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  • 8/29/2004

Abu Reihan Biruni

Abu Reihan Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Biruni was born of Persian parentage in Khwarazm in 362 H [973 A.D.].He spent his chilhood in khawrazm. He was interested in Biological studying as gathering samples of palnts and seeds for a Greek scientist.

He began studies at a very early age under the famous astronomer and mathematician ''Abu Nasr Mansur''. Khwarazm was at this time, the center of scientists and researchers. His contemporary well-known physician and scientist, Avicenna, at this time lived in khwarazm. They met each other to discuss about different biological subjects.

Biruni left his native country at the age of 22 or 25 to the Khorasan, Rey, Tabarestan and Jurjan. He pursued knowledge in its various branches, and learned much of astronomy, mathematics, geography, physics and chemistry. For some years he lived in Jurjan. He wrote ''Athar al-Bqiah'', one of his great works, there. Biruni wrote it on the chronology of different nations and intelligently discusses the debatable theory of the rotation of the earth on its axis and accurately determines the longitudes and latitudes.

The ruler of Jurjan, ''Qabus Weshmgir'' offered him premiership but he refused. He came back to his home.

When Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi conquered his homeland, summoned Biruni and some other top scientists at his court, he provided generous support for their scientific work.

Sultan Mahmoud took Biruni along with in his journeys toIndia several times and thus he had the opportunity to travel all over India during a period of 20 years. He learnt Hindu philosophy, mathematics, geography and religion and collecting material for his books "Ketab al Hind" and "Al Qanoon Maso'odi". In ''Ketab al Hind'', his well-known book, he gives a very authentic account of the language, customs, manners, literature, laws and beliefs of the Hindus. He also describes the geographical and physical conditions of the country. He also translated two Sanskrit books into Arabic which deals with the creation of things and what happens after the spirit leaves the body.
On his return from India, Biruni wrote his other famous book "Qanoon Maso'odi" which dedicated to Sultan Maso'od; discussing several theorems of astronomy, trigonometry, solar, lunar, and planetary motions and relative topics. Biruni died in Ghazna at the age of 77.

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