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

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



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ANNOTATIONS.                                  251

highest civil officials of Mahmud and Mas'ud, such as
Bu Sahl Zauzani, Bii Sahl Hamdiini, Bii Nasr Mushkan,
the minister of state, whose secretary Al-baihaki was, as

well as to the name of Alberuni(^n, 16), but never to the
names of the great military men (cf on titles in the Ghaz-
nawi empire, A. de Biberstein Kazimirski, Menoutchehri,
Paris, 1887, p. 308). Administrative skill was a legacy
left by the organisation of the Sasanian empire to the
Persians of later centuries, whilst military qualities seem
entirely to have disappeared among the descendants of
Rustam. For all the generals and officers of Mahmud
and Mas'ud were Turks, as Altuntash, Arslan Jadhib, Ari-
yarok, Bagtagin, Bilkatagin, Niyaltagin, Noshtagiu, &c.'
The Ghazna princes spoke Persian with their civil function¬
aries, Turkish with tlieir generals and soldiers (cf. Elliot,
History of India, ii. 81, 102).

P. 5. The Mutazila sect.—The dogma, God hets no know¬
ledge, is part of their doctrine on the qualities of God,
maintained especially by Mamar Ibn 'Abbad Al-Sulami.
(Gf. on this and related subjects the treatise of H. Steiner,
Die Mutaziliten oder die Freidenker im Islctni, Leipzig,
1865, pp. 50, 52, 59, and Al-Shahrastanl's " Book of Reli¬
gious and Philosophical Sects," edited by Cureton, London,
1846, p. 30,11. 7-9). Proceeding from the study of Greek
philoso]3hy, the doctors of this school tried to save the
free will of man as against predestination. There was
once in Arabic a large literature composed by them and
by their opponents, most of which is unknown, at all
events not yet brought to light. Most of these books
were of a polemical nature, and it is against their polemi¬
cal bias that the criticism of Alberuni is directed. With
regard to his own work, he expressly declares (p. 7) that
it is not a polemical one. The book which Abu-Sahl had
before him, and which gave rise to the discussion between
him and our author, was probably one like that of Abul-
liasan Al-'ash'ari (died a.i,>. 935), the great predecessor of
Alghazzali, " On the Qualities of God," in which he attacks
the Mutazila doctrine of the negation of God's omni¬
science. (Gf. W. Spitta, Zitr Geschichte Abidhasctn Al-
^AsKaris, Leipzig, 1876, p. 64.) The same author has
also written an extensive work against the antagonists of
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