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

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

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254
 

ALBERUNTS INDIA.
 

creed, not Buddhists. In the countries where he had
lived, in Khwarizm, Jurjan, the country round Ghazna
(Zabulistan), and the Panjab, there had been no oppor¬
tunity for studying Buddhism ; and also among the nume¬
rous soldiers, officers, artisans, and other Indians in the
service of MahmM in Ghazna and other places, there do
not seem to have been Buddhists, or else Alberuni would
have used such occasions for filling out this blank in his
knowledge.

In the Fihrist (ed. G. Flligel, Leipzig, 1871), on p.
ri^l—roi there is an extensive report on India and China,
which is derived from the following sources :■—

1.   The account of Abu-Dulaf of YanbiY, who had
travelled to India and China about A.D. 941.

2.   That of a Christian monk from Najran, who by order
of the Nestorian Katholikos had also travelled to India
and China in the years A.D. 980-987.

3.   From a book dated A.D. 863, of an unknown author,
a book which had passed through the hands of the famous
Alkindi. Was this perhaps the work of Aleranshahri, and
the note on Buddha on p. TPv by Zurkan ?

The origin of the chapter on Indian subjects in Shah¬
rastani (ed. Cureton, London, 1846), on p. rpp seq. is not
known. At all events, this author has not made use of
Alberuni's work.
 

Pp. 7-8. Greeks, Svtfis, Ghristiavs.—In order to illustrate
the ideas of the Hindus, and to bring them nearer to the
understanding of his Muslim readers, Alberuni quotes
related ideas—

1.   Of the Greeks (cf. i. 24).

2.   The Christians.

3.   The Jews.

4.   The Manichseans ; and

5.  The Sufis.

Pantheism in Islam, the doctrine of the Siifts, is as near
akin to the Neoplatonic and Neopythagorean schools of
Greek philosophy as to the Vedanta school of Hindu
philosophers. It was in our author's time already repre¬
sented by a very large literature. He quotes some Sufi
sentences, e.g. of Abu Bakr Al-shibli, and Abu Yazid
Albistami, v/ho are known from other sources (i. 87, 88),
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