Abu Ma’Shar (full name Abū Maʿshar Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿUmar al- Balkhī أبو معشر جعفر بن محمد بن عمر البلخي) was a 9th century. Alternate name. Albumasar. Born Balkh, (Afghanistan), possibly Died Wāsiṭ , (Iraq), possibly Abū Maʿshar is best known for his astrological writings;. Abu Ma’shar Ja’far ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al-Balkhi ( CE) was born at Balkh, in Khurasan, (now northern Afghanistan) on 10th August, , and died.

Author: Shakagor Kazishakar
Country: Syria
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Technology
Published (Last): 4 April 2016
Pages: 141
PDF File Size: 15.67 Mb
ePub File Size: 7.17 Mb
ISBN: 774-1-50177-830-4
Downloads: 60141
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Mikatilar

This construction of the cultural environment at the time when ‘ilm al- hay’a was born is premised upon the hypothesis that the new science was set apart specifically to counter the association between astronomy and astrology, which was so deeply embedded in the Greek intellectual tra- dition.

Although he levels this accusa- tion mashaar them in several places in the Tathbit,” one example suffices. Astrology’s opponents were not only religions figures, but included, among others, physicians and even mqshar who, in the end, created a new discipline that wasfree ofthe stigma attached to Greek astronomy.

In a remarkable passage that touches the very core of Aristotelian thought on the planets, ‘Abd al-JabbZr makes these observations: They take cover in Christianity, although the Christians themselves disapprove of them and accuse them of athe- ism ilhaddenying religion ta’til al-skarii’i’ and raising doubts against the Godhead al-ta’nfi al-rubllbiyya and all of the prophecies. It was in this hostile envi- ronment, I surmise, that astronomers proper succeeded in taking the courageous step of reorienting their discipline and redefining it in such a way as to remove it as far as possible from astrology.

Ptolemy’s procedure had one saving grace, however, for these observations did allow for some degree of certainty by virtue of the fact that one could compare them with other observations taken centuries earlier, thus reducing the scope for error arising from one single observation.

His discourses incorporated and aub upon the studies of earlier scholars of Islamic, Persian, Greek, and Mesopotamian origin. In other jurisdictions, re-use of this content may be restricted; see Reuse of PD-Art photographs for details.

Abu Maʿshar

And if he [Aristotle] was ratio- nal and could yet attain such arrogance and denial in matters that are at the very foundation of natural intellects tar al-‘uqnlwho would then pay heed to him or to what he says, or even mention him in his dispu- tations or follow his defects ‘awrztsince he himself is a defect from beginning to end? More importantly, astronomers, whose discipline was also part of the Greek philosophical tradition, were supposed to hold the same opinions.


One category was made up of the common people and it included three subgroups. But for the astrologer to predict actions that might become neces- sary, he would have to have some knowledge of the future, thus tres- passing into mmashar domain reserved only nashar God; namely, the domain of ‘ilm al-ghayb knowledge of the unknown that even prophets were not per- mitted to have.

,ashar Insofar as the higher bodies signify the things existing in this world through the powers of their natural motions, then what is the advantage of being ignorant of this knowledge? The first of these was composed of mashsr mentioned in group seven, the ones who envied and shunned the astrologers because they themselves lacked a thorough understanding of astrology. Arguments pro and contra,” in Science and Speculation: In a technical sense, the type of astrology that Abii Ma’shar seems to have advocated was a kind of soft astrology, to use A.

Fleurs d’Abu Ma’shar English: Abu Ma’shar al-Balkhi d. The Book of Flowers meaning ‘choice selections’ or anthology contains abk for interpreting what is now called the Aries Ingress. Needless to say, no one is more zeal- ous than the convert. Abu Ma ‘shar drew upon elements of earlier astrological and philosophical sources to compile his astrological works: Institution Qatar National Library.

File:Flowers of Abu Ma’shar WDLpdf – Wikimedia Commons

Abii Ma’shar has nothing to say to these people and barely mentions them in a complete sentence. Cambridge University Press and Paris: In other words, they did not agree that something that depended, for its validation, upon infrequent experiences could be trusted or put on an equal footing with something that could be proven mathematically. See, for example, Skarh al-usPI al-khamsa,where he speaks of the astrologers in the following fashion: Even in antiquity, however, those who attacked astrology did not say that a planet would take an incredible length of time to return to the same position; they knew very well that the longest period of a known planet was only 30 years.

One of his surviving works is a small treatise entitled The Abbreviation of the Introduction to Astrologyand is believed to be the earliest such manual to be translated into Latin. Considering the intellectual environment, it is not difficult to sympa- thize with the theoretical astronomers who would eventually create ‘ilm al-hay’a in an attempt to dissociate themselves from such beliefs. In order to sketch the anatomy of this early Islamic struggle over the fate of astrology, which gave rise to the creation of the new hay’a astron- omy, I will refer mostly to primary sources and will further confine myself to those sources directly concerned with the Mu’tazilite position on the subject.


This page was last edited on 27 Decemberat Biblioteca Nacional do Catar. Such remarks would seem to indicate that he believed that he had made his peace with the religious scholars by subsuming the planetary influences under the will of God and had only to deal with the proponents of the foreign sciences.

Such was his ignorance that he believed that the heavens, the sun, the moon and the planets, were rational, discerning, hearing, seeing, harm- ful and beneficent, and could bestow life and cause death, and that all that comes to be in this world is due to their action and influence.

Abu Ma’shar’s defense of astrology | George Saliba –

As a n agu of the possible versus the impossible, he includes the actions of human beings, saying that it is possible for a man to become a writer or not, but impossible for him to fly. He became the most important and prolific writer on astrology in the Middle Ages.

Moreover, for reasons maehar above, it would seem most instructive to learn how a Mu’tazilite, in particular, differentiated the discipline of astrology, which he was suddenly obliged to attack, from the Aristote- lian philosophy that served as the foundation of Mu’tazilite doctrine.

Included in the book are numerous illustrations of the planets and constellations.

One of his lost books, called Book of the Thousandsapparently contained an outline of abk history. Roshdi Rashed and Joel Biard Louvain: Click here to sign up. Biographical encyclopedia of astronomers. In fact, it was very clever of Abii Ma’shar to corner these people, who were supposed to be the astrologers’ natural allies owing to the comple- mentary nature of their fields, and to demand that they be true to their discipline’s classical term.

Indeed, most other Mu’tazilites also seem to have seen astrological doctrines as the Achilles’ heel of Greek philosophy. Abu Ma’shar’s response to this group is that it is not the fault of astrology if astrologers make mistakes.

But since these planets did not return to the same positions in one lifetime, or even in generations, then that experience did not recur with sufficient frequency to be verified. Other items from this partner Qatar National Library.