Introductions to Classical Arabic Scientific Books: Badi’ Al-Zaman Al-Jazari

Al-Jazari’s book “Combining Science and Useful Work in the Crafting of Tricks,” which was translated into English by the British engineer and historian Donald Hill, and published in 1974, has received great international attention and is steadily increasing in value, which has enabled many researchers in different parts of the world to share many of their The genius inventions are attributed to the greatest architect of Islam, Badi’ al-Zaman Abi al-Ezz Ismail al-Jazari. In recent years, many have attributed to him the invention of the first robot in history, nicknamed him “the father of robots,” prior to the ideas of Leonardo da Vinci and others in this field, as well as his leading role in control operations. The mechanical (7-10), as he is credited with inventing gears and transmitting movements centuries earlier to those who are credited with that credit in the middle of the eighteenth century, the strange thing is that he did not enjoy in the Arab world the same warmth as other regions of the world, and this hospitality is increasing day after a day.

Al-Jazari was born in 1136 and died in 1206, and he wrote another book, “Kitab fi Ma’rifat Al-Hilal Al-Geometrica.” Unfortunately, there is no original manuscript for the two books in the Arab world (there are only pictures in the Institute of Arabic Manuscripts in Cairo). 16 original manuscripts in different parts of the world (11), of which five are in Turkey: the first is in the Khazna Library in Istanbul, the second is in the Istanbul University Library, and the third, fourth, fifth and sixth are in the Ahmed III Library in Istanbul. Only copies of these manuscripts are available at the Institute of Arabic Manuscripts, and there are three manuscripts in the French National Library. Three manuscripts are in the Bodleiana Library at Oxford University, one is in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland, two are in the Leiden University Library in the Netherlands, and there is also a manuscript in the Leningrad Library in Russia, and the reason for the majority of manuscripts in Turkey may be the rise of the Ottoman Empire in that historical era.

Muslim history and technology historians did not mention Ibn al-Jazari much, perhaps because his time was preoccupied with attacks on the Islamic world and with the Crusades and wars that the Arab region was subjected to. According to Ibn al-Nadim, al-Jazari was mentioned when talking about the science of tricks (5).

Introduction to Al-Jazari

What came in the introduction to Al-Jazari: “I browsed from the books of the ancients and the works of the later ones, the reasons for the tricks in movements that resemble spirituality (6) and the machines of water that were taken for the planar and temporal clocks and the transfer of bodies by bodies from their natural stations. In her work on the rank of news to the public, so I took in it some of the predecessors and successors, and I followed the example of those who did what was known. Al-Badi’ah, so he gave me the care of the kings of my time and philosophers, utensils of what he planted in my arrogance, and made the night of my diligence for him, so I awakened what had fallen from my determination, and awakened what had fallen asleep, and took effort and diligence, and exhausted the expansiveness and determination, and I found a group of wise men who had advanced They put forth forms and mentioned actions that they did not attempt to investigate as a whole, nor did they take to correct all of them by way. As far as what they have achieved, and I have devised beautiful arts, the stairs are light in the entrances and exits, and when I found the hardship in that which was beyond me the apartment, I hated that my diligence should go unheeded and the effect of what I had done be cloned as the night turned into the morning, I asked myself to make in this a memorial for those I wanted to spread my blood on. In his teaching, then I turned away from what I wanted and left what is upon him. I resolved to beware of denying a sinful sinner with a piercing view. And when I came into contact with the service of the righteous king, Abi Al-Fath Mahmoud bin Muhammad bin Qara Arslan, King of Diyar Bakr, may God preserve him, and while I was one day in his hands and I presented something of what He ordered his work and he looks at me and then looks and thinks about what I was interested in and I do not feel, so he threw where I was throwing and revealed with his injury what I hid. What I was tyrannized to represent and was alone in framing and picturing it, so I exerted my strength according to my ability, as I did not find anyone deviating from obedience. Why is in the ruling that each one is facilitator for what he has in character, and he spends from his sustenance, and no soul seeks to benefit it, and no soul burdens beyond its capacity, and I collected that in an introduction that includes fifty forms and divided them into six types and simplified the saying in the description and how and used in what I put in foreign names brought by the former from the people The later continued on it until today, and other words required by time, as the people of every era had a tongue and every group of people of knowledge had known conventions among them and familiar agreements with them, and I depicted each form as an example, and I referred to it by letters as inference, and I made of those letters in place of it… until he said:

The first type: in the work of Banakim and Fanakin, from which it is known how long and temporal hours have passed, and it is ten forms.

