Ibn al-Saffar

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Abu al‐Qasim Ahmad ibn Abd Allah ibn Umar al‐Ghafiqī ibn al-Saffar al‐Andalusi (born in Cordoba, died in the year 1035 at Denia), also known as Ibn al-Saffar (literally: son of the brass worker), was a Spanish-Arab[1] astronomer in Al-Andalus. He worked at the school founded by his colleague Al-Majriti in Córdoba. His best-known work was a treatise on the astrolabe, a text that was in active use until the 15th century and influenced the work of Kepler. He also wrote a commentary on the Zij al-Sindhind, and measured the coordinates of Mecca.[2]

David A. King, historian of Islamic instrumentation, describes the universal astrolobe designed by Ibn al-Sarraj in the early 14th century as "the most sophisticated astronomical instrument from the entire Medieval and Renaissance periods".[3]

Ibn al-Saffar later influenced the works of Abu al-Salt.

The exoplanet Saffar, also known as Upsilon Andromedae b, is named in his honor.


  1. ^ North, John (2008). Cosmos: An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226594415.
  2. ^ Rius 2007.
  3. ^ Harley, J. B.; Woodward, David (1992). The history of cartography. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. p. 31. ISBN 0-226-31635-1.


  • Rius, Mònica (2007). "Ibn al‐Ṣaffār: Abū al‐Qāsim Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿUmar al‐Ghāfiqī ibn al‐Ṣaffār al‐Andalusī". In Thomas Hockey; et al. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. New York: Springer. pp. 566–7. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. (PDF version)
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