Al Masudi

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Al Masudi (b.896-d. 956) was an Arab historian and geographer. He visted India in 953 AD. He mentioned about Jat Kings - Por, Harshavardhana, Balhara, Bauüra, Hahaj, Rai, Bághara, Dáwar, Debal, Meds.

Introduction

Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali al-Mas'udi (in Arabic أبو الحسن علي بن الحسين بن علي المسعودي transl: Abu al-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī al-Masʿūdī) or Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali al-Mas'udi (in Arabic أبو الحسن علي بن الحسين بن علي المسعودي transl: Abu al-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī al-Masʿūdī) (aged 63-64 lunar calendar was born c. 896 at Baghdad and died in September 956 at Cairo, Egypt).

Al-Masudi (in Arabic المسعودي) was one of the first to combine history and scientific geography in a large-scale work, Muruj adh-dhahab wa ma'adin al-jawhar (Arabic: مروج الذهب ومعادن الجواهر‎ translated The Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems), a world history.

H. M. Elliot on Al-Masudi

ABÚ-l Hasan 'Abí, son of Husain, was a native of Baghdád, and received the surname of Al Mas'údí after an ancestor named Mas'úd, whose eldest son accompanied the prophet in his flight from Mecca to Medina. The greater part of Mas'údí's life was spent in travelling, and his wanderings extended over nearly all the countries subject to Muhammadan sway, and others besides. He says of himself that he travelled so far to the west (Morocco and Spain) that he forgot the east, and so far to the east (China) that he forgot the west. He was an acute observer, and deservedly continues to be one of the most admired writers in the Arabic language. The fruits of his travels and observations were embodied in his work called "Murúju-l Zahab" (Meadows of Gold), of which Ibn Khaldún, as quoted by Sprenger, says, "Al Mas'údí in his book describes the state of the nations and countries of the east and west, as they were in his age-that is to say, in 330 (332) A.H.

He gives an account of the genius and usages of the nations; a description of the countries, mountains, seas, kingdoms and dynasties; and he distinguishes the Arabian race from the barbarians. Al Mas'údí became, through this work, the prototype of all historians: to whom they refer, and on whose authority they rely in the critical estimate of many facts


[p.19]: which form the subject of their labours."1 The date of his birth is not known, but he died in Egypt in 345 A.H. (956 A.D.) Meadows of Gold: The first part of the "Meadows of Gold" was translated into English by Dr. Sprenger (London, 1841), and the complete text, with a translation into French, has since been published by MM. Barbier de Meynard and Pavet de Courteille (Paris, 1851).

Jat History

Bhim Singh Dahiya writes that Masudi visited India in 915-16 A.D. calls Mands as Mind and states that they were a race of Sindh.[1]

Bhim Singh Dahiya[2] mentions that The Muslim historians, Abuzaid (916 A.D.), and Al Masudi (943 A.D.), speak of two empires, named as Juzr and Balhara. Juzr is rightly identified as Gujar kingdom, but the identification of Balhara with Rashtra Kuta is not at all called for. Rashtra Kuras are a separate clan (old Rastrikas, modern Rathis), whereas the rulers of Vallabhipura were Bal Jats, who carved out an independent kingdom after the Dharan (Gupta) empire disintegrated. Col. Tod quotes Strunjaya Mahatmya in which the author, Dhanesvara Suri, Guru of Siladitya VI, wrote, "From Ballbhi, the Bals settled in other countries." We have the name Balhara itself, and they are known to have played significant political/military role in the history of Kashmir and other areas. Mahabharata mentions the Vallabhikan with the Bahlikas, indicating their homeland in the north.32

Prof. B.S. Dhillon[3] writes:

Jats and Mands in the Sind area became under the notice of several early Arab Geographers: Ibn Khurdadba (tenth century A.D.) [4]: He said, "The seventh is the king of Kamrun, which is contiguous to China. There is plenty of gold in this country. From the frontier of Kirman (modern area around the border between Pakistan and Iran) to Mansura, eighty parasangs; this route passes through the country of the Jats, who keep watch over it."

Al Masudi (tenth century A.D.) [5]: He wrote, "Multan (presently a city in Pakistan) is seventy-five Sindian Parasangs from Mansura. The estates and villages dependent on Mansura amount to three hundred thousands. The whole country is well cultivated, and covered with trees and fields. It is constantly at war with a nation called the Meds (Mands), who are a race of Sind, and also with other races on the frontiers of Sind".

References

  1. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Harsha Vardhana : Linkage and Identity,p.219
  2. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Jat Clan in India,p.246
  3. History and study of the Jats/Chapter 3,p.55
  4. . Ibn Khurdadba, in the History of India: As Told by Its Own Historians, edited by Sir Elliot, H.M. and Professor Dowson, J., Vol. I, reprinted by AMS Press, Inc., New York, 1966, pp. 14-15, first published in 1867.
  5. Al Masudi, in the History of India: As Told by Its Own Historians, edited by Sir Elliot, H.M. and Professor Dowson, J., Vol. I, reprinted by AMS Press, Inc., New York, 1966, pp. 24-25, first published in 1867.

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