13. Cities invented by Saif

Dolouth, Tawous, Je‘rana and No‘man, Qordouda, River Ott, Altheni, Thanyat al-Rekab, Qodais, Maqr, Waya khord, al-Walaja and Alhawafi.

Saif has invented some cities such as Dolouth, Tawous, Alje‘rana and Na‘man of Iraq, Alqordouda, Nahr-att, Thanyya Thanyyatol Rekab, Qodais, Wayakhord, Alwalaja and Alha- wafi, which are named by Hamawi in the Mo‘jamul-Boldan, by Tabari and others. Yaqut Hamawi was very keen to record rare and peculiar stories in his book Mo‘jamul-Boldan.

He has written many of Saif's stories in his book when describing strange things about a place or a town. Apparently Hamawi possessed a manuscript of Saif's book as it can be noticed when he refers to Jobar, Ja‘rana, Sharja and Sahid in his geography book Mo‘jamul-Boldan. The manuscript was hand written by Abi Bak'. Muhammad Bin Ahmad Bin Abdulbaqi Albaghdadi Hafez (d. 489 Hijri)1.

He was called Bin Khazeba and has written some comments in the margins as well, and had narrated from Abibakr Alkhatie. In the margins there were comments by Abu Bakr Bin Saif. He was either Abu Bakr Ahmad Bin Bakr Bin Saif Jessaini, whose biography is written by Hamawi and Sam'ani, under the name Jessaini, or Abu Bakr Ahmad Bin Abdullah Bin Saif Bin Sa‘eed Sajestani from whom Bin ‘Asaker has recorded all Saif's stories, and Bin Nadim has written his name in his book Alfehrest, page 119 under the name ‘Obaidullah Sajestani. Hamawi has written some of Saif's stories in his book in the same manner as Tabari, but there is one difference between them.

Tabari has recorded events such that a few events make a whole story. He also usually gives the sources of his information. But Hamawi sometimes recorded a part of an event because he liked the styli of the poetry or prose in which it was written. He does not even mention Saif's name in most of them. We can find some of Saif's stories in Hamawi which are not written in Tabari and vice versa. Each of these two historians have chosen those of Saif's inventions which suit his own purpose. Hamawi has recorded pieces from Saif under the names of towns as follows:-

1. Dolouth

A man from the tribe Abdulqais called Sohara says, "At the battle of Hormozan, which took place at Ahwaz, a town in between Dolouth and Dojail, I met Harem Bin Hayan and took a bunch of dates to him…etc."

Tabari has recorded in vol.1, p.2537, the year 13 Hejri the above story as far as "A bunch of dates." While Hamawi proceeds in his recording beyond Tabari. Therefore Hamawi could have not recorded from Tabari and he must have had excess to Saif's manuscript.

2. Tawous

Hamawi says that it is a place in the province of Fars (in Persia). Saif has said that "‘Ala΄ Bin Hazrami dispatched a troop by sea to Tawous without ‘Omar's approval." Hamawi has recorded this story which has also been recorded by Tabari from Saif in vol.1, pp.2545—2551, year 17 Hejri, but Hamawi has also recorded a poem composed by Khalid Bin Mondher which Tabari has ignored.

3. Je‘rana and No‘man

They are two places in Iraq according to Saif, as has been recorded by Hamawi. Hamawi has mentioned Saif's name in ten or more places. But there are many towns about which he has written in his book without mentioning Saif's name. The reader of the latter case would think that Hamawi has expressed his own opinion, an example is Qordouda.

4. Qordouda

When Tolaiha the false prophet arrived at Samiera, he received a message from Thamama Bin Oas Bin Lam Alta’i saying, " I have about five hundred men, if you want any help. We are at Qordouda and Ansor by the sands."

Hamawi has taken the above story from Tabari Ibn Hajar has also used information taken from Tabari while writing the biography of Thamama. There is no trace of Qordouda and Thamama anywhere except in Saif's stories.

5. River Ott

Khalid Bin Walid sent one of his generals called Ott Bin Abi-Ott, who was from the tribe Bani Sa‘d, to Dowraqestan. The general camped by a river there and later the river was called River Ott after that general. Again the reader may think that Hamawi had written that of his own accord, yet he borrowed the story from Tabari. Ibn Hajar also recorded that same story which describing the word Ott (from Tabari).2

6. Ermath, Aghwath and Emas

These names described by Hamawi are borrowed from Tabari as we have explained previously at the battle of Qadesyya.3

7. Altheni, Thanyat al-Rekab, Qodais, Maqr, Wayakhord Walaja and Alhawafi.

Are some of the names Hamawi has borrowed from Tabari, vol.1, pp.2026,2648,2230-33,43,65,88,94,2326-38, 2037-8 and 2618-25 and also 2169 respectively without mentioning their inventors name, Saif. Hamawi has written of other places and towns in his book Mo‘jamul-Boldan. He has obtained them from Saif's work, and we are unable to find in any other geography or history books, viz:-
1. Sifat Jaziratul Arab by Abi Muhammad Alhasan Bin Ahmad Bin Ya‘qub Bin Yusof Bin Dawoud known as Bin Ha’ek (d. 334 H. — 945/6 A.D.)

2. Fotoohol Boldan by Baladhori.

3. Mukhtasarul-Boldan by Abibakr Ahmed Bin Muhammad Hamdani known as Bin Faqih lived third century Hijri.

4. al-Atharol Baqia ‘Anel Qorounel Khaliah by Abu- raihan Muhammad Bin Ahmad al-Birouni Kharazmi (d. 440 H.).

5. Mo‘jam Masto‘jem by Abi Obaid Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Mas‘ab Albakri Alwazir (d.478 H.).

6. Taqwimul Boldan by Ismail Saheb Hama (d. 432 H)

Two contemporary geographers have not trusted Hamawi and have not mentioned those places in their books.

1. Lestyrenj, his book: Cities of East Caliphate.

2. ‘Omar Reza Kehala, his book: Geography of Arabian Peninsula.

  • 1. Tarikhol Kamel, vo1.10, p.178; Shadharat-o-Dhahab, events of 489 H.; Lesanol Mizan, vol.6, pp.57,479; and Tadhkeratol Hoffaz al-Dhahabi, p.1224
  • 2. Tabari, vol.1, p.1892, Ertedad Ghetphan, year 11 Hejri
  • 3. T abari, vol.1, p.2052, news following H eyrah.