30 results in English
Unique Algebraic Remainders on the Sibṭ’s Commentary on the Yāsamīnīyya
This work is an elaboration of the commentary written by the Egyptian mathematician Sibṭ al-Māridīnī—i.e., a commentary on another commentary—on the urjūzah (versified introduction) to the science of algebra, originally composed by the Berber mathematician and man of letters Abū Muḥammad ‘Abd-Allāh al-Ishbīlī al-Marrakushī, also known as Ibn al-Yāsamīn, who died in 1204 (600 AH). Al-Yāsamīn summarized his mathematical knowledge in a versified treatise known as the Yāsamīnīyya (The treatise by al-Yāsamīn). Around the end of the 15th century, al-Yāsamīn’s verses were the object of a ...
The Threefold Lily of Practical Arithmetic
Johannes Huswirth (Sanensis) was a German arithmetician who flourished around 1500. Nothing is known of his life. That he is sometimes referred to as Sanensis suggests that he may have come from Sayn, Germany. Arithmetice Lilium Triplicis Practice (The threefold lily of practical arithmetic) presents basic arithmetic operations such as addition and multiplication for whole numbers and fractions. It treats much of the same material that Huswirth had covered in an earlier work, Enchirdion Algorismi (Handbook of algorithms). The work includes two woodcut illustrations; one of God the Father and ...
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Sakhāqī’s Book [of Arithmetic]
This work is a tutorial text on elementary arithmetic, in 20 folios. It is divided into an introduction, 11 chapters, and a conclusion. In the beginning, the sign for zero is introduced, along with the nine Indian numerals, written in two alternative forms. This is followed by a presentation of the place system. The first four chapters cover, respectively, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Chapter five introduces operations on non-whole numbers. The remaining six chapters discuss fractions and operations on them.
Easing the Difficulty of Arithmetic and Planar Geometry
This work is a comprehensive tutorial guide on arithmetic and plane geometry, in 197 folio pages. It also discusses monetary conversion. The work is composed in verse form, and is meant as a commentary on existing textbooks. The author gives the following personal account of the writing of this guide: In Rajab 827 A.H. (May 1424) he traveled from Damascus to Quds al-Sharīf (in Palestine), where he met two scholars named Ismā‘īl ibn Sharaf and Zayn al-Dīn Māhir. There he took lessons on arithmetic, using an introductory book ...
A Friendly Gift on the Science of Arithmetic
This treatise deals specifically with basic arithmetic, as needed for computing the division of inheritance according to Islamic law. It contains 48 folios and is divided into an introduction, three chapters, and a conclusion. The introduction discusses the idea of numbers as an introduction to the science of arithmetic. Chapter I discusses the multiplication of integers. Chapter II is on the division of integers and the computation of common factors. Chapter III deals extensively with fractions and arithmetic operations on them. The author, an Egyptian jurist and mathematician, was the ...
Commentary on the Gift of Arithmetic
This work is by Abd-Allāh Ibn Bahā al-Din Muhammad Ibn Abd-Allāh al-Shanshāri al-Shāfīī, an expert in calculating al-Fardī (inheritance portions). The cover page of the manuscript bears a magical form or talisman for finding a lost object. The main text is a detailed commentary on Tuhfat al-ahbāb fi al-hisāb (The friendly gift of arithmetic) by the renowned Egyptian scholar Badr al-Dīn Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ahmad (1423–1506), known as the Sibt (grandson of) al-Mardini, who taught arithmetic and astronomy in Alazhar for several years. The original work has an ...
The Light of the Glitter in Mathematics
This work is a versified treatise on arithmetic (‘ilam al- ḥisāb), and specifically the art of dividing inheritance (farā’iḍ), which has application in Islamic law. After a standard expression of praise for the Prophet, his companions, and later followers, the text introduces the system of place values and explains multiplication of multi-digit whole numbers and simple and compound fractions. The text presents multiple examples that are described in verbal terms. As noted at the end of the manuscript, which was completed on Monday, 20 Rabī‘ I of the year ...
