come to a standstill. Both have said the stone is very red, and like karkind except that it is slightly blackish. It does not glisten without any
backing and because of its looseness and possession of less material,
fetches less value than bijadhi; in fact, at times it fetches only one-fourth
to one-fifth the price of that stone. Traders say the price of a segment of
it was up to one rati. Either it is the namesake of a flower or it has been
compared to a flower by way of similitude. Sanawbari says [in his
verse | :
'Towards lapis lazuli and turqoise and towards madhinaj and red
The description of cinnabar (isrinj) testifies to its colour, as in the case of
the ghubari ruby and cornelian. Usrinj (Isrinj) is that calcined lead
which has been heated to redness with sulphur-like vermilion.
In addition to other stones, Hamzah has mentioned a stone, manak.
He writes: "It was in the possession of the rulers of 'Ajam (Iran) and
colourless. The padding put underneath it showed its colour." Malta
and white ruby also share this characteristic and the people of India do
the same thing to beryl. I saw what had been done to the pillars of Somnath. Two cubits broad and a span high, these constructions merge into
each other. Rising up, they form the shape of a pillar. The crown of the
pillar has semi-circles of maha studded into the pillar. Shellac is spotted
here and there, presenting a scene redolent of redness.
Hamzah has also mentioned madhahsuri. It is the Arabicised version
of ruasuri that could point to its characteristics. It is God Who prospers.
I have given precedence to the description of the diamond over the
two other precious stones which have yet to be described, namely,
emerald and pearl, since diamond cuts ruby, whilst the latter can cut the
other jewels. Diamond is not affected by anything superior to it or by
anything that is inferior. But it belongs to this world which is inherently
corrupt, and therefore, a thing having a certain weight and quantity does
exercise its effect upon it, Its rank among (jewels) is that of a king in
relation to his subjects.
The relationship obtaining between diamond and ruby derives
through their respective weights and firmness, proximity to each other in
mines, upon their capacities to surpass foreign stones, and of perforating
and cutting them also.
Besides, the pearl belongs to a thallasic animal, whilst the terrestrial
jewels are from cadavers and non-organic deposits. Still the relegation of
the description of the pearl to a latter stage does not detract from its
nobility, delicacy, and preciousness.