Alberuni and its description of India Useful notes 2022

Alberuni

alberuni
  • Alberuni was a famous scholar, philosopher, writer, and historian of the early medieval period.
  • He was a resident of the Khiva region of Madheshia.
  • When Mahmud of Ghazni conquered Khiva, he took Alberuni as a prisoner and brought him to Ghazni. Enchanted by his scholarship and talent, the Sultan honored him in his court.
  • During the Indian invasion of Alberuni, he used to come to India with him.
  • He saw India with his own eyes and studied the Sanskrit language deeply.
  • He read Indian pandits and Indian texts, studied Hindu religious texts, scriptures, and Indian epistemology, and exchanged ideas with Indian pandits and Brahmins.
  • On the basis of complete information about India and his understanding, Alberuni composed Teheek-e-Hind.
  • In this book, he has given a lively description of the then political, social, economic, religious, and cultural conditions of India.
  • Whatever he has written is closer to the truth and his effort is commendable.
  • He is the first Muslim scholar who described India by seeing himself.

Political Condition

  • Describing the political condition of India, Alberuni has written that India is a vast country, but there are small provincial states, most of which are Rajput rulers.
  • The country was divided into many small states. Kashmir, Sindh, Malwa, and Kannauj were the main states in these.
  • There was a lot of division and animosity in these states and they used to fight with each other over small reasons.
  • Due to not being afraid of foreign invasions, the Rajputs did not make any arrangements for the security of the North-West Frontier region of India.
  • Alberuni has given a good description of the justice-loving of the Rajputs here.
  • The Rajput kings were justice-loving. An application had to be submitted to get justice, but oral prayers could also be made.
  • The practice of getting all the posts was also prevalent. Cases were decided on the basis of evidence and witnesses.
  • Justice was not equal for all. Brahmins were free from the death penalty.
  • The penal legislation was not harsh, but practical. The punishment for the offense of theft was given according to the value of the money stolen.
  • For some offenses, the punishment of mutilation was also given.
  • The king considered doing public interest and publicity work as his religion.
  • Each state had a feudal system and high positions were given to the feudal lords.
  • These posts were traditional. The Rajputs could never bear the feeling of being under the control of a person belonging to their clan.
  • There was a good arrangement of land. One-sixth of it was taken from the farmers in the form of land.
  • It was the main source of income for the state. Taxes were collected from those having different professions and doing business. But this tax was not collected from them harshly.
  • Brahmins are free from all kinds of taxes.

Social Condition

  • Describing the social condition, Alberuni has written that the caste system was dominant in the society of that time. But there were many faults in the society of Rajputs, so their social progress was almost stopped.
  • The promotion of the practice of Sati and child marriage was very high. Widow marriage was not a practice. In marriage, the decisions of the parents were final.
  • The caste bond was so complex that inter-caste marriages were closed in society.
  • The ancient generosity and flexibility of Hindu society had vanished. He was unable to assimilate the foreigners into his society as before but had become extremely self-respecting.
  • He considered his society, religion, art, knowledge-science, theology, philosophy, and culture to be the best and was not ready to learn anything from anyone.
  • He was very hesitant to pass on his knowledge to people of other castes in his own society, Alberuni himself had great difficulty in studying science and philosophy.
  • The truth is that at this time India’s relations and contacts with foreign countries were severed. India was completely unfamiliar with the developments and inventions happening abroad.
  • This was the reason for his backwardness. Alberuni writes that Mahmud completely ended the prosperity of this country and such amazing persecution by which the Hindus became like dust particles scattered all around.
  • All this remained in the form of an old story from the mouths of the people, the remnants of the Hindus nurtured in their minds the Gautam feelings of hatred towards the Muslims only.
  • This is the reason why Indian learning has moved far away from the places we have conquered and migrated to Kashmir, Benares, and other places which our hands still cannot reach.

Economic Condition

  • Alberuni has clearly accepted that India was a prosperous country in those days.
  • The rich and affluent people collected business property in the temples and monasteries here and used their money in the construction of Praya Mandir.
  • Although India’s foreign trade relations had ended, due to the abundance of fertile land and minerals, the economic condition in India was good.

Religious Condition

  • Describing the religious condition of India, Alberuni has written that the Hindus were idolaters.
  • They worshiped many gods and goddesses. Idols of gods and goddesses were revered in the temples.
  • Superstitions and evils had arisen in Hinduism, people believed in witchcraft, omens, bad omens, ghosts, ghosts, mantras, etc.

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