Zayn al-Din al-Amidi

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Zayn al-Din 'Ali ibn Ahmad al-Amidi (Arabic: زين الدين علي بن أحمد الآمدي‎‎; died 712 H/1312 AD) was a blind Arab scholar most known for inventing a system before Braille that allowed him to study and recognize his books. His method involved the use of fruit stones as a reading means for the blind.[1]

Salah al-Din al-Safadi (d. 1362) in his book Nakt al-Himyan fi Nukat al-'Umyan (Emptying the pockets for anecdotes about blind people) said in respect to the originality of al-Amidi: "In addition to his knowledge, he used to trade in books. He could pick out the desired volume, touch the book and determine the number of its pages; he would touch the page and determine how many lines it had, the type of script and its color, and he knew the prices of the books".[1]

He lived in what is now Iraq in the fourteenth century.


  1. ^ a b Rispler-Chaim, Vardit (2007). Disability in Islamic law. Springer. p. 134. ISBN 978-1-4020-5051-0.