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Default Omar Al-khayyam (1044-1123 C.e.)

OMAR AL-KHAYYAM
(1044-1123 C.E.)


Ghiyath al-Din Abul Fateh Omar Ibn Ibrahim al-Khayyam was born at Nishapur, the provincial capital of Khurasan around 1044 C.E. (c. 1038 to 1048). Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, physician and poet, he is commonly known as Omar Khayyam. Khayyam means the tent-maker, and although generally considered as Persian, it has also been suggested that he could have belonged to the Khayyami tribe of Arab origin who might have settled in Persia. Little is known about his early life, except for the fact that he was educated at Nishapur and lived there and at Samarqand for most of his life. He was a contemporary of Nidham al-Mulk Tusi. Contrary to the available opportunities, he did not like to be employed at the King's court and led a calm life devoted to search for knowledge. He travelled to the great centres of learn- ing, Samarqand, Bukhara, Balkh and Isphahan in order to study further and exchange views with the scholars there. While at Samarqand he was patronised by a dignatory, Abu Tahir. He died at Nishapur in 1123-24.

Algebra would seem to rank first among the fields to which he contributed. He made an attempt to classify most algebraic equations, including the third degree equations and, in fact, offered solutions for a number of them. This includes geometric solutions of cubic equations and partial geometric solutions of most other equations. His book Maqalat fi al-Jabr wa al-Muqabila is a master- piece on algebra and has great importance in the development of algebra. His remarkable classification of equations is based on the complexity of the equations, as the higher the degree of an equation, the more terms, or combinations of terms, it will contain. Thus, Khayyam recognizes 13 different forms of cubic equatlon. His method of solving equations is largely geometrical and depends upon an ingenious selection of proper conics. He also developed the binomial expansion when the exponent is a positive integer. In fact, he has been considered to be the first to find the binomial theorem and determine binomial coefficients. In geometry, he studied generalities of Euclid and contributed to the theory of parallel lines.

The Saljuq Sultan, Malikshah Jalal al-Din, called him to the new observatory at Ray around 1074 and assigned him the task of determining a correct solar calendar. This had become necessary in view of the revenue collections and other administrative matters that were to be performed at different times of the year. Khayyam introduced a calendar that was remarkably accurate, and was named as Al-Tarikh-al-Jalali. It had an error of one day in 3770 years and was thus even superior to the Georgian calendar (error of 1 day in 3330 years).

His contributions to other fields of science include a study of generalities of Euclid, development of methods for the accurate determination of specific gravity, etc. In metaphysics, he wrote three books Risala Dar Wujud and the recently discovered Nauruz- namah. He was also a renowned astronomer and a physician.

Apart from being a scientist, Khayyam was also a well-known poet. In this capacity, he has become more popularly known in the Western world since 1839, when Edward Fitzgerald published an English translation of his Rubaiyat (quatrains). This has since become one of the most popular classics of world literature. It should be appreciated that it is practically impossible to exactly translate any literary work into another language, what to talk of poetry, especially when it involves mystical and philosophical messages of deep complexity. Despite this, the popularity of the translation of Rubaiyat would indicate the wealth of his rich thought.

Khayyam wrote a large number of books and monographs in the above areas. Out of these, 10 books and thirty monographs have been identified. Of these, four concern mathematics, three physics, three metaphysics, one algebra and one geometry.

His influence on the development of mathematics in general and analytical geometry, in particular, has been immense. His work remained ahead of others for centuries till the times of Descartes, who applied the same geometrical approach in solving cubics. His fame as a mathematician has been partially eclipsed by his popularity as a poet; nonetheless his contribution as a philosopher and scientist has been of significant value in furthering the frontiers of human knowledge.
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Default Abu Hamid Al-ghazali (1058-1128 C.e.)

ABU HAMID AL-GHAZALI
(1058-1128 C.E.)


Abu Hamid Ibn Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Tusi al-Shafi'i al-Ghazali was born in 1058 C.E. in Khorasan, Iran. His father died while he was still very young but he had the opportunity of getting education in the prevalent curriculum at Nishapur and Baghdad. Soon he acquired a high standard of scholarship in religion and philosophy and was honoured by his appointment as a Professor at the Nizamiyah University of Baghdad, which was recognised as one of the most reputed institutions of learning in the golden era of Muslim history.

After a few years, however, he gave up his academic pursuits and worldly interests and became a wandering ascetic. This was a process (period) of mystical transformation. Later, he resumed his teaching duties, but again left these. An era of solitary life, devoted to contemplation and writing then ensued, which led to the authorship of a number of everlasting books. He died in 1128 C.E. at Baghdad.

Ghazali's major contribution lies in religion, philosophy and sufism. A number of Muslim philosophers had been following and developing several viewpoints of Greek philosophy, including the Neoplatonic philosophy, and this was leading to conflict with several Islamic teachings. On the other hand, the movement of sufism was assuming such excessive proportions as to avoid observance of obligatory prayers and duties of Islam. Based on his unquestionable scholarship and personal mystical experience, Ghazali sought to rectify these trends, both in philosophy and sufism.

In philosophy, Ghazali upheld the approach of mathematics and exact sciences as essentially correct. However, he adopted the techniques of Aristotelian logic and the Neoplatonic procedures and employed these very tools to lay bare the flaws and lacunae of the then prevalent Neoplatonic philosophy and to diminish the negative influences of Aristotelianism and excessive rationalism. In contrast to some of the Muslim philosophers, e.g., Farabi, he portrayed the inability of reason to comprehend the absolute and the infinite. Reason could not transcend the finite and was limited to the observation of the relative. Also, several Muslim philosophers had held that the universe was finite in space but infinite in time. Ghazali argued that an infinite time was related to an infinite space. With his clarity of thought and force of argument, he was able to create a balance between religion and reason, and identified their respective spheres as being the infinite and the finite, respectively.

In religion, particularly mysticism, he cleansed the approach of sufism of its excesses and reestablished the authority of the orthodox religion. Yet, he stressed the importance of genuine sufism, which he maintained was the path to attain the absolute truth.

He was a prolific writer. His immortal books include Tuhafut al-Falasifa (The Incoherence of the Philosophers), Ihya al-'Ulum al-Islamia (The Rivival of the Religious Sciences), "The Beginning of Guidance and his Autobiography", "Deliverance from Error". Some of his works were translated into European languages in the Middle Ages. He also wrote a summary of astronomy.

