Abu Ma’Shar (full name Abū Maʿshar Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿUmar al- Balkhī أبو معشر جعفر بن محمد بن عمر البلخي) was a 9th century. Alternate name. Albumasar. Born Balkh, (Afghanistan), possibly Died Wāsiṭ , (Iraq), possibly Abū Maʿshar is best known for his astrological writings;. Abu Ma’shar Ja’far ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al-Balkhi ( CE) was born at Balkh, in Khurasan, (now northern Afghanistan) on 10th August, , and died.

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If they did not, people would pay them no heed or would criticize them for delving into disciplines that they did not master.

The Ascendant, Sun and Venus are in almost exactly the same ecliptical positions. ADwho is reported to have disputed it. Thus, like the astronomers, they did not have to wait until the planets came back to the same positions, which usually took anu years-far beyond the lifetime of a single person-since they had the benefit of what might be termed the historical record.

He was a pupil of al-Kindi ca. Broadly speaking, in most Orientalist studies, the Mu’tazilites are pro- jected as advocates of the new foreign sciences whose mainstay was, in the final analysis, best articulated by Aristotelian or Neo-Platonist phi- losophy, while ah1 al-sunna wal-hadith are presented as advocates of the traditional Islamic sciences centred upon the corpus of Qur’anic studies.

The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason: Help Center Find new research papers in: You are commenting using your WordPress. Abu Ma’shar known also as Albumasar became professor of astrology at Baghdad University during the caliphate of the great Abu al-Abbas al-Mamun. This page was last edited on 8 Januaryat It accompanies his discussion of the astrologers’ practice of inventing books attributed to their predecessors into which they have inserted information about historical events, ‘proving’ that these events had been foreseen and, thus, the validity of their discipline.

Joseph Canning, Edmund J.

Introduction to Astronomy, Containing the Eight Divided Books of Abu Ma’shar Abalachus

Type of Item Books. Abu Ma’shar’s espousal of the cause of astrology is very clearly artic- ulated in his most important work upon the subject, namely, his Al- Madkhal ild ‘ilm ahkdm al-nujum Introduction to the science of the judgements of the stars.

In response, Abii Ma’shar deliberately confuses the issue somewhat by saying that astrologers approach recurring incidents in exactly the same au as mathematical astronomers-the very same people making up group five-who had to depend upon observations made by the ancients in order to determine the positions of the planets and, abk, ascertain mean motions and the like.

Institution Qatar National Library. Maxhar, the common folk had very little respect for astrologers, evidently because the former was the group most influenced by religious scholars. It follows, therefore, that ‘ilm al-hay’a did not have a discrete antecedent in the Greek tradition.


File:Flowers of Abu Ma’shar WDLpdf – Wikimedia Commons

He became the most important and prolific writer on astrology in the Middle Ages. But Aristotle nowhere asserts that such conditions apply to the actions of human beings and certainly not those that are only possible and have not yet been actualized.

He offers a stronger argument against astrology upon the authority of AbB al-Fad1 Ja’far ibn Harb,30who purportedly asked the astrologers why, if they really knew the location of hidden treasures and what the future will bring, they failed to take the money themselves or use their knowledge to advance their own lots, instead of deceiving and begging for their living.

The story of his conversion is of some interest at this point and is worth repeating. They take cover in Christianity, although the Christians themselves disapprove of them and accuse them of athe- ism ilhaddenying religion ta’til al-skarii’i’ and raising doubts against the Godhead al-ta’nfi al-rubllbiyya and all of the prophecies. Known as Flores astrologiae. His followers may have accepted his doctrines, but he was not endowed with complete intellect ghyr kzmil al-‘aqlfor they reported him as saying that the celestial bodies, such as the sun, the moon and the rest of the planets, could not be divided, nor split into parts, nor cleft into pieces; that the sun is not hot and that it is impossible for it to be hot, since such [celes- tial] bodies could not possibly be hot or cold, humid or dry, heavy or light, subtle or rough; that it is impossible for these planets to be more than they are by one planet or less by one; and that it is impossible for the sun to be more than what it is, or less, or to have colour, smell, or taste.

As for the intellectual alignments among the diverse sectors of early Islamic society and the varied stances taken vis-a-vis the competing fac- tions, the general received wisdom, mainly inspired by Orientalist stud- ies of early Islamic intellectual history conducted during the last two centuries or so, identifies the religious sector with those who later became known as ahl al-sunna wal-hadith, whose champions were people like Ibn Hanbal and his followers. Even in antiquity, however, those who attacked astrology did not say that a planet would take an incredible length of time to return to the same position; they knew very well that the longest period of a known planet was only 30 years.

File:Flowers of Abu Ma’shar WDL2997.pdf

Cambridge University Press, Charles Scribner’s Sons, Once he chooses to become a writer, then a writing man becomes necessary and is no longer merely possible. It is not surpris- ing, therefore, that their opponents also saw them as representing an approach to life or even, in modern terms, an ideology, and as being more than a collection of disciplines that might separately be accepted or discarded.

His foretelling of an event that subsequently occurred earned him a lashing ordered by the displeased Caliph al-Musta’in.

This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright mashsr is the author’s life plus years or less. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: The problem, then, lies in identifying just who was exerting such great pressure at that time.


What concerns us here is his defense of astrology against all detrac- tors, a subject elaborated upon in chapter five, as its title makes clear. Maktabat Muhammad ‘Ali Subayh. By this, he means people associated with the foreign sciences, such as the philoso- phers-ill-defined as they were at this time-making up groups one and two, who either did not believe that the planets had any influence, as in the case of group one, or considered their influence to be limited, as in the case of the second group.

First, it points to the inner coherence of the foreign sciences, for the study of one discipline seem to have led quite naturally to the others; thus, the per- ception, at least, was that they formed a unified whole.

But no matter what happens, a man cannot fly, so the act of flying remains impossible. Not only do the astrologers fail to qbu so, he continues, but the Shi’ite imcims are unable to tell of forthcoming events despite the claims of their followers.

The Birth Chart of Abu Ma’Shar | Anthony Louis – Astrology & Tarot Blog

As they would have put it, the basic difference was that one discipline- namely, astronomy-was mathematically demonstrable and, hence, ver- ifiable, while the other-namely, astrology-possessed foundations that were essentially sbu in nature. Title in Original Language Introductorium in astronomiam Albumasaris Abalachi octo continens libros partiales.

masha In Abii Ma’shar’s anatomy of the groups attacking astrology, groups four, five and six are of particular interest. Needless to say, the mmashar features of this alternative astronomy resulted in the production of the new ‘dm al-hay’a, which ulti- mately led to the reformulation of Greek planetary theories-the most brilliant achievement of medieval Arabic astronomy. The work is composed of eight books maqalat of varying length, each of which is divided into several chapters, also of varying length.

There is also no reference to others, such as linguists, literary figures, historians, or commentators on the Qur’sn, as if to say they were just members of the general population and, thus, among those included in groups nine and ten, or that they had expressed no opinion upon the matter.

The reason why this particular chapter is especially interesting is that it includes Aba Ma’shar’s rebuttal to attacks levelled against astrology by various sectors of society, thus giving us, all at once, a good panoramic view of both the discipline and its status across society, as well as in intellectual circles at the time.