Talk:Jabir ibn Hayyan

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I moved this as I can find no connection to Jabir J8079s (talk) An Alchemical apparatus of Jabir Ibn Hayyan

Predicting fisison[edit]

This section seems rather unlikely and cites a book on religion. I have removed it pending clarification and a more adequate reference.

Predicting nuclear fission
Jabir ibn Hayyan wrote about an atom being capable to disintegrate and that the energy emitted as a result of disintegration is capable to destroy Baghdad.

Mind your sources Proposal for some changes (including dates), and a comment on the quality of the sources used[edit]

Elsewhere on this talk page, it has been found “quite strange how, within a couple of weeks, several newbies are suddenly interested by this article”. I think I have an explanation for this: the new article on Jābir in the Encyclopaedia of Islam by Forster that was published around the time of that comment, and the recent (2017) paper by Delva referred to by Forster (references [3] and [11] in the article) are the first two scholarly publications to discuss the questions surrounding Jābir’s historicity since Nomanul Haq’s 1994 book, that is, the first scholarly publications on the subject in almost 25 years.

But despite the arrival of the “newbies” referred to in the comment, not much has actually changed in the article. Even with respect to the article’s lead, which admittedly has seen a number of important adjustments, there are still some things to be gleaned from the new publications. Note, for example, that the birth date of c. 721 was an inference made by Holmyard [“An Essay on Jābir ibn Ḥayyān”, Studien zur Geschichte der Chemie, 1927, p. 32] that depended on his hypothesis about Ḥayyān al-ʿAṭṭār, which is now obsolete [see Delva 2017]. Also note the discussion of death dates in Delva 2017, note 6, who gives c. 806-816. I will be bold and change Jābir’s dates from “fl. c. 721 – c. 815” to “died c. 806-816”.

More generally, though, and quite apart from the new publications, this article suffers heavily from the abundance of really, really bad sources on Jābir that are out there. Take, for example, the claim in the lead that Jābir invented “many of the basic processes and equipment still used by chemists today”. The source for this claim is a paper co-authored by five people working in a “Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Research Center”, a “Liver and Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Center”, a “Medical Philosophy and History Research Center”, a “Hematology-Oncology Research Center”, and a “Drug Applied Research Center and Faculty of Pharmacy”. The wider context in which the claim is made runs as follows:

“Jaber Ibn Hayyan or Geber, the famous Iranian chemist who died in 721 at Tous (near to Mashhad), was the father of a number of discoveries recorded in an encyclopaedia and of many treatises covering two thousand topics, and these became the bible of European chemists of the 18th century, particularly of Lavoisier. Geber is widely regarded as the founder of chemistry, inventing many of the basic processes and equipment still used by chemists today.”

Note, first, that this paper cites no source whatsoever. Second, that Jābir was inferred by Holmyard to have been born, not to have died in 721. Third, that the claim that Lavoisier was still using Jābir is so far off the mark (even pseudo-Geber, though still used by Sennert in the 17th century, was quite out-of-date by the time of Lavoisier) that it may well be taken to establish that the authors of this paper have absolutely no clue about the wider history of chemistry. Perhaps they know all about "Hematology-Oncology" or "Drug Applied Research", but these people should not be writing about medieval texts, nor should they ever be quoted on that subject.

Since I don't know whether the claim is in fact supported with evidence by actual historians of chemistry discussing primary sources (Stapleton perhaps?), I will be bold and remove it for the time being.

I don’t know enough about Wikipedia’s rules to be sure whether this is even possible, but I would strongly recommend removing all claims in this article stemming from tertiary sources, which are almost invariably wild and wrong (except for a very few which cautiously cite some secondary source, but in that case the same secondary source can perfectly be cited here), and putting in place some kind of embargo prohibiting the use of non-authoritative tertiary sources for this article. If, as I suspect, this is not possible according to Wikipedia’s rules, then this article should actually be used to argue the case for making this kind of thing possible. Of course prohibiting tertiary sources would not make much sense in most cases, but there are some subjects (and Jābir is certainly among them, as is alchemy more generally) about which so much rubbish is published that it really becomes necessary to guarantee a minimum of quality. Edit: I read up a bit on the rules, and actually articles are expected to rely primarily on secondary sources, the use of tertiary sources being restricted to directly relevant and authoritative sources (e.g., Jābir's article in the Encyclopaedia of Islam), which should also primarily be used as a guide to determining due weight. So according to Wikipedia guidelines themselves, most sources used in this article should go. 16:33, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

