Arab Geographer

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Gondia Education Society's C.J. Patel College, Tirora , Dist.- Gondia 441911. Subject : THEOROTICAL AND APPLIED GEOGRAPHY Topic Al- Biruni Is presented by Dr. Nanabhau S. Kudnar M.A., B.Ed., SET, NET, Ph.D., M.B.A . Head, Department of Geography C.J . Patel College Tirora .


ARAB GEOGRAPHICAL THOUGHT INTRODUCTION:- The followers of Prophet Mohammad SAS, from 8 th to 13 th century, made significant contribution to field of geography. They embarked on a conquest of the world outside of Arabia. In 641, they conquered Persia, and in 642, took control of Egypt. They swept westward across the Sahara and by 732 all the Greek Desert was under their control. They crossed through the Iberian Peninsula in France. For some 900 years, the Muslims ruled most of Spain and Portugal. The Muslim rule was also extended to Central Asia, Northern China, India, eastern coast of Africa, Malaysia and some island of South-East Asia . The preceding period of the Arabs has been rightly called as the ‘Dark Age’ in the European and Christian parts of the world. Some primitive geographical notions were inherited by Arabs from Jaws and Christians. The Arab geographical literature came to the world in 800 A.D. In 762 Muslims founded the new city of Baghdad and for more than a century it remained the centre of the intellectual world.


Al-Masudi Al-Biruni (973-1039 A.D.) Al-Idrisi (1099-1180 A.D.) Idn-Battuta (1304-1406 A.D) IDN-Khaldun (1332-1406 A.D)


Abu-ray han Mohammad [Al- biruni (973-1039 A.D.)]


Al- Biruni (973-1039 A.D.)


Al-Biruni Full Name:- Abu- Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad Al-Biruni Born:- 4 th September 973 Died:- 15 nt December 1048 (Aged 75) Era:- Islamic Golden Age Region:- Persia Main Interests:- Physics, Anthropology, Comparative sociology, Astronomy, Astrology, Chemistry, History, Geography, Mathematics, Medicine, Psychology, Philosophy, Theology. Notable Ideas:- Founder of Indology Major Works:- Ta’rikh al-Hind, The Mas’udi Canon, Understanding Astrology


Al-Biruni 1) Al-Biruni was a great scholar and possessed encyclopaedic mind. He was always in search of new knowledge. He was a liberal and profoundly interested in science. 2) He studied the Greek books through Arabic translation. He was versed in Persian, Turkish, Syriac and Sanskrit. 3)He wrote 27 books on geography, four each on carography, geodesy, climatology, and the remaining seven books on comets, meteors and surveying. 4) Al-Biruni produced convincing arguments for establishing the claims of physical sciences. He reminded the opponents of astronomy that God asks people to contemplate on the marvels of the earth and heavens, believing that all the phenomena of nature reveal truth of the highest import. 5) Al-Biruni considered the universe to be situated on the outermost surface of a limited sphere. A detailed study of the origin of the universe was made by Al-Biruni in his book Al- Tbdid . The geo-centric and heliocentric controversy engaged the mind of Al-Biruni.


2)About the sun, he asserted that it is a fiery body for the solar eruption which is noticeable during the total eclipse. Al-Biruni believed in the geocentric theory and regarded the sun as moving round the earth. 3)Though, Al-Biruni dedicated himself only to astronomy, yet he excelled in mathematics also. In that age, mathematics consisted of arithmetic, geometry, physics and music. Mathematics and Astronomy 1)An illustration from al-Biruni's astronomical works, explains the different phases of the moon.


2) The great geographer was also aware of the huge mountain range known in India as Himavant (the Himalayas) which spread across the length of the known world like a spinal column. 3) Al-Biruni’s knowledge of Asia was quite extensive and fairly accurate. In his opinion, the Great Central Mountain (the Himalayas) was the source of most of the perennial rivers of Asia. Geography 1)Bīrūnī also devised his own method of determining the radius of the earth by means of the observation of the height of a mountain and carried it out at Nandana in India.


Conclusion In brief Al-Biruni excelled but in Philosophy, Religion, Cosmology, Astronomy, Geography, Geodesy, Stratography, Geomorphology, Mathematics, Science, Medicine and Several languages. He also contributed appreciably in the field of chronology, computation of years and dates. At the same time he had a clear concept of the ideal historian. His correct view and reasoning led him to think that the institution of Uarna(caste), based on inequality, was the main obstacle in a rapport between the Hindus and Muslims. The condition of Indian learning language, script, centres of learning was also brought out. The gigantic labour, scientific reasoning, and untiring efforts made Al-Biruni one of the most outstanding geographers of the medieval period.


REFERENCE BOOK:- Evolution of Geographical Thought Majid Husain Enter-net



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