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(16,177 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S. | Christides, V. | Tibbetts, G.R. | G. Oman
(a.) “navigation, seamanship; seafaring”. Like its English and French counterparts, navigation , the Arabic term has both a narrower and a broader connotation. The former refers to the mariner’s art of determining the ship’s position, charting her course and assuring that her progress and ultimate arrival is performed efficiently and safely; the latter, to seafaring in general. The term is attested in its faʿʿāl form, mallāḥ , at least since the ʿAbbāsid period (Lane, vii, 2733); it appears to go back to Akkadian and ultimately Sumerian ( Chicago Akkadian dictionary, Letter M

Sulaymān al-Mahrī

(1,470 words)

Author(s): Tibbetts, G.R.
, in full Sulaymān b. Aḥmad b. Sulaymān al-Mahrī, an Indian Ocean sea captain ( muʿallim al-baḥr ) of the 16th century A.D. Attributed to him are five treatises on navigation which were translated into Turkish by the author and admiral Sīdī ʿAlī Čelebi [ q.v.] and included in his work al-Muḥīṭ written in 1554. According to Sīdī Čelebi, Sulaymān finished the treatise called ʿUmda in 917/1511. He was a native of S̲h̲iḥr [ q.v.] and was dead by the time Sīdī Čelebi was writing. That is all that is known of him personally. However, he was probably a pupil of Aḥmad b. Mād̲j̲id [see ibn mād̲j̲id …

Zābad̲j̲, Zābid̲j̲, Zābag

(2,228 words)

Author(s): Tibbetts, G.R. | Toorawa, Shawkat M.
, the name of an island placed in the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean by the Arabic geographical writers. It appears as early as the Akabār al-Ṣīn wa ’l-Hind of Sulaymān al-Tād̲j̲ir and in the K. al-Masālik wa ’lmamālik of Ibn K̲h̲urradād̲h̲bih (3rd/9th century) and then in almost all subsequent texts, and the title of its ruler, the Mahārād̲j̲[ā], is also regularly used from an early date. The location of Zābad̲j̲ in Southeast Asia is certain. The Arabic authors describe it as a trading empire, and place it in relation to known places, such as India, Ḳimār [ q.v.] (Khmer = Cambodia) an…


(6,266 words)

Author(s): Tibbetts, G.R. | Toorawa, Shawkat M. | Ferrand, G. | Freeman-Grenville, G.S.P. | Shawkat M. Toorawa | Et al.
, Waḳwāḳ, Wāḳ Wāḳ , Wāḳ al-Wāḳ , al-Wāḳwāḳ (a.), a name, possibly onomatopoeic, of uncertain origin, found in mediaeval Islamic geographical, zoological and imaginative literature. One of the most mystifying place names in the geographical literature, it refers variously to an island or group of islands, inhabited by a darkskinned population who speak a distinct language; a people or race; and a tree producing humanfruit. There is also the cuckoo bird, onomatopoeically known as Wāḳwāḳ. 1. The island or islands of Wāḳwāḳ. (a) Introduction There are many stories connected with it …