'Land of the Nile' as the 'Land of Gold' (arc! al-dhahab) derives from this
As for the statement that these gold-shells are visible with the appearance of the sun, i.e., at dawn, we can well visualise that it is extremely
hot in these parts, and night envelops the whole area into darkness, making them invisible. When the sun is at the meridian, heat acts as a deterrent, and the gold is picked up at dawn when the heat is not at its maximum. It is not at all surprising to see gold display reflect, especially after
a shower. Hence prospectors in ruined cities look for gold after showers.
Rabi'ah bin Maqrum Dabbi says:
The fair ones of the tribe are like burnished gold picked up in the
morn after a heavy shower.
In so far as the statement that every trader is able to procure from the
desert as much gold as would serve his purpose, this rather testifies to the
fact that gold is abundant there and, therefore, people do not have to
store it, especially if their hearts are pure and they are not oppressed by
the cares of the future. When the Zangi gets a chance to live happily and
sportively, and when he is able to brew coconut wine, he loses all consciousness and does not care for the world and what is in it. He then tends
to regard himself as the monarch of the world.
The like of the Sudanese mines is not to be found anywhere else in
the world. The gold of these mines is bright and clear and occurs abundantly. But it is difficult to reach these mines because of the intervening
wildernesses and deserts. The people of these regions are not very keen
about our culture, and the traders of the Western area (especially those
from) Sajalmasah, take considerable provisions and water with themselves while going to the desert. They take Basran cloth for the Sudanese
living beyond these wildernesses. This apparel is known as mubajbajat,
since the Sudanese like these clothes. These clothes dyed with different
colours carry red borders, and have golden threads running through them.
They display the clothes to the wild people from afar and talk to them in
the language of signs, as they do not understand their tongues. They
barter the clothes for gold. Further, the wild people have little liking for
fair people, and avoid them as animals avoid beasts of prey. They do not
like anything else except these clothes upon which they all fall frenziedly.
The mines are situated within the inner regions of Sudan and Zarvilah (in
As the land of Bajjah lies between the Nile and the Red Sea at the
extremity, it is reserved for old mines. It is at the distance of a few day's
journey from Aswan as has been mentioned in the Ashkal al-Aqaltm. The
mine that approaches Hisn-i-'TdPiab lies in the land of the Negroes. It is
called Majtnu 'al-Nas as the gold in these mines is taken out from level
ground where there are no hills. The income from these mines goes to