شیخ الرئیس بو علی سینا

05یہ حقیقت ہے کہ شیخ الرئیس ابو علی حسین بن عبداللہ بن سینا محض ایک فرد کا نام نہیں ہے۔ علامہ اقبال اپنی کتاب ’’ایران میں مابعد الطبیعیات کا ارتقا‘‘ میں لکھتے ہیں:’’ایران کے ابتدائی مفکرین میں صرف ابن سینا ہی ایسا شخص ہے جس نے علیحدہ نظام فکر تعمیر کرنے کی کوشش کی۔‘‘

شیخ کے والد عبداللہ بلخ کے رہنے والے تھے۔ یہ سامانیوں کا عہد تھا۔ نوح بن منصور سامانی نے اسے بخارا کے اہم شہر خریتان کا ولی مقرر کیا۔ اسی شہر کے نزدیک ایک چھوٹا سا شہر افشنا نامی بھی ہے۔ شیخ کی والدہ صاحبہ اسی شہر کی رہنے والی تھیں۔ ان کا نام ستارہ ہے۔ شیخ الرئیس بھی اسی شہر میں پیدا ہوئے۔ ان کے سنہ پیدائش میں اختلاف ہے، لیکن زیادہ تر مورخین 370 ہجری 980ء پر متفق ہیں۔ شیخ کی ولادت کے چند سال بعد یہ چھوٹا سا خاندان بخارا منتقل ہو گیا۔اس کی تعلیم کا یہیں آغاز ہوا۔ دس برس کی عمر میں اس نے قرآن مجید حفظ کر لیا تھا اور علوم شریعہ کی مبادیات اور علم نحو کے ضروری حصے سے بھی واقفیت حاصل کر لی تھی۔header-right

اس نے ریاضی کی تعلیم ایک سبزی فروش محمود مساح سے حاصل کی اور فقہ کی تعلیم اسماعیل زاہد سے۔ شیخ کے والد عبداللہ نے اپنے ذہین بچے کی مزید تعلیم و تربیت کی غرض سے عبداللہ الناتلی کو مستقل طور پر اپنے ہاں ٹھہرا لیا جس سے اس نے منطق اور اقلیدس کے ابتدائی اسباق لیے۔ مگر جلد ہی ہونہار شاگرد نے اپنے استاد پر فوقیت حاصل کر لی۔ طبیعیات، ماوراء الطبیعیات اور الٰہیات کی کتابیں اس نے ازخود پڑھیں۔ پھر وہ فلسفے کی طرف متوجہ ہوا تو راتوں کو وہ کبھی پوری نیند سے لطف اندوز نہیں ہوا اور دن کو بھی فلسفے پر غور و غوض کے سوا اس کی کوئی اور مشغولیت نہیں تھی۔ کسی مسئلے میں جب وہ اٹک جاتا تو وضو کرکے جامع مسجد چلا جاتا۔ نماز پڑھتا اور اللہ سے دعا کرتا۔

یہاں تک کہ مسئلے کی پیچیدگی دور ہو جاتی۔ اس نے ارسطو کی ماوراء الطبیعیات کا مطالعہ کیا۔ چالیس بار پڑھنے پر کتاب تو اس کو ازبر ہو گئی لیکن اس کے مطالب اس پر نہ کھلے۔ اتفاقیہ طور پر ایک دن بازار کتب فروشاں میں اس نے ایک شخص سے فارابی کی کتاب بے دلی سے اور سستے داموں خریدی۔ مگر اسی کتاب کے مطالعے نے نہ صر ف مابعد الطبیعیات کے مفاہیم کی طرف اس کی رہبری کی بلکہ اس کے ذہن کو پختہ تر کر دیا اور فلسفے کی ادق راہیں اس پر کھول دیں… کیا فارابی کو ابن سینا کا استاد کہنا چاہیے؟ شیخ طب کی طرف مائل ہوا تو پھر اس کی کتابیں پڑھنا شروع کر دیں۔ وہ علم طب میں بھی آپ اپنا استاد ہے۔

اگرچہ ابن ابی اصیبعہ نے اپنی کتاب ’’طبقات الاطباء‘‘ میں ابو سہل عیسیٰ بن یحییٰ مسیحی جرجانی کا نام اس کے استاد کی حیثیت سے درج کیا ہے۔ ابھی ابن سینا سولہ سترہ سال کا ہی ہوا تھا کہ اس کی طبی قابلیت کی شہرت چار دانگ عالم میں پھیل گئی۔ اٹھارہ سال کی عمر تک پہنچتے پہنچتے شیخ نے تمام مروجہ علوم سے فراغت حاصل کر لی تھی۔ غالباً اسی وجہ سے ڈی بوئر اس کے متعلق لکھتا ہے’’وہ جسمانی اور ذہنی حیثیت سے قبل از وقت بالغ ہوگیا تھا۔‘‘

