Philosopher, scientist of astronomy,
mathematic, medicine and religion (B. Shiraz, 1236 – D. Tabriz, 7th February 1311). His full name was Kutbüddîn Mahmûd b. Mes’ûd b. Muslin el-Fârisî
eş-Şîrâzî eş-Şafiî. He was from a family known with their doctors. His father
Ziyâeddin Mes’ûd el-Kâzerûnî, who was an ophthalmologist in the
He participated in
the works of the observatory that was under construction and he contributed to
the preparation of “zîc-i İlhânî”. Together with Nasirüddîn-i Tusî, he passed to Khorasan
in the years of 1267-69. He studied logic and philosophy from Ali b. Ömer el-Kâtibî in Khorasan. After
that, he went to
Şirâzî was from the
generation of thinkers who tried to rejuvenate the tradition of philosophy, of
which the scientific authority was shaken by the criticisms directed by
Gazzâlî. The philosophy works of Şirâzî were orientated with the principle ideas
Beyond being a philosopher and a religion scientist, Şirâzî also had a reputation by being an important scientist of the Islamic science history. The works he did in the fields of mathematics, optics, geography, physics and especially in astronomy resulted in significant reflections. His interest in mathematics was rather created through the occasion of astronomy and optics that were seen as the sub-disciplines of mathematics. In addition, he added a metaphysic sense to mathematics researches and he described that a deepening in this science was a mind preparation for the researches to be done in the field of metaphysics and wisdom. According to this approach reminding the Pythagorean point of view, studying mathematics was an indispensable necessity for the imagination of the metaphysical notions with high abstractness degree. With the new point of view he brought to the field of optics that was neglected even if just a bit after İbnü’l-Hey-sem, Şirâzî made way for the rejuvenation of this science in the Islamic world. The main thoughts of the illumination philosophy that centralized the notion of light and that assumed it was identical with the notion of existence should cause a brand new sensation and understanding in his approach to the subject of optics. Even though he didn’t write an independent work in this area, the chapters his assigned to this subject in “Nihâyet’ü’l-id-râk” were expanding the horizon.
Especially, the works he had done in the way of explaining the event of the rainbow were important. Şirâzî was the one who correctly explained for the first time that the colors of the rainbow were created by the double refraction and by one reflection of the ray of light in a rain drop. Another success of Şirâzî in this field was the fact that he educated a genius of optics such as Kemâleddin el-Fârisî who wrote a serious explanation to the famous work of İbnü’l-Heysem named “Tenkihu’l-menâzır”. In his work named “Nihâyetü’l-idrâk”, it was seen that the problems related to geography are approached in the light of the old Islamic geographers, especially Birûnî. Apart from that, it was known that Şirâzî traveled over Anatolia by following the road used by the Genoese messenger sent by the Mongolian Emperor Argun to Papa Buscarello di Ghizalfi and that he presented a map of the Mediterranean zone, which was based on his observations on the shores of Anatolia, to Argun in the year of 1290. Şirâzî, who adopted the physics theory of Avicenna in his works, followed him, tried to create a new light physics in the explanation he wrote for “Hik-metü’l-işrâk”. In his writings, he described the light as the source of all the movements in under-moon and over-moon universes.
His most important contribution to the field of medicine was the explanation he wrote for the chapter concerning the principles (corpus juris) of medicine in the work of Avicenna named “el-Kanûn”. Şirâzî also made use of the medicine masters such as İbnü’n-Nefîs and İbnü’l-Kuf in his work… His success in astronomy was a consequence of his own ingenuity and it was also about the fact that he found a very good environment needed for scientific works in the Observatory of Maragheh. It was known that Nasirüddîn-i Tusî, who was the innovator of this observatory, put forward a planet model containing very important differences from the one of Batlamyus. Şirâzî implemented the new planet model of Tusî to other planets in his works named “Nihâyetü’l-İdrâk” and “et-Tuhfetü’ş-Şâhiyye”, however he made some changes in the model since he was not completely satisfied from the results. Later on, İbnü’ş-Şatır would successfully implement the techniques of the Maragheh tradition and the new planet model and he would obtain the same result as the determinations made by Copernicus.
