Divisions of the Habitable World, according to Hermes Trismegistus, and according to the Persians, the Arabs, the Greeks and the Indians. Latitude and Longitude of the Limits of Īrān: length and breadth of that Country. Explanation of the Map of Īrān. The Frontiers of Īrān, countries to the east, west, north and south. The Qiblah-point: side of the Ka`bah faced from Īrān. General direction of the Qiblah in diverse provinces of Īrān. Exact direction found by the Indian Dial. Construction of the same. Directions for its use. Table drawn up by `Abd-ar-Raḥmān Khāzinī to find the exact Qiblah-point. Explanation of Table. Directions for its use. Example: the direction of the Qiblah at Qazvīn

BOOK II. Describing the state of the Land of Īrān, the same being composed in three Divisions.

DIVISION I. Description of Īrān as one among the kingdoms of the earth, with an explanation of its latitudes and longitudes and a notice of its frontiers, and of the direction of the Qiblah- point in its various provinces.

Now as to the division thereof, and of what portion of the habitable earth Īrān is accounted to be a part, on this point statements differ. And the Persians cite Hermes Trismegistus, of whom they say that he was endowed with triple wisdom, or with triple gifts, because he was at the same time a sage, and a prophet and a king, he being otherwise known as the prophet Idrīs; and he divided the earth into seven regions in the form of seven circles, one in the centre and six separately surrounding it. Of these the first, to the south, is the region of the Hindus: the second comprises the Arabians, with Yaman and Abyssinia: the third is that of Syria and Egypt and Maghrib; the fourth, which same is the middle region, is that of the land of Īrān; the fifth is the region of the Greeks, Franks and Sclavonians; the sixth has the Turks and Khazars, while the seventh is the region of China and Cathay, Khotan and Tibet. Another account is that sub- sequently, when King Farīdūn divided his kingdom among his three sons, he made the division in the breadth and into three parts, giving the eastern part to Tūr, and the western part to Salm, and the central part, which was the best and the place of his own abode, this he gave to his youngest son [<Arabic>] Īraj. This portion, therefore, was called Īrān after Īraj, and one of the Arab poets has referred to this division in his verses when he says:

In our lifetime we divided up our Kingdom,
Even as meat is cut up on the top of the block;
We have given Syria, and Greece
As far as the setting sun, to Salm the chief;
And to Tūr we have given the Turks;
While his cousin hath possession of the Land of China;
And on Īrān by force we have imposed
The Knight of the Kingdom and so have we attained content.

Now as is well known Salm and Tūr—because Īraj had the better part given to him—slew him, and strife thus brought into the affairs of these kingdoms remained. Others again assert that Īrān was called after Gayūmarth whose real name was Īrān, and others say it was called after Hūshang who likewise was known as Īrān. The more credible account, however, is that it was called after Īraj the son of Farīdūn.

Now the Arabs report that the prophet Noah divided the habitable world in the greater length into three parts. The southern part he gave to Ham, which same is the land of the blacks; the northern part he gave to Japhet, this being the land of those with the white and reddish skins; and the middle part he gave to Shem, and these are the lands of those who are brown-skinned: and Īrān is one among these. On the other hand the Greeks assert that their ancient sages held that the habitable earth was to be divided in the breadth, starting from Egypt, and into two parts. The eastern half they called Asia; and the western half was again divided into two by the Mediterra- nean sea. To the south of this sea was the quarter of the original race of men, and this was called Libya, and was the country of the blacks; while to the north of the Mediterranean was the second quarter called Europe, which was inhabited by those with white and red skins. Further, that half of the world called Asia they again halved by a line going from the north-east down to half-way along the southern side. The middle portion (between Asia and Europe, and to the west of this line) was the smaller half, and it was named Asia Minor, and it comprised the Land of Īrān and the Ḥijāz, also the Yaman and Khazar Countries; while the outer (eastern) portion was the larger half, and this was called Asia Major, which same comprised Cathay and Khotan, great and little China, Ind and Sind, with all their coasts.

