Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni

(Sept. 4, 973, Kath, Uzbekistan -ca. 1050, Ghazni, Afghanistan)

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Portraits of al-Biruni.

Many artist's impressions of al-Biruni have been produced in the last 50 years. See the page of mathematicians on poststamps, with links to stamps with different fake portraits of al-Biruni.

Incomplete list of online resources

This is an incomplete bibliography of resources (under construction) on al-Biruni (other than translations of texts) which are available free of charge on the internet. Thanks are due to Mr. Hüseyin Sen for sending me many useful references. For reasons of space, the list is restricted to scholarly articles and does not include most popular websites..
An excellent anthology of translations of selected passages is: G. Strohmayer, Al-Biruni: In den Gärten der Wissenschaft, Leipzig: Reclam, 1988. Unfortunately this is not available online.

Bio-bibliographical articles

Biruni is mentioned in Ibn Abi `Usaybi`a, see English translation (search with Al-Bir)

A fundamental article by E.S. Kennedy on al-Biruni appeared in C.G. Gillispie, ed., Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. 2, New York 1971, pp. 148-158, reprinted in SIES p. 562-572. The article is online here (www.encyclopaedia.com) with many errors and omissions because of machine reading; corrected version here (with most errors corrected and without omissions).

Article by M. Yano in the Biographic Dictionary of Astronomers (New York: Springer, 2007)

English translation of the biography Abu Rayhan-e Biruni by Dr. Parviz Azkaei, which originally appeared in Persian (Tehran, Tarh-e Now, 1374 A.H. solar / 1995 CE, reprinted in 1382/2003 and 1390/2011)

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. [Only accessible from university libraries with a subscription]

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

article on Al-Biruni in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second edition, by D.J. Boilot (Brill website).

Article on al-Biruni in the 40-volume Diyanet Islam Ansiklopedisi (9 pages) [in Turkish].

Index of articles on al-Biruni in the Encyclopedia Iranica (1989). The different articles deal with life,   bibliography,   mathematics and astronomy,   geography,   pharmacology and mineralogy,   history and chronology,   Indology.
For some of the Russian literature see the article on Biruni in the Russian Wikipedia, and also M.S. Khan, A Bibliography of Soviet Publications on al-Biruni, Arabica 23 (1976), pp. 77-83 available via JSTOR here
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).
Fuat Sezgin, Chapter F. Geographische Ortsbestimmung vom 5./11. bis zum 7./13. Jahrhundert in: Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums vol. 10 (Mathematische Geographie und Kartographie vol. 1), pp. 150-173. Frankfurt 2000.
Fuat Sezgin, article on al-Biruni in in: Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums vol. 13 (Geography), pp. 279-299 (with bibliography on al-Biruni supplementary to the earlier volumes of Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums), Frankfurt, 2007. Download the whole volume.
.salAh. al-dIn `abd al-la.tIf al-nAhI, al-khawAlid min arA' abI al-ray.hAn al-bIrUnI fI asbAb al-tamaddun wa-al-minhaj wa-al-mawAzin wa-isti`rA.d al-thaqAfAt, (Salah al-Din Abd al-Latif al-Nahi, the Glorious Views of Abu Rayhan al-Biruni on the reasons of civilization, the methods of justice, and the examination of cultures) Amman 1975, Download from archive.org here.

Bio-bibliographical articles on Abu Nasr Mansur ibn Ali ibn `Iraq (who wrote a number of works for al-Biruni):
Article by J. Samso in C.G. Gillispie, ed., Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. x, New York 19xx, pp. xxx-xxx.
Article by J.L. Berggren in the Biographic Dictionary of Astronomers (New York: Springer, 2007)


Most of the books which are available online are mentioned in the main survey of treatises.
Here are some titles:
Edition of the Persian version of al-Biruni's Introduction to Astrology by Homai.
Hyderabad edition of the Masudic Canon (Qanun Masudi) (in Arabic): Vol. 1,   Vol. 2,   Vol. 3.
Hyderabad edition of four Rasa'il of al-Biruni, download here.
A.Q. Qorbani, Biruni-Nameh (new edition, 1374 A.H. (solar), in Persian)
A.Q. Qorbani's book on al-Biruni's treatise on Chords (Estekhraj al-Owtar) (in Persian)
Russian biography by B.A. Rozenfeld, M.M.Rozhanskaya, E.K. Sokolovskaya, Abu-r-Raykhan al-Biruni (973-1048), Moscow 1973.
Another Russian biography by I.V. Timofeef, Moscow 1986.
Ali Akbar Dehkhoda, Sharh-e Hal... Abu Rayhan Mohammad ebn-e Ahmad Khwarizmi Biruni, Tehran, second edition, 1352 A.H. (solar) = 1973/4, - (first edition 1324 A.H. solar = 1945/6), Download second edition (pdf).

More articles

Unesco courier 1973 on al-Biruni (on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of his birth)

Commemoration volumes

Beyruni'ye Armagan (Ankara 1974)
Al-Biruni Commemoration Volume (Calcutta 1951)
The Commemoration Volume of Biruni International Congress in Tehran B: English and French Papers (Tehran 1976)

Useful links

Digital library of Iran: dl.nlai.ir
Digital library of India: www.dli.gov.in

Jan Hogendijk <jphogendijk _at_ gmail.com>