Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī

9th-century mathematician and astronomer

Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī (محمد بن موسی خوارزمی) or al-Khwarizmi (c.780 - 850) was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and geographer.


  • That fondness for science, … that affability and condescension which God shows to the learned, that promptitude with which he protects and supports them in the elucidation of obscurities and in the removal of difficulties, has encouraged me to compose a short work on calculating by al-jabr and al-muqabala , confining it to what is easiest and most useful in arithmetic.
    • As quoted in: Victor J. Katz (2009) A history of mathematics: an introduction. p. 271

Quotes about al-Khwarizmi

  • Of course the Arabs themselves never laid claim to the invention, always recognizing their indebtedness to the Hindus both for the numeral forms and for the distinguishing feature of place value. Foremost among these writers was the great master of the golden age of Bagdad, one of the first of the Arab writers to collect the mathematical classics of both the East and the West, preserving them and finally passing them on to awakening Europe. This man was Mohammed the Son of Moses, from Khowarezm, or, more after the manner of the Arab, Mohammed ibn Mūsā al-Khowārazmī, a man of great learning and one to whom the world is much indebted for its present knowledge of algebra and of arithmetic. Of him there will often be occasion to speak; and in the arithmetic which he wrote, and of which Adelhard of Bath (c. 1130) may have made the translation or paraphrase, he stated distinctly that the numerals were due to the Hindus. This is as plainly asserted by later Arab writers, even to the present day. Indeed the phrase ilm hindī, "Indian science," is used by them for arithmetic, as [is] also the adjective hindī alone.