Lastly, the Indian Sages divide the habitable world in squares, these laid out three by three. Of these they name the southern square Dakshin, which is the land of the Arabians: [<Arabic>] the northern square they call Ūtar, and this belongs to the Turks: the eastern square is that named Būrb, which same is that of great and little China; while the western square is named Basjim, which belongs to the people of Egypt and Berber. To the south- east is Agnī, which is of the Hindus; while to the north-east is Aysan, which is the land of Cathay and Khotan: to the north- west is Bāyab, which is the country of the Greeks and Franks; while to the south-west is Nayrit, which is the country of the Copts and Berbers, also Ifrīqīyah (North Africa) and Spain. Finally the central square is called Madwaysh, meaning Middle Kingdom, and this belongs to the Iranians, being the central portion of the habitable earth, also possessing the best of its lands and quarters and cities and districts*.

Latitude and Longitude. As has been shown above, the Land of Īrān is situated in the central part of the habitable world, but more on the western quarter, so that in longitude most of it lies west of the central meridian (in longitude 90°), while the lesser part falls beyond and to the east of this central line. As regards latitude most of the lands of Īrān are of the Third and Fourth Climes, some few lying in the Second and Fifth Climes. The specification may thus be given: Īrān starts from Qūniyah (Ico- nium) in Asia Minor, in longitude 56° 30', and ends at Balkh on the Oxus in longitude 91°, and the difference between these two longi- tudes, which same represents the length in longitude of the Lands of Īrān, is 34° 30', as shown by the Astrolabe. This, according to the evaluation of Ptolemy, is equivalent to 856 leagues; but by compute of mensuration it is 761 leagues and a ninth; according, however, to what Abū Rayḥān (Al-Bīrūnī) gives by (road) estimate it is 647 leagues, it being 346 leagues from Balkh on the Oxus to Sulṭāniyyah, and 301 leagues from Sulṭāniyyah to Qūniyah (Ico- nium) in Asia Minor.

In latitude the lands of Īrān extend from `Abbādān near Baṣ- rah, which stands in latitude 29° 20', up to Bāb-al-Abwāb which lies in latitude 45°, and the difference between these two is the extent in latitude of the lands of Īrān, namely 15° 40', by the Astrolabe. This, according to the evaluation of Ptolemy, is equi- valent to 358 leagues; but by compute of mensuration it is 318 leagues and four-ninths with two-thirds of a ninth; according, however, to what Abū [<Arabic>] Rayḥān gives by (road) estimate it is 271 leagues, for by sum of mensuration along the high-roads it is 160 leagues from `Abbādān to Sulṭāniyyah, and from thence to Bāb-al-Abwāb, at the Iron Gates, it is 111 leagues. Lastly, the whole area of Īrān, according to the latitudes and longitudes as given by the mensuration of the Astrolabe, is 440 (square degrees). These therefore are the outer limits as regards the latitude and longitude of the Lands of Īrān, though of course the Lands of Īrān do not all exactly come within the limits of the square formed by the terminal straight lines of the latitudes and longitudes aforesaid, and there is much difference (of position and over- lapping along the frontiers).

In the description of the habitable world the positions of places are all reckoned from the equator, this being the topmost line*, and (in the map of Īrān, therefore) whatsoever has been set down is after this wise from the tables (of latitudes and longi- tudes) of places that are commonly agreed to as being (towns) of importance. Now in the habitable world though the furthest longitude is at 180° and the highest latitude is 90°, yet the Seven Climes only begin in longitude 160°, going thence back to the longitude of 60°, while in latitude they only cover approximately 38°. But the object of our remarks on latitude and longitude has been merely to set forth the matter as it relates to the Lands of Īrān, which are situated (as already said) in the middle point of the Seven Climes, and hence those regions which lie at a distance from the frontiers of Īrān it has been convenient not to include in our Map of Īrān. Thus the longitudes are only shown as starting from the 63rd degree, and running up to the 112th degree, which therefore displays 50 degrees of longitude; while the latitudes run from the 16th degree to the 45th degree, which gives 30 degrees of latitude, as registered therein. This therefore is the explanation of the same and grace lies with God*.

