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

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



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  Page 109  

CHAPTER X.                                   109

man to demand sexual intercourse with him; then he
abstained from her during the whole time of her preg¬
nancy, since he wished to have from her a generous
offspring. This is identical with the third kind of
marriage among the Hindus.

2.   A second kind was this, that the one Arab said to
the other, "Cede me your wife, and I will cede you
mine," and thus they exchanged their wives.

3.   A third kind is this, that several men cohabited
with one wife. When, then, she gave birth to a child,
she declared w^ho was the father; and if she did not
know it, the fortune-tellers had to know it.

4.   The Nikdh-elmakt (= matrimonium exosum), i.e.
when a man married the widow of his father or of his
son, the child of such a marriage was called daizan.
This is nearly the same as a certain Jewish marriage,
for the Jews have the law that a man must marry the
widow of his brother, if the latter has not left children,
and create a line of descent for his deceased brother;
and the offspring is considered as that of the deceased
man, not as that of the real father. Thereby they want
to prevent his memory dying out in the world. In
Hebrew they call a man who is married in this way

There was a similar institution among the Magians. Marriage
In the book of Tausar, the great herhadh, addressed to ancient
Padashvar-girshah, as an answer to his attacks on
Ardashir the son of Babak, we find a description of the
institution of a man's being married as the substitute
for another man, which existed among the Persians.
If a man dies without leaving male offspring, people
are to examine the case. If he leaves a wife, they
marry her to his nearest relative. If he does not leave
a wife, they marry his daughter or the nearest related
woman to the nearest related male of the family.
If there is no woman of his family left, they woo by
means of the money of the deceased a woman for his
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