List of Arab scientists and scholars

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A 9th century picture of Arab scientists working in Baghdad, Iraq.

This is a list of scientists and scholars from the Arab World and Islamic Spain (Al-Andalus) that lived from antiquity up until the beginning of the modern age, consisting primarily of scholars during the Middle Ages. In some cases, their exact ancestry in unclear. They may have emigrated or immigrated, and thus may appear in other "Lists of...", but nevertheless their names and work are linked to the words "Arab" and "Arabic".

  • Both the Arabic and Latin names are given.
  • The following Arabic articles are not used for indexing:
  • Al - the
  • ibn, bin, banu - son of
  • abu - father of, the one with
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See Ibn Tufail.
See Al-Zahrawi.
Writer and traveler who wrote an account of his travels as a member of an embassy of the Caliph of Baghdad to the king of the Volga Bulgars.
Was one of the most famous Arab navigators. He became famous in the West as the navigator who has been associated with helping Vasco da Gama find his way from Africa to India. He was the author of nearly 40 works of poetry and prose. His most important work was Kitab al-Fawa’id fi Usul ‘Ilm al-Bahr wa ’l-Qawa’id (Book of Useful Information on the Principles and Rules of Navigation), written in 1490.
See Ibn al-Haytham.
He was an Astronomer. Together with khalid Ben Abdulmelik in 827, he measured the Earth's circumference, getting a result of 40,248 km (or, according to other sources, 41,436 km).
He made one of the earliest examples of a parachute.
  • Arzachel
See Al-Zarqali.
  • Al-Asma'i (739, Basra, Iraq - 831, Basra, Iraq)
Considered as the first Muslim scientist who contributed to Zoology, Botany and Animal Husbandry. His famous writings include Kitab al-Ibil, Kitab al-Khalil, Kitab al-Wuhush, Kitab al-Sha, and Kitab Khalq al-Insan. The last book on human anatomy demonstrates his considerable knowledge and expertise on the subject.
See Ibn Bajjah.
See Ibn Rushd.
See Ibn Zuhr.


He wrote about different systems of arithmetic in a work of great importance in the history of mathematics.
One of the greatest scientists of Muslim Spain and was the greatest botanist and pharmacist of the Middle Ages.
  • Ibn Bajjah ( ?, Saragossa, Spain - 1138, Fez, Morocco)
He had a vast knowledge of Medicine, Mathematics and Astronomy. His main contribution to Islamic Philosophy is his idea on Soul Phenomenology, but unfortunately not completed. He was also the teacher of Ibn Rushd.
  • Ibn al-Banna (1256, Marrakesh, Morocco - 1321, Marrakesh, Morocco)
He wrote a large number of works including an introduction to Euclid's Elements, an algebra text and various works on astronomy.
  • Al-Baqilani (?, Basra, Iraq - 1013, Basra, Iraq)
Muslim theologian. He introduced the conceptions of atoms and vacuum into the Kalam. He extended atomism to time and motion, conceiving them as essentially discontinuous. Once when he entered the court of the Roman Emperor while he was among his Christian monks and priests, he mockingly said to one of the priests: "How are you? How are your family and children?" to illustrate a point.
  • Al-Battani ''(850, Harran, Turkey - 929, Qasr al-Jiss, Iraq)
His best-known achievement was the determination of the solar year as being 365 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes and 24 seconds.
He was able to correct some of Ptolemy's results and compiled new tables of the Sun and Moon, long accepted as authoritative, discovered the movement of the Sun's apogee, treated the division of the celestial sphere, and introduced, probably independently of the 5th century Indian astronomer Aryabhata, the use of sines in calculation, and partially that of tangents, forming the basis of modern trigonometry. His most important work is the Kitāb al-zīğ (Arabic: كتاب الزيج "the book of tables ).
  • Al Betrugi,Nur Ed-Din (known in the West by the Latinized name of Alpetragius);(died ca. 1204 AD) was an Arab astronomer and philosopher of the Middle Ages. Born in present-day Morocco, he settled in Seville, in Andalusia.The Alpetragius crater on the Moon is named after him.



  • Ibn Duraid (837, Basra, Iraq - 934, Baghdad, Iraq)
He was a geographer, genealogist, poet, and philologist. He wrote a large Arabic dictionary, "The Collection on the Language". He also wrote on the genealogy of the Arab tribes.



