Who Was Biruni?

Who Was Biruni?

    Abu Reyhan Muhammad bin Ahmed al-Biruni was born in 973 in Khwarezm, today's Uzbekistan. He received his first education in science from Abu Nasr Mansur, a member of the ruling family of the region. Abu Nasr Mansur was an outstanding mathematician and astronomer. He taught al-Biruni Euclidean geometry and Ptolemaic astronomy. Mahmoud of Ghazni, an important 11th century Muslim ruler, took Al-Biruni with him on his travels to India. Al-Biruni lived in India between 1017-1030 and wrote his famous book Kitab Ul-Tahkik Ma li'l-Hind. Influenced by the works of Greek philosophers Aristotle, Archimedes and Democritus, El- Biruni started his scientific studies at the age of 17. He calculated the height of the sun and the longitude of the city. From the movements of the sun, he determined when the seasons began. He found the diameter of the earth very close to today's value. He became the founder of the science of geodesy. He argued that trigonometry, which he learned in India, should be seen as a separate science from astronomy. He advised radius to be used as a unit in trigonometric functions in astronomy and geography. Al-Biruni developed many instruments for astronomy and geography measurements. Unfortunately, many of the measuring instruments he developed were lost over time. Only the pycnometer, mechanical astrolabe and some map projections have survived to the present day. Al- Biruni was also a very good encyclopedia writer. In his book Al-Asar'il-Baqiya anil-Kuruni Haliya he showed the calendar systems in use in the Middle and Near East. He described the early medieval sciences of India, explaining the basics of mathematics, astronomy and astrology. He wrote a detailed mathematical geography in his book Al-Qanun al-Masudi. In his book İstihrâj al-Awtâr fî Dâire, he determined the topography of Central Asia. In Kitabü'L Cemahir fi Ma'rifeti Cevahir, he gave detailed information about more than 50 minerals, metals, metals, alloys, porcelain and other substances. In his book, he showed the specific gravity of each substance, which was used to distinguish them from each other. In his book Kitâb al-Saydele, he listed the plants he had studied throughout his life and gave a comprehensive description of the diseases for which natural medicines were good. Al-Biruni put forward the first ideas on the theory of gravity, which was mathematically proven by Newton 700 years before Newton. As a result of his observations with the telescopes he developed, 600 years before Galileo, who confirmed that the planets revolved around the sun, El-Biruni defended the idea that 'the earth rotates'. To the question of why trees and stones don't shoot up if the earth is spinning, he replied that there is an attraction at the center and that everything in the center of the Earth's surface. He predicted that North, South, East and West connects at a point and there was a land behind the seas (today's America).


    Al-Biruni died at the age of 75. It inspired scientists such as Copernicus and Galileo, Newton and Torricelli. In 15 languages including Turkish The UNESCO Courier, published in 1974, dedicated its 1974 issue to al-Biruni. and separated him from the rest of the world. They introduced Al-Biruni as "the universal genius who lived a thousand years ago in Central Asia".Al-Biruni died at the age of 75. It inspired scientists such as Copernicus and Galileo, Newton and Torricelli. It inspired scientists such as Copernicus and Galileo. In 15 languages including Turkish The UNESCO Courier, published in 1974, dedicated its 1974 issue to al-Biruni. and separated him from the rest of the world. He introduced Al-Biruni as "the universal genius who lived a thousand years ago in Central Asia".


    Biruni's Works

    The Turkish Historical Society dedicated its 68th issue to our scholar with the title "Gift to Bîrû-nî." Symposiums and congresses were organized in various countries of the world to commemorate Bîrûnî, and stamps were printed. UNESCO's 25-language Conrier Magazine devoted its June 1974 issue to Bîrûnî. Under the cover photo, the universal genius Biruni, who lived in Central Asia 1000 years ago, was introduced as "Astronomer, Historian, Botanist, Pharmacist, Geologist, Poet, Thinker, Mathematician, Geographer and Humanist". He wrote 180 scripts in total.


    The most famous ones are as follows:

    -EI-Asâr'il-Bâkiye an'il-Kurûni'I-Hâli-ye: (The works remaining from the empty centuries.)

    -El-Qanûn'ul-Mas'ûdî: His greatest work. It includes innovations, discoveries and inventions in many subjects from astronomy to geography.

    -Kitab'üt-Tahkîk Mâ li'I-Hind: It gives extensive information about Hindu history, religion, science and geography.

    -Tahdîd'ü Nihâyeti'l-Emâkin li Tas-hîh-i Mesâfet'il-Mesâkin: Limiting the end of places in order to correct the distance between dwellings. With this work, Bîrû-nî laid the foundation of a brand new branch of science, ----- Geodesy, and put the first brick in the ground.

    -Kitabü'I-Cemâhir fî Ma'rifet-i Cevâ-hir: A book on the knowledge of ores.

    -Kitabü't-Tefhim fî Evâili Sıbaâti't-Tencim: Introduction to the Science of Stars.

    -Kitâbü's-Saydele fî Tıp: The Book of Pharmacy (He wrote the names of medicines and herbs with their equivalents in six languages).


    Biruni's Thoughts on Science

    According to Biruni, the pleasure of knowledge, that is, the pleasure of searching for truth and reality, is among the highest pleasures. In this regard, he states: "What is necessary and unavoidable for the man of knowledge, that is, the servant of knowledge, is not to make a distinction between the sciences, even if he is not at a sufficient level in all fields of knowledge, but to give each of them its due. Because knowledge is beautiful and its flavor is permanent. This flavor lasts throughout the research. When the research ends, the flavor ends. The scholar should not look down on the scholars who came before him; he should approach their works with modesty and benefit from them. In this way, he will reach the most accurate and solid information and will stay away from flawed and erroneous information.


    The following are necessary for the progress and development of knowledge:

    Freedom of scientific thought should be allowed, that is, those who have a say in science should have freedom of opinion.

    Scientific studies should be based on clear and sound methods.

    Science must be free from superstition and magic

    Incentive measures should be taken to increase the enthusiasm and zeal of true scholars.

    All kinds of material, social, technical conditions and opportunities necessary for the advancement of science should be prepared.

    Science, scientific works and scholars should be respected and honored.

    Efforts should be made to attract people's attention and interest to scientific issues.

    The leading men of the state should identify the measures necessary for the development of science and implement them immediately.


    Biruni based his studies in the field of human spiritual sciences on a number of principles. He states these points as follows: "Those who will be engaged in these sciences must first clean their hearts from corrupt beliefs, bad habits and obsessions. Most people are afflicted with spiritual diseases. These diseases make the owner unable to see the truth and reality, making the heart blind and the ear deaf. Such bad habits as fanaticism, superiority over others, following the ego, evil desires and enthusiasms, pursuing the love of authority and position, and similar bad habits are unworthy of a man of knowledge. For this reason, not everyone can be a man of knowledge. The path of knowledge is a difficult path. But it is not impossible to attain it. While searching for the truth and reality, one should hold on to the closest, most authentic, most solid information possible. While doing this, the authorities of their fields and their works are consulted. In other words, not everyone's words and works, but the words and works of scholars who are authorities. The truths that can be determined are revealed."


    Biruni wrote 113 works on various sciences until 1037. Then, in the 12 years until his death, he wrote 83 works. When we examine Biruni's works, it is seen that he had received a fundamental religious culture and fully absorbed this culture of religious sciences and spread it to his whole life and work. The secret of Biruni's genius and scientific achievements should be sought in this aspect.