Ghazali's influence was deep and everlasting. He is one of the greatest theologians of Islam. His theological doctrines penetrated Europe, influenced Jewish and Christian Scholasticism and several of his arguments seem to have been adopted by St. Thomas Aquinas in order to similarly reestablish the authority of orthodox Christian religion in the West. So forceful was his argument in the favour of religion that he was accused of damaging the cause of philosophy and, in the Muslim Spain, Ibn Rushd (Averros) wrote a rejoinder to his Tuhafut.
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Default Abu Marwan Ibn Zuhr (1091-1161 C.e.)

ABU MARWAN IBN ZUHR
(1091-1161 C.E.)


Abu Marwan Abd al-Malik Ibn Zuhr was born at Seville in 1091/c. 1094 C.E. After completing his education and specializing in medicine, he entered the service of Almoravides (Al-Murabatun), but after their defeat by the Al-Mohades (Al-Muwahadun), he served under 'Abd al-Mu'min, the first Muwahid ruler. He died in Seville in 1161/c. 1162 C.E. As confirmed by George Sarton, he was not a Jew, but an orthodox Muslim.

Ibn Zuhr was one of the greatest physicians and clinicians of the Muslim golden era and has rather been held by some historians of science as the greatest of them. Contrary to the general practice of the Muslim scholars of that era, he confined his work to only one field medicine. This enabled him to produce works of everlasting fame.

As a physician, he made several discoveries and breakthroughs. He described correctly, for the first time, scabies, the itch mite and may thus be regarded as the first parasitologist. Likewise, he prescribed tracheotomy and direct feeding through the gullet and rectum in the cases where normal feeding was not possible. He also gave clinical descriptions of mediastinal tumours, intestinal phthisis, inflammation of the middle ear, pericarditis, etc.

His contribution was chiefly contained in the monumental works written by him; out of these, however, only three are extant. Kitab al-Taisir fi al-Mudawat wa al-Tadbir (Book of Simplification concerning Therapeutics and Diet), written at the request of Ibn Rushd (Averroes), is the most important work of Ibn Zuhr. It describes several of Ibn Zuhr's original contributions. The book gives in detail pathological conditions, followed by therapy. His Kitab al-Iqtisad fi Islah al-Anfus wa al-Ajsad (Book of the Middle Course concerning the Reformation of Souls and the Bodies) gives a summary of diseases, therapeutics and hygiene written specially for the benefit of the layman. Its initial part is a valuable discourse on psychology. Kitab al-Aghthiya (Book on Foodstuffs) describes different types of food and drugs and their effects on health.

Ibn Zuhr in his works lays stress on observation and experiment and his contribution greatly influenced the medical science for several centuries both in the East and the West. His books were translated into Latin and Hebrew and remained popular in Europe as late as the advent of the 18th century.
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Default Al-idrisi (1099-1166 C.e.)

AL-IDRISI
(1099-1166 C.E.)


Abu Abdallah Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abdallah Ibn Idris al-Qurtubi al-Hasani, was bom in Ceuta, Spain, in 1099 C.E. He was educated in Cordova. Later he travelled far and wide in connection with his studies and then flourished at the Norman court in Palermo. The date of his death is controversial, being either 1166 or 1180 C.E.

Biographical notes on him are to be found rathe rararely, and according to F. Pons Boigues the underlying reason is the fact that the Arab biographers considered al-Idrisi to be a renegade, since he had been associated with the court of a Christian king and written in praise of him, in his work. The circumstances which led him to settle in Sicily at the court of Roger II are not on record.

His major contribution lies in medicinal plants as presented in his several books, specially Kitab al-Jami-li-Sifat Ashtat al-Nabatat. He studied and reviewed all the literature on the subject of medicinal plants and formed the opinion that very little original material had been added to this branch of knowledge since the early Greek work. He, therefore, collected plants and data not reported earlier and added this to the subject of botany, with special reference to medicinal plants. Thus, a large number of new drugs plants together with their evaluation became available to the medical practitioners. He has given the names of the drugs in six languages: Syriac, Greek, Persian, Hindi, Latin and Berber.

In addition to the above, he made original contributions to geography, especially as related to economics, physical factors and cultural aspects. He made a planishere in silver for King Roger II, and described the world in Al-Kitab al-Rujari (Roger's Book), also entitled Nuzhat al-Mushtaq fi Ikhtiraq al-Afaq (The delight of him who desires to journey through the climates). This is practically a geographical encyclopaedia of the time, containing information not only on Asia and Africa, but also Western countries.

Al-Idrisi, later on, also compiled another geographical encyclo- paedia, larger than the former entitled Rawd-Unnas wa-Nuzhat al-Nafs (Pleasure of men and delight of souls) also known as Kitab al- Mamalik wa al-Masalik.

Apart from botany and geography, Idrisi also wrote on fauna, zoology and therapeutical aspects. His work was soon translated into Latin and, especially, his books on geography remained popular both in the East and the West for several centuries.
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Default 11th century


11th century


• c. 1000 - [medicine, ophthalmology] Ammar ibn Ali of Mosul writes the Choice of Eye Diseases, a landmark text on ophthalmology in medieval Islam. In cataract surgery, He attempted the earliest extraction of cataracts using suction. He invented a hollow metallic syringe hypodermic needle, which he applied through the sclerotic and successfully extracted the cataracts through suction. He discovered the technique of cataract extraction while experimenting with his hypodermic needle invention on a patient

• c. 1000 - [physics, mathematics] Abu Sahl al-Quhi (Kuhi), discovers that the heaviness of bodies vary with their distance from the center of the Earth, and solves equations higher than the second degree.

• [COLOR="Red"]c. 1000 - [mathematics][/COLOR] Abu-Mahmud al-Khujandi first states a special case of Fermat's last theorem.

• c. 1000 - [mathematics] Law of sines is discovered by Muslim mathematicians, but it is uncertain who discovers it first between Abu-Mahmud al-Khujandi, Abu Nasr Mansur, and Abu al-Wafa.

• 1000 - [mathematics] Al-Karaji writes a book containing the first known proofs by mathematical induction. He who used it to prove the binomial theorem, Pascal's triangle, and the sum of integral cubes. He was "the first who introduced the theory of algebraic calculus."

