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Biographical Data :

Name :Al Jahiz
Period :776 - 869
Biographical detail : Arab zoologist.

Al-Jahiz’s earliest writing on the ‘Institution of the Caliphate’ was well received at the court of Baghdad where he moved in around 815. He continued to write on a variety of subjects and was well respected at the Caliph’s court.

Al-Jahiz wrote more than two hundred works but only thirty are extant. His work included zoology, Arabic grammar, poetry, rhetoric and lexicography. His most famous book Kitab al-Hayawan (Book of animals), an encyclopaedia of seven volumes discussing the theories of evolution, adaptation and animal psychology – amazing array of scientific information that was not to be fully developed until the first half of 20th century.

Eighty-seven folios of the ‘Book of Animals’ (about one-tenth of the original text of al-Jahiz) are preserved in Ambrosiana Library in Milan.

Al-Jahiz, whose full name was Abu Usman Amr Ibn Bakr al-Kinani al-Fuqaimi al-Basri al-Jahiz, returned to Basra, where he was born, after spending more than fifty years in Baghdad. He died in Basra as a result of an accident in which he was crushed to death by a collapsing pile of books in his private library.
 (Compiler : M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin)


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