The Land of Īrān. Revenues, Khurāsān not included. Total revenue under Ghāzān Khān, and at the time the author wrote. Amount under the Sassanian kings, and the days of Malik Shāh. Contrast with present state of decay. The Province of Arabian `Irāq: reasons for its precedence. Size. Area under cultivation. Mensuration and taxes established by `Omar. Re- venue under Ḥajjāj. Revenues under Mongols, assessment known as Rātib. Comparison of total at time of Ḥamd-Allah with accounts of the time of the Caliph Nāṣir. Edict as regards slaughter of cattle. Method followed in these Sections: reasons for beginning with Kūfah of Baghdād. Position of Kūfah. Description of the town, its walls and wells. The Mosque: column with mark of `Ali’s hand. The Oven of the Flood. Tombs of Companions and Holy Men. Taxation of Kūfah lands. Mashhad `Alī. Tomb of `Ali, how re-dis- covered. Story of Hārūn-ar-Rashīd. The Crooked Minaret. Karbalā, the Shrine of Ḥusayn. Shrine of Ezekiel, or Dhū-l-Kifl, and of Jonah. Baghdād its position: earlier cities here. Foundation by the Caliph Manṣūr of West Baghdād. East Baghdād built by Mahdī. Building of Sāmarrah, trans- ference thither of the capital. Return of Caliphs to Baghdād. Building of the Walls. The Great Mosque and the Palaces. The Gates. Climate, People and peculiarities of Baghdād. Canals and waterways. Colleges, Tombs and Shrines. Distances of various towns from Baghdād. Revenues of the City. Verses in praise of Baghdād

DIVISION II. Describing the provinces and districts of the Land of Īrān, and the nature of the climates, with the description of the buildings in each of the provinces, and their inhabitants; the same being detailed in twenty sections, each describing a single province.

Throughout the whole Land of Īrān, each of all the villages is like a city (for size), and stands independent of its province. Now in the matter of the revenues [<Arabic>] of the Land of Īrān, the province of Khurāsān is not a part thereof, for it is a separate Sultanate, the revenue of which, since Mongol times, has never been included in the sum total of Īrān, being written off on a sepa- rate account. And first, in regard to the epoch preceding the recent disorders*.

Now during the several times when (as State Accountant) I computed the sum total until the first years of the reign of Ghāzān Khān—whom may God enfold in His forgiveness—the revenue amounted to 17,000,000 and odd (currency dīnārs), but after this early period, by reason of the just government of Ghāzān Khān which brought back such prosperity to the land, it reached the sum of 21,000,000 and odd (currency dīnārs). At the present time it probably does not amount to half this sum, for in most of the provinces usurpation of authority is rampant with this coming and going of armies, so that the people even do withhold their hands from sowing the fields. In the Masālik-al-Mamālik Ibn Khurdādbih states that King Khusraw Parvīz in the eighteenth year of his reign (A.D. 608)—which same was the last year of the Days of Infidelity, for the nineteenth year of his reign was that in which the Mission of the Prophet was made manifest—the sum total which was recorded for the whole of his kingdom amounted to 400,020,000 dīnārs of red gold*, the same that at the present time are known as `Awāmil (‘Governors’), and at the exchange of the present time this is equivalent to 800,040,000 currency (dīnārs).

In the Risālat-i-Malikshāhī (Diary of Malik-Shāh) it is reported that in the days of the Saljūq Sultan Malik Shāh (the revenue amounted to) 215,000,000 and odd of red gold dīnārs*, and since these dīnārs are to be reckoned as 21/3 dīnārs (currency) of the present day, this sum amounts to somewhat over 500,000,000 (dīnārs currency). From the above a comparison may be made in regard to the state of fertility of the land (in past times) and its ruin (in the present day), as a result of the irruption of the Mon- gols, and the general massacre of the people which took place in their days. Further there can be no doubt that even if for a thousand years to come no evil befalls the country, yet will it not be possible completely to repair the damage, and bring back the land to the state in which it was formerly. Least of all can this be in our times, by reason of the numerous unhappy events that so constantly befall so that the couplet:

Every day that passes makes cares of yesterday appear light:
Each new year that comes makes the losses of last year seem trivial,

became the continual utterance of the people. May God—be He glorified and exalted—cast a glance of pity and commise- ration upon us, [<Arabic>] and for all times to come have in His keeping and protection the Land of Īrān, and all other countries of the Moslems, guarding them from the calamities of the age; and may He, of His grace and beneficence and loving kindness and mercy, grant that we remain henceforth in perfect peace and complete tranquillity, with justice for all, and a stable government that changes not.

