Biruni International Conference

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On the Occasion of the Observance of

The 965th Death Anniversary of the Great Iranian Scholar Abu Rayhan Biruni

Introduction and necessary information

ساقي حديث سرو و گل ولا له مي رود                وين بحث با ثلاثۀ غساله مي­رود

شکر شکن شوند همۀ طوطیان هند                    زین قند فازسی که به بنگاله میرود

[O Cupbearer! the tale of Cypress, the Rose and the Tulip is going on

And with the three washers this dispute is going on

All the parrots of Hindustan become sugar shatterers

As this sugar candy of Farsi (Persian) to Bengal is going on (Hafiz of Shiraz)]

Abu Rayhan Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Biruni was one of the greatest scientists, philosophers and historians of the world. He becomes familiar throughout the world as the pioneer of Indology. Biruni was born on 5 September, 973 AD in Kath in the region of Khawarizm (nowadays attached to Uzbekistan, an independent state) of the greater Iran. He died on 13 September, 1048 AD in the city of Ghazni, which was the capital of the Ghaznavid rulers for a long period.  Name of Biruni got familiar in Latin as: Albirunious, in Persian as: Biruni, in Arabic and English as: Al-Biruni. Biruni was contemporary to Bu Ali Sina (Avicenna) and in order to acquire knowledge he went to Bukhara. He met the great scholar and physician Bu Ali Sina there while they exchanged views with each other.  During the mediaeval period he became renowned as a great scholar and scientist. He achieved outstanding expertise in the fields of Mathematics, astrology, physical and natural sciences. In addition to this, he was also introduced as historiographer, linguists and geographer. Biruni nicely wrote about the languages, literatures, cultures and mannerism of the 11th century subcontinent.

He was attached to the court of the Ghaznavid king Sultan Mahmud. In 1017 AD Mahmud brought Ray under his control. Consequently, Biruni and a number of scholars were brought to Ghazni from there. Biruni was appointed as a court astronomer and he accompanied the Sultan during his expeditions towards India. He lived in the subcontinent for several years. During this period he took various important initiatives in order to pursue and gather information about the languages, faiths, cultures and sciences of this land. Accordingly, he learned well the Sanskrit language. He wrote a book entitled Tahqiq-e ma lelhind in Arabic, comprising the extensive information about the people of Indian society as well as his views on various fields of science, spirituality and history of this land. Tarikhul hind is another famous book by him. The names of other world famous books of Biruni are as follows: in the fields of theories on astronomy, movements of Sun, Moon and other constellations as well as on other topics: Qanun-i mas’udi; in the fields of geography and the history of nations: Atharul baqiyah; in the field of Indian medicine: Kitabus saidana; in the field of precious stones: Kitabuj jamahir; in the fields of Mathematics, astronomy: Kitabut tafhim lisana’atut tanjim, etc.

It is obvious that following the writings of Biruni, in the first phase, the information of the philosophy, science, culture and manners of the people of the subcontinent reached Iran and the other Middle eastern regions and, in a later phase, the world, especially Europe.

Biruni Foundation, considering the contribution of this great scholar and with the aim of the commemoration of the life and various aspects of the personality of Biruni and to encourage research on required fields, is organising such a world congress. Hence, we hope the researchers, Professors, teachers as well as outstanding students from all over the world especially from Iran, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will participate in this congress by sending their abstracts and papers as well as by presenting them for the audience. Papers will be published as ‘Collection of papers’ after reviewing and necessary editing.