Book Name in English : Arab Geographers’ Knowledge Of Southern Indiaknowledge and cultural symbiosis.
Arab geographers' knowledge of southern india is a construction of india from the narratives of famous arab travellers. A fresh perception on the land of many culturs by some icocnic navigators whose mission it was to pollinate knowledge and culture.
Dr syed muhammed husayn nainar, renowned academicion and author, has to his credit a biography in tamil of seethakathi vallal, a muslim sage and philanthropist of the 18th centur, several english monographes on arabic, tamil,hindi and urdu linguistics, and the translation of tuhfat al-mujahidin, which otherbooks brought out in 2006
Arab Geographers’ Knowledge of Southern India(Other Books, Rs 450) by Syed Muhammad Husayn Nainar is a “construction of India from the narratives of famous Arab travellers”. From the 7th to the 14th century, various Muslim travellers came to India, sometimes for trade, sometimes driven by the quest for knowledge. What they saw was a rich and varied land, populated with devdasis, sannyasis, and a people who “are naturally inclined to justice, and never depart from it in their actions”. Of these travellers, Sulayman was probably the earliest, and his writings became a guide for all writers and readers in Arabic who wanted to gain knowledge of the East. He writes: “The country of Hind is more extensive than China, several times bigger than that, but China is more populous. The rivers of these two countries are big and some are bigger than our rivers. There are many deserts in Hind, but in China it is cultivable everywhere.” Subsequent travellers write about the precious fruits and spices to be found in Hind: coconut, mango, cardamom, cinnamon and clove. Their writings paint the picture of a land overflowing with milk and honey but also a land that prescribed such trials as those by scalding water or by red-hot iron for persons accused of crimes. Although this book concentrates its attention on the Arabic travellers’ account of south India, it throws light on the customs and cultures prevalent in other parts of India as well.
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