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

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



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34                         ALBERUNPS INDIA.

the Arabic word suffa, as if the Sitfl ( — <.IhX6o-o<^ol) were
identical with the so-called 'Ahl-assuffa among the com¬
panions of Muhammad. In later times the word was
corrupted by misspelling, so that finally it was taken for
a derivation from s'df,i.Q. the woolofgocds. Abu-alfath
Albusti made a laudable effort to avoid this mistake
when he said, " From olden times people have differed
as to the meaning of the word silfi, and have thought
it a derivative from sUf, i.e. wool. I, for my part,
understand by the word a youth who is sdfi, i.e. pure.
This sdfi has become .svbfi, and in this form the name
of a class of thinkers, the S4fi."

Further, the same Greeks think that the existing
world is only one thing; that the First Cause appears in
it under various shapes; that the power of the First
Cause is inherent in the parts of the world under dif¬
ferent circumstances, which cause a certain difference of
the things of the world notwithstanding their original

Others thought that he who turns with his whole
being towards the First Cause, striving to become as
much as possible similar to it, will become united with
it after having passed the intermediate stages, and
stripped of all appendages and impediments. Similar
views are also held by the Sufi, because of the similarity
of the dogma.

As to the souls and spirits, the Greeks think that
they exist by themselves before they enter bodies ; that
they exist in certain numbers and groups, which stand
in various relations to each other, knowing each other
and not knowing ; that they, whilst staying in bodies,
earn by the actions of their free-will that lot which
awaits them after their separation from the bodies,
i.e. the faculty of ruling the world in various ways.
Therefore they called them gods, built temples in their
Gaicnus. uamcs and offered them sacrifices; as Galenus says in
his   book  called   TrpoTpe-n-TLKos els ras Te;)(i/as :   " Excel-
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