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(3,503 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, Gabriel
, a district and town in East Africa in the southern part of the Portuguese colony of Mozambique. — The name Sofāla is generally connected with the Arabic root safala “to be lowlying” and in support of this etymology the passage ¶ in Masʿūdī ( Murūd̲j̲, i. 331—332) is quoted, where it is stated that “wherever a mountain stretches for some distance below the sea, it is given in the Mediterranean the name al-sofāla”. Apart from the question of a submarine mountain this interpretation is not untenable; the district of Sofāla as a matter of fact consists of low-lying gro…

Waḳwāḳ or Wāḳwāḳ

(4,141 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, Gabriel
, in Arabic orthography , or . The pagination which follows the names of Arab authors or titles of Oriental works refers, unless otherwise stated, to G. Ferrand’s Relations de voyages et textes géographiques arabes, persans et turks (cf. the Bibliography). I. Wāḳwāḳ of the South or Wāḳwāḳ of Africa The islands of Wāḳwāḳ are situated in the Lārwī sea which washes the western coast of India and the lands inhabited by the Zand̲j̲ (Yaʿḳūbī, p. 49). The Wāḳwāḳ of the south is different from that of China (Ibn al-Faḳīh, p. 55). The lands of Sofāla an…


(1,925 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, Gabriel
(), inaccurately transcribed Zābed̲j̲ < Sanskrit Jāvaka, the name of an island. The Arabic transcription, so far as I am aware, goes back to the ninth century a. d. We do not see why the Arabic has rendered by a sonant the guttural occlusive surd of the Sanskrit. The fact that we might be dealing with a form borrowed from a highly sonorous Prākrit hardly seems to me to require to be considered here. The Chinese knew this place-name as early as the seventh century under various forms which are reproduced in Chinese characters in L’empire sumatranais de Çrīvijaya: S̲h̲e-li Fo-s̲h̲e < Skr. Śrī Vijay…


(630 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, Gabriel
(pronounced Zәṭṭ in Damascus), the name of a people [cf. also nawāz]. The etymology is certain: zoṭṭ > Pers. d̲j̲āt (for a similar change cf. Pers. k̲h̲āne “house” > Arabic Ḵh̲ann “rhumb-line”). Firdawsī (d. 1024) relates in his S̲h̲āhnāme that Bahrain Gūr, king of Persia (420—438 a. d.), asked the king of India to send him 10.000 Lūrī, men and women, expert at playing the lute (transl. Mohl, vi. 60 sq.). In his Geschichte der Perser und Arabcr zur Zeit der Sasaniden, transl. from the Arabic text of Ṭabarī (829—923), Nöldeke has full confidence in this tradition. De Goeje qu…

S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn

(7,780 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, Gabriel
Aḥmad b. Mād̲j̲id, an Arab navigator of the xvth century, author of sailing instructions for the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gnlf, the western China Sea and the waters of the Malay Archipelago. When Vasco da Gama had reached Malindi on the east coast of Africa in 1498, he was able to get a pilot there who took him direct to Calicut. The incident is briefly recorded by one of the sailors in the expedition ( Rottiro da viagem de Vasco de Gama em MCCCCXCVII, 2nd. ed., ed. by A. Herculano and Castelle dePaiva, Lisbon 1861, p. 49); and in greater detail by the Portuguese historians of the xvith ce…


(1,132 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, Gabriel
, , read SAYĀBIGA, name of a people. The Arabic form is to be read with used as a gutteral sonant, as the etymology of the name indicates. De Goeje has devoted a short article to the Sayābiga in his Mémoires d’histoire et de géographie orientales (N°. 3, Leiden 1903, Mémoire sur les migrations des Tsiganes à travers l’Asie, p. 18 and p. 86—91) which has been used here; see also his Contribution (Kon. Ak. v. Wet, Amst. 1875, ed. in English by D. MacRitchie, Accounts of the Gipsies of India, London 1886). ¶ According to al-Balād̲h̲urī (ed. de Goeje, p. 373, 3 infra), they were already sett…


(1,037 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, Gabriel
Islām has made no converts in Siam. The Siamese of Thai (i. e. the mass of the population), Laotian, Birman and Mōn origin who were long ago converted to Buddhism have remained impervious to it. Unlike what has happened in Western Indonesia, it seems that in the valley of the Menam there is an incompatibility between the Buddhist faith and the doctrine preached by the prophet Muḥammad. The Muslims in Siam consist of Malays, immigrants from Java, Afg̲h̲āns and in larger numbers, Muslims from India. The majority live in Bangkok. The Malays are the descendants of …


(11,856 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, Gabriel
With its area of 228,340 sq. m., Madagascar is the third largest island in the world after New Guinea (234,770 sq. m.) and Borneo (284,630 sq. m.). Its area is a little greater than that of France (207,000 sq. m.), Belgium (II)373) rod Holland (12,740) combined. It is oriented from N.N.E. to S.S.W. and measures 1,000 miles in its greatest length and 350 in its greatest breadth with a coast line of 3,000 miles. The latest estimates put the native population at three millions. The island was called al-Ḳomr by the Arabs, Bukini (lit.: where there are ( ni) Buki) by the Banlus of the neighbouring…


(7,235 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, Gabriel
, al-Mahrī, a sailing-master ( muʿallim al-baḥr) and author of “Sailing Instructions” in the first half of the xvith century. MS. N°. 2559 of the Arabic collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale contains several nautical treatises in prose and verse on the Indian Ocean, the sea of Western China and the seas of the great Asiatic Archipelago. The treatises in verse are by the muʿallim Ibn Mād̲j̲id (cf. s̲h̲ihāb al-dīn). The five treatises in prose have been prepared by another sailing-master called Sulaimān b. Aḥmad al-Mahrī al-Muḥammadī (fol. 59 b) or Sulaimān b. Aḥmad b. Sulaimān al…