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Abu-Mahmud Khojandi

Abu Mahmud Hamid ibn Khidr Khojandi (known as Abu Mahmood Khojandi, Alkhujandi or al-Khujandi,  was a Central Asian astronomer and mathematician with Mongol orijin who lived in the late 10th century and helped build an observatory, near the city of Ray (near today’s Tehran), in Iran. He was born in Khujand; a bronze bust of the astronomer is present in a park in modern-day Khujand, now part of Tajikistan. The few facts about Khujandi’s life that are known come from his surviving writings as well as from comments made by Nassereddin Tusi. From Tusi’s comments it is fairly certain that Khujandi was one of the rulers of the Mongol tribe in the Khudzhand region, and thus must have come from the nobility

Astronomy

In Islamic astronomy, Khujandi worked under the patronage of the Buwayhid Amirs at the observatory near Ray, Iran, where he is known to have constructed the first huge mural sextant in 994 AD, intended to determine the Earth’s axial tilt (“obliquity of the ecliptic”) to high precision. He determined the axial tilt to be 23°32’19” for the year 994 AD. He noted that measurements by earlier astronomers had found higher values (Indians: 24°; Ptolemy 23° 51′) and thus discovered that the axial tilt is not constant but is in fact (currently) decreasing. His measurement of the axial tilt was however about 2 minutes too small, probably due to his heavy instrument settling over the course of the observations.[2][3]

Mathematics

In Islamic mathematics, he stated a special case of Fermat’s last theorem for n = 3, but his attempted proof of the theorem was incorrect. The spherical law of sines may have also been discovered by Khujandi, but it is uncertain whether he discovered it first, or whether Abu Nasr Mansur, Abul Wafa or Nasir al-Din al-Tusi discovered it first.[4][5].[1]
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Mahmoud Hessaby

Sayyed Mahmoud Hessaby  (February 23, 1903, Tehran – September 3, 1992, Geneva) was an Iranian scientist, researcher and professor of University of Tehran. During the congress on “60 years of physics in Iran” the services rendered by him were deeply appreciated and he was called “the father of modern physics in Iran”

Biography

Hessaby was born in Tehran to Abbas and Goharshad Hessaby. When he was seven, the family moved from Iran to Beirut in Lebanon where he attended school.
At seventeen he obtained his Bachelor’s in Arts and Sciences from the American University of Beirut. Later he obtained his B.A. in civil engineering while working as a draftsman. He continued his studies and graduated from Engineering school of Beirut.
Hessaby was admitted to the École Superieure d’Electricité and in 1925 graduated while he was employed by the SNCF (French National Railway). He started working in the electric locomotive maintenance department. Hew was a scientific mind and continued his research in Physics at the Sorbonne University and obtained his Ph.D. in Physics from that University at the age of twenty-five.
Dr Hessaby was a Polymath,[3] having held five Bachelor’s degrees in literature, civil engineering, mathematics, electric engineering and mining engineering. He continued lecturing at University of Tehran for three working generations, teaching seven generations of students and professors.
In 1947, he published his classic paper on “Continuous particles”. Following this, in 1957 he proposed his model of “Infinitely extended particles”.
As Hessaby wished, he was buried in his hometown, Tafresh.

Languages

Prof. Mahmoud Hessaby was fluent in five living languages: Persian, French, English, German and Arabic. He was also familiar with Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, Pahlavi, Avestan, Turkish and Italian, which he used for etymological studies.

The Dr. Hessaby Museum

The Museum Of Dr. Hessaby is a collection of some of personal belongings and communications with various scientific cultural figures.
The museum has been established by his family, colleagues and students in order to value his 60 years of scientific, educational and cultural activities, and to set an example for young generation of Iran, students in particular, of a hard-working contemporary scientist, who despite his difficult childhood led a successful life and contributed greatly towards his country’s progress by establishing many scientific, industrial, cultural, and research centers in Iran, including the University of Tehran, the first modern university in the country.
Every item of the museum is a reminder of a corner of his life and bears a valuable lesson of life.
The museum is situated in his personal home, north of Tehran, and visited daily by many visitors from different scientific, cultural, and educational institutes and organisations, free of charge.

Dr. Hessaby Foundation

The Dr. Hessaby Foundation was established by his son to continue all the various aspects of his work, highlighting his belief that giving priority to research and researchers is the basis of the scientific and industrial progress of a country.

Children

He had a son and a daughter. His son graduated in political Science from Melli University and is currently in charge of the Dr. Hessaby Institute.