SECTION 1. Concerning the Province of Arabian `Irāq.

In the Masālik-al-Mamālik it is stated that Arabian `Irāq used to be called the Heart of Īrān-Shahr, and since the heart is the lord of life, it is suitable to begin with the description of this province; and again, in the Suwar-al-`Aqālīm it is said that since Arabian `Irāq lies to the Qiblah (Mecca-wards) of the Land of Īrān it is therefore likewise proper to set it in the forefront. And indeed since in this province was the capital where `Alī, the Com- mander of the Faithful, resided, and where he lies buried, also that for five hundred and forty years this was the seat of the Abbasid Caliphate, it were in any case incumbent to give it the priority. The frontiers of the province are near by the Desert of Najd, and thence down to the Persian Gulf; next they march with those of the province of Khūzistān, then by Kurdistān, and lastly Diyār Bakr. Its length, from Takrīt to `Abbādān, measures 125 leagnes: its breadth, from the Pass of Ḥulwān to Qādisīyah over against the Najd Desert, is 80 leagues; this giving an area of 10,000 square leagues.

During the Caliphate of `Omar, who bequeathed Arabian `Irāq to the Moslems, he gave orders to effect its mensuration, and after careful survey the result showed an area of 36,000,000 Jarībs*. Accounting, however, as beforesaid, that the total area (of the province) is 10,000 square leagues, since each square league contains 40,000 Jarībs—each Jarīb being a square of 60 ells by 60 ells—these 10,000 square leagues would give 400,000,000 Jarībs. (But this is in excess, and) the measure- ment giving 10,000 square leagues can only be attained on the supposition that the area enclosed by the sides of latitude and longitude is a right-angled parallelogram. In point of fact the map does not show this to be the case, for evidently at one place the province is broader, and at another narrower, than what is supposed. And again a great portion of the province is water- less desert, or swamp-land which can only be waste and barren, while the mensuration that was effected in the time of `Omar assuredly took account only of ground that was under the plough, [<Arabic>] or planted, and where water was readily obtainable, which would fully account for the difference (above given) in the two estimates of the area.

The Caliph `Omar, further, established a land-tax of 4 dirhams (yearly) on every Jarīb of ground that was wheat bearing, while the lands under barley paid 2 dirhams, and he took 8 dirhams from palm orchards, counting 40 palms to the Jarīb; while lands growing vines and fruits paid 6 dirhams tax. The tributary (Christians and Magians) also he caused to be numbered, and they were 500,000 souls, whom he divided into three classes:—and of these the highest class were assessed to pay a poll-tax of 48 dirhams, the middle class 24 dirhams, and the lowest class 12 dirhams. Now these sums were payable year by year, and the total of both land-tax and poll-tax amounted to 128,000,000 dirhams, which at the usual exchange in our money is equivalent to 21,330,000 and odd (currency dīnārs). In the time of the (Omayyad governor) Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf this had fallen to 18,000,000 dirhams, which is equivalent to 3,000,000 (currency dīnārs) of the present day. Whereby the justice of `Omar and the tyranny of Ḥajjāj are clearly established, yet, though the Sunnīs hold `Omar to have been just, the Shī`ahs persistently account him to have been a tyrant.

Whatever remains of that assessment at the present day is known as Kharáj-i-Rātib (permanent impost), coming under matters that are administered by the Treasury, and the sum due from this property in the year 35 of the Khānī era* (A.D. 1335) amounted to somewhat over 3,000,000 currency dīnārs. This sum, however, by reason of the misrule of the local governors, is now much diminished; though if that area of land which was surveyed in the time of the Caliph `Omar were now under culti- vation, being either sown (for cereals) or planted (for orchards), it would yield a revenue more than double of what it does now. For even if it were all reckoned to be under barley, which only pays two dirhams for each Jarīb (the 36 million Jarībs at this rate would yield 72 million Abbasid dirhams, which is the equivalent of) 12 million currency dīnārs, or in tūmāns (of 10,000) 1200 tūmāns. Further, at the time when I myself was at Bagh- dād in charge of the tax-office there, I saw an official copy of the assessment drawn up in the reign of the Caliph Nāṣir, and herein the province of Arabian `Irāq was set down as yielding above 30 million currency dīnārs. Even in those days the (ill-advised) interference of the government, in matters connected with agricul- ture and farming, had reached such a pitch that it was forbidden any more to slaughter cattle. Alluding to which a poet wrote this couplet*:

