Ebu Berze Türk B. Vasî

Cebir Bilgini, Matematik Bilgini

Diğer İsimler
Ebu’l-Fazl Abdülhamid b.Vasî b. Türk el-Huttelî el-Hasib

Mathematician and algebra scholar. (B. 840 – D. 910). He is accepted as one of the founders of algebra. He is the grandchild of the mathematician and scholar of mathematics and algebra İbn Türk el-Cili. His full and real name is Ebu’l-Fazl Abdülhamid b.Vasî b. Türk el-Huttelî el-Hasib. He is assumed to be a Turk because of his name and his grandchild’s Ebu Berze’s name who was also a mathematician. It is thought that he lived between the 2nd and 3rd centuries of hegira (T.N. Islamic migration of the Holy Prophet and His Companions from Mecca to Medina). It is believed that the place he was born or he lived in was Gilan in the south of Caspian Sea or Huttal in the West of Chinese Turkmenistan.

İbnü’n-Nedim mentioned Abdülhamid b.Vasî in his “el-Fihrist” as the author of two books titled “Kitabü’l-Câmi  fil-hisâb” and “Kitabü’I-Mu’amelât”. İbnü’l-Kıftî stated that he was known as İbn Türk el-Cilî, was very skilled and knowledgeable in mathematics and scholars of this science always mentioned him. He added that he was the author of two additional books titled “Kitabü Nevadiri’l-hisab” and “Havassül-â’dad”. However, it is possible that these two titles belong to the same work.

Kâtip Çelebi in his “Keşfü z-zünun” conveyed the knowledge Ebu Berze gave about his grandfather Abdülhamid b. Vasî that he was the founder of algebra and preceded in this field Muhammed b. Musa el-Harizmî.

One book of Ebu Kâmil and two books of Harizmî came until today in their Arabic originals and translations. It is difficult to determine who was the first author in the field of algebra since neither Abdülhamid b. Vasî’s nor Ebu  Berze’s works are present except for a short writing of him published by Aydın Sayılı. According to Salih Zeki it is known with certainty that Abdülhamid b. Vasî’nin lived before Harizmî. Aydın Sayılı on the other hand expressed after researching the issue at depth that both lived around the same years and maybe Abdülhamid b. Vasî lived slightly earlier than Harizmî; besides that Harizmi did not claim to be a pioneer in this science could justify Ebu Berze, but as for today nothing could be said with certainty.

Aydın Sayılı analyzed in his mentioned work two incomplete copies of a part titled “ez-Zarürat  fil’l-mukterinât min-Kitabi’l-cebr ve’l-mukabele liebi l-Fazl’ Abdülhamid b. Vasî b. Türk el-Cilî” comparatively which is meant to belong to a book of Abdülhamid b. Vasî. Arabic text and Persian translation of this booklet was published by Ahmet Ararim under the title “Risalei ez Karni Sivvom-i İlmi-i Hicri der Cebr u Mukabele”, (Mecelle-i Sühan, III/II-12, and Tehran 1343). In this writing translated by Aydın Sayılı as “Katışık Denklemlerde Mantıkî Zaruretler”, Abdülhamid b. Vasî solved three types of a 2nd degree equation in a systematic approach, with wide explanations and in a detailed way. The method he chose for the solution was the geometric method. It continued the Mesopotamian tradition and arrived at conclusion with oral explanation without using formula. His analyze of equations differed from his precedents and had the characteristics of guiding his successors. It is seen that Harizmi’s equations in his “Kitabü l-Cebr ve’l-mukabele” were not as systematically approached as Abdülhamid b. Vasî and the conclusion was reached without details and with a very short explanation.

Aydın Sayılı interprets this in such a way that for Harizmî the issue was not unknown; therefore he did not see it necessary to go into details. He comes to the conclusion that the possibility of him writing the first book on algebra earlier than Harizmi who is regarded as the founder of algebra in Islamic and Western Worlds could not be deemed very weak. İbn-i Haldun in the 3rd volume of his “Mukaddime” only mentiones Harizmî and Ebu Kâmil and probably refers to Omar Khayyam. Although İbn-i Haldun did not mention his name, İbn-ün Nedim and İbn-ul Kıfti spoke highly of him and Ebu Kâmil strongly opposed Ebu’l Berze’s claim and revealed that he saw him as an opponent of Harizmi. All these expose that Abdulhamid b. Vasî was a great mathematician of that period with certainty. 


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