Accomplishments

According to the Dr Hessaby Institute, essentially an institution run by his son, the following were some of his accomplishments:
  • Founding the Highway Engineering school and teaching there from 1928
  • Survey and drawing of the first coastal road-map between Persian Gulf ports
  • Founding the “teachers college” and teaching there from 1928
  • Construction of the first radio-set in Iran (1928)
  • Construction of the first weather-station in 1931
  • Installation and operation of the first radiology center in Iran in 1931
  • Calculation and setting of Iranian time (1932)
  • Founding the first private hospital in Iran (Goharshad Hospital) in 1933
  • Writing the University carechair and founding Tehran University (1934)
  • Founding the Engineering school in 1934 and acting as the dean of that school until 1936 and teaching there from then on
  • Founding the faculty of science and acting as its dean from 1942 to 1948
  • Commissioned for the dispossession of British Petroleum Company during the government of Dr Mossadegh and appointed as the first general manager of the National Iranian Oil Company
  • Minister of Education in the cabinet of Dr Mossadegh from 1951 to 1952
  • Opposing the contract with the consortium while in the Senate of Iran in 1954
  • Opposing the membership of Iran in CENTO
  • Founding the Telecommunication Center of Assad-Abad in Hamedan (1959)
  • Writing the standards charter for the standards Institute of Iran (1954)
  • Founding the Geophysical Institute of Tehran University (1961)
  • Title of distinguished professor of Tehran University from 1971
  • Founding the atomic research center and atomic reactor at Tehran University
  • Founding the atomic Energy center of Iran, member of the UN scientific sub-committee of peaceful use of nuclear power, member of the international space committee (1981)
  • Establishment of Iran’s space research committee and member of the international space committee (1981)
  • Establishment of the Iranian music society and founding the Persian language Academy

Awards and honours

  • Father of Iranian Physics, By Iran’s Physical Society

Key publications

  • Hessaby M, Model of an Infinite Particle, Journal de Physique et le Radium 18 (5): 323-326 1957. Times Cited: 0 University of Tehran.
  • Hessaby M, Theoretical Evidence for the Existence of a Light-Charged Particle of Mass Greater than That of the Electron, Physical Review, Vol. 73, Issue 9, p. 1128 (1948). Times Cited: 1 While at Institute for Nuclear Studies, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Hessaby M, Continuous Particles, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 33, No. 6, pp. 189–194 (1947). Times Cited: 0 University of Tehran and Princeton University
  • Hessaby M, Continuous Particles, Proceedings of the American Physical Society, Minutes of the Meeting at Montreal, June 19–21, 1947,

Research and writing

His research and writings included:[3]. [1][2] 
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Ebn Meskavayh

Abu ‘Ali Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ya’qub Ibn Miskawayh  also known as Ibn Miskawayh (932–1030) or Ebn Meskavayh, was a Persian[1] chancery official of the Buwayhid era, and philosopher and historian from Rey, Iran. As a neo-platonist, his influence on Islamic philosophy is primarily in the area of ethics. He was the author of the first major Islamic work on philosophical ethics, entitled Tahdhib al-akhlaq (تهذيب الأخلاق: Refinement of Morals), focusing on practical ethics, conduct, and refinement of character. He separated personal ethics from the public realm, and contrasted the liberating nature of reason with the deception and temptation of nature.

Life

Ebn Meskavayh was a prominent figure in the intellectual and cultural life of his time.[1] Miskawayh may have been a Mazdaean convert to Islam, but it seems more likely that it was one of his ancestors who converted[1][2] He was fluent enough in Middle Persian to have translated some pre-Islamic texts in that language into Arabic.[citation needed] He worked as a secretary and librarian for a sequence of viziers, including Adud al-Dawla. Some contemporary sources associated him with the Brethren of Purity, claiming that some of his writings were used in the compilation of the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity.[3]

