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Muruj al-dhahab wa ma'adin al-jawhar (book)

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Muruj al-dhahab wa ma'adin al-jawhar
Author Ali b. Husayn al-Mas'udi
Original title مُروجُ الذَّهَب و مَعادنُ الجَوهَر
Language Arabic
Subject History
Published 1409/1989
Publisher Da'r al-Hijra
English translation
En. title Meadows Of Gold
Translator Paul Lunde and Caroline Stone
En. publisher Routledge (January 4, 1989)

Murūj al-dhahab wa maʿādin al-jawhar (Arabic:مُروجُ الذَّهَب و مَعادنُ الجَوهَر) is a history book in Arabic, written by Ali b. Husayn al-Mas'udi, the Shi'a historian of the 4th/10th century. The book contains the history of the world and other nations in addition to the history of Islam. The book is organized thematically and chronologically, i.e. the events that are related to one subject are arranged by their time.

Author

Ali b. Husayn al-Mas'udi is a Muslim historian and geographer of the 4th/10th century. Muruj al-dhahab and al-Tanbih wa l-ishraf have survived from his numerous works. Because of his unbiased reports about historical events his faith is not clearly known; however, in early biography and rijal sources he is introduced as a Shi'a scholar. Nowadays, most scholars say that he was a Shi'a and believe that his survived works contain enough evidence to prove this.

Cause of Writing

First, al-Mas'udi wrote a book under the title Akhbar al-zaman wa man abadah al-hadathan in 30 volumes. Then he summarized it and called it al-Kitab al-awsat, which he also summarized and called Muruj al-dhahab. He collected the best subjects and points of his books in this book and therefore he called it Muruj al-dhahab (gold meadows). He said that transferring the information about historical events to future generations was his motivation for writing the book.

Sources

In the introduction of the book, al-Mas'udi provided an index of the most important history books at his time and mentioned the sources that he has used to write the book. He also mentioned that Tarikh al-Tabari is a useful and beneficial book. In the book, al-Mas'udi has narrated information about historical events from historians, such as:

  • Haytham b. 'Uday b. Ishaq
  • Abu Mikhnaf
  • Muhammad b. Sa'ib al-Kalbi
  • Al-Waqidi
  • Al-Mada'ini

Content

Muruj al-dhahab consists of two main sections:

  1. The history of creation, prophets and different nations before the bi'tha of Prophet Muhammad (s).
  2. This section starts with the bi'tha of Prophet Muhammad (s) and ends by the events of 336/948.

Status

Muruj al-dhahab was written in 332/944 and revised in 336/948 and 354/965. Al-Mas'udi owes his fame to this book. The book is widely referred to and used by orientalists.

Translation and Publication

  • Aloys Sprenger has translated some parts of it into English, which was published in 1841 in London.
  • Barbier de Meynard has researched and translated the whole book into French, which is published between 1861 and 1877 in Paris.

References