ted, since the Shari' (the Holy Prophet) has ohly prohibited gold and
silver." A person coming from 'Iraq narrated that Abu Tahir bin Baha'
al-Dawla, who was first the Governor of Basrah and later of Baghdad,
had a large ruby piece which was set in gold, and which he used to call
the jabot (the mountain). Probably it belonged to Fakhr al-Dawlah also,
as the jewel he possessed was similar.
Hasan and Husayn were two brothers and both belonged to Rayy.
They have mentioned that Amir Yamin al-Dawlah Mahmud, God's
mercy be upon him, showed them a ruby which was as big as a grape. Its
weight (price) was estimated by both brothers to be 20,000 dinars. The
Sultan agreed with this appraisal, and said: "This jewel belonged to
Ra-jah Tirochanpal who had it pawned to a local jeweller for 400,000
dinars. Had I not 20,000 dinars, it would have been impossible for me
to have it released." This jewel was not equal in size to one and a half
mithqal or mithqal-i-rummani-i-miirraba' which we have already described and which was called the najam.
About the Chulah emperors, it has been said that they had a large
ruby which was fixed to the mounting block. This block was lifted by
two men so that the king while mounting would step on the jewel. They
placed the block underneath the canopy and the rajah could thus climb
on to the horse.
Hasan and Husayn state that they had purchased for Amir Shahid
Mas'ud (may God exalt his rank because of his martyrdom), while he was
staying at Rayy and Kohistan, a red ruby which was large and leonine in
shape for 7,000 Nishapuri dinars. Some people believe it to have been
the jabal, and were possibly right. Its master was the black vizier, the
brother of Qabus, since he had taken it from his brother as part of his
inheritance. It is said that its shape was lion-like. If pressed within the
fist, it protruded from the thumb and the small finger.
There are legends about Serandib also. It is said the ruby mine there
was very carefully guarded and no one had access to it. Nevertheless, a
man who stole stones from the mine adopted the following ruse. He got
his head shaved and had a brass cap which was sieve-like in structure
made for himself. It was so designed that it could accommodate the
stone at the back of the head. He kept the sieve on till hair grew upon
his head in such profusion that the sieve became invisible. He took a
staff, and pretending to be a half-clothed beggar, walked with the help of
the staff out of sight of the watchmen.
In Khawarazm I personally saw the gifts presented each year to Amir
Yamin al-Dawlah. One of the gifts was a clasp made of red ruby, if
clasped, both its corners protruded from the upper and lower sides of the
fist, It was a hard stone. Later on I thought it might have been karkind,
but I could not be certain.