Works

Ibn Miskawayh was one of the first to clearly describe a version of the idea of evolution. Muhammad Hamidullah describes the evolutionary ideas found in Ibn Miskawayh’s al-Fawz al-Asghar as follows:
“[These books] state that God first created matter and invested it with energy for development. Matter, therefore, adopted the form of vapour which assumed the shape of water in due time. The next stage of development was mineral life. Different kinds of stones developed in course of time. Their highest form being mirjan (coral). It is a stone which has in it branches like those of a tree. After mineral life evolves vegetation. The evolution of vegetation culminates with a tree which bears the qualities of an animal. This is the date-palm. It has male and female genders. It does not wither if all its branches are chopped but it dies when the head is cut off. The date-palm is therefore considered the highest among the trees and resembles the lowest among animals. Then is born the lowest of animals. It evolves into an ape. This is not the statement of Darwin. This is what Ibn Maskawayh states and this is precisely what is written in the Epistles of Ikhwan al-Safa. The Muslim thinkers state that ape then evolved into a lower kind of a barbarian man. He then became a superior human being. Man becomes a saint, a prophet. He evolves into a higher stage and becomes an angel. The one higher to angels is indeed none but God. Everything begins from Him and everything returns to Him.”[1][citation needed]
Arabic manuscripts of the al-Fawz al-Asghar were available in European universities by the 19th century. This work is believed to have been studied by Charles Darwin, who was a student of Arabic, and it is thought to have had an influence on his inception of Darwinism.[1][citation needed]In his Tajarib al-umam (Experiences of Nations) he was one of the first major Muslim historians to write a chronicle of contemporary events as an eyewitness. As a Buwayhid bureaucrat, he worked under the vizier al-Muhallabi and had access to the internal happenings of the court. The chronicle is a universal history from the beginning of Islam, but it cuts off near the end of the reign of Adud al-Dawla.
His major work in the field of philosophy is his Tahḏib al-aḵlāq wa-taṭhir al-aʿrāq. The book is meant to provide students of philosophy and ethics an exposition of the main elements of philosophy.
Ketāb al-ḥekma al-ḵāleda (Book of Eternal Wisdom) is an Arabic translation of a Persian work called Jāvidān ḵerad (“Eternal Wisdom”).[1] One manuscript of which bears the title Ketāb ādāb al-ʿArab wa’l-Fors (lit. “Book of Literatures of the Arabs and Persians”).[1]
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Jābir ibn Hayyān

Abu Mūsā Jābir ibn Hayyān  , fl.c.721–c.815)[4] was a prominent Persian or Arab polymath: a chemist and alchemist, astronomer and astrologer, engineer, geographer, philosopher, physicist, and pharmacist and physician. Born and educated in Tus, he later traveled to Kufa. Jābir is held to have been the first practical alchemist.[5]As early as the 10th century, the identity and exact corpus of works of Jābir was in dispute in Islamic circles.[6] His name was Latinized as “Geber” in the Christian West and in 13th-century Europe an anonymous writer, usually referred to as Pseudo-Geber, produced alchemical and metallurgical writings under the pen-name Geber

Early references

In 988 Ibn al-Nadim compiled the Kitab al-Fihrist which mentions Jabir as a spiritual follower and as a companion to Jafar as-Sadiq . In another reference al-Nadim reports that a group of philosophers claimed Jabir was one of their own members. Another group, reported by al-Nadim, says only The Large Book of Mercy is genuine and that the rest are pseudographical. Their assertions are rejected by al-Nadim.[8] Joining al-Nadim in asserting a real Jabir; Ibn-Wahshiyya (“Jaber ibn Hayyn al-Sufi …book on poison is a great work..”) Rejecting a real Jabir; (the philosopher c.970) Abu Sulayman al-Mantiqi claims the real author is one al-Hasan ibn al-Nakad al-Mawili. 14th century critic of Arabic literature, Jamal al-Din ibn Nubata al-Misri declares all the writings attributed to Jabir doubtful.[9]

Life and background

Jabir was a Natural Philosopher who lived mostly in the 8th century; he was born in Tus, Khorasan, in Iran (Persia),[4] then ruled by the Umayyad Caliphate. Jabir in the classical sources has been entitled differently as al-Azdi al-Barigi or al-Kufi or al-Tusi or al-Sufi.[10] There is a difference of opinion[10] as to whether he was a Persian from Khorasan who later went to Kufa or whether he was, as some have suggested, of Syrian origin and later lived in Persia and Iraq.[10] His ethnic background is not clear,[10] but most sources reference him as a Persian.[3] In some sources, he is reported to have been the son of Hayyan al-Azdi, a pharmacist of the Arabian Azd tribe who emigrated from Yemen to Kufa (in present-day Iraq) during the Umayyad Caliphate.[11][12] while Henry Corbin believes Geber seems to have been a client of the ‘Azd tribe.[13]
 
 Jābir became an alchemist at the court of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, for whom he wrote the Kitab al-Zuhra (“The Book of Venus”, on “the noble art of alchemy”).[citation needed] Hayyan had supported the Abbasid revolt against the Umayyads, and was sent by them to the province of Khorasan (present day Afghanistan and Iran) to gather support for their cause. He was eventually caught by the Umayyads and executed. His family fled to Yemen,[11][14] where Jābir grew up and studied the Quran, mathematics and other subjects.[11] Jābir’s father’s profession may have contributed greatly to his interest in alchemy. After the Abbasids took power, Jābir went back to Kufa. He began his career practicing medicine, under the patronage of a Vizir (from the noble Persian family Barmakids) of Caliph Harun al-Rashid. His connections to the Barmakid cost him dearly in the end. When that family fell from grace in 803, Jābir was placed under house arrest in Kufa, where he remained until his death. It has been asserted that Jābir was a student of the sixth Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq and Harbi al-Himyari,[6][15] however other scholars have questioned this theory.[16]