Literary scholar who is famous for his Book of Songs (Kitab al-Aghani), an encyclopaedic and fundamental work on Arabic songs, composers, poets, and musicians.
Credited to have built the first astrolabe in the Islamic world.



  • Haly Abenragel or the Arabic name Abû l-Hasan 'Alî ibn Abî l-Rijâl, was an Arab astrologer of the late 10th and early 11th century, best known for his Kitāb al-bāri' fi akhām an-nujūm.
  • Ibn al-Haytham (965, Basra, Iraq - 1040, Cairo, Egypt)
A polymath regarded as one of the most eminent physicists, whose contributions to optics, physics, mathematics and the scientific method are outstanding. He is considered the father of optics, the pioneer of the scientific method, the founder of psychophysics and experimental psychology, and the "first scientist". His Book of Optics is one of the most influential books in physics.
  • Al-Hamdani (893, Yemen - 945, Sanaa, Yemen)
Was a geographer, poet, grammarian, historian, and astronomer, who was one of the best representative of Islamic culture during the last effective years of the Abbasid caliphate.
He was a writer, geographer, and chronicler. He spent the last 30 years of his life traveling to remote parts of Asia and Africa, writing about the areas and things he had seen. His famous work is Surat al-Ardh (صورة الارض; "The face of the Earth"), where he included a detailed description of Muslim-held Spain, Italy, and the "Lands of the Romans," the term used by the Muslim world to describe the Byzantine Empire. In it, among other things, he gives a description of Kiev, and is said to have mentioned the route of the Volga Bulgars and the Khazars, perhaps by Sviatoslav I of Kiev.
  • Ibn Hubal,was an Arab physician and scientist known primarily for his medical compendium titled Kitab al-Mukhtarat fi al-tibb, "The Book of Selections in Medicine." It was written in 1165 in Mosul,Iraq .


The son of Sinan ibn Thabit. Was a mathematician and astronomer who studied geometry and in particular tangents to circles. He also made advances in the theory of integration.
  • Ikhwan al-Safa اخوان الصفا وخلان الوفا (The Brethren of Purity) (Basra, Iraq)
A group of neo-Platonic Arabic philosophers during the 10th century.
  • Al-Idrisi (1099, Ceuta, Maghreb - 1166 CE, Sicily)
Considered the greatest geographer and cartographer of the middle Ages. Al-Idrisi constructed a world globe map of 400 kg pure silver and precisely recorded on it the "seven inhabitated regions" with trade routes, lakes and rivers, major cities, and plains and mountains. His world maps were used in Europa for centuries to come. It is worth mentioning that Christopher Columbus used the world map which was originally taken from Al-Idrisi's work. He also contributed to the science of medicinal plants.
Translator and physician.
An Arab grammarian and is the earliest known grammarian of the Arabic language.


Astronomer and mathematician whose translated works in Latin influenced later European mathematicians.
A polymath who is considered the father of chemistry. He emphasized systematic experimentation, and did much to free alchemy from superstition and turn it into a science.
  • Al-Jahiz (776, Basra, Iraq - 869, Basra, Iraq)
He was an Arabic prose writer, historian, biologist, and author of works on adab, Mu'tazili theology, politico-religious polemics, and evolution.
  • Al-Jawhari, Abu Alabbas (ca. 800-860) was a 9th century Arab mathematician. He lived and worked in Damascus and Baghdad.He is known for writing a book, Commentary on Euclid's Elements.
  • Al-Jayyani (989, Cordoba, Spain - 1079, Jaen, Spain)
He wrote important commentaries on Euclid's Elements and he wrote the first treatise on spherical trigonometry.
  • Al-Jazari (ca. 1200, Al-Jazira, Iraq/Syria - ?,?)
He was was one of history's greatest mechanical engineers. He authored 60 inventions in his book Al-Jami Bain Al-Ilm Wal-Amal Al-Nafi Fi Sinat'at Al-Hiyal. Among his inventions were the crankshaft, combination lock, reciprocating piston mechanism, weight-driven mechanical clock, and the first recorded design of a programmable humanoid robot.
10th century influential Arab physician who became famous for his writtings on medicine. He was born in Qairwan in modern-day Tunisia.
Geographer, traveler, and poet. Known for his detailed travel journals.


