It is interesting how Islamic sources give different portrayals of Norsemen, their culture and mentality.

The Arab traveler Ahmed bin Fadhlan in his "Risala" describes describes the hygiene of the Norsemen as disgusting and considers them vulgar and unsophisticated.
He goes on and even calls them the “filthiest of God’s creatures” yet at the same time he claims they are the most physically beautiful people he had ever seen. He literally says Norsemen are ”tall as date palms, blond and ruddy”.
On the other hand, the Persian traveler Rustah calls them "friendly" people, who are good at trading, clean and culturally sophisticated. This is what he says: "They carry clean clothes and the men adorn themselves with bracelets and gold. They treat their slaves well and also...
they carry exquisite clothes, because they put great effort in trade. They have many towns. They have a most friendly attitude towards foreigners and strangers who seek refuge."
Both accounts agree that Norsemen loved tattoos. Fadhlan said Norsemen are tattooed from “fingernails to neck” with dark blue or dark green “tree patterns” and other “figures”. Both also agree Norsemen were always "well armed".
Rustah also mentions Vikings love for raiding and how they pretty much lived off the looting Slavic lands. He says:

"They (Norsemen) have no fields but simply live on what they get from the Slav's lands".

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More from @BiruniKhorasan

26 Oct 20
The School of Edessa became one of the most important centers of Christianity in the East. Many Christian texts and life of the saints were translated into Bactrian, Persian and Sogdian. It´s thanks to their efforts that Nestorian Christianity spread across Central Asia and Iran.
There is historical evidence of solid Nestorian communities in the cities of Herat, Merv, Bukhara, Samarkand and Kashgar. Also in China. There was also a community in Sri Lanka, with their priesthood leadership based in Persia.

-"The Sogdian and Uighur-Turkish Christian Literature in Central Asia before the Real Rise of Islam: A Survey". J. Asmussen
Read 4 tweets
26 Oct 20
Thread on the pictures taken by Hugo Draft in Central Asia in 1898-1899. Mostly from Bukhara, Samarkand and Khujand.

Local mullâh at a mosque in Shah-e Zinde ("Living King" in Persian), a necropolis in Samarkand. Image
Mellon-seller from Bukhara. Image
Russians in Samarkand. Image
Read 6 tweets
17 Oct 20
#Khorasan, as one of the main cradles of #Islamic #Sufism, was also the place where some of the most remarkable and important "tariqâs" (Sufi Order) were founded.

Let´s name some of them:

-Mevlevi Order: Originated in Konya in the 13th century by Mawlana Balkhi followers.
-Bektashi Order: named after Haji Bektash Veli, an Islamic scholar from 13th century Nishabur. Haji Bektash, just like Mawlana, fled his homeland Khorasan fleeing Mongol hordes and settled in what is now Turkey.

The Bektashi and Mevlevi are the most important orders in Turkey.
-The Naqshbandi Order: Named after Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari, a 14th century scholar from Bukhara. Deeply influenced by Yusuf Hamadani and Abdul Khaliq Gajadwani from Bukhara.

One of the main orders in modern UZB, AFG and the Subcontinent.
Read 10 tweets
16 Oct 20
One of the lesser known historical facts is that after the second fall of Jerusalem to the Crusaders in the 6th Crusade, the city was retaken by a Khwarezmian army

Short thread:

In 1187 Jerusalem was reconquered by Sultan Salahadin but in 1229 conquered again by the Christians.
In 1218, the Mongols invaded Khwarezm and Khorasan. Their invasion led not only to a human catastrophe but also to thousands of Khwarezmian soldiers fleeing their land westwards and hiring themselves as mercenaries to Muslim states in Iraq and the Levant region.
The weakened Ayyubid dynasty founded by Salahadin, hired Khwarezmians as mercenaries. They wanted them to fight a coalition of Crusaders and some local Muslim principalities.
Read 5 tweets
20 Sep 20
The story of the Merchant of Baghdad, the Dragon and Rumi from the Masnavi

A Merchant in Baghdad decides to go outside the city, to the mountains, to bring snow to sell it in the city and get rich. As he is getting the snow, he suddenly notices a dead Dragon under the snow.
He suddenly comes to the conclusion that the Dragon is even better than the snow and that if he takes it to the city, he will make even more profit than with the snow! After all no one has ever seen a Dragon.

The Merchant brings the Dragon into the city of Baghdad and in...
the middle of the city he gathers a large crowd, including the Caliph and Rumi. When asked "what is that?", the Merchant replies "it is a dead Dragon". Rumi looks at him and says "my friend, your Dragon is not dead. It´s frozen. And the problem is the Sun of Baghdad is very hot!"
Read 7 tweets
16 Sep 20
I am kinda fed up with these hypocrite Taliban fanboys living good the good life in the West while the scoff and mock our country´s achievements in the last 20 years.

Thread on the important achievements made since the fall of the Taliban troglodytes.
Since 2001, the number of children attending school has surged from 900,000 (very few girls were allowed to have a basic education) to 9.2 million, including 3.6 million girls in 2020.
Afghanistan´s literacy rate has doubled in 19 years from 17% in 2001 to 43% in 2018. In urban areas literacy has increased to up to 60% in urban areas.

The number is most likely higher now in 2020. Source:…
Read 37 tweets

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