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

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



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madan con¬
quest of tlie
country by

Fifth rea¬
son : TI)o
of the Hin¬
dus, and
their de¬
preciation of

Now in the following times no Muslim conqueror
passed beyond the frontier of Kabul and the river Sindh
until the days of the Turks, when they seized the power
in Ghazna under the Samani dynasty, and the supreme
power fell to the lot of Nasir-addaula Sabuktagin.
This prince chose the holy war as his calling, and there¬
fore called himself ^/-^A(^2'i (i.e. warring on tlie road of
Allah). In the interest of his successors he constructed,
in order to weaken the Indian frontier, those roads
on which afterwards his son Yamin-addaula Mahmud
marched into India during a period of thirty years and
more. God be merciful to both father and son ! Mah¬
mud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country, and
performed there wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus
became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions,
and like a tale of old in the mouth of the people. Their
scattered remains cherish, of course, the most inveterate
aversion towards all Muslims. This is the reason, too,
why Hindu sciences have retired far away from those
parts of the country conquered by us, and have fled to
places which our hand cannot yet reach, to Kashmir,
Benares, and other places. And there the antagonism
between them and all foreigners receives more and
more nourishment both from political and religious

In the fifth place, there are other causes, the mention¬
ing of which sounds like a satire—peculiarities of their
national character, deeply rooted in them, but manifest
to everybody. We can only say, folly is an illness for
which there is no medicine, and the Hindus believe that
there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no
kings like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like
theirs. They are haughty, foolishly vain, self-conceited,
and stolid. They are by nature niggardly in communi¬
cating that which they know, and they take the greatest
possible care to withhold it from men of another caste
among their own people, still much more, of course.
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