The Canal of Zubayda

There is a popular belief that Zubayda the daughter of Ja’far (died 10 July 831 AD) and wife of the famous Caliph Haroon Ur Rasheed had constructed a thousands of kilometer long water canal right from Baghdad to the holy city of Mecca. But the reality is a bit different. In actual she had built huge water reservoirs at various locations en route to Mecca from Baghdad. These reservoirs were built in vast valleys and deserts where infrequent rain was the only source of water and the travelers would not find wells at vast distances. This was done to facilitate the pilgrims travelling between Baghdad and the holy city of Mecca.

The famous traveller Ibn Batuta talks about these water reservoirs in his famous travelogue (Ibn Batuta: Travels in Asia and Africa, 1325-1354 AD) while he was traveling to Baghdad (year 1326 AD) after the pilgrimage, an excerpt of which is shown in the picture below

Excerpt from the Ibn Batuta’s Travelogue

In addition, she had also ordered to built a water channel from a well near Hunayn (a city between Mecca and Ta’if) to Arafat to cater for the needs of pilgrims. The remains of this water channel are still there and can be visited near Arafat.

Remains from Canal of Zubayda Near Arafat, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Leave a Reply