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

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



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4                                    PREFACE.

interest of his own, either hy lauding his family or
nation, because he is one of them, or hy attacking
the family or nation on the opposite side, thinking that
thereby he can gain his ends. In both cases he acts
from motives of objectionable cupidity and animosity.

Another one tells a lie regarding a class of people
whom he likes, as being under obligations to them, or
whom he hates because something disagreeable has
happened between them. Such a reporter is near akin
to the first-mentioned one, as he too acts from motives
of personal predilection and enmity.

Another tells a lie because he is of such a base
nature as to aim thereby at some profit, or because he
is such a coward as to be afraid of telling the truth.

Another tells a lie because it is his nature to lie, and
he cannot do otherwise, which proceeds from the essen¬
tial meanness of his character and the depravity of his
innermost being.

Lastly, a man may tell a lie from ignorance, blindly
following others who told him.

If, now, reporters of this kind become so numerous
as to represent a certain body of tradition, or if in the
course of time they even come to form a consecutive
series of communities or nations, both the first reporter
and his followers form the connecting links between
the hearer and the inventor of the lie; and if the
connecting links are eliminated, there remains the
originator of the story, one of the various kinds of liars
we have enumerated, as the only person with whom we
have to deal.

That man only is praiseworthy who shrinks from a
lie and always adheres to the truth, enjoying credit
even among liars, not to mention others.

It has been said in the Koran, " Speak the truth, even if

it were against yourselves" (Sura, 4,134); and the Messiah

Page3-     expresses himself in the Gospel to this effect: ''Do not

mind the fury of kings in speaking the truth before them.
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