Ibn Yaḥyā alMaghribī alSamawʾal السموأل بن يحيى المغربي، also known as Samau'al alMaghribi (c. 1130 in Baghdad, Iraq – c. 1180 in Maragha, Iran) was a Muslim mathematician and astronomer of Jewish descent.^{[1]} Though born to a Jewish family, he converted to Islam in 1163 after he had a dream telling him to do so ^{[2]} His father was a Jewish Rabbi from Morocco.^{[3]} He was also a writer on Islamic medicine and Islamic theology.
Mathematics and astronomyEdit
AlSamaw'al wrote the mathematical treatise alBahir fi'ljabr, meaning "The brilliant in algebra", at the young age of nineteen.
He also developed the concept of proof by mathematical induction, which he used to extend the proof of the binomial theorem and Pascal's triangle previously given by alKaraji. AlSamaw'al's inductive argument was only a short step from the full inductive proof of the general binomial theorem.^{[4]}
In Islamic astronomy, he wrote Exposure of the Errors of the Astronomers, which criticizes earlier astronomers in terms of both astronomy and mathematical trigonometry. According to the mathematics historians Taro Mimura, Glen Van Brummelen and Yousuf Kerai:^{[5]}
By adopting a circle broken into 480 parts rather than the usual 360 degrees, alSamaw’al found an ingenious solution to his complaint with his predecessors: he was able to compute an entire sine table using only purely geometric methods, without having to rely on the approximations that Ibn alHaytham earlier had rejected.
MedicineEdit
In Islamic medicine, AlSamawal wrote a medical treatise on sexual diseases and ailments.^{[5]}
Polemic theologyEdit
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He also wrote the famous polemic book debating Judaism known as Silencing the Jews (Refutation of the Jews) or in Spanish Epistola Samuelis Maroccani and later known in English as The blessed Jew of Morocco.^{[6]}^{[7]}
NotesEdit
 ↑ Jewish Encyclopedia
 ↑ Algebra, Islamic Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
 ↑ Medieval Cultures in Contact, By Richard Gyug, pg. 123
 ↑ Katz (1998), p. 259:
"Like the proofs of alKaraji and ibn alHaytham, alSamaw'aldfbsebfiebfsdfuysefbuwfvusyefgvuywevfusevf's argument contains the two basic components of an inductive proof. He begins with a value for which the result is known, here n = 2, and then uses the result for a given integer to derive the result for the next. Although alSamaw'al did not have any way of stating, and therefore proving, the general binomial theorem, to modern readers there is only a short step from alSamaw'al's argument to a full inductive proof of the binomial theorem."
 ↑ ^{5.0} ^{5.1} Taro Mimura, Glen Van Brummelen, Yousuf Kerai, AlSamaw’al’s Curious Approach to Trigonometry
 ↑ Samau'al alMaghribi Ifham AlYahud: Silencing the Jews / placeholder for Arabic language transliteration, by Moshe Perlmann
 ↑ Samau'al alMaghribi: Ifham AlYahud: Silencing the Jews / placeholder for Arabic language transliteration by Moshe Perlmann, Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, Vol. 32, Samau'al AlMaghribi Ifham AlYahud: Silencing the Jews (1964)
ReferencesEdit
 Anouba, A. (1970–80). "Samawʾal, Ibn Yaḥyā alMaghribī al". Dictionary of Scientific Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. ISBN 0684101149.
 O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Ibn Yahya alMaghribi AlSamawal", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, http://wwwhistory.mcs.standrews.ac.uk/Biographies/AlSamawal.html.
 Samau'al alMaghribi: Ifham AlYahud: Silencing the Jews / placeholder for Arabic language transliteration by Moshe Perlmann, Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, Vol. 32, Samau'al AlMaghribi Ifham AlYahud: Silencing the Jews (1964)
 Samaw'al alMaghribi: Ifham alyahud, The early recension, by مغربي، السموءل بن يحي، d. ca. 1174. alSamawʼal ibn Yaḥyá Maghribī; Ibrahim Marazka; Reza Pourjavady; Sabine Schmidtke Publisher: Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 2006.OCLC: 63514265
 Perlmann, Moshe, "EleventhCentury Andalusian Authors on the Jews of Granada" Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 18 (1948–49):26990.
External linksEdit
 AlBahir en Algebre d'AsSamaw'al translation by Salah Ahmad, Roshdi Rashed, Author(s) of Review: David A. King, Isis, Vol. 67, No. 2 (Jun., 1976), pp. 307308
 AlAsturlabi and asSamaw'al on Scientific Progress, Osiris, Vol. 9, 1950 (1950), by Franz Rosenthal, pp. 555566
 Arab Mathematics
