Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 1)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



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xii                                  PREFACE.

the ruining of the prosperity of the country was per¬
fectly out of place in the glorification of a Ghazi like

That it was not at all against the moral principles of
Alberuni to write such dedications to princes is shown
by two other publications of his, with dedications which
exhibit the customary Byzantinism of the time. In the
preface of the " Chronology of Ancient Nations " (trans¬
lated, &c., by Edward Sachau, London, 1879), he extols
with abundant praise the prince of Hyrcania or Jurjan,
Shams-alma'ali, who was a dwarf by the side of giant
Mahmud. The studied character of the neglect of
Mahmud in the 'IvStKa comes out more strongly if we
compare the unmerited praise which Alberuni lavishes
upon his son and successor. The preface of his Canon
Masudicus is a farrago of high-sounding words in
honour of King Mas'ud, who was a drunkard, and lost
in less than a decennium most of what his father's
sword and policy had gained in thirty-three years.
The tenor of this preface, taken from the manuscript
of the Eoyal Library in Berlin, is as follows:—

To those wholead the community of thebelievers in the
place of the Prophet and by the help of the Word of God
belongs "the king, the lord majestic and venerated, the
helper of the representative of God, the furtherer of the
law of God, the protector of the slaves of God, who
punishes the enemies of God, Abu-Said Mas'iid Ibn
Yamin-aldaula and 'Amin-almilla Mahmud—may God
give him a long life, and let him perpetually rise to
glorious and memorable deeds. For a confirmation of
what we here say of him lies in the fact that God, on
considering the matter, restored the right (i.e. the right
of being ruled by Mas ud) to his people, after it had been
concealed. God brought it to light. After he had been
in distress, God helped him. After he had been rejected,
God raised him, and brought him the empire and the
rule, after people from all sides had tried to get posses-
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