Abu'l Qasim Ubaid'Allah ibn Khordadbeh (Persian: ابوالقاسم عبیدالله ابن خردادبه) (c. 820 – 912 CE), author of the earliest surviving Arabic book of administrative geography, was a Persian geographer and bureaucrat of the 9th century. The son of a wealthy Persian family in northern Iran, he was appointed "Director of Posts and Intelligence" for the province of Djibal in northwestern Iran under the Abbasid Caliph al-Mutammid (ruled 869–885 CE). In this capacity ibn Khordadbeh served as both postmaster general and the Caliph's personal spymaster in that vital province.
Ibn Khordadbeh clearly mentions Waqwaq twice: East of China are the lands of Waqwaq, which are so rich in gold that the inhabitants make the chains for their dogs and the collars for their monkeys of this metal. They manufacture tunics woven with gold. Excellent ebony wood is found there.” And again: “Gold and ebony are exported from Waqwaq.
The book does not reflect a strong influence from Greek earlier works such as Ptolemy's. The work uses heavily Persian administrative terms, gives considerable weight to Pre-Islamic Iranian history, uses native Iranian cosmological division system of the world. These reflect the existence of Iranian sources at the heart of the work.
It is one of the few surviving sources that describes Jewish merchants known as Radhanites.
Khordadbeh wrote other books. He wrote around 8-9 other books on many subjects such as "descriptive geography" (the book Kitāb al Masālik w’al Mamālik), "etiquettes of listening to music", "Persian genealogy", cooking", "drinking", "astral patterns", "boon-companions", "world history", "music and musical instruments". The book on music had the title Kitāb al-lahw wa-l-malahi which is on musical matters of Pre-Islamic Persia.