Anyway, if anyone is wondering about what secondary sources to use, there is the list that was put up here earlier (“39. List of secondary literature”, in Talk:Jābir ibn Hayyān/Archive 2). However, that list (even though still incomplete) is probably too long for realistic use here. It would already be great to have a Wikipedia article on Jābir that is firmly grounded in the following:

Kraus, Paul 1942-1943. Jâbir ibn Hayyân: Contribution à l'histoire des idées scientifiques dans l'Islam, Vol. I-II.

Sezgin, Fuat 1972. Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums (GAS), Leiden: Brill, vol IV, p. 132–269.

Lory, Pierre 1989 [reprint 2003]. Alchimie et mystique en terre d’Islam.

Delva, Thijs 2017. "The Abbasid Activist Ḥayyān al-ʿAṭṭār as the Father of Jābir b. Ḥayyān: An Influential Hypothesis Revisited". Journal of Abbasid Studies. 4: 35–61. (= reference [11] here)

Forster, Regula 2018. "Jābir b. Ḥayyān". Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. (= reference [3] here)

@Jbhunley: @Pinkbeast: @Dbachmann: @Johnbod: @Kansas Bear: @Wikaviani: @OclandEagle:2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:18CB:3C23:805D:66F3 (talk) 20:08, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

see my reply on my talk page. you changed several stuffs with no consensus and no sources. how do you know jabir was shiite ? maybe he was sunnite, so "Islam" alone is better. you have not given a source for this. you changed other stuffs too, with no sources, like "the father of chemistry" into "one of the father of chemistry" but this isn't what the sources say too. you also removed the part with "founder of chemistry" but this is with a source from the Turkish speaking university of Tabriz, in the Turkish area of Iran with the name "Azerbaijan", that is a reliable source i think. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. Kindly consider the following:
- I changed the category “religion” from “Islam” to “Shi’i Islam”. It is a widely acknowledged fact that the Jābirian writings were produced by a Shi’i author or a group of Shi’i authors. You will find this in almost any reliable source on the subject, so it seems a bit excessive to add a reference for this. If you really insist, we may refer to Lory, Pierre 1989, Alchimie et mystique en terre d’Islam, pp. 47-125, who has the fullest account of Jābirian Shi’ism? I made this change because, as has been shown by Kraus, Corbin, and Lory, the Jābirian corpus contains a highly original form of Shi’ism, which actually constitutes a very important witness for the history of early Shi’i doctrines and ideas. Eventually something should be written about this in the article itself, but indicating that it is Shi’i Islam that we’re talking about here seems like an absolute minimum. Not a good source to refer to for this but one that you can check right now online is Encyclopaedia Iranica’s article “Kimiā” (, which mentions that the Jābirian “treatises were probably composed in Iraq by a school of Shiʿite alchemists during the 9th and 10th centuries (Kraus, 1943, Introduction)”. Note, by the way, how explicitly the qualifier "Shi'ite" is here included in a general description that could perfectly have done without, were it not for the central importance of Shi'i speculations in many Jābirian writings.
- The source from (researchers from) the University of Tabriz (“Contribution of Iranian chemists in research activities, on the occasion of the International Year of Chemistry”), used in the article for the claim that Jābir was “the founder of early chemistry, inventing many of the basic processes and equipment still used by chemists today” was discussed by me above (please first take a look at my argument there). I understand why you may think that a paper written by authors associated with a university may be a good source, but mere affiliation with a university does in fact not always guarantee that a source is reliable. In this case, its authors are writing outside of their fields of expertise, and unfortunately, they seem to be rather ignorant about the history of chemistry. More importantly, they do not discuss the primary sources, nor do they even cite a secondary source, for the very claim that is cited here. They merely state it, as an unsubstantiated conjecture (they just assume it is true, probably because it is a widely shared view in their environments), rather than as a researched fact. As I’m sure you’ll understand, this does not constitute a reliable source according to Wikipedia’s standards.
- I changed “the father or the founder of early chemistry” to “one of the fathers of early chemistry” as part of the previous change, having to delete “or the founder of early” and what comes after it. I chose “one of the fathers” because, although Jābir is indeed popularly called “the father of chemistry”, so are Robert Boyle and Antoine Lavoisier. What about “He is often counted among the founding fathers of chemistry”?
