Meaning of 'AMILI, BAHA' AD-DIN MUHAMMAD IBN HUSAYN, AL- in English

'AMILI, BAHA' AD-DIN MUHAMMAD IBN HUSAYN, AL-

born March 20, 1546, Baalbek, Syria died Aug. 20, 1622, Iran also called Shaykh Baha'i theologian, mathematician, jurist, and astronomer who was a major figure in the cultural revival of Safavid Iran. Al-'Amili was educated by his father, Shaykh Husayn, a Shi'ite theologian, and by excellent teachers of mathematics and medicine. After his family left Syria in 1559 to escape persecution by the Ottoman Turks, al-'Amili lived in Herat (now in Afghanistan) and Isfahan, Iran. He attached himself to the court of 'Abbas I the Great, serving for many years as the shaykh al-Islam (chief judge of the Muslim court of law) of Esfahan, and writing during that time a treatise on Shi'ite jurisprudence and its application in Iran (Jami'e Abbasi). He made a pilgrimage to Mecca and visited with many scholars, doctors, and mystics on a homeward journey that took him to Iraq, Egypt, the Hejaz, and Palestine. In his poetry al-'Amili expounded complex mystical doctrines in simple and unadorned verse. His best-known poem, Nan u-halwa (Bread and Sweets), describes the experiences of an itinerant holy man who may well be al-'Amili himself on the Mecca pilgrimage. Kashkul (The Beggar's Bowl), containing both stories and verses, was translated widely. His major work of astronomy is Tashrihu'l-aflak (Anatomy of the Heavens). Al-'Amili was responsible for the revival of mathematical sciences in Iran, the study of which had been neglected for more than 100 years. His Khulasat al-hisab (The Essentials of Arithmetic), written in Arabic, was translated several times into Persian and German. The work was a standard textbook until the beginning of the 20th century.

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