We complained to him of the ruin of the Sawād (Babylonia);
Then like a fool he forbade us the flesh of oxen. [<Arabic>]

But now at length, seeing that all interference with the culti- vation of the land has ceased on the part of the local governors, and that they have given orders in the diverse districts of `Irāq that the Treasury officials should abstain from perquisitions on the oxen that tread out the corn, and on the cattle or other beasts, doubtless the crops of former times will be equalled by those of the present day. May God Almighty, of His grace and mercy, vouch- safe to establish just and discreet governors throughout all the pro- vinces of the Land of Īrān, as well too as in every other country of Moslem rule: verily He alone is omnipotent in all things.

We now proceed to describe the various districts and cities, and although according to the alphabetical order we ought to be- gin with those having Alif (A) for initial, and Kūfah begins with a Kāf (K), while Baghdād begins with a Bā (B), yet since Kūfah was the capital of the Commander of the Faithful `Alī, and is the place where he lies buried, and since Baghdād is the Mother of the Cities of this land, and was the seat of the Abbasid Caliphate, where too is the Place of Martyrdom of the Imāms Mūsā-al- Kāẓim and Muḥammad-at-Taqī, we shall begin this Section with describing these two cities, and then take up the alphabetical order (in regard to other towns); also in all later Sections, for similar reasons, we shall begin in each case by describing the capital city of the province, and then take up the alphabetical order (for the remaining towns).

Kūfah. Of the Third Clime, and a town built since the days of Islām. Its longitude from the Fortunate Isles is 79° 32', and its latitude north of the equator 31° 35'. Now these figures (in the Abjad reckoning are represented by the letters which) may be read `Aṭila balāluhu, meaning ‘His adhesion was useless,’ which is a curious coincidence (having regard to the fate of the Caliph `Alī), and shows manifestly that no good deed can be wrought by the people of this city, nor can any credence be placed in their professions, and the same was abundantly proved by the history of their dealings with diverse members of the Family of the Prophet—on whom be peace. Further the Arabs have also a proverb which says The Kufite does not keep faith.

The city had originally been founded by Hūshang king of the Pīshdādian dynasty (of Persia), but it fell to ruin, and was in time rebuilt by Sa`d ibn Abī Waqqāṣ (the Arab General) in the days of the Caliph `Omar. At its foundation the sign of Aquarius was in the ascendant. The Caliph `Alī subsequently ordered the town of Hāshimiyyah to be laid out beside Kūfah, which same the Ab- basid Caliph Manṣūr completed. He also it was who surrounded it and Kūfah with walls, and the circuit of these same walls is 18,000 paces. The climate of the city is hotter than that of Baghdād; and the north wind is more prevalent there. Water is brought to Kūfah by the Nahr Nāḥiyah (the District Canal), which is taken from the Euphrates. The city possesses many palm groves, and the reeds (used for writing-pens) that grow here are larger and better than those found in any other province. Fine crops of cotton, corn and other cereals are raised in the vicinity.

The Oven whence the Flood poured forth in the days of Noah [<Arabic>]—as is witnessed by the words of the Qurān (ch. XI. v. 42, and ch. XXIII. v. 27) And the Oven boiled up—stood ori- ginally on a piece of ground which at the present time is en- closed within the mosque of Kūfah at its north-western angle. Further in this same Mosque the Caliph `Alī received his death wound, when he (to support himself) laid his hand on one of its columns, and the impress of his blessed hand still appears upon this column; but at the present day, from the many times that the people have rubbed their hands on the place to obtain a bless- ing, it has become hollowed out. The Caliph `Alī also caused a well to be dug here, and except for this one well the wells of Kūfah do not give sweet water, but only water that is brackish and bitter. Kūfah at the present day for the most part is in ruin. The majority of its population is Shī`ah of the sect of the Twelve (Imāms). The people talk Arabic, but of a corrupt dialect. Here may be seen the tombs of many of the Companions, among the rest that of the last of them, `Abd Allah ibn Abi Bakr, who died in the year 86 (705): and among the Shaykhs and notables is found the grave of Abū `Amr* the third of the Seven Readers (of the Qurān).

