Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Farisi al-Istakhri (آبو إسحاق إبراهيم بن محمد الفارسي الإصطخري) (also Estakhri, Persian: استخری‎, i.e. from the Iranian city of Istakhr, b. - d. 957 AD [346AH][2]) was a 10th-century travel-author and geographer who wrote valuable accounts in Arabic of the many Muslim territories he visited during the Abbasid era of the Islamic Golden Age. There is no consensus regarding his origin. Some sources describe him as Persian,[1] while others state he was Arab.[3] The Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition states that his "biography is unknown, or almost so".[4] The Encyclopedia Iranica states: "Biographical data are very meager. From his nesbas (attributive names) he appears to have been a native of Eṣṭaḵr in Fārs, but it is not known whether he was Persian".[5]

Abū Ishāk al-Fārisī al-Iṣṭakhrī
Dieddied after 952[1]
Academic background
Academic work
EraIslamic Golden Age
School or traditionBalkhi school
Main interestsIslamic geography
Estakhri map, from the "Book of roads and kingdoms".
A map by Estakhri from the text Al-aqalim.
A map of the Persian Gulf by Estakhri.

Istakhri's account of windmills is the earliest known. Istakhri met the celebrated traveller-geographer Ibn Haukul, while travelling in the Indus Valley.[6] and Haukul's magnum opus, Kitab al-Surat al-Ard, incorporated the work of Istakhri.


Istakhri's two surviving works are:

  • Masalik al-Mamalik (مسالك الممالك, "Routes of the Realms")
  • Suwar al-Aqaaleem ( صور الاقاليم, "Pictures of the Regions")

Published EditionsEdit

An 8-volume edition of works by medieval Arab geographers, edited by the Dutch orientalist Michael Jan de Goeje in a series titled Bibliotheca geographorum Arabicorum was published by Brill, Lugduni-Batavora (Leiden) in the 1870s. An edition of Istakhri's MS text was produced for the first volume under the Latin title Viae Regnorum descriptio ditionis Moslemicae - "Description of Roads of the Kingdoms in Muslim territories". In 1927 the editor Theodore Noldeke produced a second edition.

In 1845 the German orientalist A. D. Mordtmann published a translation in Hamburg with the title Das Buch der Länder von Schech Ebu Ishak el Farsi el Isztachri, with a foreword by C. Ritter. (Schriften der Akademie von Ham Bd. 1, Abth. 2).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Shboul, Ahmad M. H. (1991). "Iṣṭakhrī, al-". In Kazhdan, Alexander (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504652-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ Mojtahed-Zadeh, Pirous. "The Persian Gulf in the Geographical Views of the Ancient World" In Cartographie Historique du Golfe Persique. Edited by M. Taleghani, D. Silva Couto, & J.-L. Bacque-Grammont. Louvain, Belgium: Diffusion, 2006. 17.
  3. ^ van Donzel, E.J., ed. (1994). Islamic Desk Reference (compiled from the Encyclopedia of Islam). Brill. p. 177. ISBN 978-9004097384.
  4. ^ Miquel, A. (2012). "al-Iṣṭak̲h̲rī". In P. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C.E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; W.P. Heinrichs (eds.). The Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition. BRILL Online.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  5. ^ Bolshakov 1998, pp. 646-647.
  6. ^ [1]


External linksEdit