On top sugarcane and under ebony (both not from this book)

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Abu Hanifa al Dinawari; Kitab al-Nabat:

(Botanical Dictionary) (d895)


Taken from: Sugar in the Social Life of Medieval Islam by Tsugitaka Sato


Sugarcane (qasab al-sukkar) is classified by color into three varieties:  white, yellow, and black. Of these, the black variety is not pressed, due to its thin and barren nature, unsuitable even for a shroud (kaffan). The pressed juice from the white and yellow canes is called the “honey of the cane” (‘aṣal al-qaṣab), the best of which comes from cane from Zanj (East Africa), producing a lemon yellow colored juice. The pressed juice is solidified to produce raw sugar (qand), and then, refined sugar (sukkar).


Taken from : Hamdard foundation : Al Biruni's book on pharmacy and materia medica.


….balsam from which platters are made is not a longish tree but its wood is hard and patterned with yellow and blackish tints. At times the yellowish tint is substituted by reddish. It grows in the valleys of Rome and around the Gulf. This is an excellent variety. The other variety of ebony is that which has no color except the black. This is brought from Waqwaq in the islands of Qamir. The people of Waqwaq are blackish; they prefer the golden complexioned Turkish slaves.

Abu Hanifa al Dinawari; Akhbar Al Tiwal:

(The Book of Lengthy Histories) (d895)


Taken from: Abu Hanifa Ahmad ibn Dawud ibn Wanand al-Dinawari (A.D. 828-895) translation Michael Richard Jackson Bonner 2012

[The Confounding of Tongues]

They say: in the time of Jamm tongues were confounded in Babil — this was because the progeny of Nuḥ had multiplied there and and [Babil] was burdened of them. The speech of all men had been the Syrian language, namely the language of Nuḥ, but at the beginning of that day their tongues became muddled, expressions changed, and they were convulsed one to another, and every group of them spoke in the tongue which their descendants speak unto this day. They went out from the land of Babil, and each group became separated in a particular direction. The first that went out from among them were the sons of Yafiṯ son of Nuḥ, and they were seven brothers: Turk, Hazar, Ṣaqlab, Taris, Mansak, Kamara, and Ṣin. They took what lay between the east and the north. Then the sons of Ḥam son of Nuḥ left after them, and they were also seven brothers: Sind, Hind, Zanj, Qibṭ, Ḥabas, Nuba, and Kan’an. And they took what lay between the south and the west. And the sons of Sam son of Nuḥ dwelt with their cousin Jamm the king in the land of Babil notwithstanding the change of their expressions.


[Iskandar’s Conquests]

He marched until he went into the land of Sudan, and saw men black as ravens, nude and barefoot, who roam about in thickets, and eat of the fruit there. If they undergo dearth or drought some of them eat one another. He went by them until he came to the sea and cut across to the shore of Aden from the land of Yaman, and Tubba’ al-Aqran, king of Yaman, marched against him. He submitted to him with obedience and he granted tribute, and he brought him into the city Ṣan’a. He let him stay there and gave him some of the gifts of Yaman, and he stayed one month. ……


They say: the land is four and twenty thousand parasangs, and the lands of the Turks are three thousand parasangs from this, and the land of the Hazar is three thousand parasangs, and the land of Ṣin one thousand parasangs, and the land of India and Sind, and Aethiopia, and the rest of the Sudan six thousand parasangs, and the land of Rum three thousand parasangs, and the land of the Slavs three thousand parasangs, and the land of namely Egypt and what is behind it (such as Africa, Ṭanja, Faranja and Andalus) three thousand parasangs, and the Arabian peninsula and what is near it, one thousand parasangs.