The Frontiers of the Land of Īrān. The eastern frontier lies on the province of Sind, then by Kābul, Ṣaghāniyān, Trans- oxiana and Khwārizm to the frontier of Saqsīn and Bulghār. The western frontier lies on the province of Nīksār (Neo-Caesarea) and Sīs, and thence to Syria. The northern frontier lies on the lands of the Ossetes and Russians, the Magyars and Circassians, the Barṭās and along the Khazar desert, which is also called the desert of Qipchāq, with the country of the Alāns and Franks. The dividing line between these last and the land of Īrān is formed by Alexander’s Cut (the Hellespont) and the Sea of the Khazars (the Caspian), which is also known as the Sea of Jīlān and Māzan- darān. [<Arabic>] The southern frontier lies on the desert of Najd, across which the road passes to Mecca, and on the right hand of this desert the line goes up to the frontiers of Syria, while on the left hand it comes down to the Persian Gulf, which adjoins the Indian Sea and is in communication therewith, from whence the frontier reaches India. Now although of these outer lands some, at times, have been under the sway of the sovereign of Īrān, and even in these parts some cities have been in fact founded by the sovereigns of Īrān, yet, since it is our intention here merely, and in particular, to lay down the exact frontier of Īrān, it is necessary to omit now any detailed mention of these outer lands.

Concerning the direction of the Qiblah-point in these countries.

The Qiblah throughout the whole of the Lands of Īrān stands to the south-west, and faces the main wall of the Ka`bah, which has pre-eminence over the other three walls, for the reason that in it opens the Door of the Ka`bah, and that at (its eastern end is) the angle where the Black Stone is set. This pre-eminence is further shown by the Tradition of the Prophet* who said Verily the Angle (of the Black Stone) and the Station (of Abraham) were two Sapphires of Paradise: but God has extinguished their brilliant light, and had He not so extinguished it, verily it had shone forth to light all things from the East to the West.

The Ka`bah (as regards longitude) lies on a meridian which is 16° west of the central meridian (in longitude 90°) of the habit- able earth; and it follows of necessity, from the varying latitudes and longitudes, that the Qiblah-point in different countries is also different. Thus in the provinces of the Two `Irāqs, Adharbayjān, Arrān and Mūghān, Shirvān, Gushtāsfī and in part of Gurjistān and in the whole of Kurdistān, Qūmis, Mazāndarān, Ṭabaristān, Jīlānāt and in part also of Khurāsān, it is necessary when you would stand facing the Qiblah that the north pole should be behind the back and over the right ear, and that the star called `Ayyūq (which follows the Pleiades) should rise behind the nape of the neck, and that the Scorpion’s Heart (Antares) should set over against the Qiblah-point. Further at the times of the spring and autumn equinox the sun sets and rises (in those countries) at points that are almost due west and east. On the other hand, in the countries of Armenia and Asia Minor, and Diyār Bakr and Diyār Rabī`ah, and in parts of Gurjistān, from what has already been explained, the Qiblah point faces rather more towards the east (than in the countries first described); while in the districts of Baṣrah and Khūzistān, in Fārs, Shabānkārah and Kirmān, in the lands of the Great Desert and Qūhistān, and in parts of Khurāsān it is necessary for exactly facing the Qiblah-point to turn more towards the west, while in Makrān, Hurmuz, [<Arabic>] Qays Island and Baḥrayn, you must face due west.