• 1000 - [medicine, surgery, engineering] Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis), the father of modern surgery, publishes his 30-volume medical encyclopedia, the Kitab al-Tasrif, which remains a standard textbook in Muslim and European universities until the 16th century. The book first introduced many surgical instruments, including the first instruments unique to women, as well as the surgical uses of catgut and forceps, the ligature, surgical needle, curette, retractor, surgical spoon, sound, surgical hook, surgical rod, specula, lithotomy scalpel, and bone saw. He also invented the the plaster cotton dressing, oral anaesthesia, inhalational anaesthetic, and anaesthetic sponge.

• 1000s - [glass] Clear glass mirrors were being produced in al-Andalus.

• 1000s - [civil engineering] Cobwork (tabya) first appeared in the Maghreb and al-Andalus in the 11th century, and was later described in detail by Ibn Khaldun in the 14th century, who regarded it as a characteristically Muslim practice. Cobwork later spread to other parts of Europe from the 12th century onwards.

• 1000s - [mechincal technology] In Al-Andalus, Ibn Khalaf al-Muradi invents complex gearing, Epicyclic gearing, segmental gearing, and the geared mechanical clock. Muslim engineers also invent the Weight-driven mechanical clock.

• c. 1000 - 1009 - [physics, engineering] Ibn Yunus publishes his astronomical treatise Al-Zij al-Hakimi al-Kabir in Egypt. It contains the earliest desciption of a pendulum. He also constructs the first monumental astrolabe.

• 1000 - 1020 - [astronomy, engineering] Al-Sijzi invents the Zuraqi, a unique astrolabe designed for a heliocentric planetary model in which the Earth is moving rather than the sky.

• 1000 - 1030 - [biology] - Ibn Miskawayh discusses ideas on evolution.

• 1000 - 1031 - [astronomy] Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī was the first to conduct elaborate experiments related to astronomical phenomena. He discovered the Milky Way galaxy to be a collection of numerous nebulous stars.

• 1000 - 1037 - [mechanics, physics] Ibn al-Haytham discusses the theory of attraction between masses, and it seems that he was aware of the magnitude of acceleration due to gravity. Ibn al-Haytham also discovered the law of inertia, known as Newton's first law of motion, when he stated that a body moves perpetually unless an external force stops it or changes its direction of motion.

• 1000 - 1037 - [alchemy, chemistry, engineering] Avicenna criticizes the theory of the transmutation of metals. He also invents the chemical process of steam distillation and extracts the first fragrances and essential oils as a result, for use in aromatherapy and the drinking and perfumery industries. He also invents the air thermometer for use in his laboratory experiments.

• 1000 - 1037 - [mechanics, physics] Avicenna, the father of the fundamental concept of momentum in physics, discovered the concept of momentum, when he referred to impetus as being proportional to weight times velocity, a precursor to the concept of momentum in Newton's second law of motion. His theory of motion was also consistent with the concept of inertia in Newton's first law of motion.

• 1000 - 1038 - [astronomy, physics] Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen), in his Epitome of Astronomy, was the first to insist that the heavenly bodies "were accountable to the laws of physics".

• 1000 - 1038 - [biology] Ibn al-Haytham writes a book in which he argues for evolutionism.

• 1000 - 1048 - [alchemy, chemistry] Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī criticizes the theory of the transmutation of metals.

• 1000 - 1048 - [anthropology, Indology, history] Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, considered "the first anthropologist" and the father of Indology, wrote detailed comparative studies on the anthropology of peoples, religions and cultures in the Middle East, Mediterranean and South Asia. Biruni's anthropology of religion was only possible for a scholar deeply immersed in the lore of other nations. Biruni has also been praised for his Islamic anthropology.

• 1000 - 1048 - [earth sciences, Indology, geodesy, geology] Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, who is considered the father of Indology, the father of geodesy, one of the first geologists, and an influential geographer, hypothesized that India was once covered by the Indian Ocean while observing rock formations at the mouths of rivers, introduced techniques to measure the Earth and distances on it using triangulation, and measured the radius of the Earth as 6339.6 km, the most accurate up until the 16th century. He also determines the Earth's circumference.

• 1000 - 1048 - [engineering, mechanics, physics] Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī was the first to realize that acceleration is connected with non-uniform motion. He also invents the laboratory flask, pycnometer, and conical measure.

• 1000 - 1121 - [mechanics, physics] Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, and later al-Khazini, were the first to apply experimental scientific methods to mechanics, especially the fields of statics and dynamics, particularly for determining specific weights, such as those based on the theory of balances and weighing. Muslim physicists unified statics and dynamics into the science of mechanics, and they combined the fields of hydrostatics with dynamics to give birth to hydrodynamics. They applied the mathematical theories of ratios and infinitesimal techniques, and introduced algebraic and fine calculation techniques into the field of statics. They were also generalized the theory of the centre of gravity and applied it to three-dimensional bodies. They also founded the theory of the ponderable lever and created the "science of gravity" which was later further developed in medieval Europe.

• 1019 - [astronomy, technology] In Afghanistan, Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī observed and described the solar eclipse on April 8, 1019, and the lunar eclipse on September 17, 1019, in detail, and gave the exact latitudes of the stars during the lunar eclipse He also invents the Orthographical astrolabe and the planisphere, which was the earliest star chart. He also invents a geared mechanical lunisolar calendar analog computer with gear train and eight gear-wheels, an early example of a fixed-wired knowledge processing machine.

• 1020 - [astronomical instruments] The geared mechanical astrolabe is perfected by Ibn Samh in Al-Andalus. These can be considered as an ancestor of the mechanical clock.

• 1021 - [optics, physics, engineering, mathematics, ophthalmology, psychology, scientific method, surgery] Ibn al-Haytham, who is considered the father of optics, the pioneer of the scientific method, the "first scientist", and the founder of psychophysics and experimental psychology, completes his Book of Optics, which has been ranked alongside Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica as one of the most influential books ever written in the history of physics. The book drastically transformed the understanding of light and vision, and introduced the experimental scientific method, hence the book is considered the root of experimental physics. It correctly explained and proved the modern intromission theory of vision, and described experiments on lenses, mirrors, refraction, reflection, and the dispersion of light into its constituent colours.[155] It also explained binocular vision and the moon illusion, speculated on the finite speed, rectilinear propagation and electromagnetic aspects of light, first stated Fermat's principle of least time, described an early version of Snell's law, and argued that rays of light are streams of energy particles travelling in straight lines The book also contains the earliest discussions and descriptions on psychophysics and experimental psychology, the psychology of visual perception, phenomenology, and the inventions of the pinhole camera, camera obscura, and parabolic mirror. In mathematics, the book formulated and solved "Alhazen's problem" geometrically, and developed and proved the earliest general formula for infinitesimal and integral calculus using mathematical induction. In medicine and ophthalmology, the book also made important advances in eye surgery, as it correctly explained the process of sight and visual perception for the first time.[121] The work also had an influence on the use of optical aids in Renaissance art and the development of the telescope and microscope.

