret’s Storia della Nubia Cristiana, except under the name of ‘Abdalla Nashlī.</ref> the son or the sister of Merteshekin, who was a prisoner in the fortress.

Joreis (Jurays) advanced [into Nubia] before the [regular] army. Baitamāmūn fled and retired to an island in the middle of the Nile, 15 days’ distance upstream from Dongola. The army stood on the shore of the river, but the flotilla failed to reach there because of the numerous rocks. Baitamāmūn left it [the island] and wont to al-Abwāb.

His men abandoned him. [Also] the army went back to Dongola and made Dāwūd king, then they returned to Egypt and in the year [6]39, that is 19 months after their departure from Egypt, leaving behind them one of their emirs to stay with king Dāwūd.

No sooner had they reached Egypt than Baitamāmūn appeared again at Dongola, killed Dāwūd and sent the emir who was with them back to the Sultan, charging him to express to the Sultan his desire to come to an agreement, declaring that he was ready to pay the fixed tribute (darībah) and he [the Sultan] consented. Thus he settled peacefully in possession of his kingdom and [the whole affair] come to an end: but God the Exalted One knows better. (ibid. V, pp. 862 - 864.

[p. 561] [The Islamization of Nubia]

We have already dealt with the invasion of Nubia by the Turks (at-Turk) in the time of aẓ-Ẓāhir Baybars and al-Manṣūr Qalāwūn, because they [the Nubians] had ceased paying the jizya, which 'Amrū ibn al-‘Āṣī had imposed upon them and which the kings had since confirmed. It was, perhaps, because they delayed the payment or because they refused to pay, that the Moslem armies of Egypt invaded them in order to restore the situation (hattā yastaqīmū).

At that time, when the armies of Qalāwūn marched against them, in the year 680 H. [= 1281 A.D.] their king was in Dongola: his name was Semamun (Simāmūn). Later on, about that time, there reigned one by the name of Āy-ī. I am not certain whether he was the immediate successor of Semamun, or whether others reigned between these two. Āy died in the year 716 H. [= 1316 A.D.] and after him his brother Kerbīs<ref>A misreading for Kudanbes. Other editions have K.R.N.B.S..</ref> reigned in Dongola. Then a man of their royal family, by name Nashlī, escaped to Egypt, and became a Moslem. His conversion to Islam was sincere (ḥasuna islamu-hu) and brought him much benefit and he persevered in it.

In the year [7]16, Kerbīs refused to pay the jizya. The Sultan sent the army against him and with it [he sent] ‘Abdalla Nashlī, the Moslem convert of their royal family. Kerbīs refrained from opposing the army in the battle field and fled to the country of al-Abwāb: therefore the army returned to Egypt and Nashlī remained there [in Dunqula] as king of Nubia, persevering in his Moslem faith. The Sultan sent [a messenger] to the king of al-Abwāb to ask for the extradition of Kerbīs.

[p. 562] The king of al-Abwāb delivered him to the Sultan and Kerbīs stayed at the Sultan's Court.

Later on, the Nūba gathered against Nashlī and killed him in a conspiracy with a group of Arabs, in the year [71]9. Then they enquired about Kerbīs at the court of the king of Al-Abwāb, but they found that he was in Egypt. The Sultan was informed about this and sent Kerbīs back to Nubia where he reigned.

But the jizya was no longer paid, because the Nūba had embraced Islam. Then the clans of the Juhayna Arabs spread over their country, settled there, occupied the country and made it a place of pillage and disorder.

At first, the Nubian kings<ref>Here the historians seems to refer to a number of vassal kinglets of Nubia, whom reigned throughout much of the 14th century.</ref> tried to check them, but failed; then they tried to find favour with them by giving them their daughters in marriage. The result was that their kingdom broke up and passed by inheritance to certain sons of the Juhayna on account of their mothers according to the custom of the infidels, which establishes the succession of the sister or the sister's son. In this way, their kingdom disintegrated and Arab nomads (A’rāb) of the Juhayna tribe took possession of it. But their rule retained no semblance of the monarchic rule (as-siyāsat al-mulūkiyya) of the [Nubian] kings because of the evil which makes discipline impossible among them [nomads]. Consequently, the Nubians divided themselves into many parties, and have remained thus up to the present time. No trace of efficient authority (rasm li-l-mulk) has survived in their country. The Nubians have become nomads, who move from place to place, following the rainfall, like the Arab nomads of Arabia. No vestige [p. 563] of royal authority (rasm li-l-mulk) has remained in their country since the system of Arab nomadism turned them from their own system (sibghati-him) through utter disorder (khalta) and unceasing warfare (iltihām). (ibid. V, pp. 92. - 923).

[The Juhayna]

In the Ṣa'īd, from Aswān and the surrounding area as far as the land of the Nūba and the country of the Ḥabash there are numerous sub-tribes and different sections, all of them belonging to the Juhayna [tribe] [who are] a branch of the Quḍā'a: they overran those deserts, had the upper hand on the Nūba in their homeland and subjected them. They disturbed the Ḥabasha in their own territory and settled among them along the fringes of their territory.

Those who live immediately south of Aswān are known as Awlād Kanz. Their ancestor was Kanz ad-Dawla, who used to have rank under the reigns previously mentioned [i.e. the Fatimids]. Together with them settled the Banī Ja'far ibn Abī Ṭālib in the region [stretching] from Aswān to Qōs. (ibid. VI, p. 10).

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