Khashkhash Ibn Saeed Ibn Aswad

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Khashkhāsh ibn Sa`īd ibn Aswad (Arabic خشخاش بن سعيد بن اسود) (born in Pechina, Andalusia) was a Moorish navigator of Islamic Iberia.

According to Muslim historian Abu al-Hasan 'Alī al-Mas'ūdī (871-957), Khashkhash Ibn Saeed Ibn Aswad sailed over the Atlantic Ocean and discovered a previously unknown land (أرض مجهولة Ard Majhoola). In his book Muruj adh-dhahab wa maadin aljawhar (The fields of gold and the mines of jewels), al-Mas'udi writes that Khashkhash Ibn Saeed Ibn Aswad, from Delba (Palos de la Frontera) sailed into the Atlantic Ocean in 889 and returned with a shipload of valuable treasures.[1][2]

Ali al-Masudi, in The Book of Golden Meadows (947), wrote:

In the ocean of fogs [the Atlantic] there are many curiosities which we have mentioned in detail in our Akhbar az-Zaman, on the basis of what we saw there, adventurers who penetrated it on the risk of their life, some returning back safely, others perishing in the attempt. Thus a certain inhabitant of Cordoba, Khashkhash by name, assembled a group of young men, his co-citizens, and went on a voyage on this ocean. After a long time he returned back with booty. Every Spaniard knows this story.[3]

The same passage, in Aloys Sprenger's 1841 English translation, is interpreted by some authors[4] to imply that Ali al-Masudi regarded the story of Khoshkhash to be a fanciful tale:

Some people consider this sea as the origin of all others. There are some wonderful stories related respecting it, for which we refer the reader to our book the Akhbár ez-zemán; there he will find an account of those crews who have risked their lives in navigating this sea, and who of them have escaped, and who have been shipwrecked, also what they have encountered and seen. Such an adventurer was a Moor of Spain, of the name of Khoshkhash. He was a young man of Cordoba: having assembled some young men they went on board a vessel which they had ready on the ocean, and nobody knew for a long time what had become of them. At length they came back loaded with rich booty. Their history is well known among the people of el-Andalos (the Moors in Spain).[5]

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Abul Hasan Ali Al-Masu'di (Masoudi) (ca. 895?-957 CE),The Book of Golden Meadows, c. 940 CE
  1. ^ Tabish Khair (2006). Other Routes: 1500 Years of African and Asian Travel Writing, p. 12. Signal Books. ISBN 1-904955-11-8
  2. ^ Ali al-Masudi (940). Muruj Adh-Dhahab (The Book of Golden Meadows), Vol. 1, p. 268.
  3. ^ Professor Mohammed Hamidullah (Winter 1968). "Muslim Discovery of America before Columbus", Journal of the Muslim Students' Association of the United States and Canada 4 (2), p. 7-9. [1]
  4. ^ Jason Colavito (June 22, 2013). "Did Columbus Find an Ancient Mosque in Cuba?". 
  5. ^ Historical encyclopaedia entitled "Meadows of gold and mines of gems" translated from the Arabic by Aloys Sprenger, M.D., Vol. I. London: Printed for the Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. 1841. pp. 283–283.