Kūfah possesses many dependent districts and the revenues of the city are apportioned to the Treasury*. That part which is desert pays the customary quota at the present time; while all that portion of the plain of Arabian `Irāq which is orchard-ground pays the land-tax, assessed in part under what is known as per- manent impost (Rātib), and in part under casual impost (Ḥādith). Of the winter and summer crops about one-third (of the produce) is paid over to the Treasury; the second-third (approximately), known as Bānī*, goes for the expenses of cultivation and similar charges; while the last third, which is the most considerable, is for the occupier. Furthermore at the present day (as already said) all these lands belong to the Treasury.

Two leagues distant from Kūfah towards the south-west lies Mashhad `Alī, the shrine of `Alī the Commander of the Faithful, known as the Mashhad-i-Gharwā (the Wondrous Shrine). For when `Alī had received his death wound, in the mosque at Kūfah, he gave it as his will that as soon as he was dead his body should be placed on a camel; then the camel was to be given its head and set in motion, and wheresoever the beast knelt down, there they should bury his body. This being done, it came to pass that the camel knelt at the place where now is the Shrine, and here in consequence was he buried. Now during the reigns of the Omayyad Caliphs his blessed resting place could not be dis- closed, and so it was also under the Abbasids until the reign of Hārūn-ar-Rashīd. [<Arabic>] But in the year 175 (791) Hārūn hap- pened to go a-hunting in these parts, and his quarry fleeing from him took refuge in this very spot. And however much the Caliph urged his horse into the place, into it the horse would not go; and on this awe took possession of the Caliph’s heart. He made enquiries of the people of the neighbourhood, and they acquainted him with the fact that this was the grave of `Alī. Hārūn ordered the ground to be excavated, and the body of `Alī was discovered lying there wounded. A tomb was afterwards erected, and the people began to settle in its vicinity.

A hundred and ninety and odd years later `Aḍud-ad-Dawlah the Būyid, in the year 366 (977), raised a mighty building over the grave, as it now exists, and the place has since become a little town, the circuit of which is 2500 paces. Here Ghāzān Khān built a hostelry for Sayyids and a Darvīsh-house. In the Risālah of Sulṭān Malik Shāh the Saljūq it is related that, on his road from Kūfah to Mashhad `Alī, the Sulṭān noticed a Minaret which was all crooked, so that half rose straight from the ground and half was falling over. He enquired of the matter and was told that `Alī had once passed by here, when this Minaret, to pay him respect, began to bend over: but the Caliph `Alī made a sign to it that it should remain thus.

Eight leagues to the west of Kūfah, out in the desert, stands Karbalā, the Shrine of the Commander of the Faithful Ḥusayn, which is known as the Mashhad Ḥāirī (the Shrine of Disrup- tion) because, as history relates, when in the reign of the Caliph Mutawakkil they dammed up the water in that spot to lay the shrine in ruin, the water burst through and left dry the ground where was the grave of Ḥusayn. The building over this, also, was built by `Aḍud-ad-Dawlah the Būyid, and it became at a later date a small town, the circuit of which measures 2400 paces. Out- side this is seen the tomb of my ancestor, in the eighteenth gene- ration, namely Ḥurr Riyāḥī*, who was the first person to give his life (at the battle of Karbalā) for the sake of Ḥusayn the Com- mander of the Faithful, being martyred by those whom the Caliph Yazīd—may he be accursed—had sent. A Tradition is reported that the Prophet said He who makes visitation to (the tomb of) Al-Ḥusayn on the Night of Intention, God for a whole year will forgive him his sins; and they add that the night on which you should intend (your visitation) is the eve of the 1st of the month of Rajab.

Four leagues to the north of Kūfah and near the village of Bīr Malāḥah (the Brackish Well) is the tomb of the Prophet Dhū- 1-Kifl (Him of the Lot), to whose shrine the Jews make their pil- grimage [<Arabic>], as the Moslems do to the Ka`bah*. Uljaytū Sulṭān, the Mongol, took the guardianship of this shrine out of the hands of the Jews and confided it to Moslems; he also built here a mosque with a minaret. To the east of Kūfah is the Station of the Prophet Yūnus (Jonah), and the shrine of Ḥudhayfah ibn al Yamān, who was one of the more intimate Companions of the Prophet Muḥammad.

Baghdād. Of the Third Clime, and the capital city of Arabian `Irāq. It was founded since the days of Islam, and lies on the bank of the Tigris. Its longitude from the Fortunate Isles is 77°, and its latitude north of the equator 33°. In the days of the Chosroes, however, on the place Baghdād now occupies, there was a village on the western bank of the Tigris called Karkh, which was built by Sapor II, and on the eastern bank lay Sābāṭ, a village of the dependencies of Nahrawān. In the plain (to the north) of this village Chosroes Anūshirvān laid out a garden, to which he gave the name of ‘the Garden of Justice’ (Bāgh-i-Dād), and afterwards this name, as Baghdād, came to be the proper name of the place. The Arabs call it Madīnat-as-Salām (the City of Peace), and the Persians call it Zawrā (Crooked).

