This talk considers the method by which al-Biruni provides the first comparative definition of Hinduism by an outsider. I argue that al-Biruni engages in a process of Islamisation in his book The India through a meticulous systematization of Hindu beliefs into one “Indian religion”. He uses the concept of metempsychosis to weave an Islamic frame of understanding based on certain common denominators he identifies.
Dr. Mario Kozah is an Assistant Professor of Syriac and Islamic Studies in the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies, American University of Beirut. Kozah earned his B.A. Hons and Ph.D. from the Queens’ College, University of Cambridge. Previously he was an Assistant (2003–2005) then Associate Professor (2005–2011) of Arabic Literature and Comparative Studies at the Faculty of Letters, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik,(USEK), Lebanon. His various publications include; The Birth of Indology as an Islamic Science. Al-Bīrūnī’s Treatise on Yoga Psychology. Leiden: Brill, 2016, Kozah, M., Abu-Husayn, A., Al-Murikhi, S. S., Al Thani, H., (eds.), The Syriac Writers of Qatar in the Seventh Century. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2014 and Kozah, M., Abu-Husayn, A., Al-Murikhi, S. S., Al Thani, H., (eds.), An Anthology of Syriac Writers from Qatar in the Seventh Century. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2015.
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