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Qutb al-Din al-Chirazi; Al Touhfa al Chahiya fi l-Hai’a (The royal gift about astronomy)(1311) Persia
Taken from: Youssouf KamaltomIVfasc1
Left a page of this manuscript
The sea….. that is part of the south western quarter continues towards the country of Soufala al Zandj which is the extreme end of the ships of Oman and Siraf in the furthest places of the Zandj. The bigness of the sea, the darkness and the big waves make navigation impossible once passed this country because if they pass they sink. Because of that it is not clearly known how this sea connects with the all encircling sea….. this sea goes to the south of the equator where she passes behind the snowy mountains called Mountains of the Moon where are the sources of the Nile of Misr. She then continues to al-Soufala without that the connection with the encircling sea is known……
The Barbari gulf forms a triangle….. on the western leg of the triangle are situated the countries of the Habacha infidels, part of the Zandj, and towards the east the land of the Habacha Muslims….. the side of the continent, a part of the lands of the Zandj and the Habacha, here is situated Maqdichou opposite Zafar or al-chihr….
Then the islands of the Zandj, which are very numerous, like the island of Qanbalu situated at 1 or 2 days distance of the Zandj coast; its people are Muslims who settled there in the beginning of the Abbasid period. The water of this island flows into the sea of Oman; this country is at about 500 farsakhs distance. It is here that a branch of the Nile reaches the sea. The navigators on the sea of Oman say that during the floods of the Nile the effect is felled in Oman. The people of Mogadishu take profit of this branch of the Nile to water their crops and because of that their sugarcane and other crops are better there then anywhere else in the Soudan. To this reason the traders say is due their affluence and the floods or shortage of the Nile is a very sensible subject to them. There are however people that deny that a branch of the Nile goes down towards Oman but they have no reason to stand on….
The Nile has its origin in the mountains of the moon. First its 11 rivers that join in a swampy lake. Then they go through the sand and mountains of the region, and then the land of Nakta, black people like the Zandj and in the land where the gold grows. There it splits in two of which one branch goes to the sea at the island of Qanbalou as we already said. This branch goes through most of the land of the Zandj long and wide, from that branch to the land of Soufala is about 700 farsakhs….
The first clime starts…. Through the islands of Diwa and the northern part of the islands of Zandj and the biggest part of the land of those people. After the Zandj it reaches the Soudan from where the black eunuchs come then north of the mountains of the moon….The inhabitants …. Have often defects in their natural qualities what is proven with the ugliness like the Zandj and the Habacha in the first clime.


Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi (1281) Nihayat al-idrak fi dirayat al-aflak

(The complete understanding of the spheres) from Persia

Taken from: Relations de voyages et textes geographiques arabes, ...By Gabriel Ferrand

Sitzungsberichte, Volumes 44-45 Physikalisch-medicinische societät zu Erlangen 1913


About the sea.

The sea surrounds, on most sides, the part of the earth (that is, the inhabited), and is known in the west, north, and most of the south, and especially the eastern site. With regard to the south-western sea, it is reported that in the direction of the sources of the Egyptian Nile travelers travel to places whose southern latitude is somewhat greater than 10 °; They then, with their own eyes, perceive the snow-white mountains, which are named after the moon (note 1), and from which the springs of the Nile spring. These mountains lie south of the travelers in the distance; but the latter do not reach the sea.


(note 1)

In the margin, we find the following remark: This mountain is only connected to the moon, because in the early months of the moon the white color of the moon reaches it ; The white color is increased in the second night, the rays are still stronger in the third and fourth, the fifth is red, and the light is very intense, the sixth one is seen on it, In the seventh it is green and bright, the final result is that it shows colors every night until the middle of the month in the night of the full moon it is dyed like the tail of the peacock, and its light and its rays grow - after the experience of eye-witnesses. There lies Nubia and al Habascha, as mentioned in the geography.


The equator begins east of China and goes over an island called by the Indian Gamkut, then through the southern parts of al Sin, then over Dizkank (note 2), across the shores of the southern sea and the rivers where the ships from the sea have access, then over the places of India, Sarandib, the places of al-Si'mi, and then in the sea over the island of Kark, governed by a governor on behalf of the King of Yemen which tithes from tithing ships. He then cuts the sea to Arabia and Yemen; he encounters what is south of the places of Yemen, such as San'a, Zafar, Hadramaut, and Al Aden; Then he crosses the bosom of the green sea, goes through al Habasha, the Negroes, on it lies the city of Nubia and Isqutara (Suqutraj - Socotra), and goes to al Magrib over the places the barbarian until he reaches the surrounding sea reached.


(note 2)


In the margin, we find the following remark: About the island of Zawa which is called the gold island, then by the south of the island of Sirandib, between the islands of Kalah and Sribua, through the Diwa islands, on the north of the islands of the Zanj, and to the north of most of their country. After having crossed the border of their country through the desserts and steppe of the Negroes, to the north of the mountains of Komr, to the south of the Negroes of the Magrib till it reaches the all encircling sea called Muhit.


Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi Kulliyat al-Qanun (Commentary on the Qanon(d.1311)


Taken from;


Mahmud ibn Massud Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi; in his Kulliyat al-Qanun, a commentary on the first volume

of Al-Qanun of Ibn Sina, book II, Egypt, Mamluk, copy dated 739 AH/1338-39 AD.


I did not find the text of the book only the beautiful map of the sources of the Nile.