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Khurdadba

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Khurdadba (d. 912 A.D.) or Ibn Khurdadba (इब्न खुरदादब) was an Arab merchant traveler.

Abú-l Kásim 'Ubaidu-llah bin 'Abdu-llah bin Khurdádba is better known as Ibn Khurdádba, a name derived from his grandfather, who was a fire worshipper, as the name shows, but who subsequently became a convert to the Muhammadan faith.

Ibn Khurdádba attained high office under the Khalifs, and employed his leisure in topographical and geographical researches, the result of which was his "Book of Roads and Kingdoms." He died in 300 A H., or 912 A.D.

Up to a recent date the separate individuality of Ibn Khurdádba was disputed, and it was argued by some that he was the same person as Abú Is,hák Istakhrí, and the real author of the "Oriental Geography" translated by Sir W. Ouseley. This question was set at rest by the publication of Istakhrí's work, and by the extracts from Ibn Khurdádba, which appeared in Sir H. Elliot's first volume.

The text of Ibn Khurdádba has lately been published with a translation by M. Barbier de Meynard, in the Journal Asiatique (1865) from a copy of the MS. in the Bodleian Library, collated with another from Constantinople.

Country of the Jats

Sir H.M. Elliot[1] writes quoting Ibn Khurdádba about the Country of the Jats: From the frontier of Kirmán to Mansúra, eighty parasangs; this route passes through the country of the Zats ([Jats]), who keep watch over it. From Záranj, capital of Sijistán, to Multán, two months' journey. Multán is called "the farj of the house of gold," because Muhammad, son of Kásim, lieutenant of Al Hajjáj, found forty bahárs of gold in one house of that city, which was henceforth called "House of Gold." Farj (split) has here the sense of "frontier," A bahár is worth 333 mans, and each man two ritls.

Prof. B.S. Dhillon

Prof. B.S. Dhillon[2] writes:

Jats and Mands in the Sind area became under the notice of several early Arab Geographers: Ibn Khurdadba (tenth century A.D.) [3]: 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.) [4]: 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. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians/II. Ibn Khurdádba,p.14
  2. History and study of the Jats/Chapter 3,p.55
  3. . 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.
  4. 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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