Muslims like Muhammad b.Musa al-Khuwarzimi (c.210H/875 AD) introduced Indian ‘zero’ in nine Arabic numerals. Later fantastic innovations like introduction of decimal fractions were made by Abul-Hassan-al-Uqlidisi. Al-Khuwarizni, whose name gave rise to word ‘algorithm’ laid the foundation of algebra. Omer Khayam (d.526 AH/1131 AD) better known as a poet made prominent contributions in this field. He gave numerical solutions for equations of the first and second degrees (i.e. those with X and X²) and geometrical solutions (by means of conic sections) for those of third degree. Muslims used Indian ‘Sidhanta’ (Final Conclusion) and were definitely inventors of plane and spherical trigonometry. Muslims used trigonometrical ratios as sines, cosines and tangents. In spherical geometry al-Battani (d.317 AH/ 929 AD) presented important formulae involving three sides and one angle of a spherical triangle, which has no equivalent in Ptolemy. Abu’l-Wafa (d.388 AH/998 AD) one of the greatest mathematicians proposed a new technique for the construction of sine tables. He also invented secant and cosecant.
A steelyard from Egypt. It was probably used for weighing goods being traded in the Gulf area, for it is calibrated in the units of weight used in Basra as well as those of Egypt. Tenth to twelfth century AD. Science Museum, London, on loan from the Petrie Collection, University College, London