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

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



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On this subject the ancient Greeks   held nearlv the Notions of

.                                                                                           the Greeks

same view as the Hindus, at all events in those times andthesAfi
before philosophy rose high among them under the care phers as to

tliG Fivst

of the seven so-called pillars of wisdom, viz. Solon of cause.
Athens, Bias of Priene, Periander of Corinth, Thales of
Miletus, Chilon of Lacedasmon, Pittacus of Lesbos, and
Cleobulus of Lindos, and their successors. Some of Page i6.
them thought that all things are one, and this one thing
is according to some to XavddveLv, according to others
rj SvvaiJ.L's; that e.g. man has only this prerogative
before a stone and the inanimate world, that he is by
one degree nearer than they to the Fi7'st Cause. But
this he would not be anything better than they.

Others think that only the First Cause has real exist¬
ence, because it alone is self-sufficing, whilst everything
else absolutely requires it; that a thing which for its
existence stands in need of something else has only a
dream-life, no real life, and that reality is only that one
and frst being (the First Cause).

This is also the theory of the Sufis, i.e. the sages. Origin of
for svf means in Greek wisdom (a-oclna). Therefore a sufi.
philosopher is called paildsopd (f/)tA.oa-o(j6os), i.e. loving
wisdom. When in Islam persons adopted something
like the doctrines of th.&^Qp)hilosophers, they also adopted
their name ; but some people did not understand the
meaning of the word, and erroneously combined it with

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