Al-Kisa'i (d904) Qia Al-Anbiy
(Narration of the prophets)

Taken from:
D.M. Goldenberg : the curse of Ham, Race and slavery ........
He recalls a story of Ka'b al-Ahbar (a rabbi turned Muslim who accompanied Umar during the conquest of Jerusalem in 638)

He writes in his chapter on Noah: It is said that one day Noah came to his son and said, "My son, I have not slept since I boarded the ark, and now I desire to sleep my fill." So saying, he put his head on Shem's lap and went to sleep. Suddenly a gust of wind uncovered Noah's genitals; Ham laughed, but Shem jumped up and covered him. When Noah awoke he said, "What was that laughter?" Shem told him what had happened, and Noah grew angry with Ham. "Do you laugh at your father's genitals?" he said. "May God change your complexion and may your face turn black!" And that very instant his face did turn black. Turning to Shem, he said, "You covered your father: may God shield you from harm in this world and have mercy upon you in the next! May He make prophets and nobles of your progeny! May He make bondswomen and slaves of Ham's progeny until the Day of Resurrection! May He make tyrants, kings and emperors of Japheth's progeny!" And God knows best.

When Noah died, Ham lay with his wife, and God opened his gaul-vesicle and that of his wife also so that they mingled and she conceived a black boy and girl. Ham despised them and said to his wife, They are not mine. They are yours, said the wife, for the curse of your father is upon us. After that he did not approach her until the children had grown, when he lay again with her, and she bore two more black children, male and female. Ham knew that they were his, therefore he left his wife and fled. When the first two children grew up, they went out in search of their father; but when they reached a village by the edge of the sea, they stayed there. God sent desire to the boy so that he lay with his sister, and she conceived. They remained in that village with no food except the fish they caught and ate. Then she gave birth to her brother's children, a black boy and girl.
Ham, meanwhile returned seeking the two children and , not finding them, died soon afterwards of anxiety over them. His wife also died, and the other two children set out in search of their brother and sister until they came to a village by the shore, where they stayed. They then joined the other two along with their own two children. They remained there and each brother lay with his sister, begetting black (aswadayn) male and female children until they multiplied and spread along the shore. Among them are the Nubians (n-ba), the Negroes (zanj), the barbers (b-rb-r), the sindhis (sind), the Indians (hind) and all the blacks (s-d-n) : they are the children of Ham.

Note: if we could be sure that Ka'b al-Ahbar is his original story also used the word Zanj, then we would have a very early use of the word here.


Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi (925) Kitab al-Hawi fi al-tibb (The Comprehensive Book on Medicine) from Ray in Iran

Taken from; Goldenberg David, Scythian-Barbarian : The Permutation of a Classical Topos in Jewish and Christian Texts of Late Antiquity in; Journal of Jewish Studies 1998

He says regarding the young, the women, the dim-witted, as well as all the people living in the extremities of the earth, for instance the Daylamites, the Turks, the Zanj and the habasha, that the study of philosophy clearly transcends their capacity.


Al-Kulayni (d939) Usool al-Kafi
(basics of what suffices) from Iran, worked in Baghdad

Taken from:

A holy book of the Ithna Ashari. Usool al-Kafi is a collection of narrations attributed to the Shiite Imans, Ahlul Bayt and the Prophet.

Beware of marrying the Zunj for they are a distorted creation.

Do not buy anyone who is a Zunj, but if you must, then (buy) the Nubians, for they are amongst those whom Allah the Exalted said about them.......

Marry not from the Zunj nor the Khazar, for they have uteruses what indicates they are unfaithful.

Note: this text does not learn us anything about E-Africa, but by writing down everything found about the Zanj, we may finally get a clearer view on the relationship Africa-Persia.


Liu Xu : (940) Jiu Tang Shu

(Old History of the Tang Dynasty)

Taken from:
Also called : Chiu Tang shu

Jiu Tang Shu
Referring to a lion dance, the Old Tang Dynastic History notes that the man who leads the dance "has the appearance of a native from Kunlun" (an African slave)

About Ha-ling (or Kalinga) country (Javanese nation )…..
In the tenth year, (815 to the court of Hsing Tung) sends an envoy who offers 5 Seng-qi boys, a parrot, the pin-ga bird and the different specific valuables….. In the13th year (818), they send an envoy with 2 Seng-qi woman, a parrot, the hawk's-bill turtle and a live rhinoceros and so on.

