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Biruni, Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Biruni, Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-

    (d. 1048 )

    Also known as al-Khwarizmi . Persian philosopher and one of Islam's greatest scientists. Wrote more than 150 works on astronomy, mathematics, mathematical geography, minerology, metallurgy, pharmacology, history, and philosophy. Most important philosophical contributions were criticism of Ibn Sina 's natural philosophy and introduction of Hindu philosophy to the Islamic world. Interested in trigonometry and its application to astronomy. Astronomical works are a synthesis of Greek, Indian, and Arabic traditions. Invented practical machines and tools to determine specific weights of metals as well as compositions of compounds and alloys as part of his work on theoretical statics and hydrostatics. Wrote important work on India surveying Hindu culture, history, social customs, and doctrines.

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