certain places that have petrified, and when a plant or animal can become converted into stone, it is not strange for earth or water to be
petrified, and if people did not see these occurrences often, they could
not have become known to the commonalty of mankind.
Our sovereignty continues from the ages when the solid stones were
watery and the rocks were soft.
This was in the days of the Flood, although the stones were like bole.
Another poet says:
The stones were wet on that day, and Acacias and thorny species of
Acacias were lying cut up.
People believe hussad to be marjan and in the books on medicine this
has been so held, as we have said.
Lexicographers and the ancient poets are united in the belief that
marjans are small pearls. We have already said that God's statement, "(In
beauty) like the jaycinth and the coral stone" has been interpreted to imply the transparency of ruby (Jaycinth) and the whiteness of the coral.
Here, however, clarity is implied for sparkle, not transparency, since, if it
is transparency that is implied, what else would man see except ugly and
horrifying things? "Jaycinth'' here signifies the roseate colour of the
skin which is esteemed. The redness of hussad is also not unlikcable, as
it is essential for the cheeks of women. It is, therefore, not something
improbable to take marjan to be hussad here, provided we ignore the
Bussad is a plant of the Bahr-i-lfranjah, which is the sea around Syria
and Rome when it adjoins the frontiers of Ifranjiya.
Muhammad bin Zakariyyah says that its tree grows so tall that it
tears apart boats. Ibn Zakariyyah's statement would show that it becomes petrified in the sea, but what Dioscorides says is the opposite of
this. He says hussad is an internal plant of the sea, but when it is taken
out of the sea and comes in contact with air, it hardens. 103
Some have said that it comes white and soft out of the ocean. It is
then interred in the sand 104 when it becomes hard and red. Its hardness
and red colour are in proportion to its ripeness. It is quite possible that
its redness is temporary as fire removes it, especially if it is persistently
The author of the Kitab-i-1'hurayya writes that bussad and other
jewels like it are physically like plants and with respect to their nature
belong to the plant kingdom.