was writer and philologist from southern Arabia (modern day Oman) who compiled the first dictionary of the Arabic language, the Kitab al-Ayn.
  • Al-Kindi (c.801 CE, Kufa, Iraq – 873, Bahgdad, Iraq)
A gifted mathematician, astronomer, physician and a geographer as well as a talented musician. He wrote the first treatise in cryptography.
  • Ibn Khaldun (May 27, 1332, Tunis - March 19, 1406, Cairo, Egypt)
A polymath who is considered the father of demography, cultural history, historiography, philosophy of history, sociology, and the social sciences, and he is considered a forerunner of modern economics. He is best known for his Muqaddimah (Prolegomena in Latin).
  • Al-Khalili ( 1320, Damascus, Syria - 1380, Damascus, Syria)
Was an astronomer who compiled extensive tables for astronomical use.



Labid ibn rabi'a


He was famous for his work on trigonometry.
  • Al-Ma'arri (December 26, 973 - May 10 or May 21, 1057, Ma'arra (المعرة) in Syria) was a blind Arab philosopher poet and writer.
  • Al-Masudi ( ?, Baghdad, Iraq - 957, Cairo, Egypt)
Was a historian, geographer and philosopher. Born in Baghdad, he traveled to Spain, Russia, India, Sri Lanka and China and spent his last years in Syria and Egypt.
He was one of the most famous thinkers in political science in the middle Ages. He was also a great sociologist, jurist, and mohaddith. He served as Chief Justice at Baghdad and as an ambassador of the Abbasid Caliph to several important and powerful Muslim states. Al-Mawardi made original contributions in political science and sociology. In these fields, he wrote three monumental works: Kitab al-Ahkam al-Sultania, Qanun al-Wazarah, and Kitab Nasihat al-Mulk. Al-Mawardi formulated the principles of political science. His books deal with duties of the Caliphs, the chief minister, the cabinet, and the responsibility of and relationship between the government and citizens. He has discussed the affairs of state in both peace and war. Kitab Aadab al-Dunya wa al-Din was his another masterpiece in Ethics. He was the author and supporter of the Doctrine of Necessity.
  • Ma Yize (ca. 910, ? - 1005, China)
An important astronomer and astrologist who worked as the chief official of the astronomical observatory of the Song dynasty.
Notable medieval Arab geographer, author of Ahsan at-Taqasim fi Ma`rifat il-Aqalim (The Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions)


Was a Muslim Shi'ite scholar and bibliographer who is the famous author of Kitab al-Fihrist, which is an index of all books written in Arabic by Arabs and non-Arabs.
  • Ibn Nafis (1213, Damascus, Syria - 1288, Cairo, Egypt)
Was a physician who is mostly famous for being the first to describe the pulmonary circulation of the blood.
  • Nashwan al-Himyari (?, Yemen - 1178)
Author of Shams al-'ulum, a lexicographical encyclopedia.




  • Al-Qalasadi (1412, Baza, Spain - 1486, Beja, Tunisia)
Mathematician who took the first steps toward the introduction of algebraic symbolism by using letters in place of numbers.


  • Ibn Rushd (1126, Cordoba, Spain – December 10, 1198, Marrakesh, Morocco)
A master of philosophy and Islamic law, mathematics, and medicine. His school of philosophy is known as Averroism.
  • Ahmad Reda 1872, Nabatiye, Lebanon - 1953, Nabatiye, Lebanon)
A prominent writer and linguist. Wrote "Matn al-lugha", first Arabic dictionary since "Lisan al-Arab" that was assembled in the 13th Century.


  • Al-Samawal (1130, Baghdad, Iraq - 1180, Maragha, Iran)
Mathematician who was able to extend the arithmetic operations to handle polynomials. He used an early form of induction.
Was an astronomer who worked as a timekeeper in the Umayyad Mosque. His most famous work was kitab nihayat as-sul fi tashih al-usul ("A Final Inquiry Concerning the Rectification of Planetary Theory"). In treating the motion of the Moon, he eliminated the need for an equant by introducing an extra epicycle, departing from the Ptolemaic system in a way very similar to what Copernicus later also did. He also proposed a system that was only approximately geocentric, rather than exactly so, having demonstrated trigonometrically that the Earth was not the exact center of the universe. The discovery and the whole concept of planetary motion is attributed to Kepler and Copernicus while unfairly not crediting the contribution of Ibn Al-Shatir.
The son of Thabit ibn Qurra and father of Ibrahim ibn Sinan. He is more important for his contributions to medicine than to mathematics.
Mathematician who wrote a treatise On Burning Mirrors and Lense. Rashed (1990) credited Ibn Sahl with discovering the law of refraction, usually called Snell's law.


