Islamic Historians (part IV)
Ibn Hawqal (Haukal, ?-977 AD)
Full: Abulqassem Muhammad ibn Hawqal
ابوالقاسم محمدبن حوقل
Work: Sourat ul Ardh (The Map of the Earth)
Ibn Hawqal’s Map of Armenia, Azarbaijan (Atrpatakan) and Aghvank (Ar Ran)
The fourth century Hijri geographer Ibn Hawqal Baghdadi (died 367 Hijri) who traveled in the region, continues the work of Istakhri. He has lived for a while in Armenia and Azarbaijan (Atrpatakan). He dedicates an important chapter of his work to Armenia, Azarbaijan (Atrpatakan) and Aran (Aghvank) and presents the three regions separately on his map. Ibn Hawqal confirms that Aran is situated in the north of the Arax River whereas Azarbaijan is to the south of Arax.
He mentions different capitals: Bardha (Partaw) for Aran (Aghvank) and Ardebil for Azarbaijan (Atrpatakan).
Ibn Hawqal gives independent accounts of Armenia, Aran (Aghvank) and Azarbaijan. He also mentions Bardhae (Partaw, Պարտաւ), Jinzeh (Gandzak, Ganja, Գանձակ), Shamkhor, Shamakhieh, Shirvan, Shabran, Qabalah (Kabalak, Կապաղակ) and Sheki (Shakeh, Շաքէ) in Aran (Aghvank) and Ardebil, Tabriz, Salmas, Khoy, Urmia, Maragha, Oshno, Mianaj (Mianeh), Marand, etc. in Azarbaijan.
He uses the term Azari to define the dialect of the people of Azarbaijan (Atrpatakan) to distinguish it from other dialects of Persian, a simple fact that exposes the fallacy of applying the term Azari or “Azeri” to the Turkish dialect spoken in the region. He says people of Azarbaijan speak Farsi but the merchants and land owners also understand Arabic. About Armenia he confirms that the people speak different dialects of Armenian also in Dabil (Dvin) and Neshwi (Nakhijevan). The people of Aran speak Arani, also different infidel ethnicities speak their own languages according to Ibn Hawqal. Interesting enough, the language of the Aghvans had survived until Ibn Hawqal’s times and there’s still not an iota of evidence of any Turkish in the region. It should be noted that the people of Azarbaijan were already Muslim centuries before this, yet another fact that proves Azarbaijan and Aran were not a single entity.
According to Ibn Hawqal: “In ancient times Dabil (Dvin) was ruled by Snbat ibn Ashot (Smbat) king of Armenia and since the times of his forefathers, their notables held it until Abulghassem Yussof ibn abis Saj conquered that city...” in another place, describing the road from Partaw, capital of Aghvank to Dvin he adds: “the road from Bardha to Dabil in Armenia and all the cities and villages there were ruled by the Armenian king Snbat ibn Ashot until Yussof ibn abis Saj usurped it with treachery and cruelty against the orders of Allah and his prophet” (in 915 AD).
Ibn Hawqal reports that in his time Aran (Aghvank) and eastern parts of Armenia were all under the administration of the ruler of Azarbaijan (the real). This shows that Aran and Azarbaijan (the real) were not one country, what the “Azeris” try to make the world believe, rather, the administrative division of regions under Iranian rule changed from time to time, sometimes putting parts of Aran or Armenia under the administration of the ruler of Azarbaijan (the real). ●
Kharazmi (Khwarizmi, ?- 997 AD)
Full: Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Yussof Kharazmi
ابوعبدالله محمدبن احمدبن يوسف خوارزمي
Works: Mafatih ul Ulum (Keys to the Sciences)
Kharazmi (died 387 Hijri, not to be mistaken with the great Iranian mathematician (lived 780-850 AD) whose name gave us the term algorithm), who lived in the fourth century Hijri (10th c. AD) gives the following explanation about Pahlavi Persian: “Fahlavieh (Pahlavi) belongs to the Iranian group of languages which was spoken by kings in their courts. This word is attributed to Pahleh and it’s the name that was given to the following five cities (lands): Isfahan, Rey, Hamadan, Mah Nahavand and Azarbijan (Azarbaijan the real H.)”. ●
Sohrab (Ibn Srabion)
Work: Ajayeb ul Aqalim… (Wonders of Places…)
عجائب الاقاليم السبعه الي نهايت العماره
A fourth century Hijri geographer of probably Iranian origin has dedicated an important chapter of his book to rivers. Sohrab mentions the River Kur as a river inside Armenia and the River Arax an external river of Armenia. This confirms that Aghvank was considered a part of Armenia in his days. ●
Work: Hodud ul A’alam min al Mashreq ilal Maghreb
حدود العالم من المشرق الي المغرب
The author of this valuable geographic work from the fourth century Hijri is unknown. The book is written in Farsi and includes a description of Aghvank. “Khonan is a region on the banks of the River Kur which is the border between Armenia and Aran (Aghvank)” which places Aran to the north of the River Kur according to the anonymous author of Hodud ul A’alam. ●
Muqaddasi (Moghaddasi) (c. 942-c. end of 10th c.)
Full: Shamseddin abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn abu Bakr Bana’a Shami Muqaddasi
شمس الدين ابوعبدالله محمدبن احمدبن ابي بکر بناﺀ شامي مقدسي
Work: Ahsan at Taghasim fi Ma’rifat al Aqalim (The Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions)
احسن التقاسيم في معرفه الاقاليم
A well known geographer from the fourth century Hijri (born around 331 Hijri), Muqaddasi divides Iran into eight parts (اقاليم Aqalim =plural of اقليم iqlim = realm) and cites Azarbaijan (the real) and Aran (Aghvank) as separate iqlims (khoras).
He describes the three khoras of Rahab as Aran (Aghvank), Armenia and Azarbaijan (the real) as follows: “The first Aran, to the north of Aran Lake (the Caspian), the second Armenia and the third Azarbaijan.”
About Aghvank he writes: “Aran is like an island between the Lake (Caspian) and Arax, and the Malek (= king = Kur from Koorosh = Cyrus) River runs through it.” As cities in Aran he mentions Bardhae (Partaw, Պարտաւ), Tiflis (Tbilisi), Shamkhor, Ganja (Gandzak, Գանձակ), Shirvan, Bakooh (Baku), Shabran, Bab ul Abwab (Darband, Chor, Chol, Չող), Sheki (Shakeh, Շաքէ), Abkhaz among others.
Regarding Azarbaijan (the real) he writes: “Azarbaijan is a khora founded by Azarbad (Atropat, Atrpat) son of Biurasp. Its capital is Ardebil and its cities are Rasbah, Tabriz, Jabravan, Khunaj (Khooneh), Mianaj (Mianeh), Saraw (Sarab), Barwi, Varthan (Vartanakert), Mughan, Meimand and Barzand, Salmas, Urmia, Maragha and Marand… Zanjan is on the border of Azarbaijan (the real H.)”.
Muqaddasi calls the languages of these eight Aqalim (khoras) of Ajami (Iranian) origin “some of them Dari (one of the major branches of Persian close to the modern Farsi H.) and some complicated, but all of them Parsi …the language of the people of Azarbaijan (the real H.) isn’t as intelligible (influences of old Pahlavi dialect H.). In Armenia people speak Armenian and in Aran, Arani. Their Persian is intelligible and is similar to the dialects of Khorasan.” Not a single cloud patch of Turkish in the horizon. ●