The Jabirian corpus

In total, nearly 3,000 treatises and articles are credited to Jabir ibn Hayyan.[17] Following the pioneering work of Paul Kraus, who demonstrated that a corpus of some several hundred works ascribed to Jābir were probably a medley from different hands,[9][18] mostly dating to the late 9th and early 10th centuries, many scholars believe that many of these works consist of commentaries and additions by his followers,[citation needed] particularly of an Ismaili persuasion.[19]The scope of the corpus is vast: cosmology, music, medicine, magic, biology, chemical technology, geometry, grammar, metaphysics, logic, artificial generation of living beings, along with astrological predictions, and symbolic Imâmî myths.[9]
  • The 112 Books dedicated to the Barmakids, viziers of Caliph Harun al-Rashid. This group includes the Arabic version of the Emerald Tablet, an ancient work that proved a recurring foundation of and source for alchemical operations. In the Middle Ages it was translated into Latin (Tabula Smaragdina) and widely diffused among European alchemists.
  • The Seventy Books, most of which were translated into Latin during the Middle Ages. This group includes the Kitab al-Zuhra (“Book of Venus”) and the Kitab Al-Ahjar (“Book of Stones”).
  • The Ten Books on Rectification, containing descriptions of alchemists such as Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
  • The Books on Balance; this group includes his most famous ‘Theory of the balance in Nature’.
Jābir states in his Book of Stones (4:12) that “The purpose is to baffle and lead into error everyone except those whom God loves and provides for”. His works seem to have been deliberately written in highly esoteric code (see steganography), so that only those who had been initiated into his alchemical school could understand them. It is therefore difficult at best for the modern reader to discern which aspects of Jābir’s work are to be read as symbols (and what those symbols mean), and what is to be taken literally. Because his works rarely made overt sense, the term gibberish is believed to have originally referred to his writings (Hauck, p. 19).

People

Jābir’s interest in alchemy was inspired by his teacher Ja’far as-Sadiq. When he used to talk about alchemy, he would say “my master Ja’far as-Sadiq taught me about calcium, evaporation, distillation and crystallization and everything I learned in alchemy was from my master Ja’far as-Sadiq.” Imam Jafar was famed for his depth and breadth of knowledge. In addition to his knowledge of Islamic sciences, Imam Jafar was well educated in natural sciences, mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, anatomy, chemistry (alchemy), and other subjects. The foremost Islamic alchemist Jabir bin Hayyan was his most prominent student. Other famous students of his were Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik Ibn Anas, the founders of two Sunni schools of jurisprudence, and Wasil ibn Ata, the founder of the Mutazilite school of Islamic thought. Imam Jafar was known for his liberal views on learning, and was keen to debate with scholars of different faiths and of different beliefs. Imam Abu Hanifa is quoted by many souces as having said “My knowledge extends to only two years. The two I spent with Imam Jafar Sadiq”, some Islamic scholars have gone so far as to call Imam Jafar Saddiq as the root of most of Islamic jurisprudence, having a massive influence on Hanafi, Maliki and Shia schools of thought extending well into mainstream Hanbali and Shafi’i thought. Imam Jafar also attained a surpassing knowledge in astronomy and in the science of medicine. it is said that he wrote more than five hundred books on health care which were compiled and annotated by another great scholar and scientist of Islam, Jabir bin Hayyan Jābir professes to draw his inspiration from earlier writers, legendary and historic, on the subject.[20]
 
In his writings, Jābir pays tribute to Egyptian and Greek alchemists Zosimos, Democritus, Hermes Trismegistus, Agathodaimon, but also Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Pythagoras, and Socrates as well as the commentators Alexander of Aphrodisias Simplicius, Porphyry and others.[9] A huge pseudo-epigraphic literature of alchemical books was composed in Arabic, among which the names of Persian authors also appear like Jāmāsb, Ostanes, Mani, testifying that alchemy-like operations on metals and other substances were also practiced in Persia. The great number of Persian technical names (zaybaq = mercury, nošāder = sal-ammoniac) also corroborates the idea of an important Iranian root of medieval alchemy.[21] Ibn al-Nadim reports a dialogue between Aristotle and Ostanes, the Persian alchemist of Achaemenid era, which is in Jabirian corpus under the title of Kitab Musahhaha Aristutalis.[22] Ruska had suggested that the Sasanian medical schools played an important role in the spread of interest in alchemy.[21] He emphasizes the long history of alchemy, “whose origin is Arius … the first man who applied the first experiment on the [philosopher’s] stone… and he declares that man possesses the ability to imitate the workings of Nature” (Nasr, Seyyed Hussein, Science and Civilization of Islam).

