AN ISLAMIC CLASSIFICATION OF CRAFTSMANSHIP – THE PHILOSOPHY OF HONOURING LABOUR FORCE

AN ISLAMIC CLASSIFICATION OF CRAFTSMANSHIP
THE PHILOSOPHY OF HONOURING LABOUR FORCE

Islamic Craftsmen
Islamic Craftsmen

The manual of Rasaill Ikhwan as-Safa

I wonder if any society ha given so much dignity to labour by classifying all kinds of work in simple and lucid terms.

The materials used by craftsmen fall into two categories, simple and complex.

1. SIMPLE MATERIAL.

a. WATER:
Sailor
Water-carrier
Maker or sellers of syrup
Swimmers

b. EARTH:
Digger of wells
Digger of rivers
Diggers of canals
Miners
Grave diggers

c. FIRE:
Naphtha-extractor
Torch bearer
Stoker

d. AIR:
Piper
Trumpeter

e. WATER AND EARTH:
Potter
Porcelain maker
Earthenware-pot seller
Milk-beater

2. COMPLEX MATERIALS
a. MINERAL:
Smith
Coppersmith
Lead-worker
Glazier
Goldsmith

b. VEGETABLE:

x. Basic vegetable material.
Carpenter
Palm-leaf seller
Rush-mat seller
Reed-mat seller
Basket-maker

y. Bark:
Flax-spinner
Hemp-worker
Paper-worker

z. Secondary vegetable material leaves, flowers, fruit, seed etc)
Flour dealer
Pressers
Rice dealer
Seed dealer
Sesame dealer

c. ANIMAL
1. Animals
Hunter
Shepherds
Cowherds
Grooms
Farrier
Bird-keepers
2. Animal bodies
Butcher
Roaster
Cook
Tanner
Shoe-maker
Cobbler
Leather-worker
Leather bottle maker
Sandal maker
3. Quantities of Bodies
Weigher
Measurer
Cubit-measurer
Money-changer
Market crier
Evaluator
4. Human bodies
Physician
Barber

Labour Class
Labour Class

SECOND CLASSIFICATION ACCORDING TO TOOLS

1. Those who use their own limbs and no implements.
a. The Tongue:
Preacher
Poet
Judge
Reader
b. The Eyes:
Sentinel
Watchman
c. Hand and Tongue:
Weaver
Wailing woman
d. Whole body:
Dancer
Swimmer

2. Those who use tools.
a. One tool
Trumpeter
Piper
Drummer
b. Two tools
Tailor
Scribe

CLASSIFICATION ACCORDING TO MOVEMENT
a. Permanent movement:
Messenger
Surveyor
b. Permanently seated:
Garment mender
Carder
c. Permanently standing:
Carder
Rice grinder

Well Digging
Well Digging

BESIDES OTHER CLASSIFICATIONS FOR WEAVING, AGRICULTURE, AND BUILDING. AS WELL AS LUXURY TRADES AND CRAFTS INHERITED FROM NOBILITIES.

The classification s simply amazing. It includes all human labour in a classification so bizarre that it makes you laugh as well as amazement at its fullness of the human venture.

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