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Uzbekistan: a land multifarious geniuses. ABU RAYHAN BERUNI (Part 4)

During 1035-1036, Beruni compiled the list of his scientific works consisting of 113 titles. 70 of these works were devoted to the problems of astronomy, 20 of them were on mathematics, 12 of them were devoted to the problems of geography and geodesy,3 of I hem were on mineralogy and 4 of them were on cartography and other sciences. If to add to this list the titles of the 50 researches he carried out during the last 13 years of his life, the number of titles included into the list would rise to 160. However, some sources inform us that Beruni wrote more than 200 works. Each work written by Beruni is an encyclopaedic work of its own type and style. For instance, his first book titled as “Al-asar al-baqiya an al-qurun al-khaliya” (Relics of the Ancient People) contains full and all-sided encyclopaedic information about the peoples and nations who inhabited in ancient Khoresm such as ancient Jews, Christians, fire-worshippers, Muslims and their cultures, traditions, holidays, calendars, religions, prophets, sacred books, etc. In Europe, this book is well known under the title of “Chronology”. This book was written in the Arabic language by Beruni at the age of 27, i.e. in the year of 1000. It was devoted to the ruler of Khoresm Qabus ibn Vashmgir. The first publication of this book was made in Leipzig in 1876-1887 by a German scholar and an expert on Beruni’s career Eduard Zahau. In 1879, this book was published in English. In 1950, an orientalist A. Rasulov translated a piece of this book into the Uzbek language. In 1957, this book was translated into Russian and published in Russia by a Russian orientalist M. Salye. In 1968, a full Uzbek translation of this book by A. Rasulov was published in the “FAN” publishing house.

We could not find Beruni’s books written under the titles of “Kitabu-l-maqalat va-l-arz va-d-diyanat” (A Book about Articles, Beliefs and Religions), “Kitab fi akhbari Khoresm” (A Book about Information on Khoresm), “Kitab tarikhi ayyam as-Sultan Mahmud va akhbari abihi” (A Book about the History of Sultan Mahmud’s Time and about His Father). We should continue searching the copies ol these books in the libraries throughout the world. As has been mentioned above, while serving in the Royal Court of the ruler of Jurjan Qabus ibn Vashmgir, Beruni wrote a book about minerals and precious stones titled “Mineralogy”. In this book, he described the physical and chemical structures and characteristic features of more than 300 minerals and precious stones. In 1963, this book was translated into Russian by a Russian orientalist A. M. Belinitski at the publishirv house of the Academy of Sciences of the former USSR.

On October 18, 1025, Beruni completed his next book on “Geodesy” titled as “Tahdid nihayat al-amakin li tashih masafat al masakin” (Definition of Destination to Define the Distance between the Places of Habitation). This book contains a full descri ption of the basic notions of mathe matical geography. It was translated from the Istanbul version into Russian and published in Tashkent in 1966.

Beruni’s next book titled as “Primary notions about the art of astronomy” was written in a very simple and understandable lan­guage in 1029 in Ghazni. We can call it “Astrology” in the Euro­pean style. In 1975, this book was translated into Russian at the Institute of Oriental Studies named after Abu Rayhan Beruni of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan by a group of orientalists from Tashkent and Moscow as A. Ahmedov, B. A. Rozenfeld, M. M. Rozhanskaya, A. Abdurahmanov and N. D. Sergeyeva under the Russian title of “Eieaa aSacoieafey fa-raoeai faoee i caaciiao” and published in the “FAN” publishing house. It was such a time that the term “Astrology” was prohibited to use in the scientific works, therefore the title of the book may, to some extent, sound strange for the readers.

The scholar Beruni completed his next book under the title of “India” (Tahqiq mo lil hind min ma’qula maqbula fi-l-aql av marzula — Definition of Acceptable and Unacceptable Teachings of Indians) in 1030. This book contains detailed information about the history of India and Indians, their sciences, literature, philosophy, ethnography, laws, culture, religion, religious legends, types of Indian writings (alphabet) and styles of belief. In this book, the author used the sources written in Sanskrit, a classical language of the ancient India. Beruni mastered this language 1000 years ago. The Arabic version of this book was published in 1887 and its English translation was published in 1888 in London by Edward Zahau. One more Arabic version was published in Haydarabad in 1858. In Russia, this book was published m 1963 and its Uzbek version was published in 1965.

Bakhtiyar Turayev
Doctor of Philosophy

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