By Ibn Khurradādhbih, Sulaymān al-Tājir, trans. S. Maqbūl Aḥmad
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Additional info for Arabic classical accounts of India and China
Al-f� u sayn al-Mas'udi, in Islamic Cuitu"e, Vo l. XXVIII, No. ·1, October 1 954, p. 5 1 1 ). ( 1 3 ) ' Si r a f was a n important POrt i n the Middle Ages . situated on the east of the Gulf. 1 ts ruins are placed at Bender Tahiri, Lal. 2 7° 3 8 ' N. It was destroyed in 'a n earthquake i n A . D . 977 (Sauvaget, Akhbd,', p. 4 1 , 13/1 ; cf. S. Maqbul Ahmad, Indo-A" ab Relations, pp. 82·-83). 'The BanC, al -$ a ffaq , who belonged to the tribe of Azd, constitu ted an i m p o rt a n t group of people who lived along the I r an i an coast of the Gulf towards the end of the ninth century (Sauvaget, Akhbtir, p.
D Their religion originated in India;' they assert that i t were the Indians who procured their idols for them, and that they are the people who possess religion. The inhabi tants of both the countries believe in metempsychosis,] but they differ in the details (furu,'lit. consequences) of their religious practices. The Indians have medicine and philosophy. The Chinese also have medicine,' but their medical scien ce i s " In I sla m a bath i s prescribed after every act resulting i n impurity. b The word used is istanja which again means cleaning with water i n the prescribed form.
So, do not b e deceived with life after t h i s . ' [ S h e continues r o speak] i n t h i s manner for three days. Then, sandalwood, camphor and saffron are prepared [and applied over the corpse] and he is cremated. Then the ashes are flung intO the air. ' All I ndians cremate their dead ones. Sarandib is the last of the islands and is one of the lands of I ndia. Some time, when a king is cremated, his wife enters the fire and burns herself along with h i m , but if they do not wish, they do not do S0 2 (52) There are some people i n India who are dedicated ro a life of wandering in the forests and the mountains.
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