Ahmed bin Yahya bin Jabir also known as
(Al-Baladhuri) (AD 893): Ansab al-ashraf (Genealogy of Illustrious Men)

He lived at the court of the Khalifa. (Baghdad)
Taken from J.C. Wilkinson in African Historical Studies 1981

As far back as Muawiya b. Abi Sufyan's time, a slave community (mostly african) had been established in Bahrayn probably for agricultural purposes, and in 685 AD this was estimated to number 4000 families.

A page from his manuscript; Ansab al-ashraf

Futuhu'l-Buldan (an Arab chronicle)
Taken from: Ingrams; Zanzibar its history and its people.

Ingrams is the only one attributing this story to Biladhuri; more recent authors have figured out that this story was not written down till the 18th century and in the Omani chronicle by Salil Ibn Razik, and so unreliable.
This story however remains important as Jahiz (d869) also talks about Al Julande going to the land of the Zanj in about 700 AD.

During the reign of the Caliph Abdul Malik, when el-Hajjaj was governor in El-Iraq he determined to conquer Oman which still kept its allegiance to the Arabian Caliphate. The fleet landed at Julfar which served from then on as a naval base till the end of the campaign. The army however got defeated by the Azd. Then an army 40,000 men strong got send, the camels and horses traveled by land, the army by boots. The land-force was defeated, but the fleet reached Julfar. The forces of the fleet drove the Azd forces led by Said, the brother of the ruler Sulayman into the mountains. The fleet of 300 boots in the meantime landed at Muscat where Sulayman burned 50 of them and made the others flee to Julfar. Sulayman was then able to attack the main forces and had them flee to Julfar. Here they waited for reinforcements, 5000 cavalry from Syria. With this force they finally were able to subdue the Azd.

Suleiman and Said (the sons of Abbad grandsons of a former chieftain Abel Julanda, who ruled over Oman in the time of the Prophet.) escaped, and immigrated to the land of the Zinj, taking their families and a number of their tribes with them. This would be about the year AD 695, for el-Hajjaj reduced Mecca in 692, and became governor of Iraq in AD 694.

Al Baladhuri: about the Lion of the Zanj

Taken from: Graham W. Irwin; Africans Abroad: A Documentary History of the Black Diaspora in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean during the Age of Slavery

Rawh b. Abd al-Mumin al-Muqri told me that he heard Ali b. nasir al-Jahdami quoting Jarir b. Hazim who was quoting from his uncle as-Sab b. Zayd, say that the Zanj gathered in great numbers by the Euphrates near Basra. When people complained about what the Zanj had brought upon them, (al-Hajjaj) organized a large army and attacked them. They were scattered, and some of them were crucified and killed.
When Abdallah b. al-Jarud, together with a group of Iraki notables, rose against al-Hajjaj, while the latter was in Rustaqabadh, the Zanj rebelled again. A great many of them gathered by the Euphrates and chose one of themselves, known as Riyah Shirazanji (Lion of the Zanj) as their leader. When al-Hajjaj had completed the destruction of those who had rebelled against him in Rustaqabadh and returned to Basra, he dispatched an army against (the zanj) and killed them.
Rawh b. Abd al-Mumin told me, on the authority of his uncle, ibn Hisham, that Suhaym b. Hafs and others said: The Zanj rebelled by the Euphrates during the governorship of al-Hajjaj, when Ziyad b. Amr al-Ataki was the prefect of the Basra police. Ziyad, under orders from al-Hajjaj, dispatched an army of Basran fighters under the leadership of his son Hafs to engage them. He fought with them, but they killed him and defeated his followers. The governor of Ubella at that time was Kuraz b. Malik as-Sulami, and then al-Fihri.
Raw b. al-Walid b. Hisham b. Qahdham sais: Shirazanji rebelled by the Euphrates, being joined by many of the Zanj as well as by a group of the people of al-Kalla, and others, who were white. The governor of Ubulla then was Kuraz as-Sulami; that was when al-Hajjaj went to Rustaqabadh. Shirazanji wrote to Kuraz as-Sulami: Now then, the time for Sikka, Mother of the Faithful, to give birth has come. So send your wife to serve as a midwife. Salam. Kuraz fled, abandonning his post, and entered Basra;
Ziyad b. Amr al-Ataki, prefect of the Basra police during the governorship of al-Hajjaj, dispatched an army under the leadership of his son Hafs to fight Shirazanji. The latter fought Hafs hard, killed him, and defeated his followers. Thus Shirazanji became strong. When al-Hajjaj returned to Basra, he said to the Basrans: Your slaves and workmen, witnessing your disobedience, have followed your example. By God: if you do not fight these dogs and rid me of them, I shall destroy your palm trees and bring upon you what you deserve – the confiscation of your goods and the destruction of your lives. People of every fifth of the fifths of Basra answered his call.
Joining them to a group of soldiers, he appointed Kuraz b. Malik as-Sulami as their leader. Kuraz fought (the zanj) till they came to the desserts of Dawraq. He attacked them there, killing Shirazanji and all the Zanj save a few.
He (Rawh b. al-Walid) said: Jarir said of al-Akhtal,
Seek not (noble) maternal uncles in Taghlib,
The Zanj have nobler maternal uncles than they.
But Sunayh b. Riyah, client of the Bana Sama b. Luay, opposed this saying:
If you met the Zanj in war,
You would find them leaders and brave men.
They killed ibn Amr when he attacked them;
He learnt th at the lances of the Zanj were long
Ibn Ijl, as you know, is one of them;
He outshone other men with his magnanimity and good deeds;
And Banu al-Hubab, too, who are known for their generosity and bravery;
In winter when the wind is blowing from the northward.
And Banu Zabiba; Antar and Harasa;
And Sulayk, who suffers hardships well;
The Prophet has acknowledged the liberality of the Zanj,
And the bravery when they fight the enemy.


