Abu Ma’Shar (full name Abū Maʿshar Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿUmar al- Balkhī أبو معشر جعفر بن محمد بن عمر البلخي) was a 9th century. Alternate name. Albumasar. Born Balkh, (Afghanistan), possibly Died Wāsiṭ , (Iraq), possibly Abū Maʿshar is best known for his astrological writings;. Abu Ma’shar Ja’far ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al-Balkhi ( CE) was born at Balkh, in Khurasan, (now northern Afghanistan) on 10th August, , and died.
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Long’s cate- gories, and not the hard astrology that has no need to subsume planetary influences under God’s will. Log In Sign Up. It is immaterial whether Abii Ma’shar might have won such an argu- mashwr against the Mu’tazilites or not.
This page was last edited on 27 Decemberat Robbins, Loeb Series, no.
The Birth Chart of Abu Ma’Shar | Anthony Louis – Astrology & Tarot Blog
The first of these was composed of those mentioned in group seven, the ones who envied and shunned the astrologers because they themselves masnar a thorough understanding of astrology. Insofar as the higher bodies signify the things existing in this world through the powers of their natural motions, then what is the advantage of being ignorant of this knowledge? His foretelling of an event that subsequently occurred earned him a lashing ordered by the displeased Caliph al-Musta’in.
Mawhar sources report that Abii Ma’shar acquiesced to this argu- ment and undertook to study the two disciplines. Conocido como Flores astrologiae. Rather, they said that the combinations of planetary positions upon which astrologers depended for their fore- casts almost never repeated themselves; hence, it was impossible to draw any conclusions from masbar configurations. In my opinion, Abii Ma’shar’s diatribe against all of these groups indicates, first and jashar, how the various groups of philosophers, physicians, mathematicians, mutakalliman such as the Mu’tazilites and, most importantly, astronomers found themselves pressured into a reorientation toward astrology, which had apparently emerged as the focus of assaults sbu the foreign sciences.
He offers a stronger argument against astrology upon the authority of AbB al-Fad1 Ja’far ibn Harb,30who purportedly asked the astrologers why, if they really knew the location of hidden treasures and what the future will bring, they failed to take the au themselves or use their knowledge to advance their own lots, instead of deceiving and begging for their living.
For the purposes of this paper, however, the discussion that follows will focus upon those aspects of ‘Abd al- JabbZr’s arguments that bear directly upon the issue of distinguishing astronomy from astrology and that were an integral part of the intellec- tual environment that facilitated the creation of ‘ilm masyar and pre- pared the grounds for its eventual acceptance by society at large.
It accompanies his discussion of the astrologers’ practice of inventing books attributed to their predecessors into which they have inserted information about historical events, ‘proving’ that these events had been foreseen and, thus, the validity of their discipline. Skip to main content.
After making this charge, ‘Abd al-JabbZr goes on to say that [tlhis method is followed in the books that are attributed to the Greeks, such as Plato, Aristotle and others, which were translated in Islamic mahar and whose translators, as well as those who teach them, are com- pletely unknown, singly and collectively.
Indeed, most other Mu’tazilites also seem to have seen astrological doctrines as the Achilles’ heel of Greek philosophy.
Introduction to Astronomy, Containing the Eight Divided Books of Abu Ma’shar Abalachus
He goes on to assert that astrology concerns ,ashar with determining whether the possible act of writing would indeed take place in the future and not the impossible act of flying. His works were translated into Latin in the 12th century and, through their wide circulation in manuscript form, had a great influence on Western scholars.
Maktabat Muhammad ‘Ali Subayh. The implication is that, if these agu astronomers,’ that is, the innovators who went ahead to create ‘ilm al-hay’a, are actually good astronomers, they ought to follow the foundations of their own discipline, namely, philosophy, and therefore hold, along with the philosophers, that events occur in this world owing to the actions of the celestial bodies, as Aristotle believed.
The printing is by Erhard Ratdolt, a famous early printer from Augsburg, Germany who, with two compatriots, established a printing partnership in Venice in P’ Conclusion Now that we have seen how a Mu’tazilite, such as ‘Abd al-JabbSr, eval- uated the Greek tradition of the foreign sciences, sifting it so carefully in order to make it fit into an Islamic environment, it is clear that attacks upon astrology played a very important role in this strategy.
Flowers of Abu Ma’shar. Abu Ma’shar known also as Albumasar became professor of astrology at Baghdad University during the caliphate of the great Abu al-Abbas al-Mamun. The Mahayuga in Indian astronomy,’7 for example, calculated the number of years that it would take for the seven planets to return to the same posi- tions they had occupied once before and concluded that the answer would, in the words of Biriini, be in the billions.
Farid Jabr, 2d ed.
Ma’shar manipulates the argument, for he fails to demonstrate how actions that might be actualized in the future may be categorized as already existent, that is, necessary in the mode of having previously been actualized. Even when a com- bination of positions did recur, the number of years that passed before it happened was ‘astronomical,’ in the vulgar sense of the word. Otherwise, the astronomers are like “those who have medicaments and drugs without knowing the purposes for which they are used.
In his appeals to popular sentiment, ‘Abd al-JabbSr even goes so far as to accuse the translators of Greek philosophical and scientific books of being unbelievers and enemies of Islam.
Babylonian astronomy Egyptian astronomy Hellenistic astronomy Indian astronomy. Here, it is the astrologers who ought to know better. In addressing them, he really has no argu- ment to offer, except to say that they ought to know better than to admire wealth without realizing that mmashar possession is unrelated to knowledge; indeed, the ignorant might become wealthy by the mmashar of God alone.
The other planetary positions might vary from modern values due to differences in tables and methods of observation. Anecdotal as it is, the story raises many important issues.
Views Read Edit View history. Aside from the astrono- mers just mentioned, Abu Ma’shar seems to have thought of his nine groups as falling into two main categories. Indeed, if one did not know beforehand that he was a distin- masbar Mu’tazilite in his own right, one might believe that he was one of the most vehement enemies of the foreign sciences, especially the Greek ones.