Talk:Ismail al-Jazari

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High traffic

On 11 July 2007, Ismail al-Jazari was linked from Reddit, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)

camshaft ????[edit]

I think Al Jazari inventing the camshaft is frivolous. Heron of Alexandria, nearly a thousand years before, already had water automata of the kind. Read the Stamp mill wiki entry, you will see that apparently water mills through the Roman and Early Middle Ages used cams to convert the rotary movement into a vertical one (to stamp all kinds of material). Please remove the camshaft "invention" attribution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:13, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

He was Turk[edit]

Please modify the article. He was definitly Turk and not Arab. Only his name is Arabic and nothing else. That time all the region was Turk and Tukmen. He is from Turkey and it is logic that we name him Turk and not Arab. Freedomist (talk) 20:45, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Are you stupid? He was an Arab from the Arab tribe of [[Banu Shayban]--2003:43:4F4C:2446:A4D3:117D:5005:3804 (talk) 14:21, 11 September 2015 (UTC)]


This template goes here : see Template:High-traffic

Qutoe from recent article:

7 The crank-shaft is a device which translates rotary into linear motion and is central to much of the machinery in the modern world, not least the internal combustion engine. One of the most important mechanical inventions in the history of humankind, it was created by an ingenious Muslim engineer called al-Jazari to raise water for irrigation. His 1206 Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices shows he also invented or refined the use of valves and pistons, devised some of the first mechanical clocks driven by water and weights, and was the father of robotics. Among his 50 other inventions was the combination lock.

Paul Vallely, "How Islamic inventors changed the world" 11 March 2006[1] --Ben Houston 15:14, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Why does religious affliction seem to be important here when it is seldom, or never mentioned with scientists/inventors from other cultures?

Good point. We don't say "Christian" or "Jewish" when describing an inventor from that same period, nor "Buddhist", etc. In addition, the mention of his religion raises another important point. If religion is important, shouldn't the reason for the Near East not developing these devices be mentioned: the inventions were declared "haram" and banned for religious reasons, and their promoters banished? Student7 02:00, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. Even more so, his religious affliction is likely speculation, he was just from a region/city where the dominant religion was Islam, so likely he practised that too. Claiming him for the glory of whatever religion or ethnic group is just wrong. Yaj for the men with ten toes! —Preceding unsigned comment added by JiB72 (talkcontribs) 19:02, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Arab? or Syriac?[edit]

Al-Jazari came from Northern Mesopotamia, does that really make him Arab or possibly Syriac? Because Syriacs at the time were the majority group living in Mespotamia. At the time, most of the Christian Syriacs turned Muslim to avoid paying the taxes, so he possibly could be Syriac. ܐܵܬܘܿܪܵܝܵܐ 16:28, 22 May 2010 (UTC) user:Assyrio

I also would like to state that I don't believe he was Arab at all. ܐܵܬܘܿܪܵܝܵܐ 04:34, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

He was from a Kurdish city. He was from Cizre, which lies (pretty much) on the border between Syria, Iraq and Turkey. This city has a very small Arabic population, and no Syriacs at all. he was born in the same period as him, at the same city; he was also a Kurd. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:01, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