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Glosses of al-Hifnī on the Yāsamīnīyya
This work is an elaboration of the commentary written by the Egyptian mathematician Sibṭ al-Māridīnī (i.e., a commentary on another commentary), on the versified introduction, or urjūzah, to the science of algebra, originally composed by the Berber mathematician and man of letters Abū Muḥammad ‘Abd-Allāh al-Ishbīlī al-Marrakushī, also known as Ibn al-Yāsamīn (died 1204 [600 AH]). Ibn al-Yāsamīn’s work has not been examined in detail by scholars, so the apparent inclusion in this treatise of original lines by Ibn Yasamīn is of great importance in studying his contribution ...
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The Best of Arithmetic
This treatise on the art of arithmetic, completed in the late 1880s, opens a window into the early interaction between traditional and modern mathematical pedagogy in Egypt. The use of French loan words, such as million, along with some modern notation, indicates the author’s familiarity with developments in the teaching of arithmetic at the time. The work has an introduction followed by ten chapters and a conclusion. Following traditional praise for God, the Prophet Muhammad, and virtuous vanguards of learning, the treatise opens by introducing arithmetic as a useful ...
Guidebook for Students on the Use of Arithmetic
This guidebook is a short commentary on a work on arithmetic entitled al-Wasīla (The tool) completed in the 14th century by Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Alī ibn Imād. The commentary is by the renowned Egyptian scholar known as Sibt (grandson of) al-Māridīnī (1423–1506), who taught mathematical sciences at Alazhar for a long time. The body of the work begins with a general discussion on numbers, and forms a standard introduction to arithmetic. The manuscript, which was completed by Ahmad ibn Yūnus al-Chalabī al-Hanafī in 1496 (AH 903) at the ...
Bulgarian Arithmetic
Arithmetics were a popular genre of textbooks during the era of the Bulgarian National Revival in the 19th century, when it was widely believed that everyone, especially future businessmen, needed to know basic mathematics. Bulgarian Arithmetic was the fourth such text published in this era, in 1845. The author, Khristodul Kostovich Sichan-Nikolov (1808–89), was a monk, teacher, writer, and publicist, often assisted in his scholarly pursuits by the writer, educator, and priest Neofit Rilski. Before writing his own text, Sichan-Nikolov had been involved as the editor of the first ...
The Lifting of the Veil in the Operations of Calculation
The establishment of the Berber-Muslim dynasty of the Almohads in North Africa and Andalusia in the 12th century coincided with the decline in scientific advances in many fields of knowledge, including medicine. This was not the case with mathematics, and the treatise preserved in this manuscript together with other works by the same author stand as clear proof of the liveliness of this field under the rule of the Almohads and of the Marinid dynasty that followed. Abū ‛Abbās Ahmad Ibn al-Bannā was born in the second half of the ...
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The Desire of the Students for an Explanation of the Calculator's Craving
This manuscript offers a clear example of the liveliness of the North African mathematical tradition under the Muslim-Berber dynasties that ruled over the Islamic West from the 12th century to the first half of the 17th century. They were the Almohads (12th–13th centuries), the Marinids (13th–15th centuries), the Wattasids (15th–16th centuries), and the Saadis (16th–17th centuries). While there was little scientific advance in other fields in this period, the mathematical sciences kept on developing, as reflected both in the composition of original works and in commentaries ...
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Glosses of al-Hifnī on the Yāsamīnīyya
The mathematical tradition that developed in North Africa during the Middle Ages continued to attract the interest of scholars in subsequent centuries. Medieval treatises were extensively read and made the subject of commentaries. In many cases, these commentaries became the object of other works—or supercommentaries—aimed at further clarifying the subject of the original treatises. This manuscript is an example of this phenomenon. In the 12th century, the North African mathematician ‘Abdallāh ibn Hajjāj ibn al-Yāsamīn summarized his mathematical knowledge in a versified treatise known as Yāsamīnīyya (The treatise ...
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Facts on the Calculation of Degrees and Minutes
This manuscript by Badr al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Ġazal (1423–1506) contains a commentary on, and abridgement of, the astrological treatise on the calculation of the movement of stars and planets, Kašf al-haqā’iq fī hisāb al-daraj wa-al-daqā’iq (The uncovering of the facts regarding the calculation of degrees and minutes), by the Egyptian astronomer and mathematician Ahmad ibn Rağab ibn al-Mağdī (1366–1447). Ibn al-Mağdī was a disciple of the famous ‘Abdallāh al-Māridīnī (or al-Mārdīnī), who was the grandfather of the author of this ...
