Abu l-Wafa or  Abu l-Wāfā’ or Muhammad Aboûl-Wafâ

(by: Farida Ari)


Abu Wafa’ other name is Albuzdschani. He is known as an Arab astronomer and mathematician who was born in the largest of the Buy, in Buzdshan Khurasan (the city is now entering into the territory of Iran) on 1 Ramadan 328 H / June 10, 940 M. Abu Wafa’ the full name was Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Yahya bin Ismail bin Abbas Abu Wafa' al-Buzajani is a respected expert who included most of its time. His works in the fields of astronomy, among others Fi ma Yahtaj ilayh al-Kuttab wa al-Ummal min Ilm al-Hisab, al-Kamil (according to al-Qifti this work similar to the Almagest), and Al-Handasah. Main Services Abu Wafa’ lies in the further development of the trigonometry. Abu Wafa’ also has a stake in determining the method of calculation of sin 30 minutes and he also was the first to set the sinus theorem.


It's hard to find a chilhood story of this Muslim astronomers. But what is clear about the year 959 M, Abu Wafa 'move to Baghdad, Iraq. When Iraq was lead by Sultan 'Adud. In this city, he began his career as a scientist and astronomer reliable and highly meritorious for Muslims and the community in general. Together with scientists and other astronomers, Abu Wafa’ work on the observatory's palace in Baghdad. later in the year 983 M, Sulthon 'Adud is replaced by his son Sulthon Sharaf. However this rule change does not negatively affect the scholarly activity within the palace. On the contrary the research activities of scientists and astronomers have increased because of the support the court against them was so great.

As a scientist and astronomer Muslim, Abu Wafa’ is no less intense when compared with other Muslim astronomers. Various important theoretical and dozens of books have been produced. For the purposes of advanced research at the observatory, Abu Wafa’ makes a tool called "Wall Quadrant". This tool is useful to facilitate the study of celestial objects that move. And of course, it is most efficient and effective for the convenience of research conducted by Abu Wafa’ along with the scientists and astronomers who worked at the Observatory Palace. When conducting joint research with other astronomers, Abu Wafa’ is also a lot of barriers with respect to the theory as a tool for research. The theory of this tool as only a mathematical theory relating to trigonometry and geometry. Therefore, Abu Wafa’ attempt to overcome this difficulty. As a result he also managed to find a solution to the problem. He managed to make a table of tangents and contangen and discover mathematical function sinus cosinus continued:

Sin (a + b) = sin (a) cos (b) + cos (a) sin (b)

Cos (2a)    = 1 – 2sin2(a)

Sin (2a)     = 2sin (a) cos (a)

In addition, he also found the sine formula for the geometry of the ball;

SinA /Sina  = SinC/ Sinc


Trigonometric tables made ​​by Abu Wafa’ has up to 8 decimal digit accuracy, far more than Ptolemy’s trigonometry tables that only have accuracy up to 3 decimal digit.

As scientists and other Muslim astronomers, Abu Wafa’ has also written many books relating to astronomy. One of his famous book is titled Fi Yahtaj ilayh ma al-Kuttab wa al-Ummal min Ilm al-Hisabi or in the titled English “Book on what is Necessary from the Science of Arithmetic for Scribes and businessmen”. Abu Wafa 'also wrote another book titled “A book on those geometric constructions wich are necessary for a crafsman” and “Kitab al-Kamil ” Abu Wafa’s Book s titled "Kitab al-Kamil" a role model for subsequent astronomers. Seeing the importance for the world community, work and the books Abu Wafa’ translated into many languages ​​worldwide. Seems reasonable that if Abu Wafa’ was awarded with the strap on his name on one of the craters on the moon, "Abu Wafa' Crater “.

Among a series of Muslim scholars and scientists who have the Islamic civilization, only 24 characters are immortalized in the crater of the moon and has received recognition from the International Astronomical Organization (IAU). Of the 24 officially recognized Muslim leader IAU as the name of the moon crater gradually in the 20th century M, between the years 1935, 1961, 1970 and 1976. One of them is Abu Wafa’.

Most, Muslim scientist preserved in the crater of the moon with the Western nickname. Abu Wafa’ is one of the scientists who immortalized in the crater of the moon with the original name. Crater months Abu Wafa’ 1.00 coordinates located in the East, East 116.60. Diameter of moon craters Abu Wafa 'diameter reaches 55 km. The depth of the crater that moon of 2.8 km.

Location crater moon Abu Wafa’ is located near the equator of the moon. Located adjacent to the pair of craters Ctesibius and Heron in the east. In the southwest of the crater in Abu Wafa’ Vesalius and there are craters in the northeast there is a larger moon crater named King. That world of modern astronomy recognize service and contributions as an astronomer in the 10th century.