June 16, 2024
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Science And Technology

Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber) | Biography + Contributions + Facts

Jabir-bin-Hayyan-GeberJabir ibn Hayyan is one of the most brilliant scientists of the Golden Age of Muslims. He is famous for inventing various instruments for chemistry experiments and he himself also performed many chemistry experiments. He found many new chemicals including hydrochloric acid. Thanks to his great work in the field of chemistry, he is considered the founder of chemistry in the modern world.

Jabir ibn Hayyan, also known as Geber, belongs to present-day Iran and was born in the year 721 AD. During his childhood, his family had to emigrate to the land of Arabia, where he received his initial education from famous scholars of his time and acquired knowledge of Greek, Persian and Indian literature. His father was one of the supporters of the Abbasid caliphate and died for the same reason.

When the Abbasside caliph, Harun al-Rashid, came to power, he was able to establish connections with his ministers. He soon became a doctor and practiced medicine with the support of the caliph. He was a famous doctor and cured many powerful personalities. He also worked with and experimented with many chemicals. Jabir had to travel a lot to acquire the knowledge of chemistry that he already had. The caliph financed his travel expenses well. He presented his work to Caliph Harun al-Rashid in the Book of the Flower.

Jabir ibn Hayyan was the founder of alchemy, which served as the basis for modern chemistry. When the Caliph executed Jabir's (Geber) supporters for unknown reasons, he fled to Kufa (modern-day Iraq). In Kufa, Jabir (Geber) had set up a laboratory where he continued to work in chemistry. Jabir could not hide from the caliph, he was soon captured and arrested in his house. He lived the rest of his life under house arrest until his death in 815 AD.


Alchemy is the term used for chemistry from medieval times that was founded by Jabir ibn Hayyan. He developed expertise in experimental approaches to working with materials and chemical reactions between them. Jabir had well documented alchemical processes such as distillation, sublimation, crystallization and amalgamation of metals. He also introduced the material classification system into alcohols, metals and laths.

Jabir also conducted several experiments on the transmutation of metals, such as iron, into gold through some chemical process. He was not successful, but he documented his research and the process in which he failed. Alchemy was used until the 17th century.th century to make gold from other metals. One of the famous scientists, Sir Isaac NewtonHe also became interested in alchemy and carried out several experiments for the transmutation of metals.

Discoveries and Contributions

Jabir Ibn Hayyan (Geber) contributed significantly to the field of chemistry. Some of the important discoveries and contributions he made are:

  • Discovery of acids:
    He was the first to produce sulfuric acid and nitric acid. Sulfuric acid is a very famous acid that most people know about. This is because sulfuric acid is used in vehicle batteries.
  • Properties of substances:
    He introduced many properties of a substance, such as heat, cold, moisture, and dryness.
  • Gold purification method:
    He separated elemental gold from impurities with the help of lead and saltpeter.
  • Mercury purification method:
    He found an elemental purification method. mercury.
  • Alkali (base):
    Some substances can soften water; Jabir called these substances alkalis.
  • Discovery of the Aqua Regia:
    He also manufactured a mixture of acids called aqua regia. Aqua regia can dissolve elements gold which is inert to most acids.
  • Chemistry equipment:
    Jabir developed more than 20 types of chemistry laboratory equipment; most of them are also used in laboratories today. Some of the laboratory equipment he made are retorts and alembics.
  • Purification by Crystallization:
    He developed a method to purify substances through the process of crystallization.


  • Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber) wrote more than 3,000 research articles and treatises throughout his life, and more than 70 books were translated into other languages.
  • He suggested a theory that metals are composed of sulfur and mercury. By varying the amount of these two substances, a new metal is obtained.

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