• 1021 - [glass, scientific instruments] In the Book of Optics, Ibn al-Haytham develops the following scientific instruments: magnifying glass, parabolic mirror, spherical mirror, concave mirror, convex mirror, pinhole camera, and camera obscura.

• 1021 - 1037 - [optics, physics] Avicenna "observed that if the perception of light is due to the emission of some sort of particles by a luminous source, the speed of light must be finite." He also provided a sophisticated explanation for the rainbow phenomenon.

• 1021 - 1048 - Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī stated that light has a finite speed, and he was the first to discover that the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound.

• 1025 - [medicine, pathology, physiology] Avicenna (Ibn Sina), who is considered the father of modern medicine and one of the greatest thinkers and medical scholars in history, publishes his 14-volume medical encyclopedia, The Canon of Medicine, which remains a standard textbook in Muslim and European universities until the 17th century. The book's contributions to medicine includes the introduction of systematic experimentation and quantification in the study of physiology, the discovery of contagious diseases, the distinction of mediastinitis from pleurisy, the contagious nature of phthisis, the distribution of diseases by water and soil, the first careful descriptions of skin troubles, sexually transmitted diseases, perversions, and nervous ailments, the use of ice to treat fevers, the separation of medicine from pharmacology (important to the development of the pharmaceutical sciences), the introduction of quarantine to limit the spread of contagious diseases, and the introduction of evidence-based medicine, experimental medicine, clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, efficacy tests, clinical pharmacology, neuropsychiatry, physiological psychology, risk factor analysis, and the idea of a syndrome in the diagnosis of specific diseases. The Canon is also considered the first pharmacopoeia.

• 1025 - [medicine, pathology] In The Canon of Medicine, Avicenna is the first to carry out cancer therapy. He recognized cancer as a tumor and noted that a "cancerous tumour progressively increases in size, is destructive and spreads roots which insinuate themselves amongst the tissue elements." He also attempted the earliest known treatments for cancer. One method he discovered was the "Hindiba", a herbal compound drug which Ibn al-Baitar later identified as having "anticancer" properties and which could also treat other tumors and neoplastic disorders. After recognizing its usefulness in treating neoplastic disorders, Hindiba was patented in 1997 by Nil Sari, Hanzade Dogan, and John K. Snyder. Another method for treating cancer first described by Avicenna was a surgical treatment. He stated that the excision should be radical and that all diseased tissue should be removed, which included the use of amputation or the removal of veins running in the direction of the tumor. He also recommended the use of cauterization for the area being treated if necessary Avicenna's Canon was also the first to describe the symptoms of esophageal cancer and the first to refer to it as "cancer of the esophagus." Hirudotherapy, the use of medicinal leech for medical purposes, was also introduced by Avicenna in The Canon of Medicine. He considered the application of leech to be more useful than cupping in "letting off the blood from deeper parts of the body." He also introduced the use of leech as treatment for skin disease. Leech therapy became a popular method in medieval Europe due to the influence of his Canon. In phytotherapy, Avicenna also introduced the medicinal use of Taxus baccata L. He named this herbal drug as "Zarnab" and used it as a cardiac remedy. This was the first known use of a calcium channel blocker drug, which were not used in the Western world until the 1960s.

• 1025 - 1028 - [astronomy] Ibn al-Haytham, in his Doubts on Ptolemy, criticizes Ptolemy's astronomical system for relating actual physical motions to imaginary mathematical points, lines, and circles.

• 1027 - [arithmetic, astronomy, earth sciences, geology, geometry, logic, mathematics, music, natural sciences, philosophy, psychology] Avicenna (Ibn Sina) writes one of the first scientific encyclopedias, The Book of Healing. Its contributions include nine volumes on Avicennian logic; eight on the natural sciences; four on the quadrivium of arithmetic, astronomy, geometry and music; a number of volumes on early Islamic philosophy, Islamic mathematics, metaphysics and psychology; the astronomical theory that Venus is closer to Earth than the Sun; and a geological hypothesis on two causes of mountains.

• 1028 - 1087 - [astronomy, engineering] Abū Ishāq Ibrāhīm al-Zarqālī (Arzachel) invents the "Saphaea", the first universal latitude-independent astrolabe which did not depend on the latitude of the observer and could be used anywhere. He also invents the equatorium, a mechanical analog computer device, and he discovers that the orbits of the planets are ellipses and not circles.

• 1029 - [chemistry, technology] The purification process for potassium nitrate (saltpetre; natrun or barud in Arabic) was first described by the Muslim chemist Ibn Bakhtawayh in his Al-Muqaddimat.

• 1030 - [astronomy] Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī discussed the Indian planetary theories of Aryabhata, Brahmagupta and Varahamihira in his Ta'rikh al-Hind (Latinized as Indica). Biruni stated that Brahmagupta and others consider that the earth rotates on its axis and Biruni noted that this does not create any mathematical problems.

• 1030 - 1048 - [astronomy] Abu Said Sinjari suggested the possible heliocentric movement of the Earth around the Sun, which Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī did not reject. Al-Biruni agreed with the Earth's rotation about its own axis, and while he was initially neutral regarding the heliocentric and geocentric models, he considered heliocentrism to be a philosophical problem. He remarked that if the Earth rotates on its axis and moves around the Sun, it would remain consistent with his astronomical parameters.

• 1031 - [astronomy] Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī completes his extensive astronomical encyclopaedia Canon Mas’udicus, in which he records his astronomical findings and formulates astronomical tables. It presents a geocentric model, tabulating the distance of all the celestial spheres from the central Earth. The book introduces the mathematical technique of analysing the acceleration of the planets, and first states that the motions of the solar apogee and the precession are not identical. Al-Biruni also discovered that the distance between the Earth and the Sun is larger than Ptolemy's estimate, on the basis that Ptolemy disregarded the annual solar eclipses. Al-Biruni also described the Earth's gravitation as "the attraction of all things towards the centre of the earth."

