Quṭb al-Dīn Lāhījī (d. ca. 1088-95/1677-1684) was a philosopher and traditional Islamic scholar who also took an interest in mathematics. He was a student of Mīr Dāmād (d. 1040/1630-31) of the ‘School of Isfahan’ in philosophy, as well as a contemporary of the philosopher, traditionist and mystic Muḥsin Fayḍ Kāshānī (d. 1091/1680). After his studies in Isfahan, Lāhījī returned to Lāhījān. There he was entrusted with the office of Shaykh al-Islām which his elder brother had held for three years before him, in succession to their father, who had been Shaykh al-Islām of Lāhījān before then. He held this office for many years. Among his works are Maḥbūb al-qulūb (history of philosophy), Fānūs al-khayāl (the imaginal world in Illuminationist philosophy) and the Tafsīr-i sharīf-i Lāhījī (Qurʾān interpretation). The present collection of mathematical puzzles aims to show the fun and practical use of mathematics. As a Persian text, it is quite rare in its kind.
Kushyār b. Labbān Gīlānī
Edited by Muḥammad Bāqirī
Kushyār (Pers. Kushyār) b. Labbān Gīlānī was a Persian astronomer and mathematician who flourished around 390/1000. All we know about his personal life is that he originated from the region of Gilan in northern Iran, bordering on the Caspian Sea. Given that he is cited in Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī’s (d. after 442/1050) Kitāb fī ifrād al-maqāl fī amr al-aẓlāl, Kushyār must have become an authority by the time al-Bīrūnī came to write this work. From his works in mathematics, Kushyār’s Kitāb fī uṣūl ḥisāb al-Hind on Indian arithmatic is the most important, and in astronomy his Zīj-i jāmiʿ. His Arabic work on the astrolabe is published here for the very first time, accompanied by a Japanese translation, both by Taro Mimura of Japan. In addition, this volume also contains a facsimile edition of the anonymous medieval Persian translation of this work, followed by a critical edition, both by Mohammad Bagheri of Iran.
ʿUmdat al-ḥisāb wa-Qisṭās al-muʿādala fī ʿilm al-jabr wal-muqābala
ʿIzz al-Dīn Zanjānī’
Edited by Maryam Zamānī and Muḥammad Bāqirī
Not much is known about ʿIzz al-Dīn Zanjānī’s (d. 660/1262) personal life other than that at different times in his career he was in Mosul, Baghdad, Bukhara and Tabriz, where Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsi (d. 672/1274) wrote his Tadhkira fi ʼl-hayʾa at his request. To posterity Zanjānī is maybe best known for his work on Arabic morphology, the Mabāḍiʾ al-taṣrīf, also known as Taṣrīf al-Zanjānī and al-ʿIzzī, on which many commentaries and supercommentaries were written. Zanjānī has four more works on linguistics, besides one work on astronomy and six treatises on mathematics, two of which are published in facsimile here. The first of these is his ʿUmdat al-ḥisāb on arithmetic and the second the Qisṭās al-muʿādala on equations. Following Zanjānī’s own statements at the beginning of these treatises they were written for practical reasons, people in general standing in need of a good text on arithmetic, while the text on equations was especially relevant for jurists.
Muḥammad ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib
Edited by ʿAlī Uwjabī, Naṣīr Bāqirī Bīdhandī, Iskandar Isfandyārī and ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn Mahdavī
Born into a wealthy intellectual family in Isfahan, Muḥammad ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, better known as Ḥazīn Lāhijī (d. 1180/1766), was a particularly gifted child. Greatly stimulated by his father, he received a varied education: from literature and the traditional Islamic sciences to mysticism, logic, philosophy and more. Until the siege of Isfahan by the Afghans in 1135/1722, Ḥazīn lived mostly in that city. He then fled the capital, leading a wandering existence in Persia, Arabia and Iraq. Ten years later and seeing no future for Persia, he left the country for good to settle in India, dying in Benares, aged 74. Ḥazīn is mostly famous as a poet and intellectual who left his imprint on India’s Persian-speaking, ruling élites. His attractive prose-pieces on a wide variety of subjects, from Qurʾān interpretation and knowledge of the soul to pearl-diving and the lifting of weights, are much less known. The present volume aims to fill this gap.