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Abu Imran Musa ibn Rabah al-Awsi al-Sirafi: Al-sahih min ahbar al-bihar wa-aga’ibiha (The truth on the knowledge of the seas and their marvels) (978)


Taken from:  Une nouvelle source arabe sur l’océan Indien au Xe siècle : le Ṣaḥīḥ min aḫbār al-biḥār wa-‘aǧā‘ibihā d’Abū ‘Imrān Mūsā ibn Rabāḥ al-Awsī al-Sīrāfī ; Ducène Jean-Charles




Left the people of Waqwaq who according to tradition grow on trees.

The author of the book said: A merchant established in Yemen told me: that he had a neighbor who had in his house,

after having gathered at his place, 6 or 7 young men (gilman) coming from the Waqwaq. He had trained them technically.

One of them was a blacksmith, and his mastership had so much improved that he made iron and copper instruments

which stuck the people of Aden with their beauty. They started to know the skill with which he made big things that made

a price really different from his salary. And his owner made a lot of money because of him.  The slave asks him for an

expensive slave women (gariya), but his master refuses and makes it impossible (to merry her).The slave then thinks

about leaving his master and going to Zeila – which is at the edge of the country close to Aden and separated from it only

be a short distance. He takes with him the young men who came from Waqwaq; there were there people who came from

that place. He corrupted those young slaves, takes them and leaves. Till now we have no news about them.


Sahan ibn Hummuwiyaah known as Dud, reports in 961:

Ahmad ibn Marwan, merchant (tahir) of his country, had send me in a ship that he had also send and was under my

authority, to Kala (in Malaysia). It was necessary that the ship passes by Fansur. I had with the ruler of Sribuza a

strange adventure (nukta) that I will not keep silent about. He learns of my arrival at Fansur and he sends someone to

bring me with the boat as well as all that I had to Sribuza………… After 5 or 6 months it happened that the king leaves

to make war to the rulers of Zang …………………When the king of Sribuza decides to leave to go and fight the people

of Zabag, he takes with him all he can take, and then decides to burn everything that remains in his stores. (In this case

he decides to give it to the merchant). 


Note: Ducène Jean-Charles proves in his article that these stories belong to the manuscript of Buzurg but that Abu Imran

Musa ibn Rabah al-Awsi al-Sirafi is the real author and that these two stories give us important information about people

of Waqwaq who established themselves in East Africa