Al-Biruni

Al-Biruni ( Khwarezm , September 15 from 973 – Ghazni , December 13 of 1048 ) was a mathematician, astronomer, physicist, philosopher, traveler, historian, pharmacist Persian , one of the leading intellectuals of the Islamic world.
Postage stamp (1973)

His full name was Abū ‘r-Raihan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni (in Arabic : أبو الريحان البيروني, in Persian : ابوریحان بیرونی). It is also known as Alberuni. He wrote about 150 books on history, astronomy, astrology, mathematics and pharmacology, which has barely survived a fifth of them.

Al Biruni was born on September 15th of 973 in the city Khwarezm of Kath (in modern Uzbekistan ) and died in Ghazni (now in Afghanistan ), on December 13 of 1048 (at 75 years of age).

At age 17 he was able to calculate the latitude of Kath , thanks to the maximum altitude reached by the sun, and at the age of 22 and had written several short plays about the science of cartography including a method for projecting a hemisphere on a plane. At the age of 27 his writings included topics such as the passage of time (chronology) and astrolabes , the decimal system, astrology and history. He also calculated the radius of the globe (the supposedly widespread medieval belief in a flat earth is a modern myth) with an error of less than 1% of its average value currently accepted, the western world did not have a result equivalent to everlasting XVI.

He was a pupil and friend of Abu Nasr Mansur and had a pretty intense epistolary relationship with the philosopher and physician Avicenna and the historian and moralist philosopher Ibn Miskawayh . He was able to speak several languages, among which include the Greek , the Hebrew , the Syrian and Berber , but wrote his works in Persian (mother tongue) and Arabic . He accompanied Mahmud of Ghazni II in his military campaigns in India, which allowed him to learn Sanskrit and Prakrit and study religion and philosophy, as well as writing the Ta’rikh al-Hind (“Chronicles of India ‘).
Illustration of a lunar eclipse , Al-Biruni.

He contributed math in fields such as:

The arithmetic theory and practice
The sum of series
The combinatorial analysis
The rule of three
The irrational numbers
The theory of the reasons (ratios) numerical
Algebraic definitions
The method of solving algebraic equations
The geometry
The theorems of Archimedes
The angle trisection
Gnomonic

Although well studied and reflected on other issues, which is reflected in works such as:

The chronology of ancient nations (also known as Timeline), early work compilation of various youth work on astrolabes, astrology and history.
A critical study of what India says, whether accepted or refuted rationally (Arabic تحقيق ما للهند من مقولة معقولة في العقل أم مرذولة)-better known as India – compendium of the doctrines of the Hindu religion .
The signs that remain of the past centuries (Arabic الآثار الباقية عن القرون الخالية) comparative study of calendars of different cultures and civilizations, sprinkled with reflections on mathematics as well as astronomical and historical facts.
The canon Mas’udi (Arabic القانون المسعودي)-also called Canon – book on astronomy, geography and engineering named after Mas’ud, son of Mahmud of Ghazni, to whom he was devoted.
The instruction book art elements of astrology (Arabic التفهيم لصناعة التنجيم)-commonly referred to as elements of astrology – book written Arabic and Persian and, in the form of questions and answers, is about mathematics and astronomy.
Pharmaceuticals, medicinal drugs and treatments.
Gems (Arabic الجماهر في معرفة الجواهر) on geology, minerals and gems, dedicated to the son of Mas’ud, Mawdud.
The astrolabe
Biographies of Mahmud of Ghazni and his father Sebük ​​Tigin
History of Khwarezm .

Although many think that had a great fondness for astrology , reading his works show that he did not believe much in it (as might intuit from the titles of his works), but rather, used it as the basis for truly scientific studies . He was a true devotee of Islam , but he showed no racial prejudice against people of other religions.

Many of the ideas of Al-Biruni derived from its discussions with scholars of his time. For example, he made important observations about the nature of light and heat that were the result of his long correspondence with Avicenna. Actually Al-Biruni was not a great innovator and his writings were full of original theories … his ideas are based on the experimental method and observation. Their tongues allowed to read first hand many treatises of the period and its illustrious notion of evolutionary development of science made him a great scholar and encyclopedist.

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments are closed.