The Ancient Madressas of Samarkand-Centre for learning

Central Asia was a world centre of learning for centuries. Khiva was the birthplace of Muhammad al-Khorezmi (780-850 AD), the father of algebra. The word algebra is derived from al-jabr, one of al-Khorezmi’s techniques to solve quadratic equations. He also pioneered the use of the decimal point. Ibn Sina, known in the West as Avicenna, was among the foremost medical authorities of his time, apart from being a philosopher and historian. He studied and taught at the madressas at Bukhara and Khiva. The ancient madressas, (Islamic religious schools) of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva were centers of learning. They were simultaneously religious seminaries and great universities, teaching and studying mathematics, medicine, astronomy and all sciences. Ulugh Beg, ruler of Central Asia and grandson of Tamerlane, built three madressas. He was the greatest astronomer of his time, famous for his star charts and astronomical calculations. He nurtured an entire cadre of scientists and astronomers at his observatory in Samarkand, the world’s finest at the time.
Omar Khayyam is best known as a poet who wrote the famous Rubaiyat, was also one of the scientist-philosophers of Samarkand.