Thank you for considering my arguments, and please do reply. 2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:3857:6D86:61BB:336A (talk) 23:58, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
no, i don't agree, for now, you have not showed a link for a source so that i can check if what you claim is true or is not. do u have any link and the number page for everything u say ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure what exactly you would like me to provide a link for? Please note that I am only responsible for providing reliable sources, not for providing links. I will try to accommodate you, though:
- As for the Shi’i question, there obviously is no website on which you can check the fact that there is a complete scholarly consensus about the Shi’i nature of the Jābirian works (or in the case of Fuat Sezgin and Syed Nomanul Haq, who argued for Jābir’s historical existence and authorship, about the fact that Jābir was a Shi’i), you can only check all of the existing literature. However, encyclopedic sources like the one I gave you (, or Regula Forster’s article on the Encyclopedia of Islam ( will also confirm this. As I said, the most authoritative source is Lory, Pierre 1989, Alchimie et mystique en terre d’Islam, pp. 47-125.
If you don’t have access to any of this, perhaps you can check one of Lory’s open access articles: Lory, Pierre. “Eschatologie alchimique chez jâbir ibn Hayyân” in: Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée, 2000(91-94), pp.73-92 (, which has the following, intriguing abstract (click "English" under "Résumés"):
"The corpus of texts attributed to the alchemist Jâbir ibn Hayyân, which was probably completed during the first half of the 1Oth century AD, delivers several elements of an original eschatological extreme Shî'i doctrine. Jâbir does not give an opinion on the question of the succession of the Imams which divided the Shî'i movement at that time : according to his school of thought, the encounter with the Imam happens by means of gnostic knowledge, and especially through the discovery of the secrets of alchemy as a global universal science. The present article attempts to shed light upon new evidence on the basis of an analysis of the Kitâb al-Bayân. According to this text, the collective salvation of mankind from the prison of ignorance will happen with the help of the spreading of esoterical sciences. At the end of times, a messianic divine and human person called the Bayân will manifest the hidden dimensions of being and fulfill the destiny of the whole of mankind."
Or perhaps just note the title of scholarly papers like Nomanul Haq, Syed. “Greek alchemy or Shi`i metaphysics? A preliminary statement concerning Jabir ibn Hayyan's Zahir and Batin Language” in: Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, Vol. 4/ii (2002) 19-32 (which argues, probably incorrectly by the way, that Jābir took the ẓāhir/bāṭin concept from Shi’i philosophy rather than from the alchemical tradition), or Lory, Pierre. “Esotérisme shi’ite et alchimie. Quelques remarques sur la doctrine de l’initiation dans le Corpus Jābirien” in: M. A. Amir-Moezzi, M. De Cillis, D. De Smet, O. Mir-Kasimov (eds.). L'Ésotérisme shi'ite, ses racines et ses prolongements (= Shi'i Esotericism: Its Roots and Developments). Turnhout: Brepols, 2016.
- As for the badly sourced claim of Jābir inventing processes and equipment, the link to that source is given in the article ( You will find the claim quoted in the article at pp. 241-242. You can check there for yourself that it does not cite any source, that it proclaims Jābir to have died in 721, that its authors do not have the necessary expertise, and the funny fact that it cites a Wikipedia article (p. 259).
Thank you again for your attention. 2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:ECF2:F683:99E3:4D94 (talk) 00:58, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
Hey, i concur with some of your proposals, i added Shi'i for this scholar's religion and sourced it with the Iranica article you linked above. I also tagged one claim with {{cn}} (citation needed) and removed the unreliable source for it. However, i don't agree with your proposal about "father of chemistry". While Boyle and Lavoisier have been described as being "fathers of modern chemistry", we should keep in mind that they lived roughly 9 centuries after Jabir who has been widely described as the "father of early chemistry". Therefore, i suggest we keep going with what the cited sources say and keep the sentence unchanged. Thanks for letting us know about these issues. Cheers.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 20:39, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
@Wikaviani: Thanks for taking a look at this.
