Famous Scholars


Abu Rayḥan Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Al-Beruni (973– 1048), known as Al-Biruni  was a scholar and polymath from Khwarezm.
Al-Biruni is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of the medieval Islamic era and was well versed in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and natural sciences, and also distinguished himself as a historian, chronologist and linguist.
He studied almost all fields of science and was compensated for his research and strenuous work. Royalty and powerful members of society sought out Al-Biruni to conduct research and study in order to uncover certain findings. He lived during the Islamic Golden Age, in which scholarly thought went hand in hand with the thinking and methodology of the Islamic religion. In addition to this type of influence, Al-Biruni was also influenced by other nations, such as the Greek, who he took inspiration from when he turned to studies of philosophy.
He was conversant in Khwarezmian, Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit, and also knew Greek, Hebrew and Syriac. He spent a large part of his life in Ghazni in modern-day Afghanistan, capital of the Ghaznavid dynasty which was based in what is now central-eastern Afghanistan. In 1017 he traveled to the Indian subcontinent and authored Tarikh Al-Hind (History of India) after exploring the Hindu faith practised in India.
He was given the title "founder of Indology". He was an impartial writer on customs and creeds of various nations, and was given the title al-Ustadh ("The Master") for his remarkable description of early 11th-century India. He also made contributions to Earth sciences, and is regarded as the "father of geodesy" for his important contributions to that field, along with his significant contributions to geography.
Only a waning candle sheds its light around. It is related that Abul Hassan Ali, a jurist and friend of Al-Beruni visited him when he was terminally ill. Al-Beruni requested him to repeat the mathematical problem he was once discussing with him. Thinking that it was not an appropriate occasion to talk about it, the jurist remained silent. Al-Beruni insisted upon having a reply and said: "Is it not better to die with knowledge then to die in ignorance?" Abul Hassan repeated that problem to which Beruni listened intently and grasped it. A few moments later he passed away at the age of 75 in 1048 A.D. and was laid to rest at Ghazna. Thus, he acted upon the saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him): "Acquire knowledge from the cradle to the grave."
He was an ideal student who spent all his life in search of knowledge. His early biographer writes: "He never had a pen out of his hand, nor his eyes ever off a book and his thoughts were always directed to his studies."  Abu Raihan Al-Beruni was never satisfied with taking things for granted, but always made a thorough examination. He realized the importance of experiment and observation and thus prepared the way for modern science. According to George Sartan: "His critical spirit, toleration, love of truth and intellectual courage were without parallel in medieval ages."
He was undoubtedly a physician, astronomer, mathematician, physicist, historian and perhaps the most prominent figure in the galaxy of universally recognized learned scholars who marked the golden age of Islamic science.