Abu Mashar Balkhi

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Abu Ma’shar Balkhi, Iranian astrologer, known in the West as “Albumasar” (787 – 886). Studied astronomy under Yaqub Ibn Isaac Kendi (Arab scholar and philosopher; ca. 801 – 866). He was the most famous astronomer in the Islamic world at his own time. Expert at history of Iran and also the sciences and scholars of other countries, as well as the important events of the world, the history of nations and the pyramids of Egypt. There are too many stories about his true predictions: He had predicted that Mu’tazz (Abbasid caliph; in Baghdad. 866) would be the #### caliph and Mu’tasin (Abbasid caliph, in Cairo. 1406) would be deposed and killed. Also predicted the predestination of an Indian prince and it came true, and many other predictions. Abu Reyhan Biruni (one of the most original and profound scholars of the medieval Islam, of Iranian origin; 973 – ca.1050) knew him as a selfish and hypocrite person who did not present any scientific reasons for his claims and some of his rules were totally wrong. Abu Ma’shar believed that, a scholar never should all the sciences he knows in his writings, because in this case, would lose his grace, and people do not need him anymore! He had a strong attachment to Iran and believed in the Iranians’ knowledge. Claimed that Iranians are higher (in learning sciences) than other nations. Abu Ma’shar believed that there are three levels in the world: the divine level (the light orbit), the ethereal level (the eight celestial orbits and the matter level (the part below the moon). He said that the creatures on the earth can be moved, changed, existed and corrupted by celestial bodies. Likewise the celestial bodies can affect the creatures on the earth. According to this viewpoint, he believed all the sciences have a divine source. Abu Ma’shar believed that astrology and magic are the most useful sciences to learn and also every star will affect people’s predestination, changes in the nature and even some of the carnal changes. The following are some of his disciples and students:
Ibn Mazyar
Abdullah Ibn Sam’an
Abdullah Ibn Masrur Nasrani
Abu Saeid Shazan Ibn Bahr (collected Abu Ma’shar’s talks in the book, The secrets of astronomy)

His works contain: some parts of the ancient writings which their original copies have been lost, although his works had a deep influence on Muslim and European scholars, but he could not be considered as a great Islamic scholar, because his astronomical books are not that valuable from the viewpoint of the ancient astronomy.

His published works:
1- On arithmetic (published 1987; Beirut)
2- On geometry (published in Egypt)
3- The conjunctions (in 8 chapters)
4- The great entry (on astronomy; his most important work, written in 850, translated into German and English)
5- The small born babies (containing 2 articles and 13 sections; the first four sections on: magic and the rules of astronomy in different generations, the next five chapters on: magic and prediction and the last four sections on the born babies).

The works in manuscript:
1- The principle of principles
2- The thousands (one of his most important works)
3- Rain, winds and changes of the weather
4- The points
5- The secrets of astronomy, etc.


Islamic encyclopedia


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