incorrect, there is no evidence that supports him being Kurdish, Syriacs and Arabs were a large majority in that region, he is more likely to be Arab or Syriac. ܐܵܬܘܿܪܵܝܵܐ 06:34, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Dear Assyrio. The evidence are the sources which are presented in the article. Swapping the 'Kurdish' parts to 'Syriac' would be considered vandalism, seeing as the sources point out that he's Kurdish. If you've got valid sources that says he is indeed of Syriac origin, feel free to add them and we'll be able to continute this discussion regarding his ethnicity. Regarding your claim that Arabs and Syriacs were a large majority in that region, I'd like to see some sources, seeing as the city is Kurdish today. Regards, --Hvakshahtrah (talk) 19:52, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Hvakshahtrah, that is the most ignorant argument I've read, just because the city is Kurdish today doesn't mean it wasn't Arab back then... also, Why does it say in the article of Cizre that the city was called Jazira Ibn 'Umar Al-Jazari is Arab, simple as that, he's not Kurdish, The sources that call him Kurdish aren't credible. The 3rd source calls him an Arab inventor, he is 90% more likely Arab than Kurd. I have never heard of Kurds in the Islamic Golden Age. ܐܵܬܘܿܪܵܝܵܐ 15:55, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Why are the sources that call him Kurdish not credible? I see nothing wrong with them. Regards, --Hvakshahtrah (talk) 15:50, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
If I may intervene here, I strongly believe he is Arab, and I do doubt the sources claiming he is Kurdish, especially given that most or all of them are Iranian and of political nature, and we know Iran's positions on these things and its credibility. Until the 17th-18th century, this area was mostly inhabited by Syriacs and Arabs, and Kurds infiltrated there coming down from the mountains encouraged by Ottomans, who wanted to settle them to stop Kurdish and Bedouin (Arab and Turkmen) raids on caravans. In the twentieth century, Syriaac and Arab immigration from the area intensified, resulting in a Kurdish majority. I have a source; Ibn Jubayr, a 12th-13th century geographer saying in P185 of his book "Journey of Ibbn Jubayr": "On the way out from Nusaybin, we were alert to avoid raids from Kurds who attack caravans between Mosul, Nusaybin and Dunayser, and they live in high impervious mountains." This textt is also available online if you read Arabic here. I hope this helps. Amr ibn Kulthoumعمرو بن كلثوم (talk) 18:55, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Only one of the sources is Iranian, and if it's anything, it's religious; not politicial. Regards, --Hvakshahtrah (talk) 15:50, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Concerning the region Al-Jazari inhabited; it most certainly had a strong presence of Kurds back then too. I refer to Boris James' The tribal territory of the Kurds through Arabic medieval historiography: spatial dynamics, territorial categories, and Khaldunian paradigm: "Ibn al-Athîr (d. 1233) (Yâqût al-Hamawî, « zûzân ») at the same period writes : Zûzân is a vast region located on the eastern border of the Tigris river in the region of Jazîrat Ibn ‘Umar. It starts at a distance covered in two days from Mosul, extend to the boundaries of Khilât and ends in Azerbaydjan until the district of Salmâs. There are several fortresses hold by the Bashnawiyya and Bukhtiyya Kurds ». Ibn al-Athîr who actually is from that region, even comes to use the expression Zûzân al-Akrâd in al-Kâmil, to talk about the place where the conflict between Turkmen and Kurds started (Ibn al-Athîr : vol 10/136)."
Similarly, the following is stated: "In the big picture, the tribal territory of the Kurds in the Middle Ages and especially during the five first centuries of Islam, extended from Dvîn (south of the lake Sevan) to Mosul, and from Hamadân to the Djezireh. The presence of powerful kurdish dynasties in the zagrosian (Hasanwayhides in Bahâr) and ciszagrosian(Rawâdis in Tabriz and Marwânids in Khilât) areas is due to the existence of kingmaking tribes. Conversly, these dynasties certainly weighted on the population makeup and the social organisation of these regions."
Now, I don't know too much about this individual, but if I'm not mistaken, he didn't make any mention of his ancestry, right? We only know that he was a Muslim (judging by his name), wrote in Arabic, and came from a Kurdish region. Hence, wouldn't it make most sense to call him that? "A Muslim scholar hailing from a Kurdish city, who wrote in Arabic".Znertu (talk) 21:39, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Sure but there's a problem with your logic: Jazira isn't a Kurdish city. The word 'Jazira' is Arabic which stems from Syriac 'Gezartha' meaning island from the Semitic root "G-Z-R" meaning to cut off. It does not seem logical that an Iranian people, such as the Kurds, would give a city a Semitic name unless the Kurds who lived there are Semitic in origin and became assimilated with Kurds OR the original Semitic population left and the Kurds migrated to Jazira. ܐܵܬܘܿܪܵܝܵܐ 16:20, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
You'll have to provide a source that Jazira derives from Gezartha. Regardless, it is of little importance; it's just a name. Many individuals and cities have names of a different origin than their ethnicity. As has been pointed out in the source I provided, it was a region with a strong Kurdish presence. Read more about the Zuzan region (wherein Jazirat ibn Umar was located), and you'll find out that the two main populations were Kurds and Armenians. Therefore, Al-Jazari, being a muslim, quite possibly was Kurdish.Znertu (talk) 10:07, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Misuse of the term robot[edit]

The device described in the article is best described an automaton. It is completely misleading to call it a robot. See the definitions at the two linked articles for explanations of what constitutes each type of machine. Lumos3 23:06, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

This article is rapidly getting out of hand. I'm sure this man had his place in history. Unfortunately, his technologiy was lost at his death and only rediscovered recently, so to suggest he had a "giant" impact on anything is just not true. Like Mendel and genetics. Mendel was rediscovered. da Vinci was mostly lost. He had no impact even though he's given credit for a lot of stuff on which he had no influence. This guy had less influence than that. This article is not credibly documented. Has anyone checked references or the scholarship of the books referenced? Student7 19:52, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I have again corrected the claim that what Al-Jazari built can be called a robot. An automaton is the correct term here. Lumos3 20:04, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

There's a massive overuse of the word robot all through thae article, a chirping model bird on a clock is called a robot, should I buy a cuckoo clock and tell people I have a robot that tells me the time? The 'humanoid robots' were more like giant music boxes in the shape of people. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree that Al-Jazari's machines were robotic. They worked automatically and were even programmable (cam-lever system). InternetHero (talk) 18:24, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

There is also a misquotation: Fowler in his 1967 article says "from the waterclock automata of al-Jazari, with its drums, trumpets and clashing cymbals to the three piece life-sized robot band that performs more than fifty facial and body actions during each musical selection". (p. 45) The robot band he speaks about is not al-Jazari's.Teleshopper (talk) 14:20, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

All by himself?[edit]

I realize that many details are missing from that long ago. Still, biographers were able to pin each invention down very precisely. Why no mention of any help? A laboratory-like facility had to be used to come up with this many inventions in his spare time, as it were. He must have had many assistants, yet none are mentioned either by name or number. This creates a slight credibility problem for me.

Also, he produced three important inventions at age 66, the year that he died. No other dates for his inventions are mentioned.

Student7 02:42, 11 July 2007 (UTC)


I ripped out [2] the D+C subsection as a copyvio of [3] (the other ref used in it was also a copyvio of that (or the other way round) but thats another matter.