Now the approximate (Qiblah-point) of each of these places is clearly shown by the lines (of latitude and longitude) in the map (of Persia) that has been described above; but to get the exact direction of the Qiblah in any town it is necessary, in the place chosen, first to mark the line of the meridian and the true east and west points. These may be fixed in many ways, but of all ways that by means of the Indian Dial is the best known. Now the Indian Dial is constructed after this wise. They make the ground perfectly level and flat, and such that in no part of it is there deflexion or depression or eminence, and such that should a quantity of water be poured over the ground it should run off equally on all sides, without tending to run off the level more in any one direction. Then on this ground a circle of any de- sired size is drawn. Next, a conical stake is to be fashioned, of the quarter length of the diameter of this circle, such that its top be very pointed, and its body below be equally sharp, so that the base may be easily set up in the ground. Then this stake is to be planted upright in the centre of the circle, being firmly fixed there so that it cannot move from its position, and it will then be that the summit of the stake stands equidistant from any three, or more, points on the line of the circumference of the circle. This is the Indian Dial; further it must be verified that the conical stake be truly in the centre thereof. Then, at the middle hour of the fore-noon, let them attend to the shadow of the stake: and when it passes inside from outside the circle, the place where the shadow crosses the line of the circle is to be marked by a point (set in the ground). After the same way, at the middle time of afternoon, when, on the other side of the Indian Dial, the shadow from within is about to pass without the circle, then let the place where the shadow cuts the circumference be also marked. Let these two points be joined by a line across the Dial, and next this line is to be halved, and from the half-way point a line is to be drawn joining this to the centre of the circle (and prolonged) till it cuts the circumference of the Dial (above and below): which line is the meridian line of that place.

Further, this line, as will be seen, divides the Dial into two semicircles lying on either side of it. Let each semicircle next be halved, and a line to connect their half-way points be drawn. This line of necessity will be found to pass through the centre point of the Dial, and this line (where it cuts the circumference) marks the points, due east and due west, of the place in question. Thus, from these two major lines, four points have come to be fixed on the circle of the Dial. The two points at either end of the line going from east to west mark, at the east end, the point of sun-rise at the time of the equinox, and westward the point of sun-set at the time of the equinox. [<Arabic>] Likewise, of the two points at the extremities of the meridian line, that to the south marks the (true) southern point, and that to the north the (true) northern point. Thus by these major lines the Dial is divided into four equal quarters, and of these each arc must now be divided into ninety equal parts, which same will each be of the space of a degree. The Indian Dial therefore is made after this fashion, and the representation of the same is given in the diagram (on the next page).

Now for determining the exact direction of the Qiblah-point of any place it is, of course, necessary that the latitude and longitude of Mecca be known, also the latitude and longitude of the place in question; and, as has already been said, of Mecca—may God ennoble the same—the longitude is 77°, and the latitude 21° 40'. of now the longitude of the place in question be the same as the longitude of Mecca, then the town in question and Mecca occupy the same meridian by reason of the uniformity of the longitudes. And if the latitude of the town in question be higher than the latitude of Mecca, the direction of the Qiblah in that town will lie along the meridian due south; that is to say, in facing the Qiblah the north will lie behind the back. Conversely, if the


latitude of the town in question [<Arabic>] be lower than the latitude of Mecca, the Qiblah point in this case will be due north along the meridian, which is the same as saying that, in looking towards the Qiblah, the face must be turned to the north. If, on the other hand, the latitude of the place in question be the same as the latitude of Mecca, and their respective longitudes differ, then the Qiblah-point will lie along the line going east to west; and if the longitude of the place in question be greater than the longitude of Mecca, then for facing the Qiblah at that place, you must turn due west; while if contrariwise it be less, you must turn due east.

Now in these four cases just given it is not necessary to have recourse to any Table for ascertaining the amount of the arc of declination (of the Qiblah-point), for the Indian Dial is sufficient to show the cardinal points, east and west, with the meridian (marking north and south). But in the case where both the lati- tude and the longitude of the place in question differ from the latitude and longitude of Mecca, then if the latitude and longitude of the town be higher than the latitude and longitude of Mecca, its Qiblah-point will have to face south-west; and if its latitude and longitude be less than the latitude and longitude of Mecca, then its Qiblah-point will have to face north-east; while if the longitude of the town in question be more than the longitude of Mecca, its latitude at the same time being less than the latitude of Mecca, then its Qiblah-point must face north-west; and lastly, if the longitude of the place in question be less than the longitude of Mecca, while its latitude be higher, then the direction of the Qiblah-point will lie to the south-east. Now in these four latter cases some difficulty must occur in fixing the exact direction of the Qiblah-point, and to facilitate the matter, thus to avoid all labour in working out the calculation, a Table was drawn up, on the order of the Saljūq Sulṭān Sanjar, by the pious Shaykh `Abd- ar-Raḥmān Khāzinī*, and by means of the same it is possible without trouble to fix the direction of the Qiblah-point in most places in Īrān.

