From: Thomas Hockey et al. (eds.). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Springer Reference. New York: Springer, 2007, pp. 5-6

Courtesy of

ʿAbd al‐Wājid: Badr al‐Dīn ʿAbd al‐Wājid [Wāḥid] ibn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al‐Ḥanafī

Hüseyin Topdemir

BornMashhad, (Iran)

DiedKütahya, (Turkey), 1434

ʿAbd al‐Wājid was a mudarris (teacher) who wrote several works on astronomy that indicate that he was greatly influenced by the astronomical educational tradition of the Marāgha circle of scholars (including ūsī and Shīrāzī). He traveled to Anatolia from his native region of Khurāsān in Iran, and became a student of Muammad ibn amza al‐Fanārī (died: 1431) during the reign of Germiyānoğlu Süleymān Shāh (1368–1387). ʿAbd al‐Wājid later settled in Kütahya and taught at the Wājidiyya Madrasa (known as the Demirkapi Madrasa during the Ottoman Period) until his death. The influence of the Marāgha circle had previously been felt in Anatolia because of Shīrāzī, who had also worked at various centers and schools there.

Local traditions indicate that the Wājidiyya Madrasa was a place where astronomical observation and instruction took place, often associated with ʿAbd al‐Wājid in the 14th century. According to its foundation inscription, this madrasa was built in 1308 by Mubāriz al‐Dīn ibn Sāwjī. ʿAbd al‐Wājid must have been a very prominent professor at this madrasa in as much as it seems to have been renamed in his honor; clearly, he was not one of its founding professors. Because ʿAbd al‐Wājid had astronomical interests and was the author of several books on astronomy, the local tradition connecting the school with astronomy gains some credibility. This probably consisted of astronomical instruction and some practical applications. It is unlikely, though, that there was a large‐scale observatory, such as those at Marāgha and Samarqand, associated with the school.

Among ʿAbd al‐Wājid's works on astronomy, Sharal‐Mulakhkha fī al‐hayʾa is a commentary on Jaghmīnī's famous astronomical textbook; ʿAbd al‐Wājid dedicated it to Sultan Murād II (1404–1451). Shar Sī fal is a commentary on ūsī's Persian work on practical astronomy, which consists of 30 chapters. This text was translated into Turkish by Ahmed‐i Dāʿī, but it cannot be precisely dated. Maʿālim al‐awqāt wa‐sharuhu is a work about the astrolabe and its uses. It was written in verse and consisted of 552 couplets. It was dedicated to Muammad Shāh (died: 1406), the son of ʿAbd al‐Wājid's teacher al‐Fanārī.

Selected References

Baltacı, C. (1976). XV–XVI. Asırlarda Osmanlı Medreseleri. İstanbul.

İhsanoğlu, Ekmeleddin et al. (1997). Osmanlı Astronomi Literatürü Tarihi (OALT) (History of astronomy literature during the Ottoman period). Vol. 1, pp.‐22–24 (no. 7). Istanbul: IRCICA.

Sayili, Aydin (1948). “The Wâjidîya Madrasa of Kütahya, A Turkish Medieval Observatory?”.12 (47).

——— (1960). The Observatory in Islam. Ankara: Turkish Historical Society, esp. pp. 246, 254–255.