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

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Muruj al-dhahab wa ma'adin al-jawhar
Bibliographical Information
Bibliographical Information
AuthorAli b. Husayn al-Mas'udi
Original titleمُروجُ الذَّهَب و مَعادنُ الجَوهَر
PublisherDa'r al-Hijra
English translation
En. titleMeadows Of Gold
En. publisherRoutledge (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.


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.


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


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 336/947-8.


Muruj al-dhahab was written in 332/943-4 and revised in 336/947-8 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.