Theories

Jābir’s alchemical investigations ostensibly revolved around the ultimate goal of takwin — the artificial creation of life. The Book of Stones includes several recipes for creating creatures such as scorpions, snakes, and even humans in a laboratory environment, which are subject to the control of their creator. What Jābir meant by these recipes is unknown. Jābir’s alchemical investigations were theoretically grounded in an elaborate numerology related to Pythagorean and Neoplatonic systems. The nature and properties of elements was defined through numeric values assigned the Arabic consonants present in their name, ultimately culminating in the number 17.
 
By Jabirs’ time Aristotelian physics, had become Neoplatonic. Each Aristotelian element was composed of these qualities: fire was both hot and dry, earth, cold and dry, water cold and moist, and air, hot and moist. This came from the elementary qualities which are theoretical in nature plus substance. In metals two of these qualities were interior and two were exterior. For example, lead was cold and dry and gold was hot and moist. Thus, Jābir theorized, by rearranging the qualities of one metal, a different metal would result. Like Zosimos, Jabir believed this would require a catalyst, an al-iksir, the elusive elixir that would make this transformation possible — which in European alchemy became known as the philosopher’s stone.[9]
 
According to Jabir’s mercury-sulfur theory, metals differ from each in so far as they contain different proportions of the sulfur and mercury. These are not the elements that we know by those names, but certain principles to which those elements are the closest approximation in nature.[23] Based on Aristotle’s “exhalation” theory the dry and moist exhalations become sulfur and mercury (sometimes called “sophic” or “philosophic” mercury and sulfur). The sulfur-mercury theory is first recorded in a 7th-century work Secret of Creation credited (falsely) to Balinus (Apollonius of Tyana). This view becomes widespread.[24] In the Book of Explanation Jabir says
the metals are all, in essence, composed of mercury combined and coagulated with sulphur [that has risen to it in earthy, smoke-like vapors]. They differ from one another only because of the difference of their accidental qualities, and this difference is due to the difference of their sulphur, which again is caused by a variation in the soils and in their positions with respect to
the heat of the sun
Holmyard says that Jabir proves by experiment that these are not ordinary sulfur and mercury.[11]
The seeds of the modern classification of elements into metals and non-metals could be seen in his chemical nomenclature. He proposed three categories:[25]
The origins of the idea of chemical equivalents might be traced back to Jabir, in whose time it was recognized that “a certain quantity of acid is necessary in order to neutralize a given amount of base.”[26][verification needed] Jābir also made important contributions to medicine, astronomy/astrology, and other sciences. Only a few of his books have been edited and published, and fewer still are available in translation..[7]
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Ahmad Nahavandi

Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Nahavandi was a Persian astronomer of the 8th and 9th centuries. His name indicates that he was from Nahavand, a city in Iran. He lived and worked at the Academy of Gundishapur, in Khuzestan, Iran, at the time of Yahya ibn Khalid ibn Barmak, who died in 803AD, where he is reported to have been making astronomical observations around the year 800AD. He and Mashallah ibn Athari were among the earliest Islamic era astronomers who flourished during the reign of al-Mansur, the second Abbasid Caliph. He also compiled tables called the comprehensive (Mushtamil).
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Jamshīd al-Kāshī

Ghiyāth al-Dīn Jamshīd Masʿūd al-Kāshī (or al-Kāshānī)[1] (Persian: غیاث‌الدین جمشید کاشانیGhiyās-ud-dīn Jamshīd Kāshānī) (c. 1380 Kashan, Iran – 22 June 1429 Samarkand, Transoxania) was a Persian astronomer and mathematician

Biography

Al-Kashi was one of the best mathematicians in the Islamic world. He was born in 1380, in Kashan, in central Iran. This region was controlled by Tamurlane, better known as Timur. Al-Kashi lived in poverty during his childhood and the beginning years of his adulthood. The situation changed for the better when Timur died in 1405, and his son, Shah Rokh, ascended into power. Shah Rokh and his wife, Goharshad, a Persian princess, were very interested in the sciences, and they encouraged their court to study the various fields in great depth. Consequently, the period of their power became one of many scholarly accomplishments. This was the perfect environment for al-Kashi to begin his career as one of the world’s greatest mathematicians.
 
Eight years after he came into power in 1409, their son, Ulugh Beg, founded an institute in Samarkand which soon became a prominent university. Students from all over the Middle East, and beyond, flocked to this academy in the capital city of Ulugh Beg’s empire. Consequently, Ulugh Beg harvested many great mathematicians and scientists of the Muslim world. In 1414, al-Kashi took this opportunity to contribute vast amounts of knowledge to his people. His best work was done in the court of Ulugh Beg, and it is said that he was the king’s favourite student. Al-Kashi was still working on his book, called “Risala al-watar wa’l-jaib” meaning “The Treatise on the Chord and Sine”, when he died in 1429. Some scholars believe that Ulugh Beg may have ordered his murder, while others say he died a natural death. The details are unclear.

