Sulaiman al-Tajir

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Sulaiman or Soleiman al-Tajir (Arabic for "Soloman the Merchant") was a 9th-century Muslim merchant, traveler and writer initially from Siraf in modern-day Iran. He traveled to India and China and wrote an account of his voyages around ad 850.

Historical Accounts[edit]

Sulaiman visited India during the time of the Pala Empire, which then ruled present day West Bengal and Assam provinces of India and present day Bangladesh. He calls Pala kingdom 'Ruhma' and attests to their military power.

During his stay in the city of Guangzhou he noted that the Chinese used fingerprint records to maintain the identities of newly arrived foreigners, charged extortionate rates for imported goods and that the route to China by sea was dangerous due to piracy and frequent rain. He mentions that the local Muslim populace of Guangzhou had their own Mosque and bazaars. He mentioned that the Muslim community had its own Imam and Judge (appointed by Emperor Xuānzong of Tang).[1] He also observes the manufacturing of porcelain, the granary system of Guangzhou, and how its municipal administration functioned.

After arriving home from China with goods he landed at Basra and then traveled to Baghdad.

References[edit]