Who is Jabir bin Hayyan (Jabir b. Hayyan)?

Who is Jabir bin Hayyan (Jabir b. Hayyan)?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

Jabir bin Hayya Abu Musa Cabir bin Hayyan is the most famous of Islamic chemists, natural philosopher and versatile thinker.

The British historian of science E. J. Holmyard was the first to determine his distinguished place in the history of chemistry and to see that he turned chemistry into a systematic experimental science. This researcher is of the opinion that in the history of sciences, Jabir has a special place not only as a chemist, but also as a physician, philosopher and astronomer. German chemist E. O. Lippmann, on the other hand, says that Cabir’s place in the history of chemistry is equivalent to the founders of modern chemistry such as Boyle, Priestley and Lavoisier . Also, Jabir is called the first inventor of the atomic bomb. Because he stated 1200 years ago that it is possible for the atom, which is the smallest part of matter, to break apart.

According to the scattered information about him, his father was executed in 725 and according to this, Jabir was also VIII. It is possible to say that he was born in Tus in the first quarter of the century. Cabir, who spent most of his life in Kufa, had the opportunity to benefit from important thinkers here and started his studies here because the city’s air was suitable for chemistry research. Continuing his research in secrecy, Jabir died in Tus in 815.

Jabir says that he got all the information he has from Imam Ja’far al-Sadik, whom he describes as the “Source of Wisdom”. Also mentioning Harbi al-Himyeri among his teachers, Jabir explains that he learned the Himyeri language from him as well as many other sciences. Benefiting from many other teachers besides these two, Jabir also traveled to countries such as Iraq, Syria, Egypt and India.

The works that came out of Jabir’s pen or attributed to him created a very wide corpus. The oldest list of these works can be found in al-Fihrist. He tells that he wrote 300 books on philosophy, 300 on mechanics and 500 on medicine, and 1300 treatises on the arts and means of war (al-Fihrist, pp. 500-503). Out of this corpus, 112 books, which generally do not have much contact with each other, belong to the field of alchemy, and frequently references are made to the ancient Hellenistic period alchemists. In addition, seventy books from the corpus are known as the product of Jabir’s empirical studies and systematics in the field of chemistry. His thoughts on natural philosophy, his views on chemistry and mysterious sciences are included in 144 books called Kütübü’l-Mevazin.

Also please see:

– Cabir bin Hayyan’s understanding of natural philosophy

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Who is the Open Education Philosophy Textbook (Câbir b. Hayyân)?