Episode 3: A Scholar Well Beyond His Time
Biruni: A Scholar of Civilization documentary depicts the life of Al-Biruni, one of the most celebrated scientist in Islamic History. The documentary is divided into 3 episodes.
Abu Rayhan al-Biruni (973 – after 1050) was a muslim scholar and polymath during the Islamic Golden Age.
He was probably the most learned person of the Middle Ages. He spoke Turkish, Persian, Sanskrit, Hebrew, Syriac and Arabic. Some time after 1017 he travelled to India to study the Indian civilization and then lived in Ghazna in Afghanistan for the rest of his life.
He has been called variously the "founder of Indology", "Father of Comparative Religion", "Father of modern geodesy", and the first anthropologist.
Al-Biruni was well versed in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and natural sciences, and also distinguished himself as a historian, chronologist and linguist. He studied almost all the sciences of his day and was rewarded abundantly for his tireless research in many fields of knowledge. Royalty and other powerful elements in society funded Al-Biruni's research and sought him out with specific projects in mind. Influential in his own right, Al-Biruni was himself influenced by the scholars of other nations, such as the Greeks, from whom he took inspiration when he turned to the study of philosophy.
He was, for his time, an admirably impartial writer on the customs and creeds of various nations, his scholarly objectivity earning him the title al-Ustadh ("The Master") in recognition of his remarkable description of early 11th-century India.
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