Abu’l-Rayhan Muhammad B. Ahmad Al-Biruni was the most original brilliant scholar of his times, known as al-Ustadh, “The Master”. He was distinguished in mathematics, astronomy, geography, history, chronology, physical and natural sciences. His 180 writings range from brief treatises on a specific subject to major works that encompass a wide field of knowledge.


Al-Biruni was born in an Iranian family  in Kath, the capital of Khwarizm, on the southern shores of the Aral Sea. Until he was twenty-five years old, he remained in Khwarizm, where he studied with masters such as the mathematician, Abu Nasr Mansur b. `Ali b.`Irak Djilani and corresponded with Ibn Sina. Thereafter he traveled widely, taught  and wrote. His mother tongue was Persian, but he wrote his scientific works in Arabic. In a work on medicinal drugs, he said he exceeded 80 lunar years of age. Al-Biruni probably died in Ghazna around 442/1050.


Some of Al-Biruni’s works:

(390/ 1000), K. al-Athar al-Bakiya `an al-Kurun al-Khaliya (The Chronology of Ancient Nations)

(421/1030), Description of India

(420/ 1029), K. al-Tafhim li-Awa’il Sina`at al-Tandjim (abstract of geometry, arithmetic, astronomy and astrology)

(421/1030), K.. al-Kanun al-Mas`udi fi’l-Hay`a wa ’l-Nudjum (Canon Masudicus)

K. al-Djamihir fi Ma`arifat al-Djawahir (treatise on mineralogy)

K al-Saydala fi ‘l-Tibb

Risala fi aFihrist kutub Muhammad b. Zakariyya al-Razi (wherein he includes the Fihrist of his own writings)