I also think several of the claims are implausible - first use of templates or paper models - but that too is another matter William M. Connolley (talk) 21:14, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I've restored those sections in quotation format instead to avoid any copyvio issues. Regards, Jagged 85 (talk) 12:26, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure thats really good enough. Anyway, I've removed those sections that were nothing but quotes. Wiki isn't a quote-farm William M. Connolley (talk) 21:49, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I've restored those sections (yet again) with some of it in my own words and some of it in Hill's words. Is this good enough for you or are you still planning to remove those sections again for some other reason? Jagged 85 (talk) 22:35, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
No, of course its not good enough, barely even a thin veneer. Apologies for the rollback, though, I hit the wrong button. "Mechanical clock" is entirely misleading, as I said. They were water clocks, with some kind of mechanism added on, but that wasn't doing the timekeeping. There is no reason for a separate section on them - thats double counting. Mechanical clock means pendulum/spring. Your previous version linked Mechanical_clock, which goes straight to pendulum clock. The mech controls section is (a) nothing but a quote, and (b) near meaningless with such a lack of context. —Preceding unsigned comment added by William M. Connolley (talkcontribs) 22:47, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
From what I understand of a mechanical clock, it is is simply a clock driven by weights. If al-Jazari described a clock which was "driven by both water and weights", wouldn't that technically make it a mechanical clock? Either way, I've renamed the section to simply "Weight-driven water clocks" to be more specific. Jagged 85 (talk) 23:28, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Try following mechanical clock, ah, I see I've already pointed you to that, but you do seem to have missed the point. This time try actually clicking on it William M. Connolley (talk) 22:26, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
The Wikipedia link for mechanical clock pointing to Pendulum clock doesn't really mean anything. Jagged 85 (talk) 13:47, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
It means the obvious - that the section titled mech clks is misleading, as well as that whoever put in that link was either careless or deliberately misleading William M. Connolley (talk) 16:55, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm restoring "Weight-driven water clocks", since there really is no justification to remove it now that it's not even called "Mechanical clocks" anymore. Jagged 85 (talk) 00:28, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Just for transperancy: "Why wouldn't it be mechanical"??? It obviously was the 1st clock that functioned automatically. The mechanism made that possible. InternetHero (talk) 18:22, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Other devices[edit]

I ripped this out too [4]. I don't know where it was copied from, but I can't see why anyone would have added "Other sundry mechanisms" unless they had copied it. Most of this misc list has been mentionned above, anyway William M. Connolley (talk) 21:25, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Why would you do that? InternetHero (talk) 18:19, 18 August 2008 (UTC)


J restored [5] the primacy of Al-J using hydropower to power a saqiya pump, although the primacy of the chinese in general is admitted. I'm not really sure quite what a saqiya pump is, or what makes it so distinct from the chinese pumps. Google hit #1 [6] says its an animal powered pump, but that cant be right William M. Connolley (talk) 21:52, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

All I know is that "saqiya" is a type of chain pump, but we can't be too certain whether it was the same type that the Chinese were using. Jagged 85 (talk) 22:41, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Good. Whether it was identical to the chinese ones is irrelevant - the claim that the article was previously [7] making that "This is the first known description of a water-raising machine being operated by water power." is shown to be nonsense. In your haste to redress the balance against the traditional attitude towards Islamic science, please don't puff these people up to implausible degree or you'll just make them look silly. Comparing this article to Leonardo da Vinci or Nikola Tesla is instructive William M. Connolley (talk) 22:57, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
How is a previous version of the section even relevant to the current discussion? I've already acknowledged the previous version is flawed, or else I would have reverted back to that version if it wasn't. Jagged 85 (talk) 23:28, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
It shows how puffed up this stuff gets. At least one of your previous "facts" was unreliable. Perhaps more are. Certainly the tone is overblown William M. Connolley (talk) 22:25, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Why do you keep deleting large chunks of reliably-sourced information? No offense, but I think your last few edits have been a bit over-the-top. I am reverting them because I have not yet seen any valid reasons for your unnecessary deletions. Regardless of whether the article is too hyped up or "salivating", things like these can be re-worded or re-written, but deleting large chunks of reliably-sourced information is not the answer. Jagged 85 (talk) 13:47, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

That information is reliably sourced is not a killer argument for inclusion. There are lots more quotes that could be pulled out of DRH amongst others. The point is to choose appropriately. For example, the quote "It is impossible to over-emphasize the importance of Al-Jazari's work in the history of engineering" appears quite over-the-top. This is but one mans opinion. A rather fairer conclusion is that any conclusions must be tentative because so little research has been undertaken on Arab technology William M. Connolley (talk) 17:05, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

You still haven't addressed the other two sections you've deleted: "Mechanical controls" and "Candle clocks". Both of these are very useful sections, so please don't attempt to remove them again. If you have a problem with my wording or quoting, then you can always put them in your own words, but like I said before, removing them is not the solution. Regards, Jagged 85 (talk) 00:13, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I think (William) you need to understand the extent to which A;-Jazari influenced today's society. He IS the most important figure in engineering: he is the "father". InternetHero (talk) 18:18, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

TOC limit[edit]

This [8] is a symptom of the article having too many teeny tiny subsections. It needs to be re-written William M. Connolley (talk) 22:25, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I've improved this somewhat by removing some of the sub-section headers, which weren't really needed William M. Connolley (talk) 22:41, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Double-action suction pump with valves and reciprocating piston engine[edit]

This section is backed up by [9], but although it sez "The Origin of the Suction Pump" its actually *about* " LAZAWARD (LAJVARD ) AND ZAFFER COBALT OXIDE IN ISLAMIC AND WESTERN LUSTRE GLASS AND CERAMICS". This needs fixing William M. Connolley (talk) 22:41, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

