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Ibn abi l Ash’ath:  Kitab Taba’i al Hayawan

(Book of Habits of Animals)(d970)


Taken from: Ibn abi l-Ash`ath's K. Taba'i` al- Hayawan by Remke Kruk



Left as illustration only a map of the seven climes by Qazwini

The three hot clime are inhabited by first the blacks: (Zanj, Abessynians, Nubians), second the Dark-Browns (Sind, Hind) and third the Light-
Browns (Hijaz, Yamama, Bahrayn, Najd); then the three cold regions, inhabited respectively by the Slavs, the Turks, the Khazars, the
Byzantines (Rum), the Armenians and several other peoples; and finally the middle region, where equilibrium of circumstances prevails and
makes possible the existence of human life in its optimal form. The physical and mental characteristics of all these people are given and…..


There is no hikma in the intemperate zones. (Hikma= knowledge of the two opposites). Since the people in the intemperate zones lake this
knowledge, they are like animals in that they have only generic characteristics and lack individuality.


Their resemblance to animals is further proven by the fact that cannibalism is a common phenomenon among them.


People in the intemperate zones give their children names such as we reserve for camels and horses, which proves that they actually are like
camels and horses.


As to the Blacks, bringing them to a more temperate zone does not in the least help to get them better organized in mind and social organization. 


The situation of the Blacks and the Slaves is that they do not have an immortal soul, and no relation between them and their creator exists.
What then can be the reason for their existence?  This lies in the useful work they can do for the higher developed human beings that live in
the temperate zones; for they can act as herdsmen and farmers for them.


…..The country is also very fruitful (Iraq). All this however does not imply that it is free from disease. Disease sometimes comes to it from
outside, such as from the country of the Blacks.