Actually, one of the three sources cited for the father thing ( says “the father of modern Chemistry” (yes this is a very bad source that should definitely be removed). I did not check the other two sources, but they’re also really not the kind of thing we should be citing. However, a Google search on -Jabir ibn Hayyan "father of chemistry"- gives 27800 results, while a search for -Jabir ibn Hayyan "father of early chemistry"- only gives 2370 results. Clearly, “father of chemistry” is the much more popular version. But of course, this conflicts with the fact that the title “father of chemistry” is also very popularly used for Robert Boyle (Google: 101000 results) and Antoine Lavoisier (Google: 88000 results). Now all of these are popular references, and you will have a hard time finding them in the scholarly literature. In so far as they are popular, I would argue that they do not need any source at all, and that it is best to remove all the references for them. 2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:40C8:B51:E4F4:26AD (talk) 00:03, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
Google hits are not the best way to find out the "title" to give to a scholar, reliable sources matter. I will remove the Zahoor source if it does not support the claim, but the other sources will remain in the lead, because when a claim is sometimes considered as being controversial, sources are needed, even in the lead.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 15:57, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
@Wikaviani: [TL:DR : all three sources have “father of chemistry”, not “father of early chemistry”, but all three are unreliable (a.o. because they make unsubstantiated claims, seemingly taken from this very Wikipedia page); I will replace them with Newman’s article on Jābir in Encyclopaedia Britannica]
You’re probably right that popular claims are likely to be controversial and are better backed up by a reliable source. The fact is, however, that none of the three sources used are reliable. Furthermore, none of the three sources state that Jābir is the father of early chemistry, but rather just “father of chemistry”. Let me discuss them one by one:
1) Derewenda, Zygmunt S. (2007), "On wine, chirality and crystallography", Acta Crystallographica A, 64 (Pt 1): 246–258 [247]. It states the Jābir is “considered by many to be the father of chemistry” (p. 247). It further states that he is “credited with the discovery of crystallization as a purification process” and “Aside from tartaric acid, he discovered citric acid and acetic acid, as well as hydrochloric acid and nitric acid [...]”. These are all questionable claims, but Derewenda does not cite any source for them. They are very likely taken from this very Wikipedia page (see below).
2) John Warren (2005). "War and the Cultural Heritage of Iraq: a sadly mismanaged affair", Third World Quarterly, Volume 26, Issue 4 & 5, p. 815-830. States on p. 827: “Jabir bin Hayyan, who lived in Kufa in the 8th century, was an alchemist whose rational mind led him to analytical understandings which have given him the title of the Father of Chemistry”. Although he does not make any questionable claims, Warren does not cite any source, and is not an authority on the subject.
3) "Jabir Ibn Haiyan (jabir), Died 803 C.E." by Dr. A. Zahoor. First states that Jābir “is generally known as the Father of Chemistry”, but later repeats the same questionable claims about Jābir discovering “the preparation of nitric, hydrochloric, citric and tartaric acids”, and goes on to say that “it is on the basis of such works that he is regarded as the father of modern [!] Chemistry”.
Why is it likely that Derewenda and Zahoor took their unsourced claims about tartaric, acetic and citric acids from this Wikipedia page? First of all, because they are likely to rely on encyclopedic sources, and because Wikipedia is the only such source to include these claims. Secondly, because they do not occur in the secondary literature. The article here on Wikipedia cites Holmyard, Makers of Chemistry, who on pp. 59-60 states that Jābir “knew how to concentrate acetic acid by the distillation of vinegar, and was also acquainted with citric acid and other organic substances.” First, note that Holmyard ’s book does not cite any (primary or other) sources and so cannot be considered to be a secondary source. Second, that tartaric acid is not mentioned by Holmyard. Third, that the caustic properties of both acetic and citric acid were known and used since antiquity (Holmyard himself cites on p. 37 Zosimus of Panopolis as describing that “white lead may be obtained by exposing lead to ‘vapours’ [scil. of acetic acid, vinegar]"), but that discovering them as isolated chemical substances is quite something else (on p. 187, Holmyard rightly ascribes the discovery of citric and tartaric acid to Carl Wilhelm Scheele, 1742–1786 CE).
Anyways, all three sources used describe Jābir as the “father of chemistry”, not as “the father of early chemistry”. However, that this title is also widely used for other chemists, and especially Robert Boyle, can be seen from the fact that Lawrence Principe, who wrote the most authoritative English general history of alchemy to date, preserves it for Robert Boyle (Principe, Lawrence M. 2013. The Secrets of Alchemy. Chicago: Chicago University Press, p. 86: “Robert Boyle (1627-1691), later to be proclaimed the Father of Chemistry for boldly championing the value of the discipline [...]”).