"Rather than an inventor"[edit]

Since I don't have access to the Dictionary of Scientific Biography at the moment, could William perhaps quote the part where it says that al-Jazari was an "engineer rather than an inventor"? I'd like to know the full context behind this rather odd assertion which seems to imply he was not an inventor. Thanks, Jagged 85 (talk) 13:24, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't take kindly to you removing that text. I' provided a ref in the edit comment; now I've put it in the text. Its in the std DRH compedium which I'm sure you have access to William M. Connolley (talk) 15:51, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I apologize if you were offended, but no, I don't have access to the Dictionary of Scientific Biography at the moment. It's just that I have a hard time believing DR Hill would say that (judging from his other works I've read), which is why I am asking for the full quote, to understand the context behind it if he did indeed say it. Also, you should always add the ref in the text itself rather than in the edit summary. Regards, Jagged 85 (talk) 16:42, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Jagged85. Donald Routeledge Hill would more than likely call Al-Jazari an engineer. He has stated that his is the father of engineering. Why would he try to play-down such a quotable quote??? InternetHero (talk) 18:17, 18 August 2008 (UTC)


I don't think this [10] is justified. But from what I gather her could have been kurdish/turkish if born in the same place today? William M. Connolley (talk) 18:50, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Is he an Arab? I doubt it. According to local sources where he live, he was born in the town of the Jezira (modern Cizre in the Turkish Kurdistan). Local people belive that he is a Kurd and member of Botan tribes. Is there any reliable sources to prove this claim? As far as I know, there is not a written source on Al Jazari`s nationality. it is legitimate to ask why any kind of written sources are considered more reliable than the oral sources?. By the way, the town Jezire (Cizre) is a Kurdish town .Murat

Ethnicity is written as Kurdish and source is just a blog!? That blog does not make references. There is no source that mentions his nationality. These "Kurdish" reference should be removed. (talk) 07:10, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Just a question[edit]

I wanted to ask this on Yahoo answers, but I don't think they'd even know who Al-Jazari is. Anyway, did his 5th water-raising engine (the double-acting reciprocating piston pump) have a connecting rod that had an opposite "bend" to make sure that the pistons didn't act on an angle??? I would think that with an ordinary connecting rod, the cylinders would have to be on an angle since it swings like a pendulum. Heres a video of it.

Did the pistons have a strong enough support base to not act on an angle---without the need for a correlating bend in the con-rod?? Thanks for your time. It would be MUCH appreciated!! InternetHero (talk) 18:14, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

No, that isn't possible. InternetHero (talk) 14:12, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Portrait of Al-Jazari[edit]


I don't think there were any physical descriptions of the man, nevermind an actual portrait. The one used here is fairly new so I don't think the test of time has anything to do with this. InternetHero (talk) 14:12, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Me either. (talk) 04:24, 30 September 2008 (UTC)


 Could we recruit an engineer to edit this? Al-Jazari deserves better than this.J8079s (talk) 22:56, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

There are actual portrait of an individual if its not the actual portrait which is very important then there is no need to put any portrait with the information since it is not the actual person. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:35, 13 June 2009 (UTC)


His name is way too long! (talk) 19:13, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

just say "badi-zaman jazari" (common format; all-time-genius of jazira region)

Tabascofernandez (talk) 00:16, 18 July 2017 (UTC)


  • Greek and Roman Mechanical Water-Lifting: The History of a Technology By John Peter Oleson Published by Springer, 1984 ISBN 9027716935, 9789027716934 628 pages
  • A History of Engineering in Classical and Medieval Times: Irrigation and water supply ; Dams ; Bridges ; Roads ; Building construction ; Surveying Part two, Mechanical engineering : Water-raising machines ; Power from water and wind Part three, Fine technology : Instruments ; Automata ; Clocks ... By Donald Routledge Hill Published by Routledge, 1996 ISBN 0415152917, 9780415152914 263 pages J8079s (talk) 03:03, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Claims of "first" are not sustained by the sources. J8079s (talk) 03:06, 14 November 2008 (UTC)


Removed the Sally Ganchy reference because on p. 47 is no mention at all of crankshafts. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 02:24, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

It's actually on page 41, which I've just corrected. Regards, Jagged 85 (talk) 03:01, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Nationality Kurd.[edit]

Guys please these are just fake facts abaout ebuliz. He was from Ciziri in Kurdistan (south-eastern turkey) which has always been kurdish. He might have been in in the powerful kurdish botan tribe. but he was not from Iraq or arab and that i can guarante you.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrkurdistan (talkcontribs) 21:07, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

If the people from the UK agree to name Isac Newton an Italian or a Roman scientist because his famous book is in Latin, so let Al Jazari and other Kurdish and Persian scientists and scholars be named Arabs.

Can we leave out the nationalism? He predates all that stuff William M. Connolley (talk) 11:40, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

It's not sure he was Kurdish, plus, he was Culturally and linguistically arabic, like Augustine of Hippo, he was african but he was culturally roman. Don't compaire Newton with this, he was british and his books were in english.

