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Abū Sahl al-Masīḥī

(4,188 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes
Abū Sahl al-Masīḥī, ʿĪsā b. Yaḥyā al-Masīḥī al-Jurjānī (d. after 400/1010), was a Persian polymath who wrote on physics, philosophy, astronomy and mathematics. There is little information on his life, with the only major source being Niẓāmī ʿArūḍī (pp. 118–121). Despite the fact that ʿArūḍī's account was repeated by later historians (Mīrkhwānd, 7/465–466; Khwāndamīr, 2/444; Ghaffārī, 114–115) and has been relied on by many modern scholars, it is not entirely consonant with other historical events of his age. In addition to ʿArūḍī's account, there …

Banū al-Munajjim

(2,720 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Umar, Suheyl
Banū al-Munajjim, or Āl al-Munajjim, the name given to the family descended from Ibn Abī Manṣūr, a Persian court astrologer ( munajjim) and mathematician who embraced Islam during the reign of the seventh ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Maʾmūn (r. 198–218/813–833). Over five generations the Banū al-Munajjim made their mark at the ʿAbbāsid court, initially in the field of astrology and the mathematical sciences, but later in music as well as literature and Arabic poetry. The original ancestor of the family, Abān Ḥasīs or Fīrūzān (known as Abū Manṣūr), who claimed descent from the…

Bayt al-Ḥikma

(5,121 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Negahban, Farzin
Bayt al-Ḥikma (‘House of Wisdom’), or Khizānat al-Ḥikma (‘Store-house of Wisdom’), was a library in Baghdad that functioned during the ʿAbbāsid era from the end of Hārūn al-Rashīd’s rule (r. 170–194/786–809) through al-Maʾmūn’s reign (r. 198–218/813–833) and up to the time of al-Muʿtaṣim (r. 218–227/833–842) (Pinto, 223). Only a small number of the books held in it survived, albeit dispersed from the 4th/10th century onwards. The picture provided by the early sources with respect to the Bayt al-Ḥikma and the way it functioned is markedly different to the pict…

al-Būzjānī, Abū al-Wafāʾ

(8,191 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Asatryan, Mushegh
Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā b. Ismāʿīl b. ʿAbbās (Ramaḍān 328–Rajab 388/June 940–July 998), was a famous Iranian mathematician, astronomer and musicologist, who played an important role in the invention and development of trigonometry and various aspects of arithmetic and applied geometry. The earliest and most reliable source on his life and work is Ibn al-Nadīm’s Fihrist, according to which al-Būzjānī was born in the town of Būzjān (near today’s Turbat-i Jām in Khurāsān) and studied arithmetic and geometry with both his paternal uncle Abū ʿAmr al…

Abū al-Fatḥ al-Iṣfahānī

(855 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Gholami, Rahim
Abū al-Fatḥ al-Iṣfahānī, Maḥmūd b. Qāsim b. al-Faḍl (d. after 513/1119) was an Iranian mathematician. Some sources refer to him by the name Muḥammad b. al-Qāsim (Suter, 98; Steinschneider, 184; cf. Qurbānī, 92). It is known that some time around 513/1119 he was in Yazd staying at the court of ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla Abū Kālījār Garshāsp b. ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla Amīr ʿAlī, one of the kings of the Kākūyid dynasty, during which time Abū al-Fatḥ wrote for him (Abū al-Fatḥ, fol. 3a, and last fol.). ¶ Abū al-Fatḥ's name rarely appears in the writings of Muslim mathematicians. Moreover, he remained u…

Abū al-Maḥāmid al-Ghaznawī

(1,126 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Negahban, Farzin
Abū al-Maḥāmid al-Ghaznawī, Ẓahīr al-Ḥaqq or Ẓahīr al-Dīn Abū al-Maḥāmid Muḥammad b. Masʿūd b. ¶ Muḥammad al-Zakī al-Adīb al-Ghaznawī (alive in 549/1154), was a renowned Persian astronomer, and author of the well-known Kifāyat al-taʿlīm in Persian, as well as a competent physician and philosopher. He has frequently been confused with Sharaf al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Masʿūdī al-Marwazī, the distinguished mathematician, and consequently the kunya ‘Sharaf al-Dīn’ or the title al-Marwazī are used for him, or else the works of both scholars are attributed to just one…

