The India Book (Urdu) Kitab Al Hind

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - By Ali Hasan

Abu Rihan Muhammad bin Ahmad, Alberuni as his compatriots called him was born about A.D. 973, in the territory of modern Khiva, then called Khwarizm. He came to as Ghazni as a prisoner of war (Sachau:viii). He was an astronomer, geometrician, historian and logician. He was so studious, his earliest biographer tells us "he never had a pen out of his hand, nor his eye ever off a book, and his thoughts were ever directed to his studies, with the exception of two days in the year". He was beyond comparison, superior to every man of his time in the art of composition, in scholarlike accomplishments, and in the knowledge of geometry and philosophy, and above all he had "most rigid regard for truth." (Elliot and Dowson:2) He accompanied Mahmud of Ghazni to India and stayed there for many years, chiefly, in all probability in the Punjab, studied the Sanskrit language and translated into it some works from the Arabic, and translated from it two treatises into Arabic (Elliot and Dowson:5). Sachau, translator of Alberuni's Indica believes Alberuni "composed about twenty books on India (Sachau:xxvii), both translations and original compositions, and a number of tales and legends, mostly derived from the ancient lore of Eran and India." He was indeed a prolific writer and his works are stated to have exceeded a camel-load. (Elliot and Dowson:3)
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