Birth Anniversary of Al-Biruni

04 Sep 2019  Wed

Abu Rayhan Biruni, widely remembered as Al-Biruni, one of the greatest Iranian scholars and polymaths, was born on 4th September 973. He is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of the medieval Islamic era.

Little is known of his early life. He was born in Khwarezm - a region which is a part of modern-day western Uzbekistan and northern Turkmenistan. He spent most of his life in Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. During his illustrious career, Al-Biruni became an expert in numerous subjects, including history, physics, mathematics, astronomy, linguistics, comparative religion, and earth sciences.

In his 20s, he moved away from his homeland in pursuit of knowledge. For 3 years, he travelled throughout Persia, learning from scholars about numerous subjects. When he finally settled in Jurjan (modern Gorgan) in 998, he worked for the local ruler, Shams al-Ma’ali Qabus. For the next 10 years, he lived in this small northern Irani city, doing research, writing books, and learning more.

He authored “Tarikh al-Hind” (History of India) a famous Arabic text after exploring the Hindu faith practised in India. He is given the title - ‘founder of Indology’. He was also a pioneer in the study of comparative religion. He studied Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and other religions.

Many countries have issued postage stamps to honour this great scholar, one of them is 10 Riyal Commemorative stamp issued by Iran Postal Department on the occasion of 1000th birthday of Al-Biruni.

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