Stub and rework[edit]

For background information, please see RFC/U and Cleanup. With 360 edits, User:Jagged 85 is the main contributor to this article by far (2nd with 55 edits is William M. Connolley who did clean-up work). The issues are a repeat of what had been exemplarily shown here, here, here or here. As the last pre-Jagged85 version (from 18 November 2006) is unreferenced and contains at least one false claim (namely that he invented the crankshaft, which however dates back as far as the Romans), I stubbed the article completely. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 23:25, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Restored the stubbed version. The one action which postpones the improvement of the article indefinitely is restoring again and again the refuted POV and OR version. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 01:00, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Al-Jazari definitly was a Turk[edit]

He worked in service of the Artuqid dynasty, an Oghuz Turk Dynasty in Diyarbakır and it is natural that we name he Turk. Al-Jazira and all Mesopotamia in that time and before that time i.e. at least in the beginning of abbasid caliphate was under control of Turks/Turkmens. There was no arab or others such as persians and kurds in the area at that time and region inhabitantes were Assyrians, Armenians and Turks of them only Turks were Muslim. Thus we can say that Al jazari was definitly from Turkic ancestory. Freedomist (talk) 10:34, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

al-jazari may have been persian[edit]

there are some links where it's said al-jazari was persian:

I think that only a few informations are still availlable on that guy, so anyone can say anything about him. My opinion is that he is probably a persian scholar. I don't agree with you when you say there were no persians in that area, this place was under persian domination for many centuries before arabs and turks came there ! please if you have strong sources, quote them, but your opinion is only your opinion and doesn't make it true.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:46, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

He was not an Arab[edit]

Some claim he was a Turk or a Persian, but got no one who supports you, seeing as there was nothing Turkish/Persian with him. He was from a Kurdish city, and had an Arabic name. Simple as that.

He was not an Arab either, seeing as he was from a Kurdish city. For the people who claim that Cizre was Arabic, please take a look at this man He was from the same time period, and he was a Kurd. There is nothing that suggests he was an Arab. And if you're going by name, then why not claim all the Persian scientists as Arabs? Exactly, that'd be quite silly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:07, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Born in kurdish city doesn't mean he was kurdish. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

Did editors with a nationalist agenda infiltrate this article?[edit]

It certainly seems that way to me. For this reason I flagged this article as violating NPOV. Please don't remove the POV-tag until the issue of Al-Jazari's nationality is resolved. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:36, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

He was a Turk and not Arab[edit]

Al-jarzi was in Artuqid dynasty, a Turkic Dynasty in Anatolia and it is ligic that he was Turk. All north Mesopotamia and east anotolia in that time under control of Turkic pepole and tribes. He was not arab and he was Turk. Al farabi had a arabic name but he was Turk. Some people think that if the name is Arabic so he is an Arab. no. He was Muslim and he chose an arabic name. Freedomist (talk) 20:41, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Removal of referenced information by IPs and user:Cobanas[edit]

Cobanas 1st edit(ever) was the removal of Persian ethnicity and its references, using the edit summary, "the reference about the persian ethnicity of al jazari is not credible , the book which you refered to is not about this muslim engineer". This is not true.
Per the source for Persian ethnicity states, "Kitah fi Maarafat al-Hiyal al Handasiya; Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Geometrical Devices", which IS Al-Jazari.
Also, this does not explain why the Arab ethnicity was removed as well from the infobox! The continued removal of referenced information by Cobanas which was done originally by, leads me to believe these people are one and the same. --Kansas Bear (talk) 02:03, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

I agree that removing Arab was highly suspect. And leaving Kurdish, referenced only to a paper given to the "12th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR 2011)" is interesting. Kurdish should never have been in the article if that's the best anyone can do. I'm also dubious about Persian given that there is only one source and more importantly because evidently none of the standard Arab biographical works of the Middle Ages even mention him. Which leaves us with Arab - although with no Arab references in the Middle Age is still not certain surely? So I've removed both Kurdish and Persian - the museum website isn't enough for Persian either. Dougweller (talk) 07:56, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
After searching my copy of The Encyclopaedia of Islam, I finally found al-Jazari's entry, which makes no mention of his ethnicity or his family. --Kansas Bear (talk) 18:27, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
In response to Cobanas unreliable source;
Steven R. Ness, is a Phd candidate in Music Information Retrieval - Machine Learning - Distributed Cognition [11]
Shawn Trail, is associated with the Dept. of Computer Science, University of Victoria [12]
Peter Driessen, is professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering [13]
Andrew Schloss, is a professor in Electronic & Computer Music, Musical Acoustics, Ethnomusicology [14]
George Tzanetakis, is a professor Associate Professor in the Computer Analysis of Audio and Music [15]
Therefore, this "paper" has been written by academics that have no specialization in the time period or area in question. As such this is not a reliable source in regards to ethnicity. --Kansas Bear (talk) 06:00, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Upon further research,
  • Hayes, John Richard, The Genius of Arab Civilization:Source of Renaissance, is the editor, from what I can discern, since I can not read the book online, this source appears to be written by academics specializing in this time period.
  • Ceccarelli, Marco,Distinguished Figures in Mechanism and Machine Science: Their Contributions and Legacies, is the editor, the actual authors being Phds in Engineering
  • Dr. Norman SMITH, The Arabian Legacy.New Scientist, does not say al-Jazari was an Arab. Mentions Arabic(the language) and Arab manuscripts
  • The Cambridge History of Egypt, Historiography of the Ayyubid and Mamluk Epochs Vol.1., the al-Jazari mentioned is the historian not the mechanical scientist.
  • Muḥammad ibn Mūsā ibn Shākir, 850 Kitáb Al-Hiyal كتاب الحيل.Traslated and annotated by Donald R. Hill, 1978, calls al-Jazari a "Muslim author".
  • Li Guo, 1998 Early Mamluk Syrian Historiography. Vol.1, this is about the historian al-Jazari
  • Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology Al-Jazari, Ibn Al-Razzaz, unviewable. Both authors appear to be non-specialist in this time period.
  • Aleksandr D. Knyž, Ibn ʻArabi in the Later Islamic Tradition: The Making of a Polemical Image in Medieval Islam, no mention of Arab ethnicity.
With the given information, I suggest we remove "Arab" and replace it with "Muslim". The Encyclopaedia of Islam does not assign an ethnicity to al-Jazari and the only listed source that has the qualified academics is unviewable. --Kansas Bear (talk) 19:00, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, I was concerned about that as you can see above. Dougweller (talk) 21:47, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Turkish origin[edit]

