When I saw that God Most High has caused the Sun of Fortune to rise in the Zodiac of the Turks, and set their Kingdom among the spheres of Heaven; that He called them “Turk“, and gave them Rule; making them kings of the Age, and placing in their hands the reins of temporal authority; appointing them over all mankind, and directing them to the Right; that He strengthened those who are affiliated to them, and those who endeavor on their behalf; so that they attain from them the utmost of their desire, and are delivered from the ignominy of the slavish rabble ;- (then I saw that) every man of reason must attach himself to them, or else expose himself to their falling arrows. And there is no better way to approach them than by speaking their own tongue, thereby bending their ear, and inclining their heart. And when one of their foes comes over to their side, they keep him secure from fear of them; then others may take refuge with him, and all fear of harm be gone !
I heard from one of the trustworthy informants among the Imams of Bukhara, and from another Imam of the people of Nishapur: both of them reported the following tradition, and both had a chain of transmission going back to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and grant him peace. When he was speaking about the signs of the Hour and the trials of the end of Time, and he mentioned the emergence of the Oguz Turks, he said: “Learn the tongue of the Turks, for their reign will be long”. Now if this Hadith is sound – and the burden of proof is on those two ! – then learning it is a religious duty; and if it is not sound, still Wisdom demands it.
The Turks are, in origin, twenty tribes. they all trace back to Turk, son of Japheth, son of Noah, God’s blessings be upon them. Each tribe has branches whose number only God knows. I shall mention only the great tribes and leave the little ones, except for the branches of the Oguz-Turkman – their branches I shall mention, along with the brands of their cattle, since people need to know them.
(In the following list) I outline the geographical position of each of their tribes in the eastern world. They are listed in the order (from West) to East, both pagan and Muslim, beginning with those closest to Rum. [Rome -Ed.]. First is: Bajanak -Bəçənək, then: Qifjaq -Qıfçaq, then Uguz – Oğuz, then: Yemak – Yemək, then: Bashgirt – Başğırt, then: Yasmil – Basmıl, then: Qay, then: Yabaqu, then: Tatar, then: Qirqiz – Qırqız. The last one is closest to Shin – Şın. All of these tribes are opposite Rum, extending toward the East.
Then: Jikil – Çigil, then:Tukhsy – Tuxsi, then: Yaqma – Yağma, then: Oqraq – Oğraq, then: Jaruq – Çaruq, then: Jumul – Çömül, then: Uyqur – Uyğur, then: Tankut – Tanqut, then: Xitay which is Shin – Şın, then: Tawqaj – Tawğaç which is Mashin – Maşın. These tribes are middling between South and North.
The most elegant of the dialects belongs to those who know only one language, who do not mix with Persians, and who do not customarily settle in other lands. Those who have two languages and who mix with the populace of the cities have a certain slurring in their utterances – for example, Soqdaq -Soğdaq, Kanchak – Kənçək and Arqu -Arğu. [Soqdaq are Sogdians, a Turkic tribe that used to live in the territory, currently known as Uzbekistan Republic. Kanchak/Kənçək is a Turkic tribe that left its trace in the name of the city and region of Ganja in Azerbaijan Republic. -Ed]. The second category are such as Khotan, Tubut – Tübüt and some of Tangut – this class are settlers in the lands of the Turks.
The people of Mashin and of Shin have a language of their own, although the sedentary population know Turkic well and their correspondence with us is in the Turkic script. [By language of their own, Mahmud al Kashagari means a different dialect of the same Turkic language, not absolutely different type of language. The same principle he applied to Uighurs, Chomul,Qay,Tatar,Basmil by stating that they had their own language.-Ed]
Tubut have a language of their own. Khotan also have both a script and a language of their own. Both of these do not know Turkic well.
The Uighur have a pure Turkic language, and also another language which they speak among themselves. (And they have two) writing systems, one in the Turkic script composed of twenty-five letters which I have enumerated above and in which their correspondence is written, and another which they have in common with Sin and in which they write their scriptures and registers – no one can read it except their priests. [When bringing forward two writing systems of Uighurs, the author means the Turkic script, utilizing Arabic alphabet. The script common for Sin and Uyghurs, was a Turkic runic script.-Ed].Those that I have named to this point are sedentary people.
Among the nomadic peoples are the Chomul / Çömül -they have a gibberish of their own, but also know Turkic; also Qay, Yabaqu, Tatar and Basmil -each of these groups has its own language, but they know Turkic well. Then Qirqiz, Qifchaq, Oguz, Tukhsi, Yagma, Chigil, Ograq, and Charuq -they speak pure Turkic, a single language. Approaching these is the language of Yamak and Bashgirt.
As for the language of Bulghar – Bulğar, Suvar, and Bachanak – Bəçənək, approaching Rum, it is Turkic of a single type with clipped ends.
The lightest of the dialects is that of Oguz. the most correct is that of Yagma and Tukhsi, and those who dwell on the rivers Ila, Artish,Yamar, and Atil, as far as the country of Uighur. The most elegant is that of the Khaqani kings and those who associate with them.
Kashgar has villages in which Kanchaki is spoken, but in the main city (they speak) Khaqani Turkic.
The main part of the lands of the Turks, from the area next to Rum up to Mashin, is five thousand farsakhs long by three thousand wide, making a total of eight thousand farsakhs.
I have mentioned all of these sub-tribes because they must be known. These brands are all signs of their animals and horses. Each branch knows its cattle by means of these signs when they mingle. These are the principle sub-tribes. Then each sub-tribe is composed of sub-branches, which I have omitted for the sake of brevity. The names of these sub-tribes are the names of their ancestors who gave birth to them in olden times. They trace back their ancestry to them…
Əgin – a piece of cloth that is a span and a half wide and four cubits long; the Suvar use it for their merchandise. [A Turkic tribe Suvar were specializing in selling this particular garment. The Turkic word Suvar consists of two words – Suv ‘water’ + Ar ‘a man’, meaning ‘people living near water’.- Ed]
Ewə – a branch of the Oguz.
Ila – name of a river. [Currently known as the Ili River, it is situated in northwestern China and southeastern Kazakhstan.- Ed]. On its banks camp two tribes of the Turks, namely Yagma and Tuxsi, and a group of Chigil. It is the “Jayhun” of the Turk country.
Ədgiş – a tribe of the Turks who have settled in Özgənd. Its root-form is the metathesis of this: Əgdiş.
Oğraq – a tribe of the Turks inhabiting a frontier district called Qara Yiğaç.