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Al Khawarezmi

Who was Al Khawarezmi?

In the 9th century, Muhammad Ibn Musa al-Khawarezmi was born in 780 AD. Al Khawarezmi lived in Baghdad, where he was a scholar at ‘The House of Wisdom’ and worked in mathematics, astronomy and geography. The word ‘algorithm’ is derived from his name.

Significance of Baghdad

Baghdad, which is modern-day Iraq, was famous when it became the new centre of the Islamic Empire. It became a centre for Muslim learning, knowledge and trade, where goods and ideas were exchanged.

Baghdad was known as the ‘Round City’ because it was built around two semi-circles with a mosque in the middle, and it was the home of many important people. Many scholars came to Baghdad to share their knowledge and developed science, maths, literature, and medicine.

His Work on Algebra

During his time in Baghdad, he wrote several books, including ‘The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing’, which was the first book on algebra. This was translated into Latin in the 12th century and its title is where the word ‘algebra’ takes its root. In this book, Al Khawarezmi created basic algebra techniques, but also had practical applications of algebra in working out inheritance and trade matters.

He developed trigonometry, decimal points, introduced a number system and described the concept of zero, which had been introduced in Indian texts much earlier, but he further developed it. This offered a better alternative to Roman numerals, which had no concept of zero or place value. His ideas were developed and spread first to Europe and then around the world.

His Work on Algorithms and Sundials

Al Khawarezmi was the creator of algorithms. Algorithms are a set of instructions that are used in every device and technology.

In addition, he improved the design of sundials to make them accurate when checking the time in any part of the world.

The Islamic Golden Age

Al Khawarezmi was born in 780 AD, during the Islamic Golden Age. This period lasted from mid-7th century to mid-13th century and was a time in which Muslims established one of the largest empires in history. Muslims worldwide, including artists, poets, philosophers, traders, and scholars all shared ideas for the economy, technological advancements, sciences and many more fields.

Al Khawarezmi contributed massively to the development of algebra, algorithms and more. These contributions are what led to the Islamic Empire being strengthened. Historians often describe Al Khawarezmi as one of the most influential mathematicians in the Islamic Golden Age due to his findings and inventions of algebra and algorithms that spread around the world.

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