Nevertheless, it remains of course a fact that Jābir is widely described as a father of chemistry, we only need to find a reliable source for it. I suggest using Newman, William R. (August 03, 2016). "Abū Mūsā Jābir ibn Ḥayyān.", Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., Accessed 1 Sep. 2019. (, who has in his lead “known as the father of Arabic chemistry”. 2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:7DFC:7B31:B289:E1DB (talk) 12:41, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
On another note, and in another edit, I removed the “founder of early chemistry, inventing many of the basic processes and equipment still used by chemists today” part. This was literally quoted from the source that has been shown to be unreliable (see above), and there is no need to keep to the letter such a controversial, unsourced (and as it happens, untrue) claim. Once this subject will finally have received the serious research it deserves (which will happen, in my estimation, in about a hundred years), a more nuanced statement about Jābir’s technical accomplishments will undoubtedly be added to this page.2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:7DFC:7B31:B289:E1DB (talk) 12:42, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Just STOP changing article like you do. father of early chemistry or father of chemistry it's all the same. (talk) 14:27, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Dear fellow IP user, thank you for leaving this message. Please note, however, that you have not given a reason for your revert; “it’s all the same” would rather be a reason to leave my edit as is. Reverting a thoroughly argued edit without giving a proper reason is not acceptable. Please do argue your case. 2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:7DFC:7B31:B289:E1DB (talk) 14:41, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
You all need to stop edit-warring, i asked for page protection. Belgian IP, please keep in mind that the Britannica source you tried to include is not the best one, even unreliable. You can ask to Doug Weller, an admin about that. A far better source, this one supports the "father of Arab chemistry", but, in my humble opinion, it's not representative of what the mainstream of sources say about Jabir. I would suggest you to stop trying to push a specific POV by all means, including edit-warring. Posting messages here is not an excuse for an edit war. So far, you've been reverted by several users.
Turkish IP, i'm speechless when i read your comments, your behaviour is all but constructive., you cannot just revert for some reasons and refuse to engage properly on the article's talk page.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 15:03, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Dear Wikaviani,
You are right that Britannica is not always as reliable as one might hope it to be. However, in this case, the article was written by William R. Newman, who is one of the leading authorities on the history of alchemy, and who is the foremost international expert on the Latin pseudo-Geber works. Surely, this is more reliable than three coincidental references in non-expert sources, two of whom repeat unsourced and unsubstantiated claims? (I did not, by the way, have to include Newman's article: it was already cited here.) The reference you give to The Oxford Dictionary of Islam is indeed quite appalling in its reductionist brevity, but you may be interested to know that it actually is severely summarizing Kraus 1942 (Jâbir ibn Hayyân: Contribution à l'histoire des idées scientifiques dans l'Islam. Vol. II) and a 1953 article by Stapleton (Stapleton, H.E. “The Antiquity of Alchemy” in: Ambix, 1953, Vol.5/1-2, pp.1-43), both of which are eminently reliable sources.
I understand I’m giving you a hard time here, but please do not accuse me of edit warring. I was once reverted by AbhiMukh97, but merely as a result of forgetting to add an edit summary. I was twice reverted by the other IP user, but on two different edits, and on neither of those two occasions have I re-reverted. Please also reconsider calling a legitimate and well argued concern for sources by that ugly name of POV pushing. I just happen to know the scholarly literature on this subject very well, and I’m trying to bring this article more in line with it.
Finally, I have the feeling that I'm the victim of some kind of false equivalence or argument to moderation here. It does hurt. If only for the sake of justice, I would like to ask you to look into my arguments, and even consider reinstating my last two changes. They may not be what we will agree on, but I would feel a whole lot better if they were not simply confirmed as amounting to vandalism.
Thank you for your efforts, 2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:7DFC:7B31:B289:E1DB (talk) 15:47, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Proposal for new justification and reference for Jabir as “the father of chemistry”[edit]