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Quintessence of Calculation
The author of this mathematical treatise, Bahā' al-Dīn Al-‘Amilī (1547–1621), is considered one of the leading intellectuals of 17th-century Safavid Persia (present-day Iran). He was born in Baalbek (present-day Lebanon) but moved to Persia in his youth where he devoted his entire life to study. He excelled in various fields, leaving a legacy of more than 80 books on a wide variety of subjects that included theology and mysticism, astronomy, mathematics, poetry, and architecture. He wrote in both Persian and Arabic. He was the teacher of Mulla Sadra ...
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The Commentary on “The Little Sparkles on the Science of Calculation”
The treatise in this manuscript is a commentary on a mathematical treatise by Šihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Ibn al-Hā’im (circa 1355–1412). Ibn al-Hā’im taught mathematics and Islamic jurisprudence, subjects on which he wrote extensively. The erudite Badr al-Dīn Muhammad Sibt al-Māridīnī (circa 1423–1506), who was at the time working as muwaqqit (timekeeper) at the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, composed this short commentary less then 60 years after the death of Ibn al-Hā’im. Following widespread tradition in Islamic lands, Sibt al-Māridīnī included in the title ...
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The Illumination of Inheritance Calculation
Islamic law goes into great detail on the subject of the division of inheritances (farā'id) among heirs. For this reason, inheritances have received extensive treatment in books of fiqh (Islamic law) and been a subject of study for mathematicians as well. Qabas al-Daw' fī al-Hisāb (The illumination of inheritance calculation) was copied by its author, ‘Abd al-Raḥman ibn Aḥmad ibn 'Ali al-Ḥamidi, in this 1589 manuscript. The work, which he dedicated to the son of the Šāf‘ī jurist Šams al-Dīn Muhammad al-Bahwašī, is an example of a genre ...
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The Abridged Amusement of the Calculator from "The Guide"
Much traditional scholarship holds that the period after about 1250 saw a decline in the production of scientific and philosophical works in the Arab world. This view is challenged by the impressive number of manuscripts written after that date in different Arabic-speaking countries that contain original treatises and commentaries. The work preserved in this manuscript, Nuzhat al-Hussāb al-Muhtasara min al-Muršida (The abridged amusement of the calculator from The guide), is a shorter version of Muršida fī Sina’at al-Gubar (The guide to the art of the numerals), an extensive treatise ...
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The Little Sparkles on the Science of Calculation
The treatise preserved in this manuscript, Al-Luma‘al-yasīra fī ‘ilm al-hisāb (The little sparkles on the science of calculation), deals with Muslim inheritance. Of the social innovations that came with the Islamic conquest, the introduction of the system of fara'id (shares) for inheritances was one of the most radical and socially advanced. The fourth surah of the Qur'an, verses 11–12, criticizes the traditional pre-Islamic system of agnatic succession, under which only men could inherit property, and provides for a proportional division among all the heirs, women included ...
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The Shimmer of Al-Māridinī in the Explanation of the Treatise by al-Yāsamīn
The present manuscript preserves a very elegant copy of a work by one of the most prolific authors of the second half of the 15th century in the field of mathematics and related subjects: Badr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Ġazal, best known as Sibṭ al-Māridīnī ("the son of al-Māridīnī’s daughter") from the name of his famous maternal ancestor, who was also a mathematician. The Lum‘a al-Māridīnīyya is an extensive prose commentary on a famous poem on algebra composed by the Maghrebi mathematician al-Yāsamīn around the last ...
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The Shimmer of Al-Māridinī in the Explanation of the Treatise by al-Yāsamīn
The mathematical tradition that flourished in North Africa and Andalusia during the Middle Ages did not undergo the same decline that many scholars claim occurred in the sciences after the first half of the 13th century. The present work supports this point. The manuscript is a very elegant copy of a mathematical text by Badr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Ġazal, best known as Sibṭ al-Māridīnī ("the son of al-Māridīnī’s daughter") from the name of his famous maternal grandfather, who was himself a mathematician. Sibṭ al-Māridīnī's mathematical ...
