Tile illustrating Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing
, Iran, 19th century
Abu Yahya Zakariya' ibn Muhammad al-Qazwini (أبو یحیی زکریاء بن محمد القزویني) (1203–1283) was an Arab or Persian physician, astronomer, geographer and proto-science fiction writer. He belonged to a family of jurists who had long before settled in Qazwīn (now Qazvin). He was a descendant of the Medina sahabi Anas bin Malik.
Born in Qazvin, Zakariya' ibn Muhammad al-Qazwini served as a legal expert and judge (qadhi) in several localities in Persia and at Baghdad. He travelled around in Mesopotamia and Syria, and finally entered the circle patronized by the governor of Baghdad, ‘Ata-Malik Juwayni (d. 1283 CE).
It was to the latter that al-Qazwini dedicated his famous Arabic-language cosmography titled 'Aja'ib al-makhluqat wa-ghara'ib al-mawjudat عجائب المخلوقات وغرائب الموجودات ("Marvels of Creatures and the Strange Things Existing"). This treatise, frequently illustrated, was immensely popular and is preserved today in many copies. It was translated into his native Persian language. Later it was also translated into Turkish.
Qazwini was also well known for his geographical dictionary, Athar al-bilad wa-akhbar al-‘ibad آثار البلاد وأخبار العباد ("Monument of Places and History of God's Bondsmen"). Both of these treatises reflect extensive reading and learning in a wide range of disciplines.
Al-Qazwini also wrote a futuristic proto-science fiction Arabic tale entitled Awaj bin Anfaq, about a man who travelled to Earth from a distant planet.
Al-Qazwini mentioned how alchemists dubbed "swindlers" claimed to have carried out the transmutation of metals into gold, al-Qazwini states: they ruined the development of the science of chemistry, by fooling powerful rulers such as Imad ad-Din Zengi and thus many scholars and various colleagues turned against alchemy thus resulting in the isolation of the science.
See also 
- ^ Al-Qazwīnī, Zakariyā Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Maḥmūd, Abū Yaḥyā." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 10 Apr. 2013
- ^ Al-Kawini, T. Lewicki, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. IV, ed. E. van Donzel, B. Lewis, C. Pellat, (Brill, 1997), 865.
- ^ ĀṮĀR AL-BELĀD, C. E. Bosworth, Encyclopaedia Iranica;"Ātar Al-Belad: the title of a geographical work composed in Arabic during the 7th/13th century by the Persian scholar Abū Yaḥyā Zakarīyāʾ b. Moḥammad Qazvīnī".
- ^ Iranian Entomology: An Introduction, Volume I, ed. Cyrus Abivardi, (Springer, 2001), 495.
- ^ Bernard Lewis, A Middle East Mosaic: Fragments of Life, Letters and History, (Random House, 2000), 439.
- ^ Achmed A. W. Khammas, Science Fiction in Arabic Literature
- ^ http://books.google.com.pk/books?id=7CP7fYghBFQC&pg=PA1011&lpg=PA1011&dq=Al-Djildaki&source=bl&ots=F5JrnpOC95&sig=fCHcNXLa0o0nZl89ccurjM9vL8Y&hl=en&ei=w2DmS7buNZSPOJq-6NsN&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Al-Djildaki&f=false
- T. Lewick, 'Kazwini' in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition, ed. by H.A.R. Gibbs, B. Lewis, Ch. Pellat, C. Bosworth et al., 11 vols. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960–2002), vol. 4, pp 865–7
- L. Richter-Bernburg, 'al-Qazwini, Zakariyya' ibn Muhammad', in Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature, ed. by Julie Scott Meisami and Paul Starkey (London: Routledge, 1998), vol. 2, pp 637–8.
- Islamic Medical Manuscripts at the National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD.
- His cosmography has been edited by F. Wüstenfeld, ‘Aja'ib al-makhluqat (Göttingen, 1849), and a partial German translation by A. Giese, Al-Qazwini, Die Wunder des Himmels und der Erde (Stuttgart and Vienna, 1986).
- Zakarija ben Muhammed ben Mahmud el-Cazwini's: Kosmographie .. (1848) Volume: 1
- His geographical dictionary was edited by Wüstenfeld as Athar al-bilad (Göttingen, 1848).
External links