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present this is not before the eyes of the author; on
that account its contents remain unknown to him.
The author begs further to say that, after having
greatly frequented the meetings of the followers of
the five belbresaid religions, he wished and under-
took to write this book, and whatever in this work
treating of the religions of countries has been stated,
concerning the creed of different sects, had been
received from the tongue of the chiefs of those sects
or from their books, and, as to the account of the
persons belonging to any particular sect, the author
wrote down the information which had been im-
parted to him by their adherents and sincere friends,
in such a manner that no trace of partiality nor aver-
sion might be perceived; in short, the writer of these
pages performed nothing more than the office of a

" The purport of a picture is, that it may remain after me,
" As I do not see my existence lasting."

Thus, by the aid of the generous King,was brought
to a conclusion the printing of this work, entitled
Dabistdn al Mazdheb, " the school of sects," in the
month of October of the year 1809, since the Mes-
siah's being carried to heaven,'the prophet, upon

1 The Muhammedans do not believe that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ
did really take place, but that God transported his soul and body to hea-
ven, whilst an unfortunate-man exactly like the Messiah in appearance
was, instead of him, crucified by the Jews.