JABIR IBN HAIYAN (Died 803 C.E.)

abir Ibn Haiyan, the alchemist Geber of the Middie Ages, is usually renowned as the dad of chemistry. Abu Musa Jabir Ibn Hayyan, occasionally called al-Harrani and al-Sufi, was the son of the druggist (Attar). The accurate designated day of his birth is the subject of some consideration, but it is established that he practiced medicine and alchemy in Kufa around 776 C.E. He is reported to have investigated under Imam Ja’far Sadiq and the Ummayed prince Khalid Ibn Yazid. In his early days, he performed surgery and was under the patronage of the Barmaki Vizir during the Abbssid Caliphate of Haroon al-Rashid. He distributed some of the effects of the downfall of the Barmakis and was put under dwelling arrest in Kufa, where he past away in 803 C.E.

Jabir’s foremost contribution was in the area of chemistry. He introduced experimental investigation into alchemy, which quickly altered its feature into modern chemistry. On the wrecks of his well-known lab stayed after centuries, but his good reputation rests on over 100 monumental treatises, of which 22 concern to chemistry and alchemy. His assistance of basic significance to chemistry encompasses perfection of scientific methods such as crystallization, distillation, calcinations, sublimation and evaporation and development of some devices for the same. The detail of early development of chemistry as a distinct agency of science by the Arabs, instead of the previous vague ideas, is well-established and the very name chemistry is drawn from from the Arabic word al-Kimya, which was studied and evolved extensively by the Muslim scientists.

possibly Jabir’s foremost practical accomplishment was the breakthrough of mineral and others acids, which he arranged for the first time in his alembic (Anbique). Apart from some contributions of basic nature to alchemy, engaging mostly the groundwork of new com- pounds and development of chemical procedures, he also evolved a number of directed chemical processes, therefore evolving a pioneer in the field of applied research. His achievements in this field encompass groundwork of diverse metals, development of steel, dyeing of cloth and tanning of cowhide, varnishing of water-proof piece of cloth, use of manganese dioxide in glass-making, prevention of rusting, lettering in gold, identification of tints, greases, etc. throughout the course of these functional endeavors, he furthermore evolved aqua regia to dissolve gold. The alembic is his large invention, which made easy and methodical the method of distillation. Jabir prepared large stress on experimentation and accuracy in his work.

founded on their properties, he has recounted three distinct kinds of compounds. First, spirits i.e. those which vaporize on heating system, like camphor, arsenic and ammonium chloride; secondly, metals, for example, gold, shiny, lead, copper, metal, and thirdly, the class of compounds which can be altered into powders. He therefore paved the way for such subsequent classification as metals, non-metals and volatile compounds.

whereas known as an alchemist, he did not appear to have gravely pursued the preparation of noble metals as an alchemist; rather than he dedicated his effort to the development of rudimentary chemical methods and study of means of chemical reactions in them- selves and thus helped evolve chemistry as a research from the legends of alchemy. He emphasized that, in chemical reactions, definite amounts of diverse substances are engaged and therefore can be said to have paved the way for the law of constant percentages.

A large number of books are encompassed in his corpus. Apart from chemistry, he furthermore assisted to other sciences such as surgery and astronomy. His books on chemistry, including his Kitab-al-Kimya, and Kitab al-Sab’een were converted into Latin and diverse European dialects. These translations were well liked in Europe for some centuries and have leveraged the evolution of up to date chemistry. some technical periods devised by Jabir, such as alkali, are today discovered in diverse European dialects and have become part of technical language. Only a couple of of his publications have been revised and released, while several other ones maintained in Arabic have yet to be annotated and released.

Doubts have been expressed as to if all the voluminous work encompassed in the corpus is his own assistance or it comprises subsequent commentaries/additions by his followers. According to Sarton, the factual worth of his work would only be renowned when all his books have been revised and released. His religious outlooks and philosophical notions embodied in the corpus have been admonished but, apart from the inquiry of their authenticity, it is to be emphasized that the foremost assistance of Jabir lies in the area of chemistry and not in belief. His various breakthroughs for example, preparation of acids for the first time, especially nitric, hydrochloric, citric and tartaric acids, and focus on methodical experimentation are spectacular and it is on the basis of such work that he can fairly be considered as the father of modern chemistry. In the phrases of Max Mayerhaff, the development of chemistry in Europe can be traced exactly to Jabir Ibn Haiyan.

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