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 997 AH (February 6, 1589), the treatise was written for the instruction of Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad, son of the Shāfi‘ī scholar Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Bahwashī al-Shāfiʻī.

Last updated: November 6, 2015