In the third heavenly stem, the Hi-ling country sends an envoy who offers the Seng-ki boy and 5 colors parrot, the speaking bird and the famous exotic fragrance treasure.
See: Note to Zangi Slaves

Note: Interestingly, lion dance figurines dating from the Tang dynasty in China, look very much like the lion dance we know today. Tang-Dynasty literature contains detailed descriptions of Kunlun people, further testified by vivid tri-color pottery figures from this period. A group of male pottery figures unearthed in the 1950s around Shaanxi's Xi'an (known as Chang'an in the Tang Dynasty) and Xianyang clearly portray the physical features of Black people. Chang'an was the capital of the Tang Dynasty.


Note on the Zangi slaves offered as tribute to China.

All possible mentions of Sengki slaves to the Chinese emperor are mentioned on my website as they are very often quoted as being
African slaves. The word Sengki would be the equivalent of Zanj and Arab inflence in the Indian Ocean spread the word as well as the
slaves to Java.

Sui shu (History of the Sui dynasty for year 607)
Yuan 82 Biographies 47
(about the kingdom of Chitu, in Cambodia)
The king has three wives and the kingdom embraced Buddhism. (The king) lives in the city of Sengzhi with a series of three gates about
100 bu from each other.

Lingwai daida by Chou Ch’u-fei (1178)
The most important festival of the country (Dai Viet) is on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, when every family exchanges presents
with others. The officials present Shengkou (Zeng-ki)(slaves) to the king, who will give the officials a feast on the 16th day in return.

The chanches that the officials presented african slaves to the king every year again is rather small. Several authors mention that what is mentioned here is a kingdom in Siam-Cambodja with capital Sengki. We have to consider that the Zangi slaves offered to the Chinese
emperor through the centuries might also have been from a different origin than Africa.
More reasons for this is that the earliest gift of Sengki slaves from Java was in 613 which is way to early (meaning the Muslim influence
which would have brought the word Zanj to South East Asia still did not exist) and the last in about 850. The first mentions of jenggi slaves
in Java itself are from 1030.Older mentions in Java have all turned out to be later copies.

It is often mentioned that these slaves came from Kalinga in Java. The new more correct name is Ho-ling. This was an early kingdom in
central Java.



Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Hamdani: Sifat Jazirat ul-Arab

(Geography of the Arabian Peninsula) (d945) Yemen

Taken from: The Berbers in Arabic literature by H. T. Norris

(the sun throws a shadow) on the inhabitants of the earth except those who are on the equator, a region of Middle-earth,

they are the first residents to fill southern China and southern India and the country of Zinj and Al-Dybajat…

(when talking about the great waves) .. blown up by the wind.. from which the Sea Zinj and the Sea of the East,

how they are most difficult to handle in dimension and capacity…

Knowledge of the apportionment of the regions to Hermes the Wise

I: India,

The second: the Hijaz and Yemen,

And third: the land of Egypt,

And fourth: the land of Babylon,

V: Land of the Romans,

And VI: Gog and Magog,

And VII: the land of China,

…The sea unites Oman to Jeddah the places of Yemen to the land of Zinj and Abyssinia…

…in north India and Sindh where we will meet the green sea – To go to the Sea Al-Zenj - and the Sea of Basra,

and get to the Arabian Peninsula, Mecca and the Hijaz, the sea of Qulzoum and Upper Egypt….

Commenting on the people who live west of his country al Hamdani remarks:) As for the fourth quarter,

which is part of the region of the south-west, namely the country of the Zinj, the Abyssinians, the Beja, the Nuba,

the Fezzan, the land of al-Qayrawan; and from Ifriqiyya, al-Qayrawan, the Sus, the lands of the naked blacks and

Ghana which are called by other names such as Numidia and Gaetuli in the Greek tongue, it faces the triangle

of Cancer. It is ruled by Venus and Mars…

And the island of Berbera of the coast of Yemen in the Sea of Aden …. And the island of Socotra, …, an island of Berbera,

which stands between Aden and the country of Zinj, always met by those departed from Aden to the country of Zinj going from

Oman then the island of Socotra is met on the right hand in the Sea of Zinj, and the length of this island eightieth Leagues, which

involves all the tribes of skilled and has about ten thousand fighters, who are Christians, …

As for the Nuba and all the Abyssinians, the Zinj and those adjacent to them from southern India, they
resemble in nature both Scorpio and Mars. For that reason their moral conduct has become more like that
of savage beasts than that of men. They have become people who squabble, who harbour enmities and
disputes and things which are hateful and abhorrent. They deem life to be of little worth and they are not
compassionate among one another. They do not show care and affection for each other and sometimes they
are cruel to themselves; they destroy each other by burning, by throttling and by destruction in the pit…