As I argued elsewhere on this talk page, the quote “[...] the founder of early chemistry, inventing many of the basic processes and equipment still used by chemists today” as it appears now in the lead, was literally taken from a very unreliable source, and should be removed. I also argued that the sources presently quoted for the claim that Jabir was the father of early chemistry are unreliable and should be replaced.

I now propose to solve both problems by replacing the entire phrase starting with “He has been widely described [...]” with the following:

Popularly known as the father of chemistry, Jabir’s works contain the oldest known systematic classification of chemical substances, and the oldest known instructions for deriving an inorganic compound (Sal ammoniac or Ammonium chloride) from organic substances (such as plants, blood, and hair) by chemical means.

The reference I propose to add for this is: Stapleton, H.E; Azo, R.F & Hidayat Husain, M. “Chemistry in Iraq and Persia in the Tenth Century A.D.”, Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. VIII, no. 6, 1927, pp. 317-418 (pp. 338-340).

This way, we use an eminently reliable source to show Jabir’s importance in the history of chemistry, and thereby immediately indicate why he is popularly called “the father of chemistry”.

What do you think? 2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:9866:263:4E06:54B4 (talk) 14:45, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

IP: Thank you for your time working on the article. I do not have the wherewithal to comment right now -- maybe within a week or so. I just wanted to let you know your contributions have been noticed, at least by me Face-smile.svg, and your talk page explanations appreciated. Jbh Talk 15:28, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Same for me, as i said on my talk page. Please feel free to edit the article and i'll review your edit. Thanks.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 15:52, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
I just reviewed and accepted your changes. Thanks very much for your contribution.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 16:26, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

I reverted, you don't have the right to change the article without consensus — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:20, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Please see my above comment, the other IP's edit has been reviewed by me and is legit, you need to stop behaving like that, please review our guidelines in order to better understand how this encyclopedia works. Do no do that again. Thanks in advance.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 18:27, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
'Father-of' claims go beyond the statement of verifiable fact, are seldom encyclopedic, and are often used to support nationalist or supremacist agendas. If a reliable source describes an individual as a 'father of' a given field, I suggest first checking to see if other reliable sources support the claim, and if other reliable sources have described other individuals using the same description. If there is conflict or limited support for such a claim, either exclude the description, or say 'he is one of a number of people, including X,Y,and Z, who have been described as the 'father of chemistry'.Dialectric (talk) 18:35, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Your statement may be correct in general and i agree with it, however, in this case, we even don't know with certainty the "nationality" of this scholar, though job for anybody who would try to claim any "nationalism" or "supremacism" ... The source proposed by the IP is reliable and other reliable sources support it. Also, as discussed extensively on this talk page, it has been specified in the article that Jabir Ibn Hayyan is popularly known as the "father of chemstry", it seems like a perfectly reasonable claim to me. Regards.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 18:49, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
@Dialectric: I certainly agree that from a historiographical point of view, “father of” claims often obscure far more than they enlighten. But it is important to note that I purposefully chose to frame it as “popularly known”, which already indicates the level at which this title must be understood. I took my cue for this from Antoine Lavoisier, which has “He is widely considered in popular literature as the "father of modern chemistry"”. Interesting in this case is that already in the medieval Arabic literature, chemistry was often simply referred to as the ʿilm Jābir (“the science of Jābir”), which certainly says a lot about how popularly Jābir was associated with chemistry. This popular association is an established and quite uncontroversial fact, and we are merely noting it in the passing. Finally, it is immediately followed by a clear statement of two very important developments in the history of chemistry associated with the Jābirian corpus (classification of chemical substances and chemical synthesis of a naturally occuring compound), a statement that is supported by a source that is very widely cited in the scholarly literature, and that gives a good idea of why and how Jābir got this popular title.
The only important reservation that I do have about it is that this idea of Jābir as the father of chemistry is often misunderstood and abused to attribute to Jābir any and all modern chemical discoveries, which is undoubtedly often inspired by nationalist and/or islamist sentiments. This very Wikipedia page is actually full of disinformation of that kind, and would need a thorough clean-up to get rid of it. I would welcome any support for throwing out the bath water (which frankly is most of this article apart from the lead), but please, let us keep the baby. 2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:D86E:5F4B:2257:8B25 (talk) 20:46, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
If you decide to engage into a major clean up of the article, i'll be glad to review your edits, as it's now clear that you are a knowledgeable editor who can improve this article. Cheers.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 21:19, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Sounds like an exciting prospect. Unfortunately, it would cost an inordinate amount of time, much more than I have right now. If someone else were to engage in such a project, I would be more than happy to offer help and advice, but at the moment I just can’t afford to take up this rather arduous task all by myself. It’s safe to say though that I will probably not be able to resist coming back to this in the future. 2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:B574:B3B5:B38A:5B0A (talk) 15:49, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I understand that. Anyway, please let e know if one day you find the time for this. Cheers.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 19:11, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Proposal for updating paragraph on Geber in the lead[edit]

