The Scientific Indian

The Genius of Ibn al-Haytham


Genius penetrates this world well and a humbled genius penetrates even better. Professor Jim Al-Khalili programme on BBC4 “Science and Islam” was an eye-opener for me, especially the details of the life of ibn al-Haytham, a medieval genius. The opening sentence of this post alludes to the fact that he thought he could tame the river Nile and realized shortly that he could not. This got him into trouble with the king (to whom he had promised a tamer Nile) who ordered his death. Ibn al-Haytham had to feign madness to escape death. Much humbled, al-Haytham dedicated his life to scientific pursuits and developed the most remarkable strategy we have for muddling-through this world: The Scientific Method.