  • Thabit ibn Qurra (836, Harran, Turkey - Baghdad, Iraq)
Was an important Islamic mathematician who worked on number theory, astronomy and statics.
Was a physician, famous for his work Kitab Al-Ma'a (The Book of Water), which is the first known alphabetical encyclopedia of medicine. In it he lists the names of diseases, its medicine and a physiological process or a treatment, and adds numerous original ideas about the function of the human organs. Indeed, he explains an original idea of how the vision takes place, similar to Ibn al-Haitham. It also contains a course for the treatment psychological symptoms. The main thesis of his treatment is that the cure must start from controlled food and exercise, and if the symptoms persist then use specific individual medicines.
  • Ibn Tufail (c.1105, Guadix, Spain – 1185, Morocco)
He served as a secretary for the ruler of Granada, and later as vizier and physician for Abu Yaqub Yusuf, ruler of Islamic Spain (Al-Andalus) under the Almohad dynasty. He was the author of Hayy ibn Yaqdhan (Arabic: حي بن يقظان ) a philosophical romance and allegorical tale of a man who lives alone on an island and who, without contact with other human beings, discovers the truth by reasonable thinking, and then his shock upon contact with human society's dogmatism and other ills.


  • Al-Umawi (1400, Spain - 1489, Damascus, Syria)
Mathematician who wrote works on mensuration and arithmetic.
  • Al-Uqlidisi (920, Damascus, Syria - 980, Damascus, Syria)
Wrote two works on arithmetic. He may have anticipated the invention of decimals.



He was an Arabic poet, famous for his erotic and romantic poems.
Alchemist who is claimed to have cracked the Rosetta stone, eight centuries earlier than Jean-François Champollion. The achievemnet of cracking this code is famed as a critical moment in code-breaking history.[1]



  • Yusuf al-Mutamin,was a mathematician He wrote Kitab al-Istikmal (Book of Perfection) in mathematics.


  • Al-Zahrawi (936, Cordoba, Spain - 1013, Cordoba, Spain)
Was Islam's greatest medieval surgeon, whose comprehensive medical texts, combining Middle Eastern and Greco-Roman classical teachings, shaped European surgical procedures until the Renaissance. He is considered the Father Of Surgery. His greatest contribution to history is Al-Tasrif, a thirty-volume collection of medical practice.
  • Al-Zarqali (1028,Spain - 1087,? CE)
He was a leading mathematician and the foremost astronomer of his time. He excelled at the construction of precision instruments for astronomical use. He constructed a flat astrolabe that was 'universal,' for it could be used at any latitude, and he built a water clock capable of determining the hours of the day and night and indicating the days of the lunar months. He was the first to prove conclusively the motion of the aphelion relative to the fixed background of the stars. He measured its rate of motion as 12.04 seconds per year, which is remarkably close to the modern calculation of 11.8 seconds. He also contributed to the famous Tables of Toledo.
  • Ibn Zuhr (1091, Seville, Spain - 1161, Seville, Spain)
Was one of the most prominent physicians, clinicians and parasitologist of the Middle Ages. He was the first to test different medicines on animals before using them with humans. Also, he was the first to describe in detail scabies, a widespread itch mite, and is thus regarded as the first parasitologist. He was a practical man and disliked medical speculations. For that reason, he opposed the teachings of Ibn Sina.

