Ghiyath al-Din Abul Fateh Omar Ibn Ibrahim Al-Khayyam
was born at Nishapur, the provincial capital of Khurassan, (now Iran) around
year 1044 A.D. He died at the same town when he was 85 years old.
Omar Al Khayyam was a Muslim Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher,
physician and poet.
"Khayyam" means "the tent-maker" in the Arabic language, most probably he
was called by this name, because of his father's profession.
Omar Al Khayyam wrote about his own name saying;
"Khayyam, who stitched the tents of science, Has fallen in
grief's furnace and been suddenly burned, The shears of Fate have cut the
tent ropes of his life, And the broker of Hope has sold him for nothing! "
Although he is considered a Persian, it has also been said that he could
have belonged to the "Khayyami" tribe of Arab origin who might have settled
There are not so much details about his early life, except for the fact that
he was educated at Nishapur, where he was born and where he lived. He also
spent most of his life in Samarqand.
Omar Al Khayyam devoted all his time to the search for knowledge, he
traveled to the great centers of learning, Samarqand, Bukhara, Balkh and
Isphahan seeking knowledge and there he exchanged views with other scholars.
His major accomplishments were in Algebra, he made early trials to classify
most algebraic equations, including the third degree equations and he also
offered solutions for a number of them.
His book "Maqalat fi al-Jabr wa al-Muqabila" is a masterpiece on algebra and
has great importance in its development.
Omar Al Khayyam is also considered to be the first to find the binomial
theorem and determine binomial coefficients.
In geometry, he studied generalities of Euclid and contributed to the theory
of parallel lines.
Omar Al Khayyam was also a renowned astronomer and a physician. He developed
primitive astronomic tables, and invented methods for the accurate
determination of specific gravity, etc.
The Saljuq Sultan, Malikshah Jalal al-Din, invited him to the new
observatory at Ray around 1074 and assigned him the task of determining a
correct solar calendar.
Al Khayyam introduced a calendar that was remarkably accurate, and was named
as "Al-Tarikh-al-Jalali". It had an error of one day in 3770 years and was
thus even superior to the Georgian calendar (error of 1 day in 3330 years).
In metaphysics, he wrote three books "Risala Dar Wujud" and the recently
Besides science and Mathematics, Al Khayyam was also a well-known poet.
Although he wrote a number of important mathematical and scientific studies,
Al Khayyam's fame as a scientist has been greatly outweighed in the West by
the popularity of his "Rubaiyat", epigrammatic verse quatrains. He is
thought to have written about a thousand and four-line verses.
He was best known in the Western world in 1839, when Edward Fitzgerald
published an English translation of his "Rubaiyat".
This book has since become one of the most popular classics in the world of
literature. Although the "Rubaiyat" was translated form its original
language into English, it conveyed the complicated mystical and
philosophical message of Al Khayyam. This proves the wealth of his rich
Al Khayyam wrote many other books and monographs, out of which, only 10
books and thirty monographs have been identified. Of these, four are about
mathematics, three physics, three metaphysics, one about algebra and another
Al Khayyam, who could be described as a "man in despair", was always hiding
his sorrows behind a smile. He pursued the truth through his whole life. He
made great contributions to science, astronomy, poerty, philosophy, and
The outcome of his restless search for knowledge, could not be expressed
better than in one of his quatrains:
Our great wide world - a piece of dust. All human
knowledge - words.
Syria like many other countries around the world
witnessed, during this period, the flood of refugees
from war troubled nations like Somalia, arrival of
people from Algeria during the brutal struggling between
the Mujahidun and the government, resettlement of the
Palestinians fleeing from sophisticated guns of the
Israelis as well as adventure of African migrants for