Albiruni (An Eleventh Century Historian) - An Old Book

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Item Code: NAH120
Author: Dr. J.S. Mishra
Publisher: Vishwavidyalaya Prakashan, Varanasi
Language: English
Edition: 1985
Pages: 94
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 220 gm
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About the Book

In this original and significant study the author tries to show biographical and historical background of the academic achievements of Albiruni, the scholar of Science and human ties, the eleventh century Arab historian who composed hundreds of books on different subjects, His monumental work entitled 'Tahqiq ma-lil Hind, was written on the material life, culture, history, philosophy and science of Indian people. The present book for the first time throws light on the method, approach, treatment of history and historiography of Albiruni who supplies ample information about this country. In this regard he sur-pasees the Greek traveller Megasthanese and Chinese travellers Fa-Hian and Hiuen-tsang.

About the Author

Dr. J.S. Mishra (b. 1939 ) Reader in the Deptt. of History, Banaras Hindu University, was educated in B. H. U. Aftar serving Islamia Degree College (1961), Srinagar Kashmir University and Kurukshetra University ( 1964-65) he joined B. H U. in July 1965. In 1958 got the award of Bombay Board of Education for biographical sketch. In 1970 he received Acharya Narendra Deva National Award from U. P. Government. Basidas several research articles his publications include Indian History and Culture (1968), Eleventh Century India (1968) and Social History of Ancient India (1974), its second and third revised editions were published in 1981 and l983.


Albiruni was an outstanding Arab historian of early medieval time who enjoyed deep affection and profound respect of his countrymen as well as gratitude of the entire Muslim world. He was a great intellectual of eleventh century whose books and writings contain a distinctive concept of humanistic ideals. He has written over a hundred books on various subjects including science, philosophy, religion, geography and history. 'Tahqiq-ma-lil Hind' is one of his monumental works in which he has dealt with amazing clarity about Indian subjects like science, maths. geography, philosophy, history and religion. Hence, he can be rightly compared with Greek traveller Megasthanese and Chinese travellers Fa-Hian and Hiuen-tsang of ancient India.

The eleventh century stands out as one of the landmarks of Indian history when Mahmud of Gazan, a patron of Albiruni, invaded India more than twenty-six times. But these invasions of his master did not affect him and he kept himelf peacefully engaged in his objective writing" In this way Albiruni was a unique person who always devoted himself in academic pursuits.

The present work deals for the very first time about Albiruni's life., work, stay and travel in India. Beside this the estimate of is work has been done histrographically.

I find it difficult to express my feeling of gratitude to Prof, L. Singh, Prof. R. S. Sharma, Prof. Irfan Habib and Prof. J. N. Vajpeyi who gave their suggestions in course of this study. Ofcourse I am myself responsible for any errors concerning with this work.

I express my gratefulness to my esteemed colleagues Dr. K.L. Srivastava, Dr. J. Chaubey, Dr. L. Rai (History Department), Prof. P.K. Jha (Head, Deptt. of French Studies), and Sri P.K. Roy (Social Science Faculty) who helped in preparing the manuscript.

I am thankful to the University Grants Commission which has given a grant through Banaras Hindu University for its publication. The author is thankful to Sri Purushottam Das Modi, of Vishwavidyalaya Prakashan, Varanasi for his active cooperation in publishing.

I beg pardon from the readers

not providing diacritical marks for sanskrit words.

In the last I must express my thanks to my wife Mrs. Vidya Mishra and sons Asim and Navin for preparing the index.


I.Albiruni's Life and CareerJan-23
His stay in India9
His travel in India11
His work13
II.The Treatment of History in Tahqiq-Ma-Lil-Hind24-54
Historical Objectivity24
Versatile Knowledge26
Arab liking of Indology27
Abu-Sahl's inspirations28
Albiruni's book Tahqiq-ma-lil Hind29
Albiruni's sources of information34
(A) Reporters' information35
(B) Study of original books37
(C) Knowledge based on translated works38
(D) Albiruni's self-observations39
Albiruni's general standard of judgement43
The Comparative and Critical way of Albiruni's description45
The specialty of Albiruni's approach46
III.Albirunis View About Hindu Social Formation55-74
Materialist approach55
Restrictions on Hindu social order55
Four Varnas56
Untouchable and professional class60
Conversion of Hindu slaves63
Spiritualistic and materialistic division of life64
Hindu marriage and family life67
Restricted Marriage69
Status of women70

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