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

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



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Tliird rea¬
son : Tlie
radical dif¬
ference of
their man¬
ners and

thereby, they think, they would be polluted. They
consider as impure anything which touches the fire
and the water of a foreigner; and no household can
exist without these two elements. Besides, they never
desire that a thing which once has been polluted should
be purified and thus recovered, as, under ordinary cir¬
cumstances, if anybody or anything has become unclean,
he or it would strive to regain the state of purity.
They are not allowed to receive anybody who does not
belong to them, even if he wished it, or was inclined to
their religion. This, too, renders any connection with
them quite impossible, and constitutes the widest gulf
between us and them.

In the third place, in all manners and usages they
differ from us to such a degree as to frighten their
children with us, with our dress, and our ways and
customs, and as to declare us to be devil's breed, and
our doings as the very opposite of all that is good and
proper. By the by, we must confess, in order to be
just, that a similar depreciation of foreigners not only
prevails among us and the Hindus, but is common to
all nations towards each other. I recollect a Hindu
who wreaked his vengeance on us for the following

Some Hindu king had perished at the hand of an
enemy of his who had marched against him from our
country. After his death there was born a child to
him, which succeeded him, by the name of Sagara.
On coming of age, the young man asked his mother
about his father, and then she told him what had hap¬
pened. Now he was inflamed with hatred, marched
out of his country into the country of the enemy, and
plentifully satiated his thirst of vengeance upon them.
After having become tired of slaughtering, he compelled
the survivors to dress in our dress, which was meant as
an ignominious punishment for them. When I heard
of it, I felt thankful that he was gracious enough not
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