Al-Ya'qubi ; Kitab al Buldan (Book of Countries)

Taken from; Gabriel Ferrand; Relations des voyages et textes geographiques....
The translation of ; Al Yaqubi : Kitab al Buldan

He considers the Barbara as Zanj. He describes al-Habasha, lying north of the countries of the Berber and of the Zanj.

The second sea which starts at Ras al-djumdjuma is called the sea of Lawri; it is a big sea, it has in it the islands of Wakwak and other Zandj people. On those islands there are kings. One can only navigate in those seas guided by the stars.

The empire of the Buga
The sixth empire is finally the empire of Nagasi. The country is vast and highly esteemed. The capital is Kaban. The Arabs come there to trade. There are big cities. The coastal town is called Dahlak. The kings of Abysinia are under the law of its upper king, which they follow and pay taxes to. The Nagasi are jacobitische Christians. The end of the kingdom of the Abyssinians is caused by the Zang, who are close to the people of Sind and what goes together with those countries and they are also together with the areas on the other side of Zang, who border Sind and Kurgu, where the people are prudent and calm.

After the amber of Shihr comes the amber of Zandj, exported from the land of Zandj up to Aden : it is white amber. Then the amber of Salahit.......then the amber of India........ Then the amber of Zandj, the one they bring from the coasts of Zandj: it resembles the amber of India and resembles it a lot.
(This is how the classification is of Tamini in his Djaib al-Arus, because he places the Amber of Zandj after the one of Shihr and he places it also after the one of India. )


Al Mubarrad: Al-Kamil (The Perfect One) (d898) Baghdad


Taken from: wn.com/Arabs_And_East_African_Sub-Saharan_Ancestory

Also called Mobarrad, full name Abu Al-'Abbas Muhammad Ibn Yazid, is a book on grammar

What he (Fadl ibn al Abas) meant by: I am the green one; is the dark one, the black one. The Arabs used to take pride in their darkness and blackness and they had a distaste for a light complexion and they used to say that a light complexion was the complexion of the non-Arabs.

Sirat Delhemma (Story of Lady Delhemma)
(about 900 and later additions) Egypt

Taken from: Byzanthion revue internationale des études byzantines By Société belge d'études byzantines, 1935

Delhemma means officially Dhat al Himma meaning the women with the great hart. She is the hero in this story.

During an important battle between the Caliph of Baghdad and the Emperor of Constantinople a black called Ghilan from the army of Delhemma joins with his whole army the emperor, they win and Ghilan becomes in-charge of the Byzantine army because the emperor is wounded.
Later on totally unexpected Abd el Wahhab and Battal -who were thought to be dead- arrive with their army of Zendj, after having traversed the whole of Iraq. The Byzantines are defeated.



(Creation of the Origins) (additions till 9th century)

a compilation, no author known. From Iran, Zoratostrian religion.