The second type: in making pots and pictures worthy of drinking councils, and it is ten forms.

The third type: In making jugs and bowls for fasul and ablution, which is ten forms.

The fourth type: In making sparkling pools that change and perpetual clinking machines, which is ten forms.

The fifth type: In making machines that raise water from a deep well, a shallow well, and a flowing river, which is five forms.

The sixth type: in making different, dissimilar shapes, which is five shapes.

This is an introduction that is not like an introduction, and the art of its writing and the effectiveness of its content deserve study, located in 565 words of a fine literary style in which Al-Jazari initially established that he starts from where others ended in his field: So I took some of his predecessors and successors and followed the example of those who did what he knew.” He did not underestimate his predecessors, as was often the case in ancient and medieval times and sometimes in our time. The difference is that he developed and improved these machines from just being theoretical machines to practical useful machines. , “I wrote this book that includes some of the violations that it covered, the origins of its branches, and the forms it invented.” He also mentioned to us in the introduction that his book contains fifty models divided into six types.

This introduction makes the huge and complex book easier for the reader, pulls him tight and opens doors similar to science fiction.

The book has more than 500 pages, along with a 22-page summary in English at the end, in addition to the title page and table of contents.

From 1997 to 2001, students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Tenth of Ramadan Technological Institute conducted a project under my supervision, which involved making models for the majority of machines and clocks reported by the great engineer of Islamic civilization al-Jazari, known as Ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari in his book “The Combined Science and Useful Work.” In making tricks”, as well as the book of tricks by Bani Musa, then the students excelled in these projects and learned many creative concepts in the field of automatic control and robotics, and they discovered through the simple manufacturing process that they are real robots, which we called at the time “Al-Jazari robots.” The results that we obtained Practically it should be before everyone else to demonstrate the genius of “Al-Jazari” and his ability to make original designs and models that include converting horizontal movements into vertical and circular movements by using a crank shaft, which converts the linear movement into a circular movement for groups of gears in water-lifting machines. His five designs were To raise water contains reciprocating transmission, and it may be the real beginning that led to the invention of gears in the eighteenth century.

After the boom in the manufacture of robots as one of the most important components of the fourth industrial revolution, since 2016 I presented the matter again to some of those who implemented that project as students, after they are now successful engineers, proposing that we establish a company to manufacture “Al-Jazari Robots”, and we are thinking about it seriously .

the reviewer:

(1) Ahmed Youssef Al-Hassan, combining science and useful work in crafting tricks, by Abu Al-Ezz Ibn Ismail Al-Jazari, Institute of Arab Scientific Heritage, University of Aleppo, 1979.

(2) Majid Abdullah Al-Shams, Introduction to Mechanics in Arab Civilization, Center for the Revival of Arab Scientific Heritage, University of Baghdad, 1977.

(3) The book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Engineering, by Ibn al Razzaz al Jazari, translated and annotated by Donald R. Hill, Reidel, Dord-recht, Holland, 1974.

(4) Qadri Hafez Toukan, The Arab Scientific Heritage in Mathematics and Astronomy, excerpt, 1941.

(5) Kashf Al-Dunun about the Names of Books and Arts, Haji Khalifa, Part One, Page 1137, Al-Muthanna Library – Baghdad, 1941.

(6) Al-Khwarizmi, Keys to the Sciences, Al-Muniri Press, Cairo, 1923. Al-Khwarizmi mentioned that the word tricks means machines, mechanical tools and automatic control devices. As for the science of spiritual machines, it was called that because of self-satisfaction with the strangeness of these machines. He excelled in both tricks and spiritual machines, the children of Musa who We will dedicate an article to them, as well as Al-Jazari, who wrote another book besides the book “The Collector Between Science and Action,” and Taqi al-Din, the author of the Sunni Paths on Spiritual Instruments.

(7) Valery, JP, Father of Robotics: Ismail Al- Gazari, Science, Robot Ethics, 2017.

(8) Abdullah Uzun Fahri Vatanserer, Ismail Al Jazari Machines and New Technologies, acta mechanica et automatic, vol.2 no.3, 2008.

(9) Jorge Elices, Medieval robots, History Magazine, They were just one of this Muslim inventor’s creations, July 30, 2020.

(10) Robert W. Lebling, Robots of Ages Past Robots, AramcoWorld, November/December 2019. (11) Manuscripts and Works of Al-Jazari, Jalal Shawqi, Science and Engineering Knowledge, 1995.