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Thabit Ibn Qurra


Thabit Ibn Qurra was an Iraqi Muslim mathematician, physician, astronomer, and translator. He best known for translating classic Greek works on astronomy, and discovered an equation for determining the amicable numbers. He was a Mandean physician, who was known as Thebit in Latin. He was a representative of the flourishing Arab-Islamic culture of the 9th century.

Thabit covered a wide range of topics and fields. Thabit Ibn Qurra is known for being the early reformer of the Ptolemaic system, founder of statics, length of the sidereal year. While some of his work was written in his native Syriac, most were composed in Arabic.


Thabit Ibn Qurra was born in 210-211 A.H/ 826 A.D in the second half of the ninth century during the Abbasid Caliphate. He was born in Harran in higher Mesopotamia, modern day Turkey.

Thabit Ibn Qurra was influenced by many scholars. For example, Banu Musa, Archimedes, Apollonius,Nicomachus, Euclid. And he influenced others like Al-Khazini, Al-Isfizari, Na’im ibn Musa.



His knowledge of Arabic and Greek made him popular within a community of scholars, the Banu Moussa. He has been asked to join the group by a family member Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Shakir, who recognized his talents and potential. He then moved to Baghdad. Baghdad was one of the largest cities of the time and was known for its scholars. He started working in Baghdad and occupied himself in sciences. He was interested in mathematics, astronomy, mechanics, medicine and philosophy.


Several of Thābit ibn Qurrah’s works were translated into Latin and Hebrew and proved to be influential in the Latin West.  Only On the Sector-Figure which deals with Menelaus’ theorem and  On the Composition of Ratios were preserved in their original form.

Thabit died in Baghdad. Thabit and his grandson Ibrahim ibn Sinan studied the curves which are needed for making of sundials that is commendable and is a great source of inspiration for the learners. His son became a renowned physician and director of a hospital in Baghdad, and Ibrahim, his grandson, became a famous mathematician.