As we all know, the Republic of Uzbekistan gained independence in 1991 and today, it has a special place in the world community. In the early years of independence, great attention was paid to the restoration and preservation of historical monuments and the heritage of great Uzbek scholars, which had been neglected for a long time.
Even so, to this day, many people do not know about the people living in this area. In this article, we discuss the historical figures and scientists who lived in the land of Uzbekistan and caused the development and change for the better in the world we live in today.
Famous and great historical figures have lived throughout Central Asia. Among them is Muhammad al- Khwarizmi. Muhammad al-Khwarizmi was a famous mathematician, astronomer, and geographer who lived in the ninth century. He is often referred to as the father of algebra, as his works on algebra have revolutionized mathematics and laid the foundations for modern algebraic notation and methods. Al-Khwarizmi was born in the city of Khwarizm, which is now part of Uzbekistan.
He spent most of his life in Baghdad, where he worked as a scholar and served as a court mathematician and astronomer under the Abbasid caliphate. Al-Khwarizmi’s most famous work is his treatise on algebra, “Al-Kitab al-Mukhtasar fi Hisab al-Jabr wa’l-Muqabala” (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing). This book introduced the concept of variables and algebraic equations, as well as the method of completing the square and solving quadratic equations.
Al-Khwarizmi’s works were widely translated into Latin during the Middle Ages and had a significant impact on the development of mathematics and science in Europe. His name lives on today in the terms “algorithm” and “algebra”, both of which derive from his Arabic writings.
Imam al-Bukhari, also known as Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari, was a ninth-century Islamic scholar and theologian who is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the development of Islamic jurisprudence and hadith studies. Born in Bukhara, in present-day Uzbekistan, al-Bukhari spent much of his life traveling and studying with other scholars across the Islamic world, including in Baghdad, Mecca, Medina, and Syria. He is best known for his compilation of the hadith, or sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad, known as “Sahih al-Bukhari”.
“Sahih al-Bukhari” is considered one of the most authentic collections of hadith and is second in importance only to the Quran in the eyes of many Muslims. Al-Bukhari’s collection includes over 7,000 hadith, which he carefully selected and authenticated through a rigorous process of research and examination. He died in Khartang village, Samarkand, Uzbekistan. His legacy continues to inspire Muslims around the world today.
Ahmad al-Farghani, also known as Alfraganus in the West, was an astronomer and astrologer who lived in the ninth century. He was born in Farghana, in present-day Uzbekistan, and spent much of his life working in the courts of Islamic rulers in Baghdad and Cairo. Al-Farghani is best known for his influential book on astronomy, “Kitab fi Jawani“, also known as “Elements of Astronomy“. This book synthesized the works of earlier Greek and Persian astronomers, and was widely translated into Latin and European languages during the Middle Ages. “Elements of Astronomy” covered a wide range of topics, including the motion of the planets, the phases of the moon, and the size and shape of the earth.
Al-Farghani was also the first astronomer to accurately determine the length of the solar year, and his calculations were used by later astronomers to develop more accurate calendars. In addition to his work on astronomy, al-Farghani also wrote several books on astrology, including “Kitab fi al-Taswir”, which dealt with the casting of horoscopes and the interpretation of astrological signs.
Al-Farghani’s contributions to astronomy and astrology had a lasting impact on the development of science and mathematics in the Islamic world and beyond. His works have been widely read and studied for centuries, and his influence can be seen in the works of later astronomers and scientists throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Ibn Sina, also known as Avicenna in the Western world, was a prominent Persian polymath who lived from 980 to 1037 CE. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in Islamic philosophy, medicine, and science. Ibn Sina significantly contributed to various fields, including medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. His most famous work is “The Canon of Medicine,” a comprehensive medical encyclopedia that has served as a standard medical text in Europe and the Islamic world for centuries.
In addition to his medical writings, Ibn Sina was a prominent philosopher, and his works on metaphysics and ethics had a significant impact on both Islamic and Western philosophical traditions. He was known for his synthesis of Aristotelian and Neoplatonic philosophies with Islamic theology. Ibn Sina’s contributions to science and philosophy were widely recognized during his lifetime, and his influence continued to be felt for centuries after his death. He is regarded as one of the greatest minds in the history of Islamic civilization, and his works continue to be studied and admired by scholars worldwide.
When talking about the great people who lived in the land of Uzbekistan, we should also remember the Timurids. After all, in the 13th century, when the Mongols led by Genghis Khan conquered most of the world and turned it into ruins, in the second half of the 14th century, Amir Timur gained power and founded an empire equal to the territory of 27 countries today. Historians mentioned this empire as salvation for people who were disappointed during the Mongol invasion. During the Timurid era, significant attention was paid to art and architecture. To this day, we can see structures built by Timurids in Samarkand, Shahrisabz, Turkestan, and some cities in Iran.
Mirzo Ulughbek was a Timurid ruler and scholar who lived in the 15th century. He was born in what is now Uzbekistan, and was the grandson of the famous conqueror Amir Timur. Ulughbek was primarily known for his contributions to astronomy and mathematics, which he pursued alongside his duties as a ruler. Ulughbek built an observatory in Samarkand, the capital of the Timurid Empire, and used it to observe the stars and calculate their movements. His astronomical observations and calculations were recorded in the “Zij-i-Sultani,” a comprehensive catalogue of over a thousand stars and their positions in the sky.
This catalog was considered one of the most accurate of its time and was widely used by scholars and astronomers for centuries after Ulughbek’s death. In addition to his contributions to astronomy, Ulughbek was known for his patronage of the arts and scholarship. He commissioned the construction of many public buildings and monuments in Samarkand, and his court was known for its intellectual and cultural vibrancy. Ulughbek died in 1449, but his legacy as a scholar, patron of the arts, and ruler continued to inspire subsequent generations in Central Asia and beyond.
Alisher Navoi was a famous poet, writer, and statesman who lived in the 15th century in what is now Uzbekistan. He is considered one of the most important figures in Central Asian literature and is widely regarded as the father of modern Uzbek literature.
Navoi was born into a wealthy merchant family and received a thorough education in various subjects, including Islamic studies, mathematics, and philosophy. He was a master of several languages, including Persian, Arabic, and Turkic, and his works were written in both Persian and Chagatai Turkic (Old Uzbek language). Navoi’s literary works were diverse and included poetry, prose, and treatises on various subjects. His most famous works include the “Khamsa,” which is a collection of five epic poems, and the “Majalis al-Nafais,” a collection of his poetry and literary criticism.
Navoi’s works are known for their beauty, elegance, and mastery of language, and they have been influential not only in Central Asia but throughout the Islamic world. In addition to his literary achievements, Navoi was also a prominent statesman who served as a high-ranking official in the courts of various rulers. He used his position to promote education, culture, and the arts and was credited with establishing the first secular school in Central Asia. Navoi died in 1501, but his legacy as a poet, writer, statesman, and cultural figure has endured to the present day.
In addition to the historical figures mentioned above, many people have done great things in the fields of science, literature, art, and religion, and the Uzbek people are proud of such ancestors and try to be worthy descendants of them.