Abū Isḥāq al-Kūbunānī

(1,641 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Negahban, Farzin
Abū Isḥāq al-Kūbunānī, Abū Isḥāq b. ʿAbd Allāh Kūbunānī Yazdī (d. after 886/1481), was a Persian mathematician, astronomer and man of letters. In a manuscript of one of his works, he is referred to as ‘Abū Isḥāq Shaykhzādah b. al-Khādim al-Burhānī al-Kūbunānī’ ( Ḥall masʾala, fol. 189b). As his title indicates, he was born in Kūbunān (originally Kūh-bunān, a rural ¶ district approximately 150 km north-west of Kirmān). The discovery of a manuscript of his Munshaʾāt has provided us with some information on his life. Although little is known about how long he lived, his s…

Abū al-Fatḥ Gīlānī

(3,242 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Gholami, Rahim
Abū al-Fatḥ Gīlānī, Masīḥ al-Dīn, sonof ʿAbd al-Razzāq (954–27 Ramaḍān 997/1547–30 July 1589) was a Persian physician and man of letters who, soon after travelling to India, entered the court of Akbar, the Mughal emperor, and rose through the ranks to reach the position of minister and secretary for several of the provinces of India. Our knowledge of his life before he went to India is limited to an account by ʿAbd al-Bāqī Nahāwandī, a contemporary historian. In addition to the extensive informati…

Abū Barza

(455 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Negahban, Farzin
Abū Barza, al-Faḍl b. Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd b. Wāsiʿ b. Turk al-Khuttalī was a Muslim mathematician of the late 3rd/9th to early 4th/10th century and a contemporary of Abū Kāmil Shujāʿ b. Aslam (q.v.). He was from Khuttal, a region around the sources of the Oxus River, to the south of Farghāna and west of Chinese Turkistan; certain sources refer to him as the grandson of Turk al-Jīlī instead of Turk al-Khuttalī (see Sayili, 87). Our knowledge of his life is confined to the important information presented by Abū Kāmil in his introduction to al-Waṣāyā bi al-jabr wa al-muqābala, a work that …


(10,606 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew
, Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Khwārazmī (362–after 440/973–after 1048), a famous Central Asian polymath of Persian extraction and one of the greatest Muslim scholars, sages and scientists. In the Islamic world he is sometimes referred to by his kunya Abū Rayḥān, while Western scholars call him al-Bīrūnī. By his own account, al-Bīrūnī did not know his father or grandfather (Yāqūt, 5/2335). Writing in 427/1036, he gave his age as 65 lunar or 63 solar years (see Fihrist, 29–30). He was born, then, in 362/973, in an outlying district ( bīrūn) of Kāth, the capital of the Afrīghid Khwārazmshāh…


(22,443 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Negahban, Farzin | Pakatchi, Ahmad | Poor, Daryoush Mohammad
( ta⁠ʾrīkh or taqwīm), this article will deal with the term calendar as the annual system of keeping time with regard to the division of the year into twelve months. According to the common usage of the word in the English language, the term calendar refers to a record or list containing the days and months of the year (hence a year book or daftar al-sana). The Arabic word taqwīm, also a loan word in Persian, is used with reference to the latter connotation while the word calendar in its former meaning lacks a precise equivalent in either Persian or Arabic. In modern Persian or Arabic the word taqwīm


(39,851 words)

Author(s): Ahmadian, Bahram Amir | Melvin-Koushki, Matthew | Sajjadi, Sadeq | Bahramian, Ali | Fatehi-nezhad, Enayatollah | Et al.
Baghdad, both a historic province and a city in Iraq, and today the country’s capital. Contents 1. Geography 2. History A. Etymology B. From its Founding to the Amīr al-Umarāʾ Period C. During the Amīr al-Umarāʾ Period D. From Būyid Rule to the Fall of the ʿAbbāsid Caliphate (334–656/946–1258) E. From the Mongol Conquest to World War I 3. Literature A. Poetry B. Prose 4. Religious Sciences A. Qurʾānic Sciences B. Ḥadīth C. Jurisprudence D. Theology E. Sufism 5. History of Science A. The Translation of Scientific Works B. Mathematics and Astronomy C. Medicine 6. Social Conditions and Customs A…