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Development of Mathematics in the Abbasid Caliphate

World 15 Jun 2020
ID 76553546 © Tenrook |

Muslims’ contribution to mathematics is incredible. Actually, Arabic mathematics study started under Greek and Indian influence Muslim scientists translated the book on Indian astronomy ‘Surya Siddhanta’ and they acquired knowledge of Indian arithmetic, numerology, and zero. The formulas of Ptolemy’s famous book ‘Almagest’ were researched throughout that period. They were also able to prove the insufficiency of the formulas. Today, we know more about the remarkable contribution of some Muslim scholars who had led to mathematics in the Abbasid era.


Al-Khwarizmi, Arabia ‘s greatest mathematician. He established modern algebra. Al Jaber is the Latin form of his name. The term Algebra comes from this name. Algebra is collected by the Europeans from his book ‘al-Kitāb al-mukhta sanar fiisāb al-jabr wal-muqābala.’ First use of the digit zero (0) began in Europe in the twelfth century. They called it an algorithm, thinking it was an al-Khwarizmi discovery. The algorithms of al-Khwarizmi have been widely accepted.

He had become iconic by researching a few more disciplines. He discovered several astrological formulas. Because of his ingenuity as Newton, he was called ‘Muslim Newton.’ Khwarizmi’s book, ‘al-Kitāb al-mukhta sanar fiisāb al-jabr wal-muqābala’, translated into Latin in the twelfth century. It was considered the best textbook on mathematics in various European universities until the sixteenth century. This book presents the use of algebra in Europe.


Al-Biruni was world-famous in the field of mathematics. His book, Kitab al-qanun al-Masudi, is called the Encyclopedia of Mathematics. It deals with complex and mathematical problems of geometry, trigonometry, and calculus, etc. He has described the measurement of the earth amazingly. These measures are still scientifically established. His other famous mathematics book is Kitābul-Hind. He solved many complex mathematical problems here.


He developed trigonometry rules like sine, cosine, tangent, cotangent, and so on simply and functionally. Besides, the mathematician calculated the tangent-sine-cosine relationship. He also discovered the intersection between the Triangle and the Cone.

Abu al-Wafa’ Buzjani

Abu al-Wafa ‘Buzjani is a renowned mathematician. He was equally good at trigonometry and astrology. He discovered the method of determining sine & cosine of a complementary angle. Also, he is the inventor of the current formula of trigonometry sin (A + B) = sin A cos B + cos A sin B.

Ibn al-Haytham

Ibn al-Haytham is a unique name in the world of science and mathematics. In fact, he was the first to use geometrical calculations to determine the distance between any two places on Earth.

Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyam from Khorasan, Iran, is best known for his “Rubaiyat.” However, he has gained respect in the world by making special contributions to philosophy, chemistry, mathematics, etc. Algebra was his favourite subject of research.  Moreover, he was the first to imagine analytical geometry in mathematics. Later, it was patented in the name of René Descartes of France. He discovered the Binomial Theorem of algebra.

Many more Muslim scholars worked during the Abbasid era on the advancement of mathematics. Actually, this was Islamic science’s golden age. And Muslim scholars took the science of mathematics to new heights in that golden age. They resolved the problem one after another.