Dr Khalid’s book on agriculture, and horticulture launched

951430By Yahya Al Salmani — MUSCAT: March 11 – During the Muscat book exhibition, Dr Khalid al Wahaibi launched ‘Bughit al Falahin fi al Ashjar al Muthmiraal Wa al Raiahin,’ a book which deals with agriculture science and horticulture (Ilm al Filaha)  according to the knowledge spreading in Islamic world during the Middle Ages. Its Arabic translation means “What the farmer needs in fruiting trees and aromatic plants”. The book is composed by Al Malik al Afdhal, Al Abbas Ali b Dauad al Ghassani al al Rasuli and studied and edited by Dr Khalid.
The book contains theoretical and practical knowledge about agriculture known and practiced in different geographical places such as Spain, Bilad al Sham, Asia Minor, Iraq, and Yemen stretched in history from 6th century to 14th century. However, the Yemen’s experience is most revealed in than other experiences and existed in most chapters of the book.
This book integrates both theoretical knowledge and practical skills and comprises science, myth and folklore. In addition, the book gathers information from other arts and sciences such as Arabic lexicons, Geography, Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh), Astronomy, Medicine, Pharmacology and Botany.
The work in this project is divided in two parts. The first part studies the author and the manuscripts of the book, and the methodology used in editing the text.  While the second part concentrates on editing the Arabic text through processes of comparison between the manuscripts. It also clarifies all the ambiguous and rare  words, terms, names of plants, and all places.  This distinctive work exists in two volumes including the list of indexes in second volume.
“Currently, this book ranks the most comprehensive book on Agriculture and Horticulture practiced in Yemen in the period  of Bani Rasul. It is an important source for the crops farmed in different locations in Yemen in the period of Bani Rasul”, he added.
The book also is an important source for plants and minerals in Yemen and it’s utilisation in medical treatments and pharmacology in the period of  Bani Rasul.  Besides, this book is an important source for the standard measurement used in Yemen in the period of  Bani Rasul. And it is a great reference for the productivity of the  agriculture land and taxes imposed on it in Yemen in the of period of Bani Rasul.
“There is no exaggeration if I said that this piece of work is an imperative source for the knowledge about the movement of plants and crops from Asia and Africa to Yemen in Middle Ages and in the period of Bani Rasul. It provides detailed information about the Rasulid Sultans’ attentions and care on agriculture”, he asserted.
In general, the book discuses a number of issues concerning agriculture and horticulture such as agriculture land and types of soil suitable for cultivation, types of fertilisers, types of waters and their quality and the devices used to extract water from the deep ground, plowing and turning over the soil, agriculture almanac and farming schedules.
Dr Khalid has been working as an assistant professor, History Department, College of Arts, Qaboos University, since 1999. He is interested in political and economic history of Arab East and editing Arab manuscripts.