A Brief List of Persian Scientists and Scholars Who Had Major Contributions to Knowledge in the Medieval Islamic Era

June 25, 2019 by  

Bahar Bastani

Islamic Sciences:

Salman the Persian (Salman Farsi, 656 CE), religion commentator & companion of Prophet; Imam Abu Hanifa (699–۷۶۷), Islamic scholar, founder of “Hanafi School of Fiqh”; Imam al-Bukhari (810–۸۷۰) prominent Islamic scholar, compiler of “Sahih Bukhari” hadith book; Imam Muslim (818-875), Islamic scholar, compiler of “Sahih Muslim” Hadith book; Imam al-Tirmidhi (824–۸۹۲), Islamic scholar, compiler of “al-Jami’ as-Sahih”(Jami’ at-Tirmidhi) Hadith book; Imam Abu Dawood (c. 817–۸۸۹), Islamic scholar, compiler of the “Sunan Abu Dawood” Hadith book; Hakim Nishapuri (known as the “Imam of the Muhaddithin”: ۹۳۳–۱۰۱۴), Islamic scholar; Mansour Hallaj (858–۹۲۲), mystic, poet, a major figure in the Sufi tradition. He is most famous for his saying: “I am the Truth” (Ana’l-Ḥaqq); Sheikh Saduq (Ali ibn Babawaih: 923–۹۹۱), Theologian, prominent Shia Islamic scholar, the collector of the Hadith book “Man la Yahduruhu al-Faith” one of the 4 most authentic Shia Hadith books; Sheikh Tusi (known as “sheikh al-ta’ifah”): ۹۹۶–۱۰۶۷).

Theologian, prominent Shia Islamic scholar, founder of Shia jurisprudence, the collector of the Hadith books “Tahdhib al-Ahkam & al-Istibsar” ۲ of the 4 most authentic Shia Hadith books; Al-Ghazali (Algazel, 1058–۱۱۱۱), Theologian, perhaps the single most important integrator of Islamic knowledge in the first millennium of Islam, he brought Tasawwuf (Sufism) into the mainstream of Islamic sciences; Mahmud al-Zamakhshari (1075–۱۱۴۴), a rationalist theologian, he is best known for Al-Kashshaaf a seminal commentary on the Quran; Sheikh Abdul Qader Gilani (al-Jilani, 1077–۱۱۶۶) orator, ascetic, jurist, theologian, the founder of Qadiriyya spiritual order of Sufism; Bahaud Din Naqshband (1318–۱۳۸۹), prominent Sufi master, the founder of what became one of the largest and most influential Sufi Muslim orders, the Naqshbandi order; Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207–۱۲۷۳), Islamic scholar, theologian, poet, Sufi mystic master, his Masnavi (Mathnawi) is considered one of the greatest poems of the Persian language; Mohsen Feyz Kashani (d 1680) Shia Theologian, mystic, philosopher, Hadith narrator. 


Medicine & Chemistry Sciences:

Jaber ibn Hayan (Geber; 721–۸۱۵), a polymath who is considered the father of chemistry. He emphasized systematic experimentation, and did much to free alchemy from superstition and turned it into a science.

Zakariya Razi (Rhazes, 854–۹۲۵), a polymath, physician, chemist and physicist, philosopher. He was among the first to use Humoral theory to distinguish one contagious disease from another, and wrote a pioneering book about small pox and provided clinical characterization of the diseases.  He also discovered numerous compounds and chemicals including alcohol and kerosene.

Abu Mansur Muwaffaq (10th century), pharmacologist; Ibn Sina (Avicenna, 980–۱۰۳۷), a polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, philosophers, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age. He has been described as the father of early modern medicine; Borzouyeh-i Tabib, physician of Academy of Gundishapur; Ibn Abi Sadiq (11th century), “The Second Hippocrates”, an Avicenna’s disciple ; Esfarayeni (13th century), physician; Zakariya Qazwini (1203–۱۲۸۳), physician. 


Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy:

Naubakht (9th century), designer of the city of Baghdad; Nayrizi (865–۹۲۲), mathematician & astronomer; Abu Raynham Al-Biruni (973–۱۰۴۸) is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of the medieval Islamic era in physics, mathematics, astronomy, natural sciences, also distinguished himself as a historian, chronologist, and linguist; Juwayni (1028–۱۰۸۵), philosopher; Khaj e Nasireddin Tusi (1201–۱۲۷۴), mathematician, philosopher; Sharafeddin Tusi (d 1213/4), mathematician; Juvayni (1226–۱۲۸۳), historian; Qutbeddin Shirazi (1236–۱۳۱۱), astronomer; Sheikh Bahai (1547–۱۶۲۱) mathematician, architect, engineer, designer, astronomer, Islamic  scholar, poet; Muhammad Baqir Yazdi (17th century), he gave the pair of amicable numbers 9,363,584 and 9,437,056. 


Humanities, Philosophy, History, Poetry:

Ibn al-Muqaffa’ (Persian name = Rozbih pur-i Dadoe: d 756), Persian translator, a pioneer in the introduction of literary prose narrative to Arabic literature; Sibawayh (760-796) authored the first book (Al-Kitāb) on theories of Arabic grammar. He has been referred to as the greatest of all Arabic linguists; Al-Farabi (Pharabius, 872–۹۵۰), philosopher, recognized as “the Second Master Teacher” after Aristotle; Tabari Amoli (839–۹۲۳), a prominent historian; Bayhaqi (994–۱۰۶۶), historian; Istakhri (d 957), geographer, gave the earliest known account of windmills.

Hakim Ferdowsi (934–۱۰۲۷) the famous poet, compose the famous Persian “Shah Nameh”, a classic poem book that extols the achievements of pre-Islamic heroes of Persia.

Abd al-Karim ibn Hawazin al-Qushayri (986–۱۰۷۴), philosopher; Nasir Khusraw (1004–۱۰۸۸), Ismaili scholar, mathematician, philosopher, traveler and poet; Khaj e Nizam ol-Molk Tusi (1018–۱۰۹۲), the great vizier; Shahrestani (1086–۱۱۵۳) historian of religions; Nizami Ganjavi (1141–۱۲۰۹), a romantic poet; Hakim Mulla Sadra (Sadr-ol-Mote’allehin;1572–۱۶۴۰), philosopher, theologian, the single most important and influential philosopher in the Muslim world in the last four hundred years, founder of Transcendent Theosophy (al-Hikmah al-Muta’liyah); Mulla Hadi Sabzevari (1797–۱۸۷۳), poet and philosopher.



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