He was a Artuk Turkish citizen. At least this could be mentioned. Also, there are sources for his Turkish ancestry. Stanford, Warsaw But a non national statement would also be ok. Because of non- national life style of the time. --Kafkasmurat (talk) 21:48, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Ehsan Masood is not a historian(ie. Stanford link) and neither Abdullah Uzun or Fahri Vatansever are historians and have no specialization in that time period(ie. Warsaw pdf). --Kansas Bear (talk) 00:06, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

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Sources for "Kurdish" ethnicity[edit]

  • Michael A Genovese; political scientist with no specialization in Islamic studies or Islamic history
  • Yazdani, Kaveh (2017). India, Modernity and the Great Divergence: Mysore and Gujarat (17th to 19th C.). BRILL. p. 113. ISBN 9789004330795.

Yazdani's book is about India from 17th to 19th century and makes a passing mention of Jazari's ethnicity, while Yazdani's specialization appears to be Mughal/post-Mughal India. Would this make Yazdani a reliable source for al-Jazari(1136–1206)?
Would like the opinions of:

  • @Doug Weller:
  • @Kautilya3:: Yeah, the sources are weak. But they are better than nothing. Unless there is contradicting information from other sources, it is better to let it stay. I had to face similar fighting with Al-Khwarizmi by the way. That seems to be the trend. See what I did in the Hindu–Arabic numeral system page, but I didn't have the energy to take it to the main page. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 00:07, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
  • @Ghatus:: Technically, there is no problem. But, it is wrong scholarly. It is always better not to use a reference's reference in any article - be it in Wiki or in any journal. I personally do not do it when I submit any article for any journal.Ghatus (talk) 05:51, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
  • @LouisAragon:
  • @Zyma:
  • @Wario-Man: --Kansas Bear (talk) 22:53, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
@Kansas Bear: Both of them are weak sources in my opinion. Michael A. Genovese is a professor of political science and I don't think Kaveh Yazdani's book is an expert source for the ethnicity and background of this scholar. There may be better scholary sources if the Kurdish background is a valid claim among historians. @HistoryofIran and Mazandar: What do you think about this? --Wario-Man (talk) 05:18, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
The problem in these cases is that reliable information is not available. In that situation, most scholars wouldn't say anything about it. For Al-Khwarizmi, I found a source that says that information isn't available [16]. But it is rare to find such statements in sources. If some scholar sticks his/her neck out and makes a claim, our policies say we can state it. The best we can do is perhaps to remove the info from the lead, and put it in the bdoy, making it clear that it is uncertain. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 09:58, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Those aren't the only 2 sources stating his Kurdish ethnicity; there are plenty more. It's rare to see him being called an Arab or sometimes even Turk; all those claims come from Arab and Turkish nationalists. Just look at the edit history of Wikipedia's "Saladin" page, another Kurd who has been claimed hundreds of times by Arabs and Turks. Not only was Al Jazari a Kurd, but him being anything else wouldn't make much sense in that region's time and context; he was born in Cizre (Jazira), which is and has always been a city in the "heart of Kurdistan". The city was capital of many Kurdish principalities. Furthermore, Jazari was born at a time when Kurdish dynasties thrives; his peak was during the Kurdish Ayyubid's (Saladin) peak, and he was a citizen of that Kurdish empire.

His ethnicity is maybe not written in stone, but there ARE sources. And that should be enough for a person that lived almost a thousand years ago. (talk) 09:36, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Not when the sources in question are written by non-historians.
  • "Not only was Al Jazari a Kurd, but him being anything else wouldn't make much sense in that region's time and context; he was born in Cizre (Jazira), which is and has always been a city in the "heart of Kurdistan"."
And yet, the only historian to call him a Kurd, and then in passing, is a out of a book about India during the 17th~19th centuries! Hardly definitive! Even the Encyclopedia of Islam makes no claims as to his ethnicity.
  • "his peak was during the Kurdish Ayyubid's (Saladin) peak, and he was a citizen of that Kurdish empire."
Saladin's "Kurdish Empire" held Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Persians, Jews, Christians, etc. Odd how these IPs continue to show up to give their personal opinion and bring no sources. --Kansas Bear (talk) 11:46, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Cizre ("Jazira") has produced a long line of famous Kurds from Islamic Golden Age. All of the following famous individuals from the Islamic Golden Age were all born in the same city, carried a similar family name, and all served under Ayyubid Empire or one of its vassals. One of them was Saladin's personal historian/biographer:

Saladin's historian:

Born in the same city. Known by the same family name: "Ali 'Izz al-Din Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari" ***AL JAZARI***

The other brothers from the same family:

Majd ad-Dīn - publisher of several dictionaries, including one on family names.