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The Shimmer of Al-Māridinī in the Explanation of the Treatise by al-Yāsamīn
The 12th-century mathematical poem known as al-Yāsamīnīyya fī ‘ilm al-Jabr (The poem by al-Yāsamīn on calculus) from the name of its author, al-Yāsamīn, is one of the most read and commented upon mathematical texts of its time. Its verses have been extensively copied, both in autonomous form and by incorporation into larger commentaries up to the 20th century. The present manuscript preserves an early 20th-century copy of the 15th-century commentary on the Yāsamīnīyya written by Badr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Ġazal, best known as Sibṭ al-Māridīnī ("the son ...
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Commentary on "The Little Sparkles on the Science of Calculation"
The system of fara'i(shares) for inheritances is considered to be one of the most advanced innovations introduced by Muslim conquerors in Middle Eastern and North African societies. The exact calculation of shares of inheritance is a complex chapter in Islamic law, and it is not surprising that Muslim intellectuals and scientists developed a system of mathematical tools in order to master "the science of the shares" (‘ilm al-fara'i). An important contribution to this field can be found in the work of Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Ibn ...
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The Excursion of Calculus
This manuscript is an 18th-century copy of Nuzhat al-ḥisāb (The excursion of calculus) by mathematician Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Farāḍī ibn al-Hā'im (around 1356–1412). The copyist of this brief but densely written codex provided his name and the date of the completion of his work in the colophon: at the bottom of the last page of the manuscript is stated that Aḥmad ibn Qāsim ibn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Hanbalī finished this copy in the year 1185 AH (1772). The Nuzhat al-ḥisāb is an abridgment by Ibn al-Hā'im of ...
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Explanations of Problems in Arithmetic with Examples
Timbuktu, founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries of Timbuktu contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. This commentary by the 18th-century scholar al-Rasmuki explains a work by the medieval mathematician al-Samlali. Using charts and examples of problems, the ...
The Essentials of Arithmetic
Bahaa al-Din al-Amili (1547–1621 AD; 953–1031 AH) is thought to have been born in Baalbek, Lebanon, but his family moved to Herat, present-day Afghanistan, to escape Ottoman persecution. He studied in Isfahan, in present-day Iran, and continued on to Aleppo, Jerusalem, and Egypt, before returning to Isfahan, where he served for many years as the chief judge and where he died. He produced more than 50 titles in fields as diverse as arithmetic, astronomy, literature, religion, and linguistics. Known for his poetry as well as his many encyclopedic ...
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The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing
Born into a Persian family in Khuwarizm (present-day Xorazm Province, Uzbekistan), Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (also known by the Latin form of his name, Algoritmi, circa 780–850 AD, 164–236 AH) was a Muslim mathematician, astronomer, and geographer, and a scholar in the famed House of Wisdom in Baghdad. Al-Khwarazmi wrote Kitab al-Jabr wa-l-Muqabala (The compendious book on calculation by completion and balancing) around 830 AD, with the encouragement of Caliph Al-Maamoun, the reigning Abbasid caliph of Baghdad in 813–33 AD. It is meant to be a useful ...
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Six Essays from the Book of Commentaries on Euclid
Naseer al-Din (or al-Naseer) al-Tusi (1201–74 AD, 597–672 AH) was a Muslim Persian polymath. He was born in Tus, Khorasan, in present-day Iran. Al-Tusi witnessed the great invasion of the Islamic empire by the Mongols, whom he later joined. He was said to have been in the company of Hulegu Khan when the latter destroyed the Abbasid capital of Baghdad in 1258 AD. Al-Tusi, already a well-known scientist, later convinced Hulegu Khan to construct an observatory to facilitate the establishment of accurate astronomical tables for better astrological predictions ...
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The Essentials of Arithmetic
Bahā’ al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ḥusayn al-‘Āmilī, also known as Sheiykh Bahā’ī, was a famous polymath and intellectual luminary of Safavid Persia. He was born in 1547 (953 AH) near the Jabal ‘Āmila in Syria. He migrated with his family to Persia (perhaps to escape the persecution of Shi'a Muslims at the hand of the Ottomans), where he eventually obtained an honored place at the court of Shāh ‘Abbās. He died in Isfahan in 1621 (1030 AH). A prolific author of works on astronomy, mathematics, fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence ...
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