• 1038 - [astronomy] Ibn al-Haytham described the first non-Ptolemaic configuration in The Model of the Motions. His reform excluded cosmology, as he developed a systematic study of celestial kinematics that was completely geometric. This in turn led to innovative developments in infinitesimal geometry. His reformed model was the first to reject the equant and eccentrics, free celestial kinematics from cosmology, and reduce physical entities to geometrical entities. The model also propounded the Earth's rotation about its axis, and the centres of motion were geometrical points without any physical significance, like Johannes Kepler's model centuries later.

• 1038 - 1075 - [engineering] Ibn Bassal invents the flywheel in al-Andalus, and he first employs it in a Noria and a Saqiya chain pump.

• 1044 or 1048 - 1123 [mathematics, literature] Omar Khayyαm, a mathematician and poet, "gave a complete classification of cubic equations with geometric solutions found by means of intersecting conic sections. Khayyam also wrote that he hoped to give a full description of the algebraic solution of cubic equations in a later work: 'If the opportunity arises and I can succeed, I shall give all these fourteen forms with all their branches and cases, and how to distinguish whatever is possible or impossible so that a paper, containing elements which are greatly useful in this art will be prepared'." He later became the first to find general geometric solutions of cubic equations and laid the foundations for the development of analytic geometry and non-Euclidean geometry. He extracted roots using the decimal system (Hindu-Arabic numeral system). He is well-known for his poetic work Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, but there is dispute whether the Maqamat, a famous diwan of poetry translated to English are actually his work.

• 1058 - 1111 [law; theology] Al-Ghazali (Algazel), judge and prolific thinker and writer on topics such as sociology, theology and philosophy. He critiqued the philosophers Avicenna and al-Farabi in The Incoherence of the Philosophers. Wrote extensive expositions on Islamic tenets and foundations of jurisprudence. Also critiqued the Muslim scholastics (al-mutakallimun.) Was associated with sufism but he later critiqued it as well.

• 1070 - [astronomy] Abu Ubayd al-Juzjani proposed a non-Ptolemaic configuration in his Tarik al-Aflak. In his work, he indicated the so-called "equant" problem of the Ptolemic model, and proposed a solution for the problem.

• 1085 - 1099 - [related] First wave of devastation of Muslim resources, lives, properties, institutions, and infrastructure over a period of one hundred years: Fall of Muslim Toledo (1085), Malta (1090), Sicily (1091) and Jerusalem (1099). This was followed by several Crusades from 1095 to 1291.

• 1087 - [astronomy] Abū Ishāq Ibrāhīm al-Zarqālī publishes the Almanac of Azarqueil, the first almanac. The entries found in the almanac "give directly the positions of the celestial bodies and need no further computation". The work provided the true daily positions of the sun, moon and planets for four years from 1088 to 1092, as well as many other related tables. A Latin translation and adaptation of the work appeared as the Tables of Toledo in the 12th century and the Alfonsine tables in the 13th century.

• 1091 - [education] Another early university, the Al-Nizamiyya of Baghdad, was founded, and is considered the "largest university of the Medieval world".

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Default Ibn Rushd (1128-1198 C.e.)

IBN RUSHD
(1128-1198 C.E.)


Abu'l Waleed Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Rushd, known as Averroes in the West, was born in 1128 C.E. in Cordova, where his father and grandfather had both been judges. His grandfather was well versed in Fiqh (Maliki School) and was also the Imam of the Jamia Mosque of Cordova. The young Ibn Rushd received his education in Cordova and lived a quiet life, devoting most of his time to learned-pursuits. He studied philoso- phy and law from Abu J'afar Haroon and from Ibn Baja; he also studied medicine.

Al-Hakam, the famous Umayyad Caliph of Spain, had construc- ted a magnificent library in Cordova, which housed 500,000 books, He himself had studied many of these and made brief marginal comments on them. This rich collection laid the foundation for intellectual study in Spain and provided the background for men like Ibn Rushd, who lived 2 centuries later.

Abu Yaqub, the Caliph of Morocco, called him to his capital and appointed him as his physician in place of Ibn Tufail. His son Yaqub al-Mansur retained him for some time but soon Ibn Rushd's views on theology and philosophy drew the Caliph's wrath. All his books, barring strictly scientific ones, were burnt and he was banished to Lucena. However, as a result of intervention of several leading scholars he was forgiven after about four years and recalled to Morocco in 1198; but he died towards the end of the same year.

Ibn Rushd made remarkable contributions. in philosophy, logic, medicine, music and jurisprudence. In medicine his well- known book Kitab al-Kulyat fi al-Tibb was written before 1162 C.E. Its Latin translation was known as 'Colliget'. In it, Ibn Rushd has thrown light on various aspects of medicine, including the diagnoses, cure and prevention of diseases. The book concentrates on specific areas in comparison of Ibn Sina's wider scope of al-Qanun, but contains several original observations of Ibn Rushd.

In philosophy, his most important work Tuhafut al-Tuhafut was written in response to al-Ghazali's work. Ibn Rushd was criticised by many Muslim scholars for this book, which, neverthe- less, had a profound influence on European thought, at least until the beginning of modern philosophy and experimental science. His views on fate were that man is neither in full control of his destiny nor is it fully predetermined for him. He wrote three commenlaries on the works of Aristotle, as these were known then through Arabic translations. The shortest Jami may be considered as a summary of the subject. The intermediate was Talkhis and the longest was the Tafsir. These three commentaries would seem to correspond to different stages in the education of pupils; the short one was meant for the beginners, then the intermediate for the students familiar with the subject, and finally the longest one for advanced studies. The longest commentary was, in fact, an original contribution as it was largely based on his analysis including interpretation of Qu'ranic concepts.

In the field of music, Ibn Rushd wrote a commentary on Aristotle's book De Anima. This book was translated into Latin by Mitchell the Scott.

In astronomy he wrote a treatise on the motion of the sphere, Kitab fi-Harakat al-Falak. He also summarised Almagest and divided it into two parts: description of the spheres, and movement of the spheres. This summary of the Almagest was translated from Arabic into Hebrew by Jacob Anatoli in 1231.

