Ibn al-Banna' al-Marrakushi

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Ibn al‐Bannāʾ al‐Marrākushī
Born 29 or 30 December 1256
Marrakech, Morocco
Died 31 July 1321
Era Islamic Golden Age
Region Islamic civilization
Main interests
Mathematics, Astronomy

Ibn al‐Bannāʾ al‐Marrākushī al-Azdi, also known as Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Uthman al-Azdi. (Arabic: ابن البنّاء‎) [29) December 1256 – c. 1321), was a Moroccan mathematician, astronomer, Islamic scholar, Sufi, and a one-time astrologer.

The crater Al-Marrakushi on the Moon is named after him.


Ibn al-Banna' (lit. the son of an architect) was born in Marrakesh in 1256.[1] Having learned basic mathematical and geometrical skills he proceeded to translate Euclid's Elements into Arabic.[1]


Ibn al-Banna' wrote between 51 to 74 treatises, encompassing such varied topics as Algebra, Astronomy, Linguistics, Rhetoric, and Logic. One of his works, called Talkhīṣ ʿamal al-ḥisāb (Arabic, تلخيص عمل الحساب ) (Summary of arithmetical operations), includes topics such as fractions, sums of squares and cubes etc. Another, called Tanbīh al-Albāb,[2] covers topics related to:

  • calculations regarding the drop in irrigation canal levels,
  • arithmetical explanation of the Muslim laws of inheritance
  • determination of the hour of the Asr prayer,
  • explanation of frauds linked to instruments of measurement,
  • enumeration of delayed prayers which have to be said in a precise order,and
  • calculation of legal tax in the case of a delayed payment

Yet another work by Ibn al-Banna' was Rafʿ al-Ḥijāb (Lifting the Veil) which included topics such as computing square roots of a number and theory of continued fractions.[1] This work was also the first mathematical work since Brahmagupta to use an algebraic notation, which was then further developed by his successor Abū al-Hasan ibn Alī al-Qalasādī two centuries later.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c G. Sarton: Introduction to the History of Science; The Carnegie Institution; Washington; 1927; vol 2; p. 998.
  2. ^ A Djebbar: Mathematics in medieval Maghreb; AMUCHMA-Newsletter 15; Universidade Pedagógico (UP), Maputo (Mozambique), 15.9.1995.
  3. ^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "al-Marrakushi ibn Al-Banna", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews .


Further reading[edit]

  • Ahmed Jabbar and Mohammed Ablagh : "Life and Works of Ibn al-Banaa al-Murrakushi", Publication of the Faculty of Letters, Rabat, 2001

External links[edit]