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Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Jabir Ibn Haiyan, the chemist Geber of the Middle Ages, is commonly known as the father of chemistry. Abu Musa Jabir Ibn Hayyan sometimes called al-Harrani and al-Sufi. The accurate date of his birth is the matter of debate, he practiced medicine and alchemy in Kufa around 776 C.E and he died in 803 C.E.

Jabir's main contribution was in the field of chemistry. He originated experimental investigation into alchemy, which rapidly improved its character into modern chemistry. His contribution of fundamental importance to chemistry includes betterment of scientific methods such as crystallization, distillation, calcination, sublimation and evaporation and the establishment of various instruments.

Possibly Jabir's major practical success was the discovery of mineral and others acids. Apart from some specific contributions of basic nature to alchemy, involving largely the preparation of new compounds and development of chemical methods, he also developed a number of applied chemical processes, accordingly becoming the father in the field of applied science. His achievements in this field include preparation of various metals, development of steel, dyeing of cloth and tanning of leather, varnishing of water-proof cloth, use of manganese dioxide in glass making, prevention of rusting, lettering in gold, identification of paints, greases, etc.

A large number of books are included in his collection. Apart from chemistry, he also contributed to other sciences such as medicine and astronomy. His books on chemistry, including his Kitab-al-Kimya, and Kitab al-Sab'een were translated into Latin and various European languages. Only a few of his books have been edited and published, while several others preserved in Arabic have yet to be annotated and published.

The true worth of his work would only be known when all his books have been edited and published. The development of chemistry in Europe can be traced directly to Jabir Ibn Haiyan.


  1. I like this new initiative of introducing us to a significant personality from the past. Keep up the good work.



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