According to Ibn al-Abbar, Ibn Rushd's writings spread over 20,000 pages, the most famous of which deal with philosophy, medicine and jurisprudence. On medicine alone he wrote 20 books. Regarding jurisprudence, his book Bidayat al-Mujtahid wa-Nihayat- al-Muqtasid has been held by Ibn Jafar Thahabi as possibly the best book on the Maliki School of Fiqh. Ibn Rushd's writings were translated into various languages, including Latin, English, German and Hebrew. Most of his commentaries on philosophy are preserved in the Hebrew translations, or in Latin translations from the Hebrew, and a few in the original Arabic, generally in Hebrew script. This reveals his wider acceptance in the West in comparison to the East. The commentary on zoology is entirely lost. Ibn Rushd also wrote commentaries on Plato's Republic, Galen's treatise on fevers, al- Farabi's logic, etc. Eighty-seven of his books are still extant.

Ibn Rushd has been held as one of the greatest thinkers and scientists of the 12th century. According to Philip Hitti, Ibn Rushd influenced Western thought from the 12th to the 16th centuries. His books were included in the syllabi of Paris and other universities till the advent of modern experimental sciences.
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Default 12th century

12th century

• [B]1100s - [engineering]/B] The ventilator is invented in Egypt.[205] The bridge mill, hydropowered forge and finery forge are also invented in Al-Andalus. The war machine is also invented in Turkey.

• 1100s - [astronomical instruments] The astrolabic quadrant is invented in Egypt

• 1100s - [chemistry, military technology] The Seljuqs had facilities in Sivas for manufacturing war machines.

• 1100 - 1138 - [astronomy] Ibn Bajjah (Avempace) develops the first planetary model without any epicycles, as an alternative to Ptolemy's model.

• 1100 - 1138 - [mechanics, physics] Ibn Bajjah (Avempace) is the first to state that there is always a reaction force for every force exerted, a precursor to Gottfried Leibniz's idea of force which underlies Newton's third law of motion. His theory of motion later has an important influence on later physicists like Galileo Galilei.

• 1100 - 1150 - [astronomical instruments] Jabir ibn Aflah (Geber) invents the torquetum, an observational instrument and mechanical analog computer device used to transform between spherical coordinate systems He also invents the celestial globe, being "the first to design a portable celestial sphere to measure and explain the movements of celestial objects."

• 1100 - 1161 - [anatomy, anesthesiology, biology, medicine, physiology, surgery] Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) invents the surgical procedure of tracheotomy in al-Andalus. During his biomedical research, Ibn Zuhr is also one of the earliest physician known to have carried out human dissections and postmortem autopsy. As a pioneer in parasitology, he proves that the skin disease scabies is caused by a parasite, which contradicted the erroneous theory of humorism supported by Hippocrates, Galen and Avicenna. The removal of the parasite from the patient's body did not involve purging, bleeding or any other traditional treatments associated with the four humours. His works show that he was often highly critical of previous medical authorities, including Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine. He was one of the first physicians to reject the erroneous theory of four humours, which dates back to Hippocrates and Galen. Avenzoar also confirmed the presence of blood in the body. He was also the first to give a correct description of the tracheotomy operation for suffocating patients, and the first to provide a real scientific etiology for the inflammatory diseases of the ear, and the first to clearly discuss the causes of stridor. Modern anesthesia was also developed in al-Andalus by the Muslim anesthesiologists Ibn Zuhr and Abulcasis. They were the first to utilize oral as well as inhalant anesthetics, and they performed hundreds of surgeries under inhalant anesthesia with the use of narcotic-soaked sponges which were placed over the face.

• 1100 - 1161 - [medicine, pharmacopoeia] Ibn Zuhr writes The Method of Preparing Medicines and Diet, in which he performed the first parenteral nutrition of humans with a silver needle. He also wrote an early pharmacopoeia, which later became the first Arabic book to be printed with a movable type in 1491. Ibn Zuhr (and other Muslim physicians such as al-Kindi, Ibn Sahl, Abulcasis, al-Biruni, Avicenna, Averroes, Ibn al-Baitar, Ibn Al-Jazzar and Ibn al-Nafis) also developed drug therapy and medicinal drugs for the treatment of specific symptoms and diseases. His use of practical experience and careful observation was extensive.

• 1100 - 1165 - [mechanics, physics] Hibat Allah Abu'l-Barakat al-Baghdaadi writes a critique of Aristotelian philosophy and Aristotelian physics entitled al-Mu'tabar. He is the first to negate Aristotle's idea that a constant force produces uniform motion, as he realizes that a force applied continuously produces acceleration, which is considered "the fundamental law of classical mechanics" and an early foreshadowing of Newton's second law of motion. Like Newton, he described acceleration as the rate of change of velocity.

• 1100 - 1166 [cartography, geography] Muhammad al-Idrisi, aka Idris al-Saqalli aka al-sharif al-idrissi of Andalusia and Sicily, also known as Dreses in Latin. Among his works are a world map and the first known globe. He is said to draw the first correct map of the world "lawh al-tarsim" (plank of draught). His maps were used extensively during the explorations of the era of European renaissance. Roger II of Sicily commemorated his world map on a circle of silver weighing about 400 pounds. Works include Nozhat al-mushtaq fi ikhtiraq al-&agrav;faq dedicated to Roger II of Sicily, which is a compendium of the geographic and sociologic knowledge of his time as well as descriptions of his own travels illustrated with over seventy maps; Kharitat al-`alam al-ma`mour min al-ard (Map of the inhabited regions of the earth) wherein he divided the world into 7 regions, the first extending from the equator to 23 degrees latitude, and the seventh being from 54 to 63 degrees followed by a region uninhabitable due to cold and snow.

• 1100 - 1600 - [ceramics, pottery] Damascus becomes a center for innovative Islamic pottery and ceramics.

• 1105 - 1200 [astronomy] Ibn Tufail (Abubacer) and al-Betrugi (Alpetragius) are the first to propose planetary models without any equant, epicycles or eccentrics. Al-Betrugi was also the first to discover that the planets are self-luminous.

• 1106 - 1138 [polymath] Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Yahya (Ibn Bajjah or Avempace) writes books on philosophy, medicine, mathematics, poetry, and music.

• 1110 - 1185 [literature, philosophy] Abdubacer Ibn Tufayl of Spain. Philosophy, medicine, poetry, fiction. His most famous work is Hayy ibn Yaqzan, which is a spiritual investigation into the reality of the world narrated by a man who was raised from infancy by a roe or gazelle on a desert island. This work later had a strong influence on early Islamic philosophy, Arabic literature, European literature, the Scientific Revolution, and modern philosophy.
• 1115 - 1116 [astronomy, engineering] Al-Khazini wrote the Sinjaric Tables, in which he gave a description of his construction of a 24 hour water clock designed for astronomical purposes, an early example of an astronomical clock, and the positions of 46 stars computed for the year 500 AH (1115-1116 CE). He also computed tables for the observation of celestial bodies at the latitude of Merv The Sinjaric Tables was later translated into Greek by Gregory Choniades in the 13th century and was studied in the Byzantine Empire.