Wherefore to use this Table for determining the Qiblah in the four last cases that were named above, it is requisite to obtain the difference between the longitude of Mecca and the longitude of the town in question, and likewise the difference between the latitude of Mecca and the latitude of the town in question. Next on the (vertical) side of the Table marked for the Longitudes you must find the place which has the number of degrees of the difference between the longitudes, and on the (horizontal or upper) side of the Table marked for the Latitudes find the difference of the latitudes; then in the place where, on the Table, the columns and lines running from these two figures intersect will be found marked the number of degrees and minutes giving the declination of the Qiblah-point from the meridian line. If both the latitude and longitude of the place in question be higher than the latitude and longitude of Mecca, the declination will have to be counted [<Arabic>] from the south point, where the line of the meridian cuts the circle of the Indian Dial; and in the western arc, from the point marked by the number of the degrees and minutes aforesaid, a line is to be drawn connecting this point with the centre of the Dial. This line will then show the direction of the Qiblah-point in the place in question, and the Miḥrāb (or Niche marking the direction of Mecca) must be set exactly in accordance with this line. If, however, the latitude and longitude of the town in ques- tion be less than the latitude and longitude of Mecca, then the declination must be counted from the north point in the Indian Dial, and the number of degrees and minutes be marked off on the eastern arc, by which you will then get the true line of the Qiblah. And if, again, the longitude of the place in question be higher, while its latitude be lower, than those, respectively, of Mecca, then beginning from the north point you must count the degrees along the arc westward; while lastly if the longitude of the place in question be less than that of Mecca and its latitude greater, then you must begin to count from the south point and along the arc to the eastwards: and this fulfils all possible cases for finding the Qiblah point.

An example is here given to show the way to use (the Table) taking the case of the direction of the Qiblah-point of Qazvīn, by which example that of other towns may be found. Of Qazvīn the longitude is 85°, and the latitude 36°: of Mecca—may God ennoble the same—the longitude is 77°, and the latitude 21° 40'*, hence the difference of the longitudes is 8°, and the difference of the latitudes is 14° 20'. If now we take the degrees of the difference of the longitudes on the (vertical or) Longitude column (at the side) of the Table, and then take the difference of the latitudes (omitting the minutes) on the (horizontal) line of Latitudes (at the top) of the Table, and next carefully note the figures given at the point of intersection of the column with the line aforesaid, the figures will be found to be 28° 36', and this is the amount of the declination of the line marking the Qiblah-point of Qazvīn. Further, since both the latitude and the longitude of Qazvīn are respectively higher than the latitude and longitude of Mecca, we must count the declination from the south point of the Indian Dial, and along the western arc, and drawing a line from the point on the arc (marked by the number of degrees and minutes afore- said) to the centre of the Dial this will show the true direction of the Qiblah at Qazvīn*. All this has been figured on the Indian Dial that is given above; and the Table which was drawn up will be found on the following page, but God alone is all knowing as to its exactitude.

