Abu'l Hasan ibn Arfa Ra'a

Abu'l Hasan ibn Arfa Ra's (died 1197) was a Moroccan chemist from the city of Fez, who lived most of his life during the Almohad period. In his works he develops a theoretical and terminological framework of experimental process and basic laboratory techniques still recognizable today.

He is the author of Shudhur al-Dhahab, a renowned work on theoretical and practical experiments in chemistry. It describes the properties of various metals and has provided detailed information on enamelled ceramics and the various techniques, methods and processes of industrial chemistry of the time. The famous book contains the greatest poetic alchemical text of the Muslim world. This book, one of the major books of Arab alchemical science, is adorned with stylized illustrations of stills (in the text) and more recent and well-delineated illustrations of alchemic equipment, which are found in the margins, drawn with red and black inks in glossy paper. The poem, 1460 verses, having as rhymes the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet, is preserved today in a large number of manuscripts. Many commentaries on his alchemist poems come from his successors, inspired by his work, including the chemist Al Jildaki, and by him Maghreb chemistry is studied in the Mashriq.[1]

Virtually nothing is known of his life, except that he died in 1197 in Fez.[2] [3]


  1. ^ Boutammina, Nas E. (2013-10-31). Les fondateurs de la Chimie - Jabir Ibn-Hayyan (Geber) - M.I.Z. Ar-Razi (Rhazès). ISBN 9782322032785.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2018-02-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-10. Retrieved 2013-11-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)