• 1115 - 1130 [astronomy, biology, chemistry, evolution] Al-Khazini's Treatise on Instruments has seven parts describing different scientific instruments: the triquetrum, dioptra, a triangular instrument he invented, the quadrant and sextant, the astrolabe, and original instruments involving reflection. He also wrote another work on evolution in chemistry and biology, and how they were perceived by natural philosophers and common people in the Islamic world at the time. He wrote that there were many Muslims who believed that humans evolved from apes.

• 1118 - 1174 - [education, medicine] Al-Nuri hospital in Egypt was a famous teaching hospital built by Nur ad-Din Zanqi, and was where many renowned physicians were taught. The hospital's medical school is said had elegant rooms, and a library which many of its books were donated by Zangi's physician, Abu al-Majid al-Bahili.

• 1121 - [astronomy, astrophysics, engineering, mechanics, physics] Al-Khazini publishes The Book of the Balance of Wisdom, in which he is the first to propose that the gravity and gravitational potential energy of a body varies depending on its distance from the centre of the Earth. This phenomenon is not proven until Newton's law of universal gravitation centuries later. Al-Khazini is also one of the first to clearly differentiate between force, mass, and weight, and he shows awareness of the weight of the air and of its decrease in density with altitude, and discovers that there is greater density of water when nearer to the Earth's centre. He also invents several scientific instruments, including the steelyard and hydrostatic balance. Al-Biruni and al-Khazini were also the first to apply experimental scientific methods to the fields of statics and dynamics, particularly for determining specific weights, such as those based on the theory of balances and weighing. He and his Muslim predecessors unified statics and dynamics into the science of mechanics, and they combined the fields of hydrostatics with dynamics to give birth to hydrodynamics. They applied the mathematical theories of ratios and infinitesimal techniques, and introduced algebraic and fine calculation techniques into the field of statics. They were also the first to generalize the theory of the centre of gravity and the first to apply it to three-dimensional bodies. They also founded the theory of the ponderable lever and created the "science of gravity" which was later further developed in medieval Europe. The contributions of al-Khazini and his Muslim predecessors to mechanics laid the foundations for the later development of classical mechanics in Renaissance Europe.

• 1126 - 1198 - [mechanics, physics] Averroes (Ibn Rushd) is the first to define and measure force as "the rate at which work is done in changing the kinetic condition of a material body" and the first to correctly argue "that the effect and measure of force is change in the kinetic condition of a materially resistant mass."

• 1126 - 1198 - [astronomy] Averroes rejects the eccentric deferents introduced by Ptolemy. He rejects the Ptolemaic model and instead argues for a strictly concentric model of the universe.

• 1128 - 1198 - [philosophy, law, medicine, astronomy, theology] Averroes writes books on philosophy, law, medicine, astronomy, and theology.

• 1130 - [mathematics] Born al-Samawal. An important member of al-Karaji's school of algebra. Gave this definition of algebra: "[it is concerned] with operating on unknowns using all the arithmetical tools, in the same way as the arithmetician operates on the known."

• 1135 - [mathematics] Born Sharafeddin Tusi. Follows al-Khayyam's application of algebra of geometry, rather than follow the general development that came through al-Karaji's school of algebra. Wrote a treatise on cubic equations which "represents an essential contribution to another algebra which aimed to study curves by means of equations, thus inaugurating the beginning of algebraic geometry."

• 1135 - 1200 - [astronomy, engineering] Sharaf al-Dīn al-Tūsī invents the linear astrolabe (staff of al-Tusi).

• 1150 - [telecommunication] The use of homing pigeons is introduced in Iraq and Syria.

• 1154 - [engineering] Al-Kaysarani invents the striking clock in Syria.

• 1187 - [military technology] Mardi bin Ali al-Tarsusi invents the counterweight trebuchet and the mangonel

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Default Ibn Al-baitar (died 1248 C.e.)

IBN AL-BAITAR
(DIED 1248 C.E.)

Abu Muhammad Abdallah Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-Baitar Dhiya al-Din al-Malaqi was one of the greatest scientists of Muslim Spain and was the greatest botanist and pharmacist of the Middle Ages. He was born in the Spanish city of Malaqa (Malaga) towards the end of the 12th century. He learned botany from Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati, a learned botanist, with whom he started collecting plants in and around Spain. In 1219 he left Spain on a plant-collecting expedition and travelled along the northern coast of Africa as far as Asia Minor. The exact modes of his travel (whether by land or sea) are not known, but the major stations he visited include Bugia, Qastantunia (Constantinople), Tunis, Tripoli, Barqa and Adalia. After 1224 he entered the service of al-Kamil, the Egyptian Governor, and was appointed chief herbalist. In 1227 al-Kamil extended his domination to Damascus, and Ibn al-Baitar accompanied him there which provided him an opportunity to collect plants in Syria His researches on plants extended over a vast area:including Arabia and Palestine, which he either visited or managed to collect plants from stations located there. He died in Damascus in 1248.

Ibn Baitar's major contribution, Kitab al-Jami fi al-Adwiya al- Mufrada, is one of the greatest botanical compilations dealing with medicinal plants in Arabic. It enjoyed a high status among botanists up to the 16th century and is a systematic work that embodies earlier works, with due criticism, and adds a great part of original contribution. The encyclopaedia comprises some 1,400 different items, largely medicinal plants and vegetables, of which about 200 plants were not known earlier. The book refers to the work of some 150 authors mostly Arabic, and it also quotes about 20 early Greek scientists. It was translated into Latin and published in 1758.

His second monumental treatise Kitab al-Mlughni fi al-Adwiya al-Mufrada is an encyclopaedia of medicine. The drugs are listed in accordance with their therapeutical value. Thus, its 20 different chapters deal with the plants bearing significance to diseases of head, ear, eye, etc. On surgical issues he has frequently quoted the famous Muslim surgeon, Abul Qasim Zahrawi. Besides Arabic, Baitar has given Greek and Latin names of the plants, thus facilitating transfer of knowledge.