An introduction from the work written by a copyist presenting himself

Taken from: Dan Shapira; Zoroastrian Sources on Black People in Arabica nr 49
Friedrich Max Miller; The Sacred Books of the East. Volume 5. Pahlavi Texts. Part 1

Also called: Bundehesh , Bundahis

The (text) says, too Yim, when his royal glory departed from him, took a female dew to wife, and gave his sister Yamig to a dew to wife. Because of his fear of the dews, the apes, the bears, the forest-inhabitants, the tailed ones, and other noxious sorts arose from them; and his lineage did not progress there from.

Regarding the black people, the (text) says: During his sovereignty Azi Dahak let loose a dew on a young girl and let loose a young man on a parig and they had sex with the visible image of the male; through this new way of the action the Black people appeared.

When Fredon (mythical hero) came, they (the black people) fled from the lands of Iran and settled on the coast of the sea. Now, through the invasion of the Arabs, they (the Zing-i-Siak posht (i.e. the black skinned negroes)) are again diffused through the country of Iran.
Note: in these last sentences allusion is made of black people formerly living in Iran (like the Dravidians in India) as well as to the black slaves brought by the Arabs into southern Iraq who would soon revolt.

In a different part of the book:
Again because of the Adversary (devil), the mixture occurred, such as Zangig (Blackman), who are those of water and of earth, and gilabig (or saglabig=slaves), who live in both water and earth.

In a list of all animals;
Fourth, fifteen species of ox, the white, mud-colored, red, yellow, black, and dappled, the elk, the buffalo, the camel-leopard-ox (giraffe), the fish-chewing ox, the Fars ox, the Kagau and other species of ox.



Letter of Tansar (9th century) Arab translation of Persian
–copy of ms of Sasanian Period (third Century)-

Taken from: Journal Asiatique 1894

When Alexander ….after taken the country of the Copts, Berbera,(in east Africa) the country of the Hebrews….

I remind you that the planet is divided into four parts. The first is the region of the Turks, from the end of India to the beginning of Roum. The second stretches between Roum and the land of the Copts, Berbera and the Hebrew country. The third is the country of the Blacks, From Berbera to India. The forth… (Persia)

(about Persia); The color of our faces, the color of our hair they are just in the middle: not the black nor the blond or the red or predominant. Or beards or our hair is not extremely curly as with the Zangs, neither floating around as with the Turks.


Ibn Rosteh (903) Kitab al-a'lak an-nafisa
(book of precious stones) from Ispahan (Iran)

Taken from ; Gabriel Ferrand ; Relations des voyages et textes geographiques....
Wiet, Gaston, Ibn Rusteh. Les atours précieux
Also called : Abu Ahmad b. Umar Ibn Rusta or Rustah

Whoever arrives in the land of the Zendjs catches scabies.

In the eastern Indian Sea the inhabited parts are India, Khmer, Zandj, Nadj, and the different people that are part of the Indian people.. ..
About the Indian sea; when the navigator gets into the sea at the gulf of Aden, the first land which he meets is the island of Barbar (Jazira Barbar) which is inhabited by a race of Zandj who are neighbors to the countries of the blacks. It is in that direction that are the lands of Zandjs and Djawaga, as well as all the people that we have talked about, and also others.. ..

He who wants to go to the land of China (as well as to Zandj) cuts the east of the Indian sea (to go to China) and goes around it till arriving in its western part at the place of the Zandj land that one wants to go to. The one who wants to go to Djawaga goes towards the east till reaching Kalah and from there the land of Djawaga. Only take this road because passing by Djawaga to go to Zandj you have to go through the sea of the dead where the daylight only appears for six hours a day. It is to avoid that that you take to the east in the Indian sea till Kalah, then towards the west of that sea till arriving in the country of the Zandjs.

The two lakes who give birth to the Nile are part of t he torrid regions, as well as the sea of the Zendjs, in which not a single animal can live, because of the high temperature and the density of the water. Really when the sun strikes that sea, it sucks out the sweet water by its heat and so the water becomes heavy and salty………

A merchant has brought from the two seas found behind the land of Kousaniens, that is the sea of the Zendjs, an egg that resembles the ones of ostriches. Except that we have never seen south of the equator any bird like that , and no author has ever mentioned it. One has never seen a single elephant or rhinoceros.