Nasir Khusraw’s Famous Seven Year Journey

Nasir-i Khusraw’s famous seven-year journey is recorded in his book Safarnama (Travelogue). Nasir-I Khusraw had travelled to Cairo, where he had spent a few years training as dai. In his Travelogue, he describes the splendour of the Fatimid capital as well as the wealth of Egypt:

“I estimated that there were no less than twenty thousand shops in Cairo… Every sort of rare goods from all over the world can be had there: I saw tortoise-shell implements such as small boxes, knife handles, and so on. I also saw extremely fine crystal, which the master craftsmen etch most beautifully… I saw the following fruits and herbs, all in one day: red roses, lilies, narcissus, oranges, citrons, limes and other citrus fruits, apples, jasmine, basil, quince, pomegranates, pears, melons of various sorts, bananas, olives, myrobalan, fresh dates, grapes, sugarcane, eggplants, fresh squash, turnips, radishes, cabbage, fresh beans, cucumbers, green onions, fresh garlic, carrots, and beets… In Old Cairo they make all types of porcelain, so fine and translucent that you can see your hand behind it when held up to the light. From this porcelain they make cups, bowls, plates, and so forth…They also produce a glass so pure and flawless that it resembles chrysolite, and it is sold by weight.”

This remarkable economic vitality led to the development of complex administrative and financial systems comprising a number of ministries including the chancery of state, and ministry of finance.

Institute of Ismaili Studies

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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