Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi

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Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf al-Kātib al-Khwārizmī,[1] also referred to as al-Balkhī, was a 10th-century Persian encyclopedist and the author of the early encyclopedia Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm (“Key to the Sciences”) in the Arabic language.

Gerlof van Vloten, the editor of Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm 1895 publication in Leiden, mentions in a preface to Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm that nothing is known about al-Khwārizmī except his name and that he is also known as al-Balkhi, but Hossein Khadiv Jam, the Persian translator of Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm mentions that after a lot of searches he has found that al-Khwārizmī "was born in Balkh, lived in Nishapur, worked as a clerk in the Samanid court for a while, and has authored the book Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm, one of the oldest Islamic encyclopedias, at the request of Abul-Hossein Atba, a vizier of Nuh II, in the Arabic language."


  1. ^ Bosworth, p. 100

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