The names of hundreds of Shiraz and Fars scholars, lecturers, mathematicians, and astronomers, who inﬂuenced Islamic civilization, are recorded in history.
Amr ben ‘Usman Sibawayh, in the eighth century of the Christian era, wrote the most complete and best Arabic grammar. This book has been translated into several languages and has been printed, and many professors and scholars of the science of grammar have written comments and observations on it. Abu Zayd Farsi, in the tenth Christian century, wrote a comprehensive book about the sea routes between Iran, India, and China. The ﬁrst eminent lecturer and principal of the Nezwereeh College in Baghdad were Abu Eshaq Ebrahim ben ‘Ali Shirazi.
Abu ul Eshaq was one of the outstanding professors and scholars of Shiraz, and indeed one of the glories of the Islamic age in Iran. When he mounted his horse, more than a thousand students went before and after him, and when he took his seat to teach his pupils, they sat down in circles around him to the farthest corner of his lecture hall, which was very large. The order of their seating, whether before or behind others, depended on the level of knowledge they had attained.
Abu ul-Hasan Abdul-Malik ebn Muhammad Shirazi was one of the great Islamic mathematicians and astronomers in the fourteenth century of the Christian era. He translated and interpreted the seven works of Apollonius of Perga on the southern coast of Asia Minor (circa 261-205 BC), which deal with Conics and introduce the terms parabola, ellipse, and hyperbola. At present only a few pages in the manuscript of this work exist, which adorn the Shiraz library, and the great museums of Iran and the world. This erudite Shiraz mathematician also translated and explained part of the great astronomical treatise of Ptolemy (circa 121-151 A.D) known as Almagest.
Abu ul Ala was one of the skilled physicians of the Al Buvaih Court, during of Amir Azud- ud_Duleh, in the tenth Christian century. He was the ﬁrst person to ascertain that, by the use of the poison, arsenic, it was possible to cure malaria, patients, and he advised and made use of this medicine, which is now the most effective remedy for malaria.
Qutb al-Din Mahmoud b. Zia al-Din Mas’ud b. Mosleh Shirazi (l236 – 1310 A.D.) on the ﬁrst occasion when he visited Khwajeh Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, the learned Prime minister of the Mongol king, Hulaku Khan, was considered by Khwajeh superior to himself and was asked to take his place in the teaching faculty. Khwajeh also sent him to complete the Observatory at Maragheh. Qutb al-Din is the author of many books and he was regarded as Saadi’s tutor.
Nasir al-Din Baizavi Qazi ul- Quzat (Lord Chief Justice), who died in 1286 A.D., was the author of a well-known and important commentary on the Quran, called “Anvar ut-Tanzil WA Asrar ut-Tawil” (The Rays of light sent down and the mysteries elucidated), and also other important works. His commentary is most concise and profound and has been repeatedly printed in Islamic countries.
In the book, Etebba’-i-‘Ahd-i Moghulieh (The Doctors of the Moghul Age), written by Hakim Kosar Chandarpuri in Urdu, and printed in Karachi in 1960, thirteen well-known Shiraz physicians, who were in India in the time of the Moghul kings are mentioned, together with particulars of their life, publications, and the subject in which they were specialists.
Sheikh Abdullah Khaﬁf (the ninth and tenth century A. D.) Baba Kuhi (the tenth century A. D.) Sheikh Ruzbehan (the twelfth century A.D.) and Shahda ‘i Elallah (the ﬁfteenth century A. D.) are famous Shiraz mystics, all of whom had many literary compositions.
Mulla Sadra, the celebrated scholar and philosopher of the seventeenth century A. D, who was one of the greatest and most famous philosophers of his time, and the author of more than one hundred books and treatises, was an inhabitant of Shiraz. Every single one of his valuable literary works testiﬁes to the exalted rank of this great scholar.
In the time of this great eastern scholar and philosopher, the College of Shiraz outweighed the College of Isfahan, and Shiraz became the principal center of erudition and higher education in the country of Iran, and Mulla Sadra made the Madrasah ye Khan at Shiraz virtually a university of that age. In that University, in addition to philosophy, sciences” such as literature, astronomy, mathematics, geology, veterinary art, botany, and chemistry were taught. Thomas Herbert, the English traveler, who passed through Shiraz at that time, has recorded in his travelogue, the sciences, which were taught then in the Madrasah-ye Khan, the scene of Mulla Sadra’s scholastic activities, as have been related above.
In the year 1961, the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of Mulla Sadra Was celebrated by the Tehran University, and a list of his books was published.
Ebn Muqleh (Abu ‘Ali Muhammad ben Husain) (885— 939 A. D.,) a native of Shiraz, was the ﬁrst famous” calligraphist, who invented the six kinds of the beautiful-curved Cuﬁc script, in which most of the ﬁnely transcribed and valuable Persian books were written. He facilitated the use of the Cuﬁc script. The six kinds which Ebn Maqle‘h arranged, have-been named Suls -Muhaqqaq – Raihan – Toqi‘ Ruqa, Ma’skh-i-‘Jadid.