Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 2)

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



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 146  

146                        ALBERUNTS INDIA.

among them, in consequence of which the one requires
the other. According to the same principle, God has
created the world as containing many differences in
itself. So the single countries differ from each other,
one being cold, the other warm ; one having good
soil, water, and air, the other having bitter salt soil,
dirty and bad smelling water, and unhealthy air.
There are still more differences of this kind ; in some
cases advantages of all kinds being numerous, in others
few. In some parts there are periodically return¬
ing physical disasters; in others they are entirely
unknown. All these things induce civilised people
carefully to select the places where they want to build

That which makes people do these things is usage
and custom. However, religious commands are much
more powerful, and influence much more the nature of
man than usages and customs. The bases of the latter
are investigated, explored, and accordingly either kept
or abandoned, whilst the bases of the religious com¬
mands are left as they are, not inquired into, adhered
to by the majority simply on trust. They do not argue
over them, as the inhabitants of some sterile region do
not argue over it, since they are born in it and do not
know anything else, for they love the country as their
fatherland, and find it difficult to leave it. If, now,
besides physical differences,-the countries differ from
each other also in law and religion, there is so much
attachment to it in the hearts of those who live in them
that it can never be rooted out."
On Benares The Hiudus havo somo places which are venerated
asylum. for rcasous connected with their law and religion, e.g.
Benares (Baranasi). For their anchorites wander to it
and stay there for ever, as the dwellers of the Ka'ba
stay for ever in Mekka. They want to live there to
the end of their lives, that their reward after death
should be the better for it.    They say that a murderer
  Page 146