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

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



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32                             ALBERUNPS INDIA.

be carefully worded, as the following example shows.
Some Hindu scholar calls God a point, meaning to say
thereby that the qualities of bodies do not apply to him.
Now some uneducated man reads this and imagines,
God is as small as cc point, and he does not find out
what the word point in this sentence was really intended
to express. He will not even stop with this offensive
comparison, but will describe God as much larger, and
will say, "Heis twelve fingers longandtenfingersbroad."
Praise be to God, who is far above measure and number !
Further, if an uneducated man hears what we have
mentioned, that God comprehends the universe so that
nothing is concealed from him, he will at once imagine
that this comprehending is effected by means of eye¬
sight ; that eyesight is only possible by means of an eye,
and that two eyes are better than only one ; and in con¬
sequence he will describe God as having a thousand eyes,
meaning to describe his omniscience.

Similar hideous fictions are sometimes m.et with
among the Hindus, especially among those castes who
ai'e not allowed to occupy themselves with science, of
whom we shall speak hereafter.
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