Author : Shihab ad-din bin Fadl’lalah Al Umri
Year : 1349
Contributor : Meftuh Shash Abubaker
The earliest Arabic historian literature of Abyssinia and the Muslim sultanates in the 14th Century
Ibn Fadlallah Al Umri had gathered his information on Abyssinia and the Muslim sultanates in the region first hand. During the years 1332 to 1338 ad he interviewed an Ethiopian jurisprudent from Zaila by ‘Abdallah ibn Yusuf az-Zailaiy. A resident in Cairo for a long time, he died in the sixties of the fourteenth century. Another informant of Al Umri was the Coptic Patriarch Benjamin who transmitted a report of a merchant named ‘Izzaddin on climate conditions and mineral resources in Abyssinia, mainly on mines of iron and gold, or silver. He also utilized the reports of a Nubian slave-trader on the very unpleasant practices on the castration of eunuch slaves, called Hawashiya, in Hadiya and the town of Washal or Washelo . The result is a detailed and vivid account of Abyssinia, its nature, vegetation, climate conditions and way of living of the inhabitants. The data so provided were extensively quarried by the great compilers of the next generation, the Egyptian encyclopedist al Qalqashand.
Ib Fadlallah Al Umri is the first Arab historian to write the details of the Seven Muslim Sultanates within near the boundary of Abyssinia, or within today's Ethiopia, ie; Awfat, Dwaro, Arabini, Hadiya, Sharha, Bali & Darah.
His work is referenced by renown World Historians and academic researchers when dealing with Medieval Abyssinia and their surrounding Muslim principalities in the Horn of Africa.