Al Biruni, A Great Muslim Scholar

al biruni muslim scientist


Al-Biruni is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of the medieval Islamic era and he has great contributions in field of physics, mathematics, astronomy, natural sciences, history, chronology and linguistics. His full name was Abu al Rehan Muhammad ibn Ahmad Al- Biruni and he was born in Khwarezm (present day Uzbekistan). He spent his first 25 years of life in his home down mastering Islamic jurisprudence and theology, grammar, mathematics, astronomy, medics and other sciences. He left his city for getting more knowledge and travelled to many cities of region.

Scientific Work

He is one of those great scientist mastered more than just few field of studies. He wrote 146 books and 95 books were about astronomy which shows his significant contribution in astronomy. Al-Biruni also criticized certain astrological techniques of that time and he was skeptical astrologer of the Hashwiyite school, But in his Book of Instructions does not include any skepticism regarding astrology in general instead, he presented astrology in context of the science of astral influences.  In field of physics he introduced experimental scientific method to mechanics, unified statics and dynamics into the science of mechanics, and created hydrodynamics by merging hydrostatics and dynamics. He also determined the radius of earth accurately in his observatory on a mountain in Pind Dadan Khan (Salt Range of Pakistan). He also discovered the specific gravity on many minerals and metals with is self made apparatus. His has done significant work in many other fields and he also translated many previous  science book to Arabic which were sought by Europe in 12th and 13th century. He travelled to many places and observed different cultures by learning their languages. He made in-depth study of India’s culture, religions and philosophy by discussions and reading books available.  He wrote a comprehensive book on India’s religion and philosophy which gives a graphic account of the historical and social conditions of the sub-continent After learning Sanskrit language he translated many of Indian scientific work to Arabic. He also studied history, chronology and archeology and contributed in this field.

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He wrote 146 books and translated many books to Arabic and Persian language. Some of his books are mentioned below:

1. Kitab al Tafhim

2.  Indica – a compendium of India’s religion and philosophy

3. The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology

4. The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries

5. The Mas’udi Canon

6. Understanding Astrology

7. Pharmacy – about drugs and medicines.

8. Gems

9. Astrolabe.

10. A historical summary book.

11. History of Khawarezm

12. Materia Medica

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He has been considered as one of the very greatest Muslim scientists and also one of the greatest of all times.  His critical spirit, love of truth, and scientific approach were combined with a sense of toleration. As a Muslim we can learn a lot from his life and contribute in the betterment of human race by engaging our selves in scientific research and studies.

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