Diyā' ad-Dīn - famous author who penned several important books on culture and literature. A selection of his letters published by David Samuel Margoliouth are available under the title On the Royal Correspondence of Diyā' ad-Dīn al-Jazarī. ---> ***AL JAZARI***

So, we have:

- Several sources in which this Al-Jazari is called a Kurd, including older sources from eras where ethnicity wasn't a big aspect of Middle-Eastern life. - He is born in a Kurdish city; it was a Kurdish city back then and it is still a Kurdish city. - He was born in a prominent family in a Kurdish city during the peak of Kurdish power/might during the Middle-Ages. He was a citizen of Saladin's Kurdish Ayyubid empire and served for one of its vassal states. - He carries the same family name as other famous Kurds from the same city with the same family; their ethnic background is not disputed whatsoever, maybe because this "Al-Jazari" is one of the most important scientists from Islamic Golden Age, so non-Kurds try harder to "claim him".

All of this is a COINCIDENCE? What a HUGE coincidence then! Funny how these HUGE coincidences happen to Kurdish history all the time!

How many "Al Jazari" families were there during Islamic Golden Age? I know only of one: the Kurdish family from Cizre / Jazira! (talk) 10:43, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

The HUGE COINCIDENCE thickens. Here's an article from an Islamic website (so VERY neutral about ethnicity, this is not sarcasm by the way), about "IMAAM IBN AL-JAZARI", a prominent historic scholar from the same city. This is what is written about him:

The Imaam describes himself in his famous nadhm (poem) in ‘Ilm at-Tajweed (Science of Tajweed), al-Muqaddimah al-Jazariyyah (al-Muqaddimah feemaa yajibu ‘alaa qaari’ al-Qur’aan an-ya’lamah) as ‘Imaam al-Jazari’. ‘Jazari’ is a location in the Kurdistan/Turkmenistan/Iraq region. He belongs to a place called Ibn -‘Umar and the ‘ulamaa say that he has Kurdiy asl (Kurdish origins).


So a historic figure from the same city and period with the same family name literally wrote about his Kurdish origins.

But this Al-Jazari, from the same city, period, and family name, no, this one is DEFINITELY from a completely different family. Probably an Arab or Turk. Makes more sense than him having been a Kurd. /s (talk) 10:51, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Coincidence or not. I still see no published secondary source presented.
Odd, how you ignored this particular source:Historiography of the Ayyubid and Mamluk epochs, Donald P. Little, The Cambridge History of Egypt. That states al-Athir was Arab. Donald P. Little. Undoubtedly, this is a coincidence that you have ignored an academic in the field of Islamic studies stating Ibn al-Athir was Arab.
Author of this article? Would appear to be "Unknown". Website is edited by ???? FYI, just because you find something that agrees with what you think, does not make it a reliable source for Wikipedia.
Examples of published secondary sources:
  • "Distinguished Figures in Mechanism and Machine Science, ed. Marco Ceccarelli, chapter authors, Lofti Romdhane and Said Zeghloul, "Ismail Al-Jazari (1136-1206), Arab inventor who is remember for his design of water-raising machines..."
Marco Ceccarelli, mechanical engineer degree, 1982 at the University “La Sapienza” of Rome. At the same University he received a Ph.D. degree in Applied Mechanics in 1988.
Lofti Romdhane, Professor and Director of the Mechatronics Engineering Graduate Program. PhD in Mechanical Engineering
Zeghloul Said, Professeur de Mécanique, Université de Poitiers. Robotique, CAO, Préhension, Génie Mécanique.
This source is a published, secondary source, by academics. Should it be used?
More sources for Arab ethnicity:
  • "Engineering and Technology, By Michael Hacker, David Burghardt, Linnea Fletcher, Anthony Gordon, William Peruzzi
  • "The Book of Ingenious Devices / Kitáb al-Ḥiyal: Kitáb al-Hiyal, by Donald R Hill
Persian ethnicity:
  • "A Biographical Dictionary of People in Engineering, By Carl W. Hall
Compared to the IP's source which is an unauthored, unpublished website? Perhaps our best option is to move the ethnicity out of the lead and into the body of the article. Indicate all three(Arab,Kurd,Persian) ethnicities highlighting the fact that these are stated by non-historians. --Kansas Bear (talk) 13:38, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Nope, not a good idea at all. There are no reliable indicators for him having been anything else than Kurdish. Persian is ultimately ridiculous. Seems like you are on some kind of anti-Kurd crusades, I have seen you post in talk sections of other "controversial" articles before regarding the ethnicity of some Kurdish individuals.

His ethnicity should stay in the introduction. No point in adding "maybe he was Arab or Persian". I have provided plenty of evidence about the Al-Jazari family name; literally all Al-Jazari's who were born in Cizre (Jazira) were Kurds and are recorded as such in plenty of reliable historic and contemporary sources.

He was a Kurd. Period. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Furthermore, nice pathetic attempt at trolling. You wrote this:

  • "The Book of Ingenious Devices / Kitáb al-Ḥiyal: Kitáb al-Hiyal, by Donald R Hill
Persian ethnicity:

That book was written by the 3 Persian brothers known as Banu Musa:

The book authored by the Kurdish polymath Al-Jazari is titled: The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices

As you can see, the titles look alike, but are NOT the same.

