access to Indian works. Nevertheless, Indian methods continued to playan important role in algebra, arithmetic and trigonometry.
Besides the Greek and Indian tradition, a third tradition which had asignificant influence on mathematics in medieval Islam was the"mathematics of practitioners", which included the applied mathematicsof "surveyors, builders, artisans, in geometric design, tax and treasuryofficials, and some merchants." This applied form of mathematicstranscended ethnic divisions and was a common heritage of the landsincorporated into the Islamic world.
This tradition also includes thereligious observances specific to Islam, which served as a major impetusfor the development of mathematics as well as astronomy.
Islam and mathematics
A major impetus for the flowering of mathematics as well as astronomyin medieval Islam came from religious observances, which presented anassortment of problems in astronomy and mathematics, specifically intrigonometry, spherical geometry,
The Islamic law of inheritance served as an impetus behind thedevelopment of algebra (derived from the Arabic
) byMuhammad ibn M
and other medieval Islamicmathematicians. Al-Khw
Hisab al-jabr w’al-muqabala
devoteda chapter on the solution to the Islamic law of inheritance using algebra.He formulated the rules of inheritance as linear equations, hence hisknowledge of quadratic equations were not required.
Later mathematicians who specialized in the Islamic law of inheritanceincluded Al-Hass
r, who developed the modern symbolic mathematicalnotation for fractions in the 12th century,
al-Hasan ibn Al
, who developed an algebraic notation which took "the firststeps toward the introduction of algebraic symbolism" in the 15thcentury.
In order to observe holy days on the Islamic calendar in which timingswere determined by phases of the moon, astronomers initially used