Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni (973-1048): online bio-bibliographical resources

Portraits   Biographical and bibliographical articles and books   Commemorative volumes   Anthologies   Medieval sources on al-Biruni   Useful links   Paid resources  Back to main screen.

Portraits of al-Biruni:

no authentic portraits exist. Many fake portraits (artist's impressions) of al-Biruni have been produced in recent years. See the page of mathematicians on poststamps, with links to stamps with different fake portraits of al-Biruni.

Bio-bibliographical works (articles and books):

(only a selection of free resources is listed here)

Commemoration volumes

Al-Biruni Commemoration Volume (Calcutta 1951)
Unesco courier 1973 on al-Biruni (on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of his birth)
Beyruni'ye Armagan (Ankara 1974)
Proceedings of a Symposium on Biruni and Indian Science (Delhi 1971), which appeared in Indian Journal of History of Science 10 (1975), pp. 89-278.
The Commemoration Volume of Biruni International Congress in Tehran B: English and French Papers (Tehran 1976)
Hakim Mohammad Said, ed., l-Biruni commemorative volume: Proceedings of the International Conference Held in Pakistan on the Occasion of the Millenary of Abu Raihan.. al-Biruni: Nov. 26, 1973 thru December 12, 1973. Published 1979. Scan to follow.


An excellent collection of translations of selected passages is: G. Strohmayer, Al-Biruni: In den Gärten der Wissenschaft, Leipzig: Reclam, 1988, reprinted 2001. Unfortunately this is not available online.

(Translations or analyses of) medieval sources containing biographical information on al-Biruni

English translation by Edward G. Browne (Cambridge 1921) of Nizami-i-Arudi (ca. 1125) of Samarqand, Chahar Maqala ("Four Treatises") (with some information on Biruni).
Biruni is mentioned in Ibn Abi `Usaybi`a, see English translation (search with Al-Bir)
On the date of al-Biruni's death see H. Hermelink, Zur Bestimmung von Biruni's Todestag, Sudhoff's Archiv 61 (1977) 298-300, scan
E. Wiedemann, J. Hell, Über al-Biruni, Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der Medizin und der Naturwissenschaften 11 (1912), pp. 313-321, reprinted in IMA 34, pp. 60-68, scan   (biographical information on al-Biruni in the geographical work of Yaqut.)

Useful links

Digital library of Iran: dl.nlai.ir
Website on manuscripts in Turkey: www.yazmalar.gov.tr
Digital library of India: https://ndl.iitkgp.ac.in
Union catalogue of manuscripts from the Islamicate [sic] world in England: www.fihrist.org.uk
Russian works by al-Biruni online: http://publ.lib.ru/ARCHIVES/B/BIRUNI_Abu_Reyhan

Paid resources

(only accessible through some universities):
article on Al-Biruni in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second edition, by D.J. Boilot (Brill website).
Article by G. Saliba on al-Biruni, pp. 405-423 in M.J.L.Young, J.D. Latham, R.B.Serjeant, Religion, Learning and Science in the Abbasid Period, Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Jan Hogendijk <jphogendijk _at_ gmail.com>