Manṣūr, grandson of the grandson of `Abbās (the uncle of the Prophet), who was the second of the Abbasid Caliphs, and nick- named Abū Dawānīq (‘Father of Pence,’ from his stinginess), founded the city in the year 145 (762) on the western bank of the river, constructing many buildings, and when these were begun the Sign of Sagittarius was in the ascendant. His son Mahdī transferred his residence to the eastern bank, building (there the new Palace of) the Caliphate, and surrounding it with other quar- ters, which his son Hārūn-ar-Rashīd on his accession brought to completion after much labour. Such was then the size of the city that the houses stretched for a length of four leagues (along the Tigris banks), with a width across of a league and a half. In the reign of his son the Caliph Mu`taṣim, who had in his service (a Turkish bodyguard of) many Ghulāms, and these having become a source of trouble to the people of Baghdād, the seat of the Caliphate was transferred to Sāmarrah, where Mu`taṣim pro- ceeded to erect numerous palaces. Here in Sāmarrah—of his sons, grandsons and great grandsons—seven Caliphs reigned, namely Wāthiq, Mutawakkil, Muntaṣir, Musta`īn, Mu`tazz, Muhtadī and Mu`tamid, until it came to the reign of Mu`taḍid, grandson of Mutawakkil, the sixteenth (Abbasid) Caliph, who transferred the seat of the Caliphate again back to Baghdād.

After the time of Mu`taḍid all [<Arabic>] the remaining (Abbasid) Caliphs in succession had their abode in Baghdād, where in the reign of his son `Alī Muktafī the Dār-ash-Shāṭi’iyyah (the Palace of the River Bank)* and the great Mosque of Eastern Baghdād were both built. When it came to the reign (of the twenty- eighth Caliph) Mustaẓhir, he built round Baghdād a wall of burnt brick, surrounding this again by a ditch; and the circuit of this wall that enclosed in a semicircle the quarter known as the Double Ḥaram of the eastern bank was 18,000 paces. (East Baghdād then) had four Gates, namely the Gate of Khurāsān (or of the Khurāsān Road), the Khalaj Gate, the Ḥalbah Gate and the Gate of the Sulṭān’s Market*. On the western bank lay the quarter that is known as Karkh, the wall surrounding which had a circuit of 12,000 paces. Most of the houses in the city were built of kiln-burnt bricks. The climate of Baghdād is excellent, being rather warm, but mild, and it is open to the north. The climate agrees equally with strangers and natives, but agrees with and suits women better than men.

At most seasons provisions are cheap here, scarcity and dear- ness being very rarely known, and even when they occur the dearth is not general, and provisions merely become locally some- what more expensive. The fruits of a warm climate are found here in excellence and in abundance, as for instance the date known as Makhtūm (‘sealed’), and that called Khastuwī (‘stoned’), also the Darrājī pomegranate and the Mūraqī grape, the equal of which are found in no other lands. The fruits of a cold climate, however, do not ripen here in great excellence. Both cotton and corn grow well, as also all other grain crops, so that in most seasons one (Mann) weight of seed gives a crop of twenty (Mann) weight, such being the growth and increase. In this country too the tamarisk (Gaz) tree attains such a size that its trunk measures from two to three fathoms in girth, and the Palma Christi (Khirwa`) becomes so big that a man can sit on its branches without their breaking. The hunting-grounds near Baghdād are numerous and excellent; and game is abundant. The country round is a plain, and its pasture-lands are rich; further the crops of this region are so abundant in their growth that, unless they are eaten down after the harvest they do not give their full increase; as a consequence the cattle here are always very fat.

