Al‐Mas˓ūdī (Abu˒ ‘l ḥasan ˓Alī Ibn al‐ḥusayn al‐Mas˓ūdī)
In the tenth century AD Muslims were arguably the leaders of world sciences, including geography. Many Muslim geographers, including al‐Mas˓ūdī, established the principles of science and research in geography. Al‐Mas˓ūdī's geographic curiosity took him as far as China and Madagascar. His conceptual orientation, which combined geography and history to explain cultural history, made him an outstanding scholar.
Not much is known about al‐Mas˓ūdī's early life and education, except that he was born in Baghdad in AD 893 and died in Old Cairo, Egypt, in AD 956. His two surviving books, Murūj al‐dhahab wa‐Ma˓ādin al‐Jawhar (Meadows of Gold) and Kitāb al‐tanbīh wa˒l Ishraf (Book of Indication and Revision) provide no biographical information. Presumably, his early education was with historians, philosophers, scientists, ḥadīthspecialists (those who study the words of the Prophet Muḥammad), grammarians, and literary critics. He began his travels at the age of 23 to seek geographic knowledge...
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