(Abu Yusuf Yakub ibn Ishak al-Kindi) , 9th cent. Arab
philosopher, b. Basra, Iraq.
studied at Basra and at Baghdad and is noted as one of the
earliest scholars in the Middle East to become thoroughly versed
in the writings of Aristotle.
his own teachings al-Kindi undertook to demonstrate the
essential harmony between the views of Plato and those of
is regarded as one of the Peripatetics in Islam, and, as one of
the earliest of the Muslim philosophers of Arabic descent, he
has been called “the
philosopher of the Arabs.”
emphasized the righteousness as well as the unity of God and
considered that the Creator revealing Himself in prophecy was a
reasonable truth and the highest form of knowledge.
Besides his translations and commentaries on Aristotle's works,
he produced over 250 treatises on a great variety of subjects;
although only a few on medicine and astrology are extant, in the
1940s 24 of his hitherto unknown philosophical works were found.
Al-Kindi was well known to the Christian scholars of the Middle
Ages. He wrote strongly in opposition to alchemy and some kinds
of belief in miracles.
Abū ‘Alī al-Husayn ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn Sīnā',
known as Abu Ali Sina (Persian:
or Ibn Sina (Arabic:
and commonly known in English by his Latinized name Avicenna
Persian polymath and the foremost physician
and philosopher of his time.
His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a vast philosophical and
scientific encyclopaedia, and
The Canon of Medicine,
which was a standard medical text at many medieval universities.
The Canon of Medicine was used as a text-book in the universities of
Montpellier and Louvain as late as 1650.
bn Sīnā is regarded as a
father of early modern medicine,
and clinical pharmacology,
particularly for his introduction of systematic experimentation and
quantification into the study of physiology, his discovery of the contagious
nature of infectious diseases, the introduction of quarantine to limit the
spread of contagious diseases, the introduction of experimental medicine,
evidence-based medicine, clinical trials, randomized controlled trials,
efficacy tests, clinical pharmacology, neuropsychiatry, risk factor
analysis, and the idea of a syndrome, and the importance of dietetics and
the influence of climate and environment on health.
The eleventh-century scholar offered a new
solution to the problem of vision, combining experimental
investigations of the behavior of light with inventive geometrical
proofs and constant forays into the psychology of visual
perception—all systematically tied together to form a coherent
alternative to the Euclidean and Ptolemaic theories of "visual rays"
issuing from the eye.
the duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if
learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all
that he reads, and, applying his mind to the core and margins
of its content, attack it from
every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his
critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either
prejudice or leniency."
Geometry was Ibn al-Haytham’s forte: the subject in which most of
his writings have survived and for which he was most appreciated.
In these writings he was
drawn to tackle problems in Greek mathematics, both elementary
(Euclidean) and advanced (Apollonian and Archimedean), some of which
he was the first to solve.
The word "doubt" (aporia
in Greek), indicating the critical bent of his mind, occurs in the
titles of several of his geometrical essays, even when presented as
commentaries. Other works concern the philosophy and methodology of
Al-Farabi was known to
the Arabs as the 'Second
Master' (after Aristotle), and with good reason.
It is unfortunate that
his name has been overshadowed by those of later philosophers such
as Ibn Sina, for al-Farabi was one of the world's great philosophers
and much more original than many of his Islamic successors.
philosopher, logician and musician, he was also a major political
Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Tarkhan ibn Awzalagh al-Farabi was
born in approximately ah 257/ad 870. He may rightly be acclaimed as
one of the greatest of Islamic philosophers of all time.
While his name tends to be overshadowed by that of
it is worth bearing in mind that the latter was less original than
had a great desire to understand the universe and humankind, and to
knowthe latter’s place within the former, so as to reach a
comprehensive intellectual picture of theworld and of society.
the greatest names in medieval medicine is that of Abu Bakr Muhammad
ibn Zakariya' al-Razi, who was born in the Persian City of Rayy in
865 (251 H) and died in the same town about 925 (312 H).
physician learned in philosophy as well as music and alchemy, he
served at the Samanid court in Central Asia and headed hospitals in
Rayy and Baghdad.
Europe knew al-Razi by
the Latinized form of his name,
Book on Medicine, the Hawi, was translated
into Latin in 1279 under the title Continens by
Faraj ben Salim, a physician of Sicilian-Jewish origin employed by
Charles of Anjou to translate medical works.
As a chemist, he was the first to produce sulfuric acid together
with some other acids, and he also prepared alcohol by fermenting
also tried proposed remedies first on animals
in order to evaluate in their effects and side effects. He was also
an expert surgeon and was the first to use opium for anaesthesia.
Khwārazmī Persian: محمد بن
موسی خوارزمی) , was a mathematician, astronomer and
geographer of Persian origin. He was born around 780 in Khwārizm, in
Uzbekistan, which was then part of the native Iranian-Khwarizmian
Afrigid dynasty, and died around 850.
He worked most of his life as a scholar in the House of Wisdom in
His Algebra, written around
820, was the first book on the systematic solution
of linear and quadratic equations.
Consequently he is
considered by many to be
father of algebra, a title some
scholars assign to
In the twelfth
translations of his Arithmetic, which explained
introduced decimal positional number system to the
was among the first to use zero as a place holder in
positional base notation.
The word algorithm derives
from his name.
He revised and updated
Ptolemy's Geography as well as writing several works
on astronomy and astrology.
not only made a great
impact on mathematics, but on language as well. The
word algebra is derived from the Arabic word, al-jabr,
one of the two operations used to solve
quadratic equations, as
described in his book.