Safarnama by Khusraw

Khusraw’s Safarnama includes much of his writings.  It tackles the historical era, that witnessed many events and changes, especially the riots caused by the Qarmatians. That era has witnessed the emergence of many creeds, to one of which Khusraw belongs, that is the Ismailia. It has, clearly, had a great influence over his writings. This could be seen in the way he tackles his faith- related feelings. To explain, he belongs a group, even if it can be called many names, the members of the group share the very basic false belief. As mentioned in the book Creeds, this group promote their beliefs in every possible form. Their most famous title is Batiniyyah. They are called so for their belief that everything has two sides: inner (Batin), and the surface or the outer side(Alzaher).

They have many titles: in Iraq, they are called: Batiniyyah, Qarmatians, mazdakism, while in Khorasan, they are called: the educator, and the atheist.

And they say: we are the Ishmaelites, and we are distinguished from the sects of the Shiites by this name. They are called this after Imam Isma’il ibn Ja’far. They confuse their beliefs with some of the philosophers’ words, and insult the divine entity, in addition to,  an endless series of false beliefs and thoughts.

They have instilled their hatred for the Arabs [in every generation], and have for so long considered themselves distinguished. Besides, they have attempted to have their many creeds seem related to Islam. Therefore, they have worked secretly, established conspiracies to destroy their adversaries with revolutions at times, and with a convincing call – as Khusraw’s book- at other times. They have been raised to sanctify their kings and recognize their divine authority. Moreover, their retaliation against the Arabs has been clearly  evident in their dealings, and their writings, as seen in the  Shahnameh, and Khusraw’s Safarnama. And the Arabs have fallen between the populism of the Turks and the Persians and their nationalism.

Nasser has grown up in a Sunni family. He has read philosophy, and learned about the different doctrines that have taken place in Khorasan. Yet, later, he has experienced a confusion that almost reached atheism, so he has decided to take a trip to the Levant, Egypt and the Hijaz .

He begins his journey from (Merv) in 437 AH and, then, the Levant through Manbij, Aleppo and Ma ‘arat al-Nu ‘man. In this city, he visits Abu Alaa al-Ma ‘ari, and, then continues his way to Egypt, reaching it in 439AH. He has approached the Fatimid caliph Al-Mustansir Billah, declared his loyalty, and converted to the Fatimid sect of Ismaili. He then visits Mecca as a pilgrim, accompanied by the messenger of the Fatimid Caliph, and returns, after his pilgrimage, to Egypt, according to the sources and his travelling book.

In 444 AH, he returns to (Balkh) through Al-Ahsa and Basra, and ends up in Khorasan. And then, he moves from there to Mazandaran, where he stays for a long time, persuading people to convert to his doctrine. Indeed, many of them have converted to his doctrine. This  has provoked the government and his family have boycotted him. Thus, he emigrated to (Yamgan), and there he begins to write books and letters about his doctrine. Some of these books have been inspired by the Fatimid caliph. Although the reasons behind journey are illustrated, still,  it proves the Persian hatred, as reflected in the Persian historians’ writings about Arabs history and Islamic conquest.

Khusraw has written about his journeys.  His books go under the geographical category as he has documented what was seen, yet, his doctrine-related beliefs and the different ways he followed to approach the divine ruler, have dominated his writings, rather than following a truthful, scientific methods.

It is enough to conclude my article with Khusraw’s belief that  the Arabs have nothing to do with Islam. He goes further by establishing a comparison between Persia and the Arabian Peninsula, with its desert soil. He shouldn’t have compared between the two for the lack equivalence. Yet, he has done so to degrade the Arabs.