Sep 4, 2014, 11:20 AM
News Code: 2736373
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Birouni, an eternal master

Tehran, Sept 4, IRNA - ‘The Master', ‘Founder of Indology’ and ‘Father of Geodesy’ are some of the many titles given to the renowned Persian Muslim polymath Abu Rayhan Biruni.

September 4 marks the birth anniversary of the great scholar who was famed not only for his mastery of physics, mathematics, astronomy and natural sciences, but also for his contributions to history and linguistics.

As one of the greatest scholars of the medieval Islamic era, Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad Biruni was born on September 4, 973 in Kath, Khwarezm where he studied Islamic jurisprudence, theology, grammar, mathematics and medics, Iran Daily wrote on Thursday.

He was known as the most important analyst of Indian science to the Islamic world given his journeys to the Indian subcontinent which later led him to be recognized as the ‘founder of Indology’. He was an impartial writer on custom and creeds of various nations, and was given the title ‘The Master’ for his remarkable description of the 11th-century India.

The scholar also made contributions to geology, and is regarded as the ‘father of geodesy’ for his important contributions to the field. Biruni was made court astrologer of the court of Mahmud of Ghaznavi in 1017 and accompanied him on his trips to India. He wrote his first significant work, ‘Al-Athar al-Baqqiya’ (Chronology of Ancient Nations) on historical and scientific chronology around 1000 A.D.

Biruni also contributed to the introduction of the experimental scientific method to mechanics, unified statics and dynamics into the science of mechanics, and combined the fields of hydrostatics with dynamics to create hydrodynamics.

Most of the works of Biruni are in Arabic although he wrote one of his masterpieces, ‘Kitab al-Tafhim’ in both Persian and Arabic, showing his mastery over both languages. The book is an important scientific work in the Persian language.

‘The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries’ (a comparative study of calendars of different cultures and civilizations), ‘The Mas’udi Canon’ (an extensive encyclopedia on astronomy, geography, and engineering) and ‘History of Khawarezm’ are among his famous works.