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hail, while the adjoining field may not. The Brahmins make the cultivator whose field has escaped the hail accept their claim, while the one
whose field has received the hail is deprived of the power of argument.
People wonder at the correct prediction of an astrologer, but are apt to
forget that he has been making wrong prognostications all the time. The
foolish people of India do not demand from them, in the event of an
accidental prediction coming true, any proof or demonstration.
Among the articles that are kept in treasuries and are cast from
stones, glass is one of them. This we propose to describe.
GLASS
Allah has mentioned glass in His Book, and He has implied its transparent and clear kind. He says:
"The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp.
The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining
star."115
And further:
"And when she saw it deemed it a pool and bared her legs.
(Solomen) said: Lo! it is a hall, made smooth, of glass." 116
It is said that this is the first glass that appeared in the world, and
was made by the devils. The people of Persia associate its first appearance with Faridun's era.
It is called iwilusis in Roman (Greek) and zaghrughata in Syriac. It
could be that zujaj is its Arabic cognate. It is cast from a well-known
stone or from sand to which borax has been added. The substance is
heated for several days on fire till it accumulates, clarifies and progressively hardens.
I think — although this is not a virtual certainty — there are different
gems in the form of grains in the sand, if you look at it carefully, you
will find black, reddish, white and transparent crystalline grains in them.
Through the agency of borax, the glass particles are separated and the remaining parts are also removed. Melting over long periods results in all
the ingredients being consumed and the transparent and clear glass remains. This dross of glass is called mashuquniya. This dross is flat, white
and brittle. It melts in the mouth. It is called zabad al-zujaj, ma'alzujaj, and ma'al-qawarir.
Suhar Bakht says that it is the daub of the Egyptian cups. This could
be so, Axially, the weight of the transparent Syrian glass is 62 i-|~.
Different colours are imparted to glass while it is being melted.
These colours persist. Such colours are white or black or such a colour
as would have the white colour dominating, e.g., the azure colour. In
transparency a glass piece is not very different from the crystal piece, es-
191