Astronomy

Khaqani Zij

Al-Kashi produced a Zij entitled the Khaqani Zij, which was based on Nasir al-Din al-Tusi‘s earlier Zij-i Ilkhani. In his Khaqani Zij, al-Kashi thanks the Timurid sultan and mathematician-astronomer Ulugh Beg, who invited al-Kashi to work at his observatory (see Islamic astronomy) and his university (see Madrasah) which taught Islamic theology as well as Islamic science. Al-Kashi produced sine tables to four sexagesimal digits (equivalent to eight decimal places) of accuracy for each degree and includes differences for each minute. He also produced tables dealing with transformations between coordinate systems on the celestial sphere, such as the transformation from the ecliptic coordinate system to the equatorial coordinate system.[2]

Astronomical Treatise on the size and distance of heavenly bodies

He wrote the book Sullam al-Sama on the resolution of difficulties met by predecessors in the determination of distances and sizes of heavenly bodies such as the Earth, the Moon, the Sun and the Stars.

Treatise on Astronomical Observational Instruments

In 1416, al-Kashi wrote the Treatise on Astronomical Observational Instruments, which described a variety of different instruments, including the triquetrum and armillary sphere, the equinoctial armillary and solsticial armillary of Mo’ayyeduddin Urdi, the sine and versine instrument of Urdi, the sextant of al-Khujandi, the Fakhri sextant at the Samarqand observatory, a double quadrant Azimuthaltitude instrument he invented, and a small armillary sphere incorporating an alhidade which he invented.[3]

Plate of Conjunctions

Al-Kashi invented the Plate of Conjunctions, an analog computing instrument used to determine the time of day at which planetary conjunctions will occur,[4] and for performing linear interpolation.[5]

Planetary computer

Al-Kashi also invented a mechanical planetary computer which he called the Plate of Zones, which could graphically solve a number of planetary problems, including the prediction of the true positions in longitude of the Sun and Moon,[5] and the planets in terms of elliptical orbits;[6] the latitudes of the Sun, Moon, and planets; and the ecliptic of the Sun. The instrument also incorporated an alhidade and ruler.[7]

Mathematics

Law of cosines

In French, the law of cosines is named Théorème d’Al-Kashi (Theorem of Al-Kashi), as al-Kashi was the first to provide an explicit statement of the law of cosines in a form suitable for triangulation.

The Treatise on the Chord and Sine

In The Treatise on the Chord and Sine, al-Kashi computed sin 1° to nearly as much accuracy as his value for π, which was the most accurate approximation of sin 1° in his time and was not surpassed until Taqi al-Din in the 16th century. In algebra and numerical analysis, he developed an iterative method for solving cubic equations, which was not discovered in Europe until centuries later.[2]A method algebraically equivalent to Newton’s method was known to his predecessor Sharaf al-Dīn al-Tūsī. Al-Kāshī improved on this by using a form of Newton’s method to solve x^P - N = 0 to find roots of N. In western Europe, a similar method was later described by Henry Biggs in his Trigonometria Britannica, published in 1633.[8]In order to determine sin 1°, al-Kashi discovered the following formula often attributed to François Viète in the 16th century:[9]
\sin 3 \phi = 3 \sin \phi - 4 \sin^3 \phi\,\!

The Key to Arithmetic

Computation of 2π

In his numerical approximation, he correctly computed 2π (or \tau) to 9 sexagesimal digits[10] in 1424,[2] and he converted this approximation of 2π to 17 decimal places of accuracy.[11] This was far more accurate than the estimates earlier given in Greek mathematics (3 decimal places by Archimedes), Chinese mathematics (7 decimal places by Zu Chongzhi) or Indian mathematics (11 decimal places by Madhava of Sangamagrama). The accuracy of al-Kashi’s estimate was not surpassed until Ludolph van Ceulen computed 20 decimal places of π nearly 200 years later.[2] It should be noted that al-Kashi’s goal was not to compute the circle constant with as many digits as possible but to compute it so precisely that the circumference of the largest possible circle (ecliptica) could be computed with highest desirable precision (the diameter of a hair).

