Contributions of Muslim Mathematicians during the Golden Age of Islam


  • Dr. Aisha Ishrat Rizvi Department of Islamic Learning, Faculty of Islamic Studies, University of Karachi, Karachi.


Math is not just a subject designed merely for one to spend time looking at problems and following some steps to arrive at a solution, rather it can be thought of as parent of all derived sciences – a language quantifying the very essence of nature and the universe. Many have described maths as the algorithm, the code with which God has written the universe. We see maths in our daily lives, with structures made using the theorems of geometry to flower patterns and movements of stars and galaxies explained by mathematical expressions. All of this could not have been possible without the almost uncountable advancements made by mankind in this field. Starting from ancient times in the early civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, and later extending to Greek, Chinese and Indian, to this date, we witness every now and then some form of progress and development in maths. One such time period of development occurred in the Golden Era of Islamic civilization, which extended from the 7th to 14th century. During this time, many Muslim mathematicians arose to fame because of their extensive research and contribution to this field, with their work proving to be the best of their time and later on influencing the later civilizations and societies especially the West, to translate their work and build up theorems and laws upon them, which we now very conveniently use. Muslim mathematicians being influenced by their culture, were very interested in geometrical designs and made significant contributions in this sub-field. Perhaps one of the most famous, if not the most famous, sub-field in maths – algebra – was started by a Muslim mathematician named Al-Khwarizmi. Many other important noteworthy contributions were made by Muslim mathematicians in this subject ranging from trigonometry to number theory, with contributions made by Al-Khwarizmi, Omar Khayyam, Al-Kindi, Al-Beruni, Al-Hasan and the list goes on