Biruni (973–1048)

Abu ‘l-Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni, one of the greatest Muslim astronomers, geographers, and scientists, was an advocate of empirical science and a practitioner of the experimental and comparative methods.

One of the most original and prolific medieval scientific writers in the natural sciences, al-Biruni was born in the city of Kat (now Biruni, in Uzbekistan), the ancient capital of Khorezm, south of the Aral Sea. Political history played an important role in his life and career. Biruni was a native speaker of the Khorezmian language (related to Persian), but the body of his work is in Arabic, including poetry; he also knew some Greek, Sogdian, Hebrew, and Syriac and learned Hindi and Sanskrit while residing in India. His early education was supervised by the learned ...

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