Alberuni, Abu Rehan


Alberuni, Abu Rehan
(973-1048)
   A native of Khiva who joined Mahmud of Ghazni's service in 1017 when he was about 45 years of age. During his stay of 10 years in the Ghaznavid Empire, Alberuni was frequently moving between Ghazni, Multan, and Lahore. This enabled him to collect valuable information on the Hindu religion and associated sciences as well as sociopolitical institutions of 11th-century India. This information is presented in Alberuni's celebrated work, Kitab al-Hind (Describing India). Alberuni's description of In-dia is important because it represents an attempt to study Hinduism by a highly cultivated Islamic mind of the era when the dogmatism of post-Ghazali (d. 1112) orthodoxy had not yet become a dominant tendency in the Islamic intellectual tradition. It is also an important source and provides insights about the impact of Mahmud's plundering raids into northwestern India.

Historical dictionary of Medieval India. . 2011.

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