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Zād Safar al-Mulūk: A handbook on travel by Abū Manṣūr al-Tha’ālibī (d. 429/1038)

BI 52 (2nd ed.)

BI 52 (2nd ed.)

Author: Abū Manṣūr ʿAbd al-Malik b. Muḥammad al-Thaʿālibī  


 Editors:    Eds. Ramzi Baalbaki and Bilal Orfali

2nd edition, Beirut 2017 (1st edition 2011), 153 pp. Arabic text, ISBN: 9783879977239


Zād safar al-mulūk is an adab work that consists of fifty chapters on the advantages and disadvantages of all types of journeys, by land or sea; the etiquette of departure, bidding farewell, arrival, and receiving travelers; the hardships encountered while traveling such as food poisoning, snow, frost, excessive cold, thirst, homesickness (al-ḥanīn ilā l-awṭān), alienation (al-ghurba), extreme fatigue, and their appropriate cures. For cures, the book offers lengthy medical recipes. A short chapter on fiqh al-safar even discusses legal issues connected with travel, such as performing ablutions, prayer and fasting while traveling.

The author of the work is Abū Manṣūr ʿAbd al-Malik b. Muḥammad b. Ismāʿīl al-Thaʿālibī al-Nīsābūrī (d. 429/1038), a well-known writer of anthologies and collector of epigrams. He is famous for his anthology of biographies of poets, called Kitāb Yatīmat al-dahr, his lexigraphical dictionary Kitāb Fiqh al-lugha, and an anthology entitled Laṭāʾif al-maʿārif.

Zād safar al-mulūk is edited by Ramzi Baalbaki and Bilal Orfali. Ramzi Baalbaki is Professor for Arabic language and Bilal Orfali Associate Professor of Arabic Studies, both at the American University of Beirut.