The Weird Truth About Arabic Numerals

Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khawarizmi also known as al-Khawarizmi published the atlas of the known world and wrote the very first math textbook about twelve hundred years ago. He is the man behind the possibility of using the math and the numbers that we use today.

About AL-Khawarizmi

Al-Khawarizmi was a Persian who was born around Uzbekistan around 780.He was an instructor in an ancient famous Islamic learning institution Baghdad’s House of Wisdom. The great civilizations of the ancient world; Greek, Babylon, Hindu, Persian crossroads to the House of Wisdom.

The Face of The Earth

Al-Khawarizmi studied math at the Greek scientist Ptolemy who attempted to measure the world but he found that Ptolemy’s calculations were wrong. He then corrected and reorganized the data. After that he sought the help of like seventy geographers and then he compiled a book which later came to be known as ‘the face of the earth’.

The Compendious Book On Calculation

Al-Khawarizmi’s real passion for mathematics led him to accept commission from Muslim leaders so that the text for general public’s need for calculations and measurements would come up. The solution to this finally resulted in a text having the name of Compendious book on calculation by completion and balancing.

In it, explanation regarding solving linear explanations in quadratic equations with what he called al-Jabr or it is also known as completion by subtracting and dividing an amount from both sides so as to find a missing figure. Al-Khawarizmi has greatly refined our understanding.

AL-Khawarismi’s Last Achievement

Al-khawarizmi’s last achievement was the result of ancient Indian text. At age 25, he published calculations with Hindu numerals. He literally described everything that he learned about Hindu mathematics. The system has a digit from 0 to 9 and further decimal places were being used to denote increments of tens, hundreds.


An English monk discovered the copy of Al-Khawarizmi’s last achievement and he was fascinated to the extent that he translated Al-Khawarizmi’s research which later came to be known as algorithme. Later in 1299, Florence, the city banned the use of numerals stating the reason that the Arabic numerals were easy enough to change.

Then again 1500, merchants and scholars began to take hold but the catch was that by that time Al-Khawarizmi was forgotten by everyone and this is the reason why we people still call the numbers that the whole world uses today Arabic numerals instead of the fact that the guy behind all this is not Arab and the numbers that are used are actually Hindu.

Read More

Related Articles


For Worksheets & PrintablesJoin Now