Abū al-ҁUqūl: Abū al-ҁUqūl Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Ṭabarī
Abū al-ҁUqūl was the leading astronomer in Taiz, Yemen, circa 1300. His epithet al-Ṭabarī indicates that he or his family came originally from northern Iran. He was a contemporary of the ruler Ashraf and Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr al-Fārisī, the latter also of Iranian stock. No details of Abū al-ҁUqūl’s life are known to us beyond the fact that he was the first teacher of astronomy appointed at the Mu’ayyadiyya Madrasa in Taiz by the Sultan al-Mu’ayyad, brother and successor of al-Ashraf.
Abū al-ҁUqūl compiled an astronomical handbook (Arabic: zīj) for the Yemen and was not shy about admitting to having taken most of it from other sources; indeed, he called his work al-Zīj al-mukhtār min al-azyāj (The Zīj culled from other Zījes). In fact, the work is based heavily on the Ḥākimī Zīj of the tenth-century Egyptian scholar Ibn Yūnus. What is original are the various tables of spherical astronomical functions for latitudes in the Yemen, and it is clear that...
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