The effect of Kutbüddîn-i Şirâzî was maintained by a great number of his students. Besides Kemaleddin el-Farisî; Taceddin Ali b. Abdullah et-Tebrizî, Kutbüddin Muhammed b. Muhammed el-Büveyhî, Nizâmeddin en-Nişaburî, Mahmud b. Abdurrahman el-İsfahanî and Adudüddin el-İcî might be counted among them.
Nihâyetü'!-idrâk fî dirâye-ti'l-eflâk (the work on astronomy completed by Şirâzî during the time he was in Sivas as a kadi (1281)), et-Tuhfe-tü'ş-Şâhiyye fi'l-hey'e (He realized this work in the name of Tâcülislâm Emîrşah Muhammed b. Sadrüssaîd Taceddin Mu'tez again during the time he was in Sivas as a kadi. Ali Kuşçu wrote a summary explanation to the work.), İhtiyârât-ı Muzafferî (This was a work on astronomy that is written in Persian.), Şerh alâ Tezkireti'n-Naşîriyye (This was the explanation of the work of Nasîrüddîn-i Tûsî on astronomy.), Kitâb Fe'altü telâ telüm (This was the explanation of Muhammed b. Ali b. Hüseyin Hemmâzî's work Kitâbü Beyâni makâşı-di't-tezkire.), ez-Zicü's-SuItânî (This work in Persian was also connected to Mîrek el-Buhârî in its sources.), et-Tuhfetü's-Sa diye / Nüzhetûl-hü-kemâ ve ravzatü't-etıbbâ (It is the explanation of the first book of the work named el-Kanûn of Avicenna Şerhu Hikmeti'I-işrâk (The explanation of the work belonging to Şehâbeddin es-Sühreverdî el-Maktûl.), Şerh a/â Kitâbi Ravzati'n-nâzır (The explanation of the work of Nasîrüddîn-i Tûsî about ontology.), Fethu'I-mennân fî tefsîri'l-Kur'ân (A work composed of forty volumes.), Hâşiye alâ Kitâbi’l-Keşşâf an haka’i-ki’t-tenzîl li’z-Zemahşerî / Kitâbü’l-İnti-şâf, Şerhu Muhta-şari’l-Müntehâ li’bni’I-Hâcib, Miftâhu’l-Miftâh (The explanation of the third chapter of the book of Sekkâkî named Miftâhu’l-ulûm about rhetoric and pronouncement.), Dürretü't-tâc ligurreti'd-dîbâc (An encyclopedic work in Persian written in the year 1305, composed from 5 chapters including logic, philosophy, natural sciences and geometry, astronomy, arithmetic, music and hymn.), Harîdetü’l-acâ ib, Hulâşatü Işlâhi’l-Mecistî li-Câbir b. Ef-lah, Tahrîrü’z-zîci’I-cedîdi’r-Rıdvânî, Tebşıra fi’l-hey’e, Şerhu’l-Urcûze, Risâle fi’l-baraş, Risâle fî beyâni’l-hâce ile’t’tıb ve âdâbi’l-etıbbâ ve veşâyâ-hüm, Şerhu’n-Necât, eş-Şerh ve’l-hâ-şiye ‘ale’l-İşârât ve’t-tenbîhâı, Hâşiye alâ Hikmeti’I-ayn, Terceme-i Uşûl-i Öklîdis-i Hâce Naşirüddîn-i Tûsî, Risâle fî hareketi’d-dahrace fi’n-nisbe bey-ne’l-müstevî ve’l-müntehî, Müşkilâtü’l-tefâsîr.
REFERENCE: Ramazan Şeşen / Nevâdirü’l-mahtûtâti’l-Arabiyye fî mektebâti Türkiye (II, s.322-323; Beyrut 1980), Azmi Şerbetçi / Kutbuddîn-i Şirâzî: Hayatı Şahsiyeti Eserleri (1982) - Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi (c. 26, 2002), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Bilim Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, c. 2, 2013) - - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013) - Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (C. 12, 2017).