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.

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Arguments such as these compelled the new hay’a astronomers to move even further away from astrological doctrines and to underline the differences between their newly-created discipline and astrology. Becoming a writer in the future or not mashhar like becoming a criminal, or a sinner, or what have you; all such choices are made by the agent himself and not by any outside agency.

Members of this group assigned no validity to astrology as an experien- tial science. Farid Jabr, 2d ed. I lr went on to-A ‘. What I maehar to do in this paper is try to dissect, as clearly as possi- ble, the inrellectualcurrents of the time in order to locate the exact points of contention that led to the birth of a discipline such as ‘ilm al-hay’a. In an effort to determine the conditions underlying this development, the paper argues that its main impetus was a rejection of the disci- pline ofastrology, which was conceived to be an integral part of the imported Greek astronomical tradition and which was opposed by social forces sufjiciently influential to compel the principal intellectuals of the day to dissociate t h s e l v e s from it.

This page was last edited on 27 Decemberat Its population, as was generally the case in the mashr areas of the Arab qbu of Persiaremained culturally dedicated to its Sassanian and Hellenistic heritage.

What he really means-and here lies the artifice-is that such actions may be necessary in the future, when they would fall under the influence of the planets, as the Mu’tazilites could agree. Indeed, it must be perceived as a rebellion against that very same tradition.

Moreover, Mu’tazilites may well have agreed with Aristotle about the action of the planets upon the things that come into being-that is, that actualize or do not actualize-in speaking about objects ready to receive such actions and, thus, to actualize under the influence of the planets, masuar objects that were not.

En el libro se incluyen numerosas ilustraciones de los planetas y las constelaciones. We mashad told that he used to speak ill of al-Kindi on account of the latter’s interest in the philosophical sciences and his criticisms led to some discord between the two, to say the least.


Abu Ma’shar al-Balkhi d. Sciences Occultes et Islam 44 After making this charge, ‘Abd al-JabbZr goes on to say that [tlhis method is followed in the books that are attributed to the Greeks, such as Plato, Aristotle and others, which were translated in Islamic times masjar whose translators, as well as those who teach them, are com- pletely unknown, singly and collectively.

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

Harvard University Press,f. Al-Mamun was responsible for the translations of mashwr of Greek works into Arabic, and founded the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, with a large library where scholars of all races and religions could mingle in fraternal pursuit. In order to corroborate Abn Ma’shar’s assessment, recourse is made to the well- known, but relatively later Mu’tazilite author, ‘Abd al-JabbEr d.

Babylonian astronomy Egyptian astronomy Hellenistic astronomy Indian astronomy. ADwho is reported to have disputed it. This new astronomy did indeed restrict itself to a descriptive statement of the conditions and behaviour of the celestial bodies without venturing to say whether those bodies had any influence upon the sublunar world or not.

Institution Qatar National Library. maxhar

Biriini may be a member of the group here attacked by Abii Ma’shar, for the for- mer argues against the latter quite vehemently in his Chronology of Ancient Nations, trans. Finally, the common folk had very little respect for astrologers, evidently because the former was the group most influenced by religious scholars. But the fact that they also attacked it on other grounds and demonstrated a negative attitude toward propo- nents of the foreign sciences in general is somewhat unexpected, given that their main doctrines have usually been associated with a reliance upon these same foreign sciences.

Such remarks would seem abi 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 qbu deal with the proponents of the foreign sciences.

He became involved in a bitter dispute with al-Kindi c. Log In Sign Up. He became the most important and prolific writer on astrology in the Middle Ages.

This edition is the translation into Latin by Hermann of Carinthia, first printed by Erhard Ratdolt in Augsburg, Germany, in At this stage, the most interesting point to note is how, under some degree of popular pressure, one group of astronomers after another had dissociated itself from the discipline of astrology, so much so that Abii Ma’shar has to attack each group separately.


The main thrust of his argument against them is to attempt to estab- lish the existence of the ‘possible’ and then to assert that the planets do indeed influence it. 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- masyar, 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.

Introduction to Astronomy, Containing the Eight Divided Books of Abu Ma’shar Abalachus

Otherwise, the astronomers are like “those who have medicaments and drugs without knowing the purposes for which they are used. Retrieved from ” https: To return to Abii Macshar and the various groups against which he defended astrology, it is difficult to escape the impression that, on purely intellectual grounds, the astrologers had an uphill battle to fight.

As for the intellectual alignments among the diverse sectors of early Islamic society and mashae varied stances taken vis-a-vis the competing fac- mmashar, the general received wisdom, mainly inspired by Orientalist stud- ies of early Islamic intellectual history conducted during the last two centuries or so, identifies the religious sector with those who later became known as ahl al-sunna wal-hadith, whose champions were people like Ibn Hanbal and his followers.

I believe he should have adjusted the ayanasma rather than the position of the sun. Within the receiving Islamic civi- lization, the creators of ‘ilm al-ha were forced, in the face of immense social pressure, to create a new astronomical discipline that would not be confused with the astrology being rigorously attacked by religious schol- ars and generally perceived as the Achilles’ heel of Greek philosophy.

His discourses incorporated and expanded upon the studies of earlier scholars of Islamic, Persian, Greek, and Mesopotamian origin. In his own systematic fashion, Abii Ma’shar classifies his opponents into ten groups, giving in each instance the arguments proffered by the group and then his own response.