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Abū l-Ma‘ālī

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a short description of the book Bayān al-adyān, 'Enumeration of the religions'. The Bayān al-adyān is an encyclopaedia of sorts, listing and describing the various religious sects which were known to Abū l-Maʿālī. It was written after Abū l-Maʿālī took part in a discussion about pre-Islamic religions and Islam at the royal court, presumably in the city of Ghazna, whose library he describes in some detail. Abū l-Maʿālī's work shows that there was significant interest in other religions and sects among the court at Ghazna, and his descriptions demonstrate a desire to learn rather than simply judge.

Keywords: Abū l-Maʿālī; Bayān al-adyān



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