Ibn as-Saffar

Abu al‐Qasim Ahmad ibn Abd Allah ibn Umar al‐Ghafