"Get into the Know"
Al-Jahiz (in Arabic الجاحظ) (real name Abu Uthman Amr ibn Bahr al-Kinani al-Fuqaimi al-Basri) (born in Basra, c. 781 – December 868 or January 869) was a famous Arab scholar, believed to have been an Afro-Arab of East African descent. He was an Arabic prose writer and author of works on Arabic literature, biology, zoology, history, early Islamic philosophy, Islamic psychology, Mu'tazili theology, and politico-religious polemics.
In the name of the Almighty, Merciful God; May God protect and keep you; let He make you
obey Him and make you part of his favorites. You mentioned – may Allah protect you from
deception – that you read my treatise (kitab) on the refutation of the pure Arabs to
those of mixed parentage, the replies of the mixed ones and the answers of their maternal uncles.
But I did not mention in it anything about the boasts of the Sudan. So know, -
may Allah preserve you – that I postponed that intentionally. And you mentioned that you
would like me to write to you the boasts of the Sudan, so I have written what I recall of
their boasts. Al-Asma'I said : Al-Fizr, a slave of the Fazara, who had a pierced earlobe
is known to have said: Harmony arrives quickly in the creation. Because of that goats
stay away from the sheep as long as there are goats around. The lamb avoids the
predators, and also does not feel close to the ones with big hoofs. Abu Zaid al-Nahwi
recited the following verse: Without harmony, man perishes. Saddad Al-Hariti - with
erudite eloquence - tells: "I requested from a black slave of the desert steppe:
-To whom do you belong, O Black one?
-To the Lord of Hadr (sedentary settlement), O Bald person.
-Aren't you black?
-Aren't you a bald person?
-Does truth thus puts you so much in anger?
- It is this truth which puts you so much in anger! Do not insult and you will be
dreaded; really best is than you give it up completely ".
Saddad concludes: "In truth, at the time when I addressed the word to her, I thought to
be worth all the inhabitants of Nagd and, at the time when she left me, I had the thought
not to be worth my slave". Al 'Asma' i reports according to 'Isa b. 'Umar these words of
Du l-Rumma: "That Al1ah curses the black slave of the family of Such and Such! That she
speaks well and that she is eloquent!". I asked him: "How is the rain which falls at your
place?" She answered: "We received as far as we wanted it".
Qualities of the Blacks:
Among the Blacks, there is Luqman the Wise-one and it is him which said: "There are three
men who are known to us only into three (circumstances): he who preserves his control in
anger, the courageous one in the face of danger, the friend when you need him. He gave
his son the following advice: If you whish to remain with someone, make him angry before
that. You will learn in advance if he is just and good. This is the only quote of him we
regularly hear, because he had o to many sayings to chose from. More important then this
is that God called him "the Wise" in the Koran as well as his testament to his son.
Said ibn Jubair was also black. He got killed by Hajjaj at the age of 49 half a year
before Hajjaj himself died at the age of 53. Said was a very pious man highly esteemed
for his profound knowledge of the traditions of the prophet Mohamet and a companion of
Ibn Abbas. The Hadith-scholars doubt even all Hadith who come from the companions of Ibn
Abbas except those of Said ibn Jubair. His father was a marwa of the Asad tribe, and Said
himself was a marwa of the Umayads. After he was killed people felt the loss. Also among
the blacks was: the Ethiopian, Bilal, of whom Caliph Omar said that he alone was worth a
third of all Islam; Afga, the first to die in the holy wars of the Prophet; EI-Migdad,
the first to fight in the holy war as a horseman; El Wanshi, who killed the false
prophet, Musailima; known as "the Liar". He had the habit to say; I've murdered the best
one of all men; meaning Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib, may God's peace rest on him - and I
killed the worst out of men, namely Musailima the impostor ".
And another Black, Makhul the lawyer. And another Black, Al-Haiqutan the poet, who was
higher [then the others] through his personal judgment, his reason and by the size of his
insights. It is him who said in connection to friends: "the friend is recognized when one
shares intimacy of the heart and when one accompanies one on a journey ". And another
Black, Gulaibib, on whom the transmitters said how the Envoy of Allah - How the blessing
and the safety of Allah are on him! - left to carry out a raid and after it asked his
companions: "Do we not miss somebody?". They answered: "We seek Such and Such".
Then he left again and asked them [again]; "Do we not miss somebody? "
They answered: "We seek Such and Such". Then he left again and asked them [again]: "Isn’t there somebody missing?
" 'They answered for the third time: "We do not seek anybody". The Prophet said: "As for
me, I miss Gulaibib. Seek him!". They went to seek and found him lying in the middle of
seven [men], which he in fact had killed. The Prophet - That the blessing and the safety
of Allah are on him - said: "He killed seven (men) and they killed him. This man is of me
and me of him!" The Hadith specialists adds: "Then the Prophet held him in his arms until
one had dug for him a tomb, without him having no other bed than the arms of the Prophet.
We do not know if they were able to wash him before the burial.. One of the Blacks was
Faraj, the barber-surgeon, who was so just that he was often called by the judges for council.
He was a freedmen of Jafar ibn Sulayman. He served Jafar many years cutting his
hair and beard. Jafar had never found him making mistakes in what he did or said. So he
decided to test him. If it really turns out his behavior is the result of inner- wisdom,
I will make him free, find him a wife, and make him rich. If things turn different, I
will have to take other steps. And one day when Faraj was cupping him he asked: slave do
you cup yourself to?
-When I need some.
-Do you know when you need some?
- I know it most of the time, but sometimes it happens to me to make an error.
-What do you eat?
- In winter of sweetened big Dakbirah and in summer Sikbaga bitter-sweet ".
Ga' far b. Sulaiman kept his promises. It is in connection to this that Abu Firun said
"Out of the way, my wife is in front of me, I am a very close friend of Farag the layer
of suction cups ".
One says: Farag had acquired such a reputation of impartiality, of nobility of heart of
piety and religious scruple, that his owners, the descendants of Ga' far and the notable
ones of Mirbad required his testimony only for healthy businesses and without dispute ".
As for El-Haiqutan, he is the one who wrote the poem used in Yemen when arguing with the
Quaresh and Mubar. The same poem the people from Persia and Ethiopia use against the
Arabs. When the white poet, Jarir, saw El-Haiqutan in a white robe on a feast day, he
remarked, "He looks like the penis of a donkey wrapped in white paper." El-Haiqutan
replied to him in a poem in which he said, "Though my hair is wooly and my skin black as
coal I am generous and my honor shines. My color does not prevent my being valiant with
my sword in battle. Know, you who would boast of your petty glory : The people of the
Negus have more reason for glory then you. In the days that Islam was offered to
El-Julanda, Ibn Kisra, Harith, Hawdha, the Copts, and Caesar they all refused. Off al
the kings only the Negus accepted. As a result his kingdom lasted long, unmovable and
prosperous. Loqman was one of them, so to were his son and his mothers son. As well as
Abraha, the most renowned king. Abu Yaksum's invasion threatened the existence of your
country, and yet, you were as numerous as the grains (of sand), and more still, Like
the water birds, when, on them, fall in a deserted country, the bird with the bent claws
and gray of color. If another than Allah had wished to push back 'Abraha. You would
have noticed. That one which has the most experience of men is closest to the facts.
There is no claim to fame, except that you live opposite the Sanctuary, and that you lit
fires in its vicinity. If one of your chiefs, concerned his honor, advances (against
us), Or we face him, or he turns the back to us and as for what you say, that it is
about a divine prophecy, You did not know to protect the Sanctuary surrounded by veils.
You claim to be a tribe never subjugated and never paying tribute, But it is simpler to
pay a tax than to flee. If a sovereign had wanted to seize it, Then the Himyar and their
Maqawil would have come there. One can not stay there neither in summer nor in winter;
and its water is far from spouting out as in Guata. There is neither place pleasant to
the eye nor hunting ground, but only the trade, and the trade is a disdainful thing.
Aren't you (Garir) a puppy (kulaib) and your mother is she not a ewe?
Fats sheep are the source of your shame and your vanity. As for the verses: Gulanda, the
son of Chosroes, Harit, Hawda, the Copt and the worthy Cesar said no to Islam, then he
is referring to the time when the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) wrote to the Bana Julanda, but they
refused to listen. As was the case with Chosroes, of Harith ibn Abi Shamir, of Hawdha ibn
Ali al-Hanafi, of the Muqawqis, the patriarch of the Copts and ruler of Alexandria, and
of the emperor of Byzantium; Caesar. However the Bana Mulanda became Muslim some time
later, there where the Negus became Muslim before the conquest of Mecca and so retained
his dominions while God took away the treasures (meaning provinces) from the others. The
emperor of Byzantium; his diminished empire still exist, but he has been driven from
every place where the hoofs of horses can tread. What rests him are bays, the high
mountains, the strongest castles, the cold places and the rainy-windery ones. The poet
also talks proudly of Loqman and his son. When the poet says: Abu Yaksum invaded the
very heart of your country, and this despite the fact that you were as numerous as the
grains of sand. He alludes here to the Lord of the Elephant whose army's attacked Mecca
to destroy the Ka'ba. The Poet says : You were as numerous as the grains of sand, so why
did you flee from him ? None of you withstanding him until he reached Mecca. Mecca is the
mother of the cities. The Arabian Peninsula is the homeland of the Arabs and Mecca is one
of its towns, but an important and ancient one. Because of that it is considered the
mother of the peninsula. That is why with the conquest of conquests is meant the conquest
of Mecca. Similarly the Fatiha of the Book is called the Mother of the Book. It happens
that the Arabs say of a thing that it is the mother of what it did not generate. Thus the
expressions: he hid him on the top (Mother) of his head, of the same; Mother of hell. The
host calls his hostess "my hospital Mother". A Bedouin, having been bitten by flees at a
woman of which he was the host, says (Ragaz):
O Hospital mother! That your face is saved to me; and that the supreme Master delivers
me from your residence and of the bites of flees which - I see it! - will make me die. I
spent the night to scratch me, to scratch myself as scrapes itself a scabrous camel,
during the rest. Allah - How He is exalted! - clarifies Mecca and the Temple, when He
says: "In truth, the first temple [which] was founded for people, is certainly that
located at Bakka, [temple] blessed and direction for the world ''. The poet wants to say:
when Mecca Mother of the cities, place of the Holy Temple and your claim to fame - was
the object of raids, it is you all which were the object of raids. As for the verses of
the poet: And as for what you say, it is about a divine prophecy; You did not know to
protect the Sanctuary, surrounded by veils.
You claim that your people have never been subjugated or paid tribute. But paying that
you will find easier then fleeing. This is why the poet Abid ibn al-Abras says: They
refused to submit to kings and are free-people. When they hear the call of war they go.
What he says means; you say you pay no tribute but paying is easier then fleeing and
surrender although you enormously outnumber your enemies. When the poet says: Your
country is not nice in winter or summer, nor is there the abundant water like Juatha (in
Bahrayn). He means conquering Mecca would never have brought profit, otherwise
Yemen and other countries would have. The climate is bad; in winter its people go to Taif; during
the heat to Jidda. And nothing in Mecca can compare with the lushness of Juatha. When
the poet says: There is no grazing for the male oryx, no hunting either; Only trading
places and trade is never a right occupation. He means Mecca has no lush green places,
hunting is prohibited. There are only merchants which have no good reputation. He also
says that the people of Mecca lack strength and kings refrain from taking their means of
living because they would not satisfy a king. Those from Mecca are unable to protect
themselves. Because of this the poet Muawiya ibn Aws said:
I bought, in a shop, more than one goatskin flask of wine, as swarthy as a man with the
dark skin, I folded back the opening of it on the neck, Folded back it resembled a
mutilated hand; I carried them to a greedy Arab merchant, or a wine merchant bearing
earrings and with cripple Arab. All these verses refer to the Quraysh. They say that the
Quraysh are merchants who seek the protection of the Sanctuary, and when they travel,
they carry the fruit of the palm tree and the bark of trees, so that they are recognized
and that nobody kills them.
The poet says: Are you not a member of the Kulayb tribe? Isn't your mother one of those
Your fat sheep are both your pride and your shame. It is rumored that the Kulayd tribe is
having intercourse with their sheep just like the tribes of el-Araj and Sulaym. And the
people of the Ashja are rumored to have intercourse with goats. Al-Najashi said: If only
one of the tribes of the Quraysh had degraded me other then the goat buggers Sulaym and
Al Farazdaq said: As long as I live I will never be able to bring as sacrifice the milk
sheep that belonged to the Araj. After spending my money I may find the animal gives bird
to a boy. Another poet: If you want more money for your female donkey, just tell the
Darimi that you sell it. He will kiss its back, but for its dryness, would draw near to
its buttocks. The Darimi, when he copulates with the donkey wants his mouth to reach the
animals mouth. Abd ibn Rashid said: They are bad people, the best of them are still bad.
To the sheep they herd they are the male and the shepherd. When one of their women is
made ready for marriage; it will be the spotted sheep that weeps sincerely. This is why
Al 'Ahtal said (Kamil); Enjoy your ewes, O Garir. Because your heart encouraged you only
with the depravity in loneliness. This is why Al-Haiqutan says: Are not you not a puppy
(kulaib) and your mother is she not a ewe? Fat sheep are the source of your shame and
your vanity. As for shame, it is about their bad reputation in connection with the ewes.
As for their claim to fame: the poet makes it clear that, when they are prevailed of
something, it is ewes, if still they would arrive to the camels.
Among the claims to fame of the Blacks, of Zang and Abyssinians, in addition to the
fragment of the Al-Haiqutan poem, which we have mentioned, it is necessary to count,
after Garir b. Al-Hatafa who had turned against the Banu Taglib in (Kamil): Do not seek
really any maternal uncle at [Banu] Taglib, because Zang have maternal uncles nobler than
them [Banu Taglib], the verses of Sanih b. Ribah which, in anger, turns to Garir and,
against him, glorifies the Zang (Kamil): Why does this animal of the Kulayd talks bad
about us? Has he seen he is no match for Hajib and Iqal? Somebody who compares the donkey
called Maragha and her son (Jarir) to al Farazdaq is unreal and beyond understanding. If
you would meet Zanj in formation for battle, you would see noble heroes. Ask Ibn Amr,
when he sought out their spears, did he not find the Zanj spears to be long? They took
(killed) the son of Ziyad and they dismount their horses for battle. And when they have
dismounted to go to battle, what a battle. They left in their courtyards the horses of
war, while you had only sheep and lambs in your corals. Ibn Nadba, a warrior in your
ranks, was one of us blacks. So was Khufaf, who had many problems to take care of, and
the two sons of Zubayba, Antara and Harasa. We don't see other people like that in your
ranks . Ask Ibn Jayfar, when he marched against our homeland, How destructive they were
when they attacked him. Ans Sulayk, called the lion, or the respected Abbas, When they
attack, they all outshine you completely. Among them is also Ibn Khazim ibn Ajla. He
surpassed all tribes in courage and honesty. They were all sons of noble women, who were
on they turn descendents of noble women. They are the lions who bring up their little
One counts among ( the sons of theZang women) 'Abd Allah b. Hazim as Sulami, and the sons
of Al-Hubab: 'Umair b. Al-Hubab and his brothers. Al Jahhaf ibn Hakim was one of them to. They are also proud of Raban,
Bilal's brother, because of his piety also Amir ibn Fuhayra who was at Badr and died a
martyrs dead on the day of Bir Mauna, and those present saw him being raised up by God up
from the earth to the heaven, so he has no grave among us. Among the blacks is also
Yasir's family. They also say: El-Ghandaf who was with Ubayd Allah ibn al Hurr was one of
us, he was the most courageous among men. He would attack caravans single-handed. Also a
man with proverbial courage was Kabawayh who was with al Mughira ibn al Fizr. Marbah al
Ashram ; the young slave of general Abu Bahr was black to. He came here from Syria in the
days of Qutayba ibn Muslim. His reputation was so widespread that people tried not to
meet him. Also among them was El Maglul and his sons, who though slaves were very
generous and wise and were renowned among the people of the dessert about their knowledge
of it. Also among us was Aflah, who attacked caravans in Khorassan single handed for
twenty years. Malik ibn al-Rayb killed him after he had sodomized him in the middle of
the night, when he was to intoxicated and unarmed. The verses of his son testify about
this (Tawil): He Malik! If 'Aflah had not been drunk, you would have seen undoubtedly
that he is brother of the russet-red lion and even the eclipse!
The Blacks continue: coming from Abyssinia, we were Masters of the country of Arabia up to Mecca,
and on all the country our law reigned. We put to rout Du Nuwas, killed by the 'Aqyal Himyarites.
You, you never dominated our country. Your poet says (Tawil): They ruined Gumdan and
threw its roof down. Riyat and his troops, by an impetuous attack, with force. The
Abyssinians encircled it at night and threw down a construction built by the 'Aqyal at in
remote times, a multitude, of black color, coming from Al-Yaksum, such as the lions of
d’as-Sara, which would have been wearing a leopard skin. [Blacks] add: we count among us
Kabagila; no one of those who went up the Sulaiman channel and who fought in singular
combat did resemble him. They continue: also the forty are ours who revolted, at the time
of the qadi Sawwar b. 'Abd Allah, in the area of the Euphrates; they drove out their
dwellings the populations of this area and went on to an immense massacre of the
inhabitants of Ubulla. The one who did cut the head of Isa ibn Jafar in Oman with a
Bahrayni scythe when all were afraid was one of us.
Everybody knows that the Zanj are among the most generous of mortals ; a quality that is
found only among noble characters. These people have a natural talent for dancing to the
rhythm of the tambourine, without needing to learn it. There are no better singers
anywhere in the world, no people more polished and eloquent, and no people less given to
insulting language. All other peoples in the world have their stammerers, those who have
difficulty in pronouncing certain sounds, and those who cannot express themselves
fluently or are downright tongue-tied, except the Zanj. Sometimes some of them recite
before their ruler continuously from sunrise to sunset, without needing to turn round or
pause in their flow. No other nation can surpass them in bodily strength and physical
toughness. One of them will lift huge blocks and carry heavy loads that would be beyond
the strength of most Bedouins or members of other races. They are courageous, energetic,
and generous, which are the virtues of nobility, and also good-tempered and with little
propensity to evil. They are always cheerful, smiling, and devoid of malice, which is a
sign of noble character. Some people say that their generosity is due to their stupidity,
shortsightedness and lack of foresight, but our reply is that this is a scurvy way of
commending generosity and altruism. At that rate the wisest and most intelligent man
would be the most stingy and ungenerous. But in fact the Slavs are more stingy than the
Byzantines, and the latter more intelligent and thoughtful; according to our opponents'
argument, the Slavs ought to be more generous and open-handed than the Byzantines.
Likewise we see that women have less sense than man and children have less sense than
women, but are meaner than they are. If more sense meant greater meanness, then the child
should be the most generous of all. Yet in fact we know nothing on earth that is worth
than a boy, for he is the most untruthful of mankind, the most calumnious, the nastiest,
and the meanest, the least inclined to do good, and the most ruthless. Only gradually
does the boy leave these qualities as he gains in sense and gains in good deeds. How then
can the lack of sense be the cause of generosity in the Zanj? You have admitted that they
are generous, and then you make assertions which are untenable, and we have already shown
you the fallacy of your argument according to true reasoning. This opinion would mean
that the coward is wiser than the brave man, the treacherous wiser than the loyal, and
that the worrier is wiser than the patient man. This is something for which you have no
proof. These qualities in man are a gift of God. Sense is a gift, and good character is a
gift, and generosity and courage likewise. The Zanj say to the Arabs: You are so
ignorant that during the jahiliyya (the times of ignorance ) you regarded us as your
equals when it came to marrying Arab women, but with the advent of the justice of Islam
you decided this practice was bad. Yet the desert is full of Zanj married to Arab wives,
and they have been princes and kings and have safeguarded your rights and sheltered you
against your enemies. You even have sayings in your language which vaunt the deeds of our
kings--deeds which you often placed above your own; this you would not have done had you
not considered them superior to your own. Al Namr ibn Tawlab recited the following poem:
Bad luck came over his rule as over Tubba and the great king Abraha, placed him higher
then the princes of his own country. Labid ibn Radi'a recited the following: If a person
could reach eternity during his lifetime, Abu Yaksum would be among those. This kind of
virtue has never been ascribed to anyone before.
The (Zanj) also say: from Labid's verses it becomes also clear that you put our kings
higher then your own.
Darkness came over those who survived from Muharriq's family. Darkness that had done its
work with Tubba and Heraclius, Darkness that had vanquished Abraha, who was living in the
palace of Mawkal. So he prefers Abraha , but he would like the other kings to be his
equals. The (Zanj) say : The Ethiopian, Akym ibn Akym, was more eloquent than Eli-Ajjaj.
It is from him that the Syrians learnt the sciences and also from El Montagi ibn Nabhan,
who was a native of Negroland and had a pierced ear. He had come to the Arabian desert as
a child and left it with a complete knowledge of Arabic. Hakim ibn Ayash al Kalbi said:
Don't feel pride in the maternal uncle from the Asad tribe; because even the Zanj and
Nubians are more noble to have as uncles then they. Akym ibn Akym the Abyssinian made the
following response: On the day of the battle of Ghumdun we were like lions and on the day
of Yathrib we were the stallions of the Arabs. On the fearful day of the elephant the
hearts of the Arabs deserted them and they fled on their camels. The negus is one of us;
and Dhul Aqsayn is your brother in law. The grandfather of Abraha, the protector of Abu
Talib was one of us. I have to forgive Adnan if he makes fun with us ; because what can
be said of the genealogy of the Himyari? They are muleteers, assembled from everywhere,
gathered as a net gathers fish in the stormy sea. Gumdan, a fortress, ordinary the
residence of the king - then Persian - who reigned on Yemen. When Abyssinians seized
Yemen, they let remain only of the ruins which 'Utman b. 'Affan - That Allah satisfied
with him! - destroyed at the time of the coming of Islam, while saying: "It is necessary
to extirpate the vestiges of the gahiliya (the false prophet)". The fortress comprised a
cistern, capped by an asbestos roof, of which Halaf Al 'Ahmar said; and an asbestos
cistern, which demolished by the attacking Abyssinian, and his king. About it, Qudama,
the wise of the Moslem East and Master in alchemy, has said (Tawil); He lit its fire
there; nevertheless fire Would last indefinitely, the cistern does not disappear,
because asbestos, even if a fire burned there thousand years, would not heat. Those
which launch the naphtha coat themselves with some, when they want to penetrate into the
fire. Labid says (Wafir); O friendly, do you not see a flash illuminating the black
night, like the flame on the wick of the lamp? I could not find the sleep, while the
flash moved away towards Nagd in the motionless night, and when the companions were held
dormant on their saddles of wood. Its shoddy cloud illuminated the heavy clouds and there
cut out silhouettes of Abyssinians, Armed with small swaths and javelins.
"Labid," he says, "used this imagery because when the Ethiopians, splendid in the
blackness of their skins and in the vigor and strength of their superb bodies, attacked
with their spears, bows, and arrows they spread an unimaginable terror around them." When
Ukaym says : On the day of Yathrib we were the stallions of the Arabs. It is a reference
to Musrif ibn Uqba al Murri the general who gave the conquered city (Medina) over to the
troops for pillage and the Negroes cohabited with the captured women, which are mentioned
in the following verses of Mudar; Ask Musrif El Mwirri the general in question about the
morning when he gave the captured virgins over to his weather-beaten Negro soldiers. On
this occasion the Zanj fought you, Whites, in spite of your rage. Wahrig defended you
with his Persians, whilst the Ethiopian general commanded in the midst of destruction. It
was then the women of your race were enjoyed by a Negro, whose phallus was the size of a
donkey's. When the poet says: They are muleteers, assembled from everywhere, gathered as
a net gathers fish in the stormy sea. He here accepted what story tellers say about
Himyar.-That they used to be muleteers. The Negroes can also be proud of the fact that
the single dead person over whom the Prophet ever prayed was their ruler, the Emperor of
Ethiopia. He prayed for the Negus, while the Prophet was in Medina, and the tomb of the
Negus in Abyssinia. And also: "the Negus is who gave in marriage to the Prophet - That
blessing and the safety of Allah be on him! - 'Umm Habiba, girl of Abu Sufyan: he asked
Halid b. Sa' id to be the tutor of 'Umm Habiba, offering in the name of the Prophet - How
the blessing and the safety of Allah are on him! - a dowry of four hundred dinars. And
also: we made you three presents: the civet, the most sweet perfume, most exquisite and
noblest; the litter; it is the best defense for the women and best protection for what is
sacred for man; the codex: it preserves best its contents and ensure best preservation;
it is splendid and most handy. And also: we inspire the most fear in the heart and catch
most of the glances (of the onlookers), just as the carriers of black (Abbasid) inspire
more fear and fill up more the heart than the carriers of white (Umayyad), in the same
way the night inspires more fear than the day. And also: the color black always inspires
the most fear. The Arabs, to describe their camels, say: "the black horses are most
beautiful and most robust, the black cows best and most beautiful, and their skins are
most valuable, most useful and most durable. The black ewes give the fattiest milk and
creamy, moreover the dark brown ewes give more milk then the russet-red ewes". while
every stone and hill is dryer and harder the more it is black. The black lion is
invincible. The black date is the highest quality. Healthy date palms have black stems. A
hadith of the Prophet says : Follow the great black color. The poet al-Ansari says: I'm
in debt but I do not have to worry; because I own tall date groves, well pruned and every
heavy laden palm seems to have been smeared with the pitch of blood of sacrificed animals.
Great Muslim Scholar and Writer Al-Jahiz ( December 868-January 869)