 12345678910 11121314151617181920 
141° 18'26° 59'17° 15'12° 2'10° 14'8° 4'7° 56'7° 40'7° 36'7° 21'6° 32'6° 28'4° 8'3° 51'3° 34'3° 33'3° 31'3° 21'3° 17'2° 28'1
269° 17'42° 5'31° 11'25° 8'20° 40'15° 9'14° 7'13° 11'11° 32'10° 20'9° 44'6° 4'8° 30'7° 20'7° 10'6° 39'6° 15'6° 4'5° 30'5° 26'2
370° 11'54° 9'43° 7'34° 18'29° 30'26° 10'21° 4'19° 20'16° 19'15° 30'14° 34'14° 14'14° 4'11° 14'10° 31'10° 3'9° 40'8° 31'8° 17'8° 7'3
475° 14'61° 37'51° 17'43° 10'36° 20'31° 16'28° 14'25° 41'22° 11'20° 30'18° 14'17° 11'16° 7'15° 21'15° 19'13° 17'12° 36'11° 41'11° 30'10° 17'4
577° 4'67° 18'56° 42'49° 15'43° 15'36° 40'33° 7'30° 4'26° 17'25° 36'23° 47'21° 36'19° 42'18° 24'17° 16'16° 44'15° 14'14° 47'14° 4'13° 34'5
679° 7'74° 18'60° 14'54° 18'48° 16'43° 20'38° 14'36° 16'32° 11'29° 40'27° 43'25° 57'23° 51'22° 46'22° 34'19° 43'18° 19'17° 42'16° 47'15° 50'6
781° 4'75° 34'72° 7'58° 41'52° 14'46° 56'43° 24'39° 22'36° 23'33° 32'32° 28'28° 14'26° 18'25° 34'23° 36'22° 32'21° 48'20° 19'19° 12'18° 23'7
882° 5'78° 14'74° 9'61° 14'56° 9'51° 7'46° 5043° 31'39° 42'36° 46'35° 4'32° 33'32° 42'28° 36'26° 19'25° 14'24° 23'21° 30'21° 54'20° 19'8
983° 9'80° 19'76° 11'64° 7'59° 49'54° 34'50° 14'46° 45'43° 36'40° 30'37° 30'35° 23'33° 50'33° 33'29° 7'28° 32'26° 14'25° 36'25° 49'23° 38'9
1084° 11'82° 23'77° 34'66° 17'62° 36'56° 45'53° 19'49° 35'46° 25'43° 39'40° 41'38° 2'36° 8'34° 17'34° 15'31° 15'29° 32'27° 14'26° 16'25° 36'10
1185° 19'83° 42'79° 16'68° 12'64° 14'59° 19'55° 17'52° 12'49° 15'46° 15'43° 43'40° 50'38° 12'36° 18'35° 36'34° 20'31° 45'31° 30'29° 42'26° 50'11
1286° 21'85° 51'79° 42'71° 6'66° 9'62° 6'58° 41'54° 49'51° 49'48° 58'45° 54'43° 45'41° 29'39° 4'36° 32'36° 12'34° 24'32° 46'31° 16'31° 28'12
1387° 25'86° 8'82° 31'73° 9'67° 17'64° 14'59° 2'56° 17'53° 34'50° 43'48° 48'45° 48'43° 47'41° 39'39° 44'36° 40'36° 20'34° 44'33° 41'32° 4'13
1488° 19'87° 11'82° 17'74° 14'69° 40'65° 29'62° 14'58° 18'55° 44'53° 14'50° 23'48° 38'45° 44'43° 49'41° 49'40° 4'38° 36'36° 29'35° 12'34° 4'14
1589° 4'88° 16'82° 43'75° 13'70° 4'68° 13'63° 9'60° 42'56° 58'55° 4'51° 46'50° 13'48° 28'45° 40'43° 52'42° 16'40° 24'38° 50'36° 34'35° 49'15
1689° 44'88° 32'82° 36'76° 49'71° 36'68° 46'65° 11'62° 17'59° 56'56° 52'53° 33'51° 36'49° 46'47° 45'45° 35'43° 58'42° 26'40° 44'39° 12'36° 50'16
1790°89° 14'82° 4'76° 14'72° 29'69° 17'66° 3'63° 19'60° 17'58° 12'55° 42'53° 23'51° 25'49° 36'47° 35'45° 30'44° 23'42° 36'41° 2'39° 56'17
1890°90°83° 18'76° 51'73° 42'70° 30'67° 6'65° 30'62° 14'59° 59'56 44'55° 32'53° 13'51° 5'49° 26'47° 25'45° 25'44° 32'42° 46'41° 19'18
1990°90°83° 31'77° 7'74° 30'71° 21'69° 4'66° 46'63° 18'61° 14'59° 39'56° 14'54° 22'52° 14'50° 38'49° 16'47° 15'45° 20'44° 41'42° 56'19
2090°90°84° 9'83° 17'75° 17'72° 34'70° 7'67° 23'65° 29'62° 17'60° 14'58° 7'56° 4'54° 12'52° 4'50° 18'48° 15'47° 5'45° 15'44° 50'20