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Khwarizmi, Al-Khwarizmi, Khwarizmi (The names may differ. Persian: خوارزمی) or full name Abu Jafer Muhammad bin Musa al-Khwarizmi (780, Khwarizm – 850, Baghdad); is a Persian scientist who worked in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, geography, and algorithms. Latin translations of his works on Indian numerals introduced the decimal positional number system to the Western world in the twelfth century.

APA 7: Çarıkçıoğlu, A. E. (2023, May 27). Harezmi. PerEXP Teamworks. [Article Link]

The life and contributions of the genius who revolutionized mathematics

Abu Jafer Muhammad bin Musa al-Khwarizmi (Year of Birth: 780, Year of Death: 850) was a Muslim mathematician and astronomer whose great works introduced Indo-Arabic numerals and algebra concepts into European mathematics. His name and the Latin versions of his most famous book title live on with the terms “Algorithm” and “algebra”.

Harezmi lived in Baghdad, where he carried out his studies at the “House of Wisdom” (Darul Hikmah) under the patronage of the Abbasid caliph Mamun. The House of Wisdom has acquired scientific and philosophical reviews, especially in Greek, translated them, and also published original research. [1]

His work as the father of algebra

Khwarizmi’s work on simple (Universal) algebra, Al-Kitabal-Mutasar fi’l Qabar al- Jabri wa’l Akhabele [”Comprehensive Book on Calculation by Completing (Algebra) and Balancing (Equation)” “Algebra” for short] was translated into Latin, where the title and term “Algebra” were produced in the twelfth century. Together with representations for finding solutions to linear and quadratic equations based on intuitive geometric arguments rather than the abstract representation associated with its current meaning, algebra was a compilation of existing rules. Its systematics differs from the previous methods of solving the subject with a proof approach. In addition, this work contains sections on calculating the areas and volumes of geometric shapes and using algebra to solve inheritance problems according to the proportions prescribed by Islamic law. The legacies contained in the work can be traced from Babylonian mathematics at the beginning of the second millennium BC to Hellenistic, Hebrew, and Indian treatises. [2]

What makes him the pioneer of algorithms?

A second work by Khwarizmi in the twelfth century introduced Indo-Arabic numerals, zero (0), and their operations to the West. This work has been preserved only in a Latin translation: “Algorithmi de numero Indorum (On the Art of Khwarizmi – Indian Calculations)” The term “Algorithm” has emerged from the name of the author, whose Latin name is “Algorithm/Algorithmi.”. [3]

New route: Khwarizmi geography and astronomy

His third major work, “Surat al-Arz (Kitāb Sūrat Al-Arḥ/The Image of the Earth, translated as ‘Geography’)” is ultimately the Ptolemaic geography (laid out in 127-145 AD.) presented the coordinates of settlements in the known world based on; however, it contains improved values for measurements of the locations of the Earth and cities in the Mediterranean, Asia, and Africa. In addition to all this, he helped draw a world map for Caliph Mamun. And Khwarizmi joined the team created to determine the circumference of the Earth, which has long been known to be spherical, by measuring the length of one degree of meridian along the Sinjar Plain.

Finally, Khwarizmi compiled a series of astronomical tables (Zic/Zīj) based on various Indian and Greek sources. This work manifestly included a sine table of a circle arranged with an explicit radius of 150 units. Like his studies on algebra and Indo-Arabic numerals, this astronomical work (or “Andalusian revision”) has also been translated into Latin. [4]

One gilding in the Golden Age of Islam

The period in which Khwarizmi lived coincides with the period in which the Islamic world experienced a great golden age in the branches of science and philosophy. Khwarizmi made critical contributions to the scientific heritage of Islamic civilization during this period. Islamic scholars such as Omar Khayyam have followed Khwarizmi’s work and adopted his methodology. During this period, immense advances were made in disciplines such as mathematics, astronomy, and geography, and the Islamic world assumed a leading role in the scientific sense. [5]

His importance in terms of science

Khwarizmi’s works have ensured the continuation of his scientific heritage. Many mathematicians and scientists have advanced his algebraic methods and mathematical inventions. Especially during the Renaissance, Khwarizmi’s works were rediscovered, translated, and taken into attention by Western mathematicians. Even today, Khwarizmi’s works in fields such as algebra, astronomy, and geography are taken as a reference (Basis).

The importance of Khwarizmi from the point of view of science is based on many factors, such as the interdisciplinary interaction of his works, the advancement of the scientific method, his contributions to the Islamic scientific tradition, and the dissemination of his treatises. His legacy continues to affect areas such as mathematics, astronomy, and geography today. [6]


  1. DICTIONARY ENTRY Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2023, March 25). al-KhwārizmīEncyclopedia Britannica. [Britannica]
  2. WEBSITE O’Connor, J. J., & Robertson, E. F. (1999, July). Al-Khwarizmi. Maths History. [Maths History]
  3. WEBSITE T.C. Kütahya Dumlupınar Üniversitesi Matematik Bölümü. (2014, June 27). El-Harezmi. T.C. Kütahya Dumlupınar Üniversitesi Matematik Bölümü. [T.C. Kütahya Dumlupınar Üniversitesi Matematik Bölümü]
  4. WEBSITE Khwarizmi Science Society. (n.d.). Who was Muhammad Bin Musa Al-Khwarizmi? Khwarizmi Science Society. [Khwarizmi Science Society]
  5. WEBSITE Listiani, A. (2014, June 13). Al-Khwarizmi: The Father of Algebra. Academia. [Academia]
  6. JOURNAL Duran, S., & Samanci, H. K. (2018). Al-Khwârizmî’s Place and Importance in the History of Mathematics. ITM Web of Conferences, 22, 01037. [ITM Web of Conferences]

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