See also

Arab World (Arabic: العالم العربي; Transliteration: al-`alam al-`arabi) stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea
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"Plus Ultra"   (Latin)
"Further Beyond"
"Marcha Real" 1
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Al-Andalus (Arabic: الأندلس al-andalus) was the Arabic name given to those parts of the Iberian Peninsula governed by Muslims, or Moors, at various times in the period between 711 and 1492.
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Ancient history is the study of the written past from the beginning of human history until the Early Middle Ages[1]. The goal of the modern day critical ancient historian is objectivity.
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The term Modern Times is used by historians to loosely describe the period of time immediately following what is known as the Early Modern Times. It is to be distinguished from the term of Modernity.
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Middle Ages form the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three "ages": the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Modern Times.
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al-‘Arabiyyah in written Arabic (Kufic script):  
Pronunciation: /alˌʕa.raˈbij.ja/
Spoken in: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman,
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Ibn Tufail (c. 1105, Gaudix, Spain – 1185) full name: Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Muhammad ibn Tufail al-Qaisi al-Andalusi أبو بكر محمد بن عبد
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Abu al-Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas Al-Zahrawi (936 - 1013), (Arabic: أبو القاسم بن خلف بن العباس
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Ahmad ibn Fadlān ibn al-Abbās ibn Rašīd ibn Hammād (Arabic: أحمد إبن فضلان إبن ألعباس إبن
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Ahmed Bin Majid (Arabic:أحمد بن ماجد), was an Arab navigator and cartographer born in 1421 in Julphar, which is now known as Ras Al Khaimah. This city makes up one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates.
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14th century - 15th century - 16th century
1460s  1470s  1480s  - 1490s -  1500s  1510s  1520s
1487 1488 1489 - 1490 - 1491 1492 1493

Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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Ahmed ibn Yusuf ibn Ibrahim ibn Tammam al-siddiq Al-Baghdadi also known as Ahmed ibn Yusuf al-misri (835 - 912) was an Arab mathematician, like his father Yusuf ibn Ibrahim (Arabic يوسف بن ابراهيم
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mathematician is a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of mathematics.

Problems in mathematics

Some people incorrectly believe that mathematics has been fully understood, but the publication of new discoveries in mathematics continues at an immense
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Abū ‘Alī al-asan ibn al-asan ibn al-Haytham
Title: Ibn al-Haytham and Alhacen
Birth: 965
death: 1039
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Ali Ben Isa (Arabic: علي بن عيسى) was an Arab astronomer in the 9th century.
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Chalid Ben Abdulmelik al-Marwzi (Arabic: خالد بن عبدالملك) was a Persian astronomer of the 9th century.
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'Abbas Ibn Firnas, or 'Abbas Qasim Ibn Firnas (Latinized name: Armen Firman) (810 – 887 A.D.) (Arabic: العباس بن فرناس) was a Berber[1][2]
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parachute is usually a soft fabric device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag. Parachutes are normally used to slow the descent of a person or object to Earth or another celestial body within an atmosphere.
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Al-Asma'i or Asma`i [Abu Sa`id `Abd al-Malik ibn Qurayb al-Asma`i] (c. 740-828) (Arabic: ‏الأصمعي) was an Arab scholar of the so-called Basra school.
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Zoology (from Greek: ζῴον, zoion, "animal"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals.
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Botany is the scientific study of plant life. As a branch of biology, it is also called plant science(s), phytology, or plant biology. Botany covers a wide range of scientific disciplines that study plants, algae, and fungi including: structure, growth,
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Animal husbandry, also called animal science, stockbreeding or simple husbandry, is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock.

The science of animal husbandry is taught in many universities and colleges around the world.
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Abū-Bakr Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn al-Sāyigh (Arabic أبو بكر محمد بن يحيى بن الصايغ), known as Ibn Bājjah
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Ibn-Rushd (Arabic: ابن رشد), known as Averroes (1126 – December 10, 1198), was an Andalusian-Arab philosopher, physician, and polymath: a master of philosophy, Islamic law, astronomy, geography, mathematics, medicine, physics,
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Ibn Zuhr Arabic أبو مروان عبدالملك إبن زهر ، (Avenzoar, Abumeron, ibn-Zohr, or
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Abu Mansur Abd al-Qahir ibn Tahir ibn Muhammad ibn Abdallah al-Tamimi al-Shaffi al-Baghdadi (Arabic:أبو منصور عبدالقاهر ابن طاهر
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Abu Muhammad Abdallah Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-Baitar Dhiya al-Din al-Malaqi (Arabic:ابن البيطار) was an Arab scientists and one of the greatest scientists of Muslim Spain and it's believed that he was the greatest botanist and
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