Abu Reikhan Beruniy
Prominent figures of Uzbekistan
Abu Reikhan Muhammad Akhmad al-Beruniy (973-1048) was a great scientist of Khorezm. He was born in the South Khorezm town of Kyat, which later became part of the Khiva Khanate.
A. R. Beruniy was an orphan. He was adopted and brought up by the famous Khorezm scientist of the 10th-11th centuries, Abu Nasr b. Irak.
Already well-known as a scientist, Al-Beruniy began his career serving in the court of the Khorezm Shah in Kyat. However later he was forced to emigrate to the seaside town of Kabusa in Vashmshir.
In 1004, Al-Beruniy returned to Khorezm and worked in the court of Khorezm Shah Mamun in the town of Gurganj until 1017.
Khorezm of that period was famous for being a place where science and the arts flowered. A group of scientists was organized to work in the court of the Khorezm Shah. Among the members of the group were the scientists Al-Beruniy, Ibn Irak, and Ibn Sino; the philosophers Abu Sahl Masihiy and Abul Khaiyr Khamar; the poet Abu Mansur as - Salibiy, and others. In 1017 Khorezm was occupied by the troops of Sultan Mahmud Gazneviy, who captured Al-Beruniy and took him to his capital, Gazna. There, AI-Beruniy stayed to the end of his days. He only returned to visit his hometown, Khorezm, in 1025.
Al-Beruniy is known under the name Alborona in Western Europe. European scientists believed he was a Spanish monk.
Al-Beruniy was the author of more than 150 works. Approximately 30 of them remain today. Mostly his works are on mathematics and astronomy. The most significant, "Memorials to the Past Generations", is a chronology of the religious holidays of many nations, including the Khorezmians. It also deals with the basics of astronomy and astronomic instruments.
Beruniy's work "Explanation of Acknowledged and Unacknowledged Indian Sciences by the Great Intellects", which is better known as "India" is a remarkable monument of science and culture. This work is a bona fide encyclopedia of the country. While living among the Indians, Al-Beruniy learned Sanskrit and obtained much information on ethnography, geography, biology, philology, history, and astronomy from Indian scientific sources. He included all this information in his book, "India". "India" was translated into many languages including Uzbek, Russian, French, and English. The treatise has been reprinted many times.
Another great work by Beruniy is "Maasud's Canon", dealing with astronomy and mathematics. This work is dedicated to Sultan Maasud, Mahmud Gazneviy's son, who ruled in 1030-41. The treatise consists of 11 books, expounding on the history and traditions of various nations; information on geography, mathematics, astronomy, and astrology; and comments by medieval scientists. A few of his Arabic manuscripts have survived. These books were published in Arabic, Uzbek, and Russian.
Unlike other works by Beruniy, his "Basics of Astral Science" was written in two languages: Arabic and Persian. It contains 530 questions and answers on geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, geography, natural astrology, and history.
The great scientist and major public figure, Al-Beruniy, has significantly contributed to the development of the science and culture of the World.