Decimal fractions

In discussing decimal fractions, Struik states that (p. 7):[12]
“The introduction of decimal fractions as a common computational practice can be dated back to the Flemish pamphlet De Thiende, published at Leyden in 1585, together with a French translation, La Disme, by the Flemish mathematician Simon Stevin (1548-1620), then settled in the Northern Netherlands. It is true that decimal fractions were used by the Chinese many centuries before Stevin and that the Persian astronomer Al-Kāshī used both decimal and sexagesimal fractions with great ease in his Key to arithmetic (Samarkand, early fifteenth century).[13]

Khayyam’s triangle

In considering Pascal’s triangle, known in Persia as “Khayyam’s triangle” (named after Omar Khayyám), Struik notes that (p. 21):[12]
“The Pascal triangle appears for the first time (so far as we know at present) in a book of 1261 written by Yang Hui, one of the mathematicians of the Sung dynasty in China.[14] The properties of binomial coefficients were discussed by the Persian mathematician Jamshid Al-Kāshī in his Key to arithmetic of c. 1425.[15] Both in China and Persia the knowledge of these properties may be much older. This knowledge was shared by some of the Renaissance mathematicians, and we see Pascal‘s triangle on the title page of Peter Apian‘s German arithmetic of 1527. After this we find the triangle and the properties of binomial coefficients in several other authors.[16]

Biographical film

In 2009 IRIB produced and broadcast (through Channel 1 of IRIB) a biographical-historical film series on the life and times of Jamshid Al-Kāshi, with the title The Ladder of the Sky [17][18] (Nardebām-e Āsmān [19]). The series, which consists of 15 parts of each 45 minutes duration, is directed by Mohammad-Hossein Latifi and produced by Mohsen Ali-Akbari. In this production, the role of the adult Jamshid Al-Kāshi is played by Vahid Jalilvand.[20][21][22]
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Anvari

     
Anvari (1126–1189), full name Awhad ad-Din ‘Ali ibn Mohammad Khavarani or Awhad ad-Din ‘Ali ibn Mahmud (Persian: اوحد الدین علی ابن محد انوری‎) was a Persian poet. He was born in Abivard of (now in Turkmenistan) and died in Khurasanian Balkh, now in Afghanistan,[1] and studied science and literature at the collegiate institute in Toon (now Ferdows, Iran), becoming a famous astronomer as well as a poet. Anvari’s poems were collected in a Deewan, and contains panegyrics, eulogies, satire, and others. His elegy “Tears of Khorasan”, translated into English in 1789, is considered to be one of the most beautiful poems in Persian literature. The Cambridge History of Iran calls Anvari “one of the greatest figures in Persian literature”. Despite their beauty, his poems often required much help with interpretation, as they were often complex and difficult to understand. Anvari’s panegyric in honour of the Seljuk sultan Sultan Sanjar (1117–1157), ruler of Khorasan, won him royal favour, and allowed him to go on to enjoy the patronage of two of Sanjar’s successors. However, when his prophecy of disasters in October 1185 failed, he fell out of favour with the kingship, and was forced into a life of scholarly service, eventually taking his own life in 1189.

Life

Anwari was born in the Khawaran district (Balkh) of Khorasan early in the 12th century.[2] He enjoyed the special favour of the Sultan Sanjar, whom he attended in all his warlike expeditions. On one occasion, when the sultan was besieging the fortress of Hazarasp, a fierce poetical conflict was maintained between Anwari and his rival Rashidi, who was within the beleaguered castle, by means of verses fastened to arrows. His literary powers are considerable, as shown in his famous lament over the ruin caused by the Ghuzz tribesmen in Khurasan,[2] and his exercises in irony and ridicule make pungent reading.[2] He was adept in astrology[2] and considered himself to be superior to his contemporaries in logic, music, theology, mathematics and all other intellectual pursuits.[2] It appears that his patrons after Sultan Sanjar failed to value his services as highly as he did himself; at any rate he considered their rewards inadequate.[2]

Either that fact or jealousy of his rivals caused him to renounce the writing of eulogies and of ghazals, although it is difficult to decide at what point in his career this took place. His satires doubtless created him enemies. His declining fortunes led to persistent complaint against capricious Fate. In style and language he is sometimes obscure, so that Dawlatshah declares that he needs a commentary.[2] That obscurity, and a change in literary taste, may be one reason for his comparative neglect.[2]Anwari died at Balkh towards the end of the 12th century. The Diwan, or collection of his poems, consists of a series of long poems, and a number of simpler lyrics. His longest piece, The Tears of Khorassan, was translated into English verse by Captain Kirkpatrick.

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Ibrāhīm al-Fazārī

Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Habib ibn Sulaiman ibn Samura ibn Jundab al-Fazari  was an 8th-century mathematician and astronomer of Persian [1] background.
He was the mathematician and astronomer at the Abbasid court of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. He is not to be confused with his son Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Fazārī, also an Astronomer. He composed various astronomical writings (“on the astrolabe“, “on the armillary spheres”, “on the calendar”).
The Caliph ordered him and his son to translate the Indian Astronomical text, The Sindhind along with Yaʿqūb ibn Ṭāriq, which was completed in Baghdad about 750 CE, and entitled Az-Zīj ‛alā Sinī al-‛Arab.[2] This translation was possibly the vehicle by means of which the Hindu numerals were transmitted from India to Iran.

 

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