Abul Fazl Allami on the gaz

A better, more recent translation is provided in the page on the guz.

The Ilahee Guz

Is a measure used in Hindostan. Formerly the guz was of three kinds, long, middling, and short. Each was divided into twenty-four parts, called Tesuj. A tesuj of the long guz was equal to the breadth of eight ordinary barley corns; and a tesuj of the last measured six barley corns. The long guz was used for measuring cultivated lands, roads, forts, reservoirs, and mud-walls. The middling guz served for measuring buildings of stone and wood, thatches, religious houses, wells, and gardens; and the short guz was employed for measuring cloth, armour, beds, palkees, chairs, carts, &c. In some other countries the guz consists of twenty-four tesujes; but they divide it after the following manner:—

12 Weheemahs make one Hebbah;
8 Hebbahs make one Zerrah;
12 Zerrahs make one Kitmeer;
8 Kitmeers make one Nekeer;
6 Nekeers make one Feteel;
6 Feteels make one Ful;
6 Mustard-seeds make one Barley-corn;
2 Barley-corns make one Hubbah;


4 Tesuj make one Dang;
6 Dangs make one Guz.

Others make the guz consist of twenty-four fingers, each measuring the breadth of six barley-corns, and each of the later being equal to the thickness of six hairs taken from the mane of a Yabu horse. In some ancient books the guz is said to consist of two spans and two inches; and this guz was divided into sixteen equal parts, each of which was subdivided into quarters, called P'her; so that the p'her was the sixty-fourth part of a guz. Other ancient authors say the guz was of seven kinds:
1st, The gus sowdah, consisting of twenty-four fingers, and two-thirds of a finger, which Haroon Resheed [Haroun Al Rasheed] measured from the hand of one of his Abyssinian slaves. The nilometer of Egypt is made after this measure, whch is also used for measuring cloths and buildings.
2nd, The Kusbeh guz, called also Aameh and Dowr, consists of twenty-four fingers, and was invented by Ebn Abyliclah.
3d, The Yousefy guz consists of twenty-five fingers, and is used at Baghdad for measuring buildings.
4th, The little Hasheemeeah guz [Hashemite guz], of twenty-eight fingers and a third, was invented by Belal, the son of Abeebirdeh; altho' some attribute it to Abu Musa Asharee.
5th, The long Hasheemeeah guz, was invented by Mansoor Abbassy [al-Mansour al-'Abbasi (reigned 136-158 A.H.)]. Both the Hesheemeeah guzes are called Guz Mullik and Guz Zeeadeeah, because Zeead [Ziyad], the adopted son of Abu Sofian, made use of them for measuring the Arabian irak.
6th, The Omareeah guz, of thirty-one fingers, was invented by the Khalif Omar [Caliph Umar (c. 581-644)]. Having added together the contents of the long, middling, and short guz, he took a third of the aggregate sum, and added four fingers to it. He closed both ends of the measure with tin, and sent it to Hezeefeh, and Osman the son of Hanif, in order that they might measure with it the Babylonian irak.
7th, The Mamooneah guz of sixty-nine fingers and a half, Mamoon Abassy invented and used it in measuring rivers, cultivated lands, and roads.

There was also formerly a guz consisting of twenty fingers, used for measuring cloths. The guz Mesahet, according to some, was also of twenty-eight fingers, whilst others make it of different lengths.

Sultan Secunder Loedee invented a guz in Hindostan, consisting of the breadth of forty-one iscunderees and a half, which was a round silver coin adulterated with copper: Hemaioon made it complete forty-two iscunderees. This guz is equal to thirty-two fingers; but according to some ancient authors, this guz was in use before the time of Loedee. Sheer Khan and Selim Khan, who abolished the custom of dividing the crops, and made a measurement of the cultivated lands, used this guz for that purpose.

Till the thirty-first year of the present reign, although the guz of Akber Shah, consisting of forty-six fingers, was used as a cloth measure, yet the secunderee guz was employed for every other purpose. His majesty taking into consideration the inconveniences arising from a multiplicity of measures, commanded that for all purposes there should be only one guz, consisting of forty-one fingers, and he named it the Ilahee guz.

Abū al-Fazl ibn Mubārak.
Francis Gladwin, translator.
Ayeen Akbery, or the Institutes of the Emperor Akber. Vol. 1.
London: Printed by G. Auld for J. Sewell, Vernor and Hood, &c., 1800.
Pages 281-283.

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