New (annotated) translation of the Arabic original document of *Simri

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on May 28th, 2011 in Arabia, Syria

Simri was a desert-bred Arabian horses of the Hamdani Simri strain imported by Homer Davenport to the USA in 1906. He did not leave any progeny. I have never seen a photo. I did this new translation of his hujjah from the original Arabic document, and have annotated it below:


“Blessings upon God who created horses from the Wind of the South (1), and put goodness in their forelocks (2), and domesticated them for [the benefit of] the Prophets — prayers and peace be upon them; the first who domesticated them was the Prophet Solomon Son of David — prayers and peace be upon both — and he said, after he became enamored with them: “Bring them back to us”, and went on stroking their necks and their legs (3); and [God] most high said: “by the racers, panting, and the chargers at dawn”(4); and [the Prophet Muhammad] prayers and peace be upon him said: Goodness is in the forelocks of horses (5); and there remained five of them (6), and from these came forth this blessed lineage;

And after that, the blonde (7) horse with a star and a snip that drinks with him (8), and his age is two years old as of today, is from that aforementioned lineage (9), and his dam is Hamdaniyat al-Simri of the horses of Sattam al-Sha’lan (10), she went from his slaves (11) to ‘Ali Effendi (12) al-Maghribi Zadah (13), and from him to the British pastor; and his sire is Kuhaylan al-‘Ajuz of the horses of Sa’id Agha (14) al-Bdeiwi (15), and from him he passed to Musa al-Sayyid from the notables of al-Midan in Damascus (16); on our honor and good fortune, we recognize and acknowledge and testify, we who put our names and seals [below] that the aforementioned and documented horse is from the best of asil (17) horses as was mentioned [above], and that is why this [document] was prepared in the month of Rabi’ al-Thani [date illegible]…”

[all seals illegible except one bearing the name of “Ali”](18)


(1) this phrase is derived from a folktale about the origin of Arabian horses.

(2) this phrase is derived from a saying [hadith] of the Prophet Muhammad.

(3) this part is taken from a legend about the thousand horses of Solomon, who distracted him from the prayer rituals, so according to one version of the legend, he ordered the 900 horses he had already looked at to be killed, and retained the remained 100 and stroked their necks and blessed them; all Arabians are said to trace to these 100.

(4) this is from the Qu’ran; surah 100, verse 1; and surah 100, verse 3.

(5) this is from a saying/hadith by the Prophet Muhammad (see note 2 above).

(6) this is a reference to Al-Khamsa, the five mares of the Prophet (a townsfolk legend of course).

(7) “ashqar”, literally blonde, but in this case meaning chestnut.

(8) this means that the extend extends all the way down the face to the upper lip, so that when the horse drinks, the blaze/snip “drinks with him”.

(9) this is a reference to the Hamdani strain being recognized to be one of the Khamsa.

(1o) Supreme leader of the Ruwalah, Lady Anne Blunt met him, he had recently died by the time of Davenport’s trip to the desert in 1906.

(11) Black slaves were a common occurence among tribal leaders, and remained so until the 1960s. They were trusted with all the sheykh’s belongings, which they often inherited upon his death, and often became very wealthy.

(12) Effendi is a Turkish title meaning “sir”. Here, Ali Effendi is a man from Damascus.

(13) Zadah is a Persian title also meaning “sir”.

(14) A Turkish title bestowed upon notables of Turkish and Kurdish descent and equivalent to “Bey”.

(15) Bdeiwi not sure about the translation.

(16) This is very interesting: Musa al-Sayyid is the same person as the owner of the sire of *Al-Mashoor imported to the USA some twenty years; see my translation *Al-Mashoor’s hujjah here. Musa seems to have been an owner of breeding stallions.

(17) one of the rare occurences of the term “asil” in a hujjah; it was clearly a term used mostly by townsfolk.

(18) General: hujjah definitely written by town people from Damascus, and the colt was born in Damascus out of a Bedouin mare of high repute, and sired by an Arabian horse standing at stud in Damascus.


One Response to “New (annotated) translation of the Arabic original document of *Simri”

  1. ‘and a snip that drinks with him’ … lovely! How tempted am I to put that on the foal description form when doing the DNA and microchip for Wetherby’s ?!!!

    What does it say of a mare that she was ‘passed on’ by her owner’s ‘slaves’?

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