Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī

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Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī (محمد بن موسی خوارزمی) or Al Khawarizmi (c.780 - 850) was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and geographer.


  • That fondness for science, … that affability and condescension which God shows to the learned, that promptitude with which he protects and supports them in the elucidation of obscurities and in the removal of difficulties, has encouraged me to compose a short work on calculating by al-jabr and al-muqabala , confining it to what is easiest and most useful in arithmetic.
    • As quoted in: Victor J. Katz (2009) A history of mathematics: an introduction. p. 271

Quotes about Al Khawarizmi[edit]

  • The Arabs contributed nothing new to the theory, but al-Khowârizmî (c. 825) states the usual rules, and the same is true of his successors.
  • The historical associations of the word algebra almost substantiate the sordid character of the subject. The word comes from the title of a book written by... Al Khowarizmi. In this title, al-jebr w' almuqabala, the word al-jebr meant transposing a quantity from one side of an equation to another and muqabala meant simplification of the resulting expressions. Figuratively, al-jebr meant restoring the balance of an equation... When the Moors reached Spain... algebrista... came to mean a bonesetter... and signs reading Algebrista y Sangrador (bonesetter and bloodletter) were found over Spanish barber shops. Thus it might be said that there is a good historical basis for the fact that the word algebra stirs up disagreeable thoughts.
    • Morris Kline, Mathematics and the Physical World (1959), p. 69

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