I feel like I’m on a roll here, so I’ll immediately propose another change:

The paragraph on Geber in the lead is, in its current state, misleading. Jabir’s name was not merely Latinized: actual translations of Arabic Jabirian works into Latin were made, and it's on the basis of these that Latin authors continued the tradition of writing under Jabir’s name. I propose to adjust the paragraph to the following:

Some Arabic Jabirian works (e.g., the “Book of Mercy”, and the “Book of Seventy”) were translated into Latin under the Latinized name "Geber",[ref 1] and in 13th-century Europe an anonymous writer, usually referred to as pseudo-Geber, started to produce alchemical and metallurgical writings under this name.[ref 2]

Ref 1: Darmstaedter, Ernst. “Liber Misericordiae Geber: Eine lateinische Übersetzung des gröβeren Kitâb l-raḥma”, Archiv für Geschichte der Medizin, 17/4, 1925, pp. 181–197; Berthelot, Marcellin. “Archéologie et Histoire des sciences”, Mémoires de l’Académie des sciences de l’Institut de France, 49, 1906, pp. 308–363.

Ref 2: Newman, William R. “New Light on the Identity of Geber”, Sudhoffs Archiv, 1985, 69, pp. 76–90; Newman, William R. The Summa perfectionis of Pseudo-Geber: A critical edition, translation and study, Leiden: Brill, 1991, pp. 57–103. It has been argued by Ahmad Y. al-Hassan that the pseudo-Geber works were actually translated into Latin from the Arabic (see al-Hassan, Ahmad Y. “The Arabic Origin of the Summa and Geber Latin Works: A Refutation of Berthelot, Ruska, and Newman Based on Arabic Sources”, in: Ahmad Y. al-Hassan. Studies in al-Kimya': Critical Issues in Latin and Arabic Alchemy and Chemistry. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2009, pp. 53–104; also available online).

If someone wonders why I relegated al-Hassan’s study to the footnote: this is because his is a minority view, which is as of yet not accepted by the scholarly community (see, e.g., the way it is framed by Forster in the EI3: “[…] not until 1893 did Berthelot declare that no part of the Latin Geber corpus was translated from Arabic (Berthelot, La chimie, 3:16). This might indeed be true for the Summa perfectionis (“The height of perfection”) (Ullmann, 198; Newman, esp. 57–103, but see Al-Hassan), but some of the Latin Geber works, such as the Liber de septuaginta and the Liber misericordiae (see above), are, without doubt, translations from Arabic.”

Waiting for your feedback, 2A02:1811:C1E:BE00:9866:263:4E06:54B4 (talk) 17:16, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. Please edit the article and i'll review your edit. : Sounds good to me. Please edit the article and i'll review your edit. @Kansas Bear:, @Johnbod:, @Pinkbeast: and @Jbhunley: Gentlemen, i would also welcome your opinion, if you disagree with the IP's edit, please let me know. Cheers.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 18:33, 3 September 2019 (UTC)