Al-Biruni (973-1048)

Abu Reyhan Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Biruni was born in 973 in Khwarezm, considered today's Uzbekistan. He received his first education in science subjects from Abu Nasr Mansur, who was from the region's ruling family. Abu Nasr Mansur was an outstanding mathematician and astronomer. He taught al-Biruni Euclidean geometry and Ptolemaic astronomy. Mahmut of Ghazni, one of the essential Muslim rulers of the 11th century, took Al-Biruni with him on his travels to India. Al-Biruni lived in India between 1017 and 1030 and wrote his famous book Kitab al-Tahkik Ma li'l-Hind.

Influenced by the works of the Greek philosophers Aristotle, Archimedes, and Democritus, Al-Biruni began 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 earth's diameter to be very close to the present value. He became the founder of the science of geodesy. He argued that trigonometry, which he learned in India, should be considered a separate science from astronomy. He proposed the use of the radius as a unit in trigonometric functions.

“The information you get should not look like your clothes, it should not flow while you are washing.”

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 became the measuring instruments that have survived today. Al-Biruni was also an excellent encyclopedia writer. In his book Al-Asar'il-Baqiyah an'il-Quruni'i Haliye, he showed the calendar systems used in the Middle and Near East. Depicting the early medieval sciences of India, he described the basics of mathematics, astronomy, and astrology. Al-Qanunu'l-Masudi wrote a detailed mathematical geography work with his book. He determined the topography of Central Asia in his book Istihrâc el-Evtâr fî Dâire. His book Cemahir fi Ma'rifeti Cevahir gave detailed information about more than 50 minerals, mines, metals, alloys, and porcelain. In his book, he showed the specific gravity of each substance, which serves to distinguish substances from each other. He listed the plants he studied during his lifetime in his book Kitabü's-Saydele and explained comprehensively what diseases natural medicines are suitable for.

Seven hundred years before Newton, Al-Biruni put forward the first ideas on the theory of gravity, which Netwon mathematically proved. As a result of his observations with telescopes he developed, 600 years before Galileo, who confirmed that the planets revolve around the sun, Al-Biruni defended the idea that the 'world revolves .'To why trees and stones do not rush out if the earth is revolving, he answered that there is a tractive force in the center, and everything falls into the center of the earth. Furthermore, he predicted that North, South, East, and West meet at different points; there is a land behind the seas (Present-day America).

Al-Biruni passed away at the age of 75. He inspired such scientists as Newton, Toricelli, Copernicus, and Galileo, who came long after him. The UNESCO Courier magazine, published in 15 languages, including Turkish, devoted its issue to Al-Biruni, published in 1974. He introduced al-Biruni as "the universal genius who lived thousands of years ago, in Central Asia."

“Personal observation and direct examination increase the capacity to record; it allows to distinguish between reality and identify objects at the same time... Instead of just reading from the book, there is a great benefit and incentive in collecting the data.”