You shouldn't really be discussing in this section. It seems like you cant even differentiate between 2 books that were written centuries apart. The very basics of history of the region, and both books are extremely famous. You are not informed enough about this subject to contribute.

The "Persian" ethnicity can therefore be completely disregarded, and should not even be hinted at.

Weak trolling attempt. Try harder next time. (talk) 15:33, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Trolling? LOL. Since you can not support your personal opinion with facts, you blatantly misread my information? LMAO
  • "There are no reliable indicators for him having been anything else than Kurdish."
You have not posted a reliable source for Kurdish.
  • "You shouldn't really be discussing in this section. It seems like you cant even differentiate between 2 books that were written centuries apart."
Instead of showing off your ignorance, perhaps you should read the book. Page 22, " composed 1206).[..]. All these writers were concerned with the application of hydraulic power to activate the biological and cosmographical automata on monumental clocks..." Imagine that. Also from the article, "He is best known for writing The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (Arabic: الجامع بين العلم والعمل النافع في صناعة الحيل‎‎) in 1206..."
FYI, I never said al-Jazari authored "The Book of Ingenious Devices".
  • "The very basics of history of the region, and both books are extremely famous. You are not informed enough about this subject to contribute."
Apparently you are not informed enough about this subject to contribute. You were in such a hurry to disprove sources, that you did not even read the book!
  • "The "Persian" ethnicity can therefore be completely disregarded, and should not even be hinted at."
Actually that was in this book,"A Biographical Dictionary of People in Engineering, By Carl W. Hall, since you have a problem reading.
  • "Weak trolling attempt. Try harder next time."
Nope. Just proving how inept you are at discussing facts. --Kansas Bear (talk) 19:14, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
And more sources for Arab ethnicity, including Mehmet Aga-Oglu an historian.
  • "On a Manuscript by Al-Jazari, M. Aga-Oglu, Parnassus, Vol. 3, No. 7 (Nov., 1931), page 27. --Kansas Bear (talk) 19:25, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
  • "Ancient Engineers' Inventions: Precursors of the Present, By Cesare Rossi, Flavio Russo.
  • "Constructions of Time in the Late Middle Ages, ed. Carol Poster, Richard J. Utz, chapter author Anthony J Cardenas. --Kansas Bear (talk) 19:51, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Looks like pathetic nationalists insist on calling him an Arab or Persian somehow, even though he was from a Kurdish family, lived in a Kurdish region, born in a Kurdish city, and lived during the height of Kurdish medieval power (Ayyubids).

Changed the body of the text accordingly.

"Persian" will be consistently removed if it is added. Persians have no medieval history and belonging in that region, whatsoever. Especially Cizre. (talk) 09:00, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Threating to edit war, battleground comments, and ignoring what sources state, just proves this IP is not here to build an encyclopedia. Further personal attacks will be reported. --Kansas Bear (talk) 15:27, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Was he really a Kurdish Muslim, or a Kurdish Yazidi?[edit]

This article just assumes that he was a muslim; no sources are provided to back this up. It is POSSIBLE that he was a Kurdish Yazidi from Cizre. As we already established the Kurdishness of this individual and the city and family he was from, now remains establishing his religion.

Cizre, a city in the heart of Kurdish areas of the Middle-East, has always been a stronghold of Kurdish patriots. As such, Kurdish Yazidism thrived here for centuries. In fact, Cizre was the capital of the Botan Principality, a Kurdish principality of the Middle Ages. This Principality, centered in Cizre, adopted Yazidism as their national religion!

Furthermore, Al-Jazari featured the Peacock in many of his designs, such as the Peacock Pitcher and the Peacock Fountain. The peacock is a holy creature in the Kurdish religion of Yazidism, known as "Melek Taus".

The peacock is not native to the Middle-East, so non-Kurdish populations wouldn't be all too familiar with this birds, unless they are Kurds and cultured about the Yazidi faith, or Yazidi Kurds themselves. Even today, most of the Middle-East either is unfamiliar with this bird (even though we live in an era of mass media!) or they associate it with Yazidi's, which is unfortunately seen as a negative thing these days.

Source for Cizre's (Jazari) Yazidi faith adoption:

Nelida Fuccaro, The other Kurds: Yazidis in colonial Iraq, 256 pp., Palgrave Macmillan, 1999. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:30, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

Correct it[edit]

his name is "Abū l-ʿIzz", his father(s?) is "Ismāʿīl (ibn?) ar-Razāz, (Ismāʿīl the rice-shopper), and "al-Jazarī" is his placename (of Jazira? (caliphate province; so kurdish). and "Badīʿ az-Zaman" is his supertitle, common format of these names (that are unique, no ambiguation) is using supertitle (if exists. if not, we "have to" use [Abu-phrase]) and placename, so his name should be "Badīʿ az-Zaman al-Jazarī". compare : Abu-Raihan al-Berouni (of Beroun city, of Khwarezm), Abu-l-wafa Bouzjani (of Bouzjan), Abu-l-Alaa al-Ma'arri, etc. using supertitle (if exists) preferred than Abu-phrase. because supertitle is given to famous people [by kings, caliphs, emirs, even people {of their time}) for avoiding to say their names (for respect; if you don't use it means disrespect, because "it's built/given to say"). it's like english "Sir" but more variable and professionalized: Badīʿ az-Zaman: the Genius of all times. (wasn't he?) Tabascofernandez (talk) 00:10, 18 July 2017 (UTC)