Ibn Baitar's contributions are characterised by observation, analysis and classification and have exerted a profound influence on Eastern as well as Western botany and medicine. Though the Jami was translated/published late in the western languages as mentioned above, yet many scientists had earlier studied various parts of the book and made several references to it.
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Default Nasir Al-din Al-tusi (1201-1274 C.e.)

NASIR AL-DIN AL-TUSI
(1201-1274 C.E.)

Abu Jafar Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan Nasir al-Din al-Tusi was born in Tus (Khurasan) in 1201 C.E. He learnt sciences and philosophy from Kamal al-Din Ibn Yunus and others. He was one of those who were kidnapped by Hasan Bin Sabah's agents and sent to Almut, Hasan's stronghold. In 1256 when Almut was conquered by the Mongols, Nasir al-Din joined Halagu's service. Halagu Khan was deeply impressed by his knowledge, including his astrological competency; appointed him as one of his ministers, and, later on, as administrator of Auqaf. He was instrumental in the establishment and progress of the observatory at Maragha. In his last year of life he went to Baghdad and died there.

Nasir al-Din was one of the greatest scientists, philosaphers, mathematicians, astronomers, theologians and physicians of the time and was a prolific writer. He made significant contributions to a large number of subjects, and it is indeed difficult to present his work in a few words. He wrote one or several treatises on different sciences and subjects including those on geometry, algebra, arithmetic, trigonometry, medicine, metaphysics, logic, ethics and theology. In addition he wrote poetry in Persian.

In mathematics, his major contribution would seem to be in trigonometry, which was compiled by him as a new subject in its own right for the first time. Also he developed the subject of spherical trigonometry, including six fundamental formulas for the solution of spherical right-angled triangles.

As the chief scientist at the observatory established under his supervision at Maragha, he made significant contributions to astronomy. The observatory was equipped with the best possible instruments, including those collected by the Mongol armies from Baghdad and other Islamic centres. The instruments included astrolabes, representations of constellations, epicycles, shapes of spheres, etc. He himself invented an instrument 'turquet' that contained two planes. After the devoted work of 12 years at the observatory and with the assistance of his group, he produced new astronomical tables called Al-Zij-Ilkhani dedicated to Ilkhan (Halagu Khan). Although Tusi had contemplated completing the tables in 30 years, the time required for the completion of planetary cycles, but he had to complete them in 12 years on orders from Halagu Khan. The tables were largely based on original observa- tions, but also drew upon the then existing knowledge on the subject. The Zij Ilkhani became the most popular tables among astronomers and remained so till the 15th century. Nasir al-Din pointed out several serious shortcomings in Ptolemy's astronomy and foreshadowed the later dissatisfaction with the system that culminated in the Copernican reforms.

In philosophy, apart from his contribution in logic and meta- physics, his work on ethics entitled Akhlaq-i-Nasri became the most important book on the subject, and remained popular for centuries. His book Tajrid-al-'Aqaid was a major work on al-Kalam (Islamic Scholastic Philosophy) and enjoyed widespread popularity. Several commentaries were written on this book and even a number of supercommentaries on the major commentaries, Sharh Qadim and Sharh Jadid.

The list of his known treatises is exhaustive; Brockelmann lists 56 and Sarton 64. About one-fourth of these concern mathe- matics, another fourth astronomy, another fourth philosophy and religion, and the remainder other subjects. The books, though originally written in Arabic and Persian, were translated into Latin and other European languages in the Middle Ages and several of these have been printed.

Tusi's influence has been significant in the development of science, notably in mathematics and astronomy. His books were widely consulted for centuries and he has been held in high repute for his rich contributions.
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Default Jalal Al-din Rumi (1207-1273 C.e.)

JALAL AL-DIN RUMI
(1207-1273 C.E.)


Jalal al-Din Mohammad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Husain al-Rumi was born in 604 A.H. (1207/8 C.E.) at Balkh (now Afghanistan). His father Baha al-Din was a renowned religious scholar. Under his patronage, Rumi received his early education from Syed Burhan-al-Din. When his age was about 18 years, the family (after several migrations) finally settled at Konya and at the age of 25, Rumi was sent to Aleppo for advanced education and later to Damascus. Rumi continued with his education till he was 40 years old, although on his father's death Rumi succeeded him as a professor in the famous Madrasah at Konya at the age of about 24 years. He received his mystical training first at the hands of Syed Burhan al-Din and later he was trained by Shams al-Din Tabriz. He became famous for his mystical insight, his religious knowledge and as a Persian poet. He used to teach a large number of pupils at his Madrasah and also founded the famous Maulvi Order in Tasawwuf. He died in 672 A.H. (1273 C.E.) at Konya, which subsequently became a sacred place for dancing derveshes of the Maulvi Order.

His major contribution lies in Islamic philosophy and Tasawwuf. This was embodied largely in poetry, especially through his famous Mathnawi. This book, the largest mystical exposition in verse, discusses and offers solutions to many complicated problems in metaphysics, religion, ethics, mysticism, etc. Fundamentally, the Mathnawi highlights the various hidden aspects of Sufism and their relationship with the worldly life. For this, Rumi draws on a variety of subjects and derives numerous examples from everyday life. His main subject is the relationship between man and God on the one hand, and between man and man, on the other. He apparently believed in Pantheism and portrayed the various stages of man's evolution in his journey towards the Ultimate.

Apart from the Mathnaui, he also wrote his Diwan (collection of poems) and Fihi-Ma-Fih (a collection of mystical sayings). How- ever, it is the Mathnawi itself that has largely transmitted Rumi's message. Soon after its completion, other scholars started writing detailed commentaries on it, in order to interpret its rich propositions on Tasawwuf, Metaphysics and Ethics. Several commentaries in different languages have been written since then.

His impact on philosophy, literature, mysticism and culture, has been so deep throughout Central Asia and most Islamic countries that almost all religious scholars, mystics, philosophers, sociologists and others have referred to his verses during all these centuries since his death. Most difficult problems in these areas seem to get simpli- fied in the light of his references. His message seems to have inspired most of the intellectuals in Central Asia and adjoining areas since his time, and scholars like Iqbal have further developed Rumi's concepts. The Mathnawi became known as the interpretation of the Qur'an in the Pahlavi language. He is one of the few intellectuals and mystics whose views have so profoundly affected the world-view in its higher perspective in large parts of the Islamic World.
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