Abū-Rayhān Bīrūnī

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Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Bīrūnī (September 15 973 in Kath, Khwarezm – December 13 1048 in Ghazni) was a Persian[1][2][3] polymath[4] scholar of the 11th century.

He was a scientist and physicist, an anthropologist and psychologist, an astronomer, a chemist, a critic of alchemy and astrology, an encyclopedist and historian, a geographer and traveller, a geodesist and geologist, a mathematician, a pharmacist and physician, an Islamic philosopher and theologian, and a scholar and teacher, and he contributed greatly to all of these fields.

with source

  • Once a sage asked why scholars always flock to the doors of the rich, whilst the rich are not inclined to call at the doors of scholars. "The scholars" he answered , "are well aware of the use of money, but the rich are ignorant of the nobility of science".


  • You well know ... for which reason I began searching for a number of demonstrations proving a statement due to the ancient Greeks ... and which passion I felt for the subject ... so that you reproached me my preoccupation with these chapters of geometry, not knowing the true essence of these subjects, which consists precisely in going in each matter beyond what is necessary. ... Whatever way he [the geometer] may go, through exercise will he be lifted from the physical to the divine teaachings, which are little accessible because of the difficulty to understand their meaning ... and because the circumstance that not everybody is able to have a conception of them, especially not the one who turns away from the art of demonstration.


Without source

  • [On the science and culture of the Hindus] I can only compare their astronomical and mathematical literature ... to a mixture of pearl shells and sour dates, or of costly crystals and common pebbles. Both kinds of things are equal in their eyes, since they cannot rise themselves to the methods of strictly scientific deduction.


  1. Rahman Habib, A Chronology of Islamic History, 570-1000 CE, Mansell Publishing, p. 167:
    • ""A Persian by birth, Biruni produced his writings in Arabic, though he knew, besides Persian, no less than four other languages."" ---[[{{{2}}}]]
  2. Biruni (2007). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 22, 2007.
  3. David C. Lindberg, Science in the Middle Ages, University of Chicago Press, p. 18:
    • ""A Persian by birth, a rationalist in disposition, this contemporary of Avicenna and Alhazen not only studied history, philosophy, and geography in depth, but wrote one of the most comprehensive of Muslim astronomical treatises, the Qanun Al-Masu'di."" ---[[{{{2}}}]]
  4. Mr Koïchiro Matsuura. United Nations: Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.
    • ""Biruni, a scholar in many disciplines - from linguistics to mineralogy - and perhaps medieval Uzbekistan's most universal genius."" ---[[{{{2}}}]]
  5. Quoted in A L Mackay, Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (London 1994)
  6. Book on the Finding of Chords