The Tigris flows through the city; and (the Canal called) the Nahr`Īsā from the Euphrates likewise joins the Tigris at Baghdād, while two leagues below the city [<Arabic>] the Nahrawān Canal runs in, and thence (the Tigris) flows on down to Wāsiṭ. Its stream (at Baghdād) is a fine thing to see from the number of boats, and looks

Like the Milky way with the stars by night,

and is mighty pleasant to contemplate, though in truth this pleasure is not worth the risk of death by drowning. The wells in Baghdād have bitter or brackish water, and are for the most part about 15 ells deep: hence their water is only used for scouring and for washing clothes. The people here are fair-skinned, good look- ing, easy going and pleasant tempered, but slothfulness dominates their nature, and they pass their time in pleasure. Life is made easy to the rich by abundant comforts, whatever is needed for good living can easily be come by, while the poor with a few copper coins can get of a sufficiency for contentment. Most of the people here are fat in body, and corpulence among them at times is to such a degree that when in the reign of Uljaytū Sulṭān a certain baker, who was wont to sit in the Market of the Niẓā- miyyah quarter, was by royal command weighed, his weight amounted to 740 Baghdād Raṭls (pounds). Their speech is Arabic, but corrupt. Since this is the metropolitan city, Moslems of all sects are numerous here; the majority are Sunnīs of the Shāfi`ite sect, though the Ḥanbalites are also powerful, while the adherents of other sects are innumerable. Colleges and Darvīsh Convents are numerous; among the rest is the Niẓāmiyyah College, which is the greatest of them all; and the Mustanṣiriyyah, which is the most beautiful building in Baghdād. They say that it is a peculiarity of this city that no Caliph or Governor ever yet died within its limits.

Outside the city are numerous shrines and holy graves. Thus on the western bank there are the shrines of Kāẓim and his grand- son Taqī, the (Seventh and Ninth) Imāms* and this place is now a small town standing by itself, the circuit of which measures 6000 paces. Also there are on this side many other tombs: namely those of Ibn Ḥanbal (the Imām, and of the Sūfī Saints) Ibn Adham*, Junayd Baghdādi, Sarī Saqaṭī, Ma`rūf Karkhī, Shiblī, Ḥallāj, Ḥārith Muḥāsibī, Ibn Masrūq, Ibn Muḥammad Murta`ish, Abū-l-Ḥasan Ḥuṣrī and Abū Ya`qūb Buwayṭī, the chief disciple of Shāfi`ī*, also of many other Shaykhs and learned men. On the eastern [<Arabic>] bank is the tomb of (the Imām) Abū Ḥanīfah, while in Ruṣāfah, which is a small township standing by itself, are the graves of the Abbasid Caliphs, and in (East) Baghdād city are the tombs of the Shaykh Shihāb-ad-Dīn Suhrawārdī, and of `Abd-al-Qādir Gīlānī*. To the north of the city again, but four leagues distant, lie the shrines of Shaykh Mukārim and Shaykh Sakrān, and there are besides these very many more tombs and shrines, the complete enumeration of which would be too long to write out here.

The distances from Baghdād to the various towns of Arabian `Irāq are as follows: Anbār 11 leagues; Baṣrah 70 leagues; Ba`qūbā 8 leagues; Takrīt 32 leagues; Nahrawān city 5 leagues; Nu`māniyyah 8 leagues; Ḥillah 18 leagues; Ḥadīthah 58 leagues; Ḥulwān 35 leagues; Sāmarrah 22 leagues; Kūfa 24 leagues; Madāin 6 leagues; Jabbul 10 leagues; and Wāsiṭ 40 leagues.

At the present day the revenues of the Baghdād lands have been assigned to the Treasury, and they amount approximately to 800,000 (currency dīnārs); further, the districts lying imme- diately round the city are known under the technical names of Afranchah and Muqāṭa`āt*. The remaining towns of the province will now be enumerated in their (alphabetical) order. In regard to Baghdād both Arab and Persian poets have written many poems; and of what occurs to mind a quotation or two may be here set down. Thus Athīr-ad-Dīn Awmānī says:

If thou wouldst see the whole world together in one spot,
And see that world all living in luxury,
Be like the sun, thy whole face but one eye, and look at Baghdād,
Then wilt thou see it like the heaven round about the Pleiades.

This ode goes on to some length. Anvarī too has given us these verses:

How pleasant is the neighbourhood of Baghdād, the place for excellence and talent:
In all the world no one can point out another such region.

This ode too runs to some length. Further, an Arab poet has said:

Baghdād is a fine place for him who has wealth,
But for those who are poor it is an abode of wretchedness and restraint. [<Arabic>]

Lastly, I myself too wrote this quatrain:

Baghdād is a good place, but only for him
Who has the means to attain his heart’s desire.
Such an one can pass his precious life with a boon companion,
And will not lose one single moment of youth.

A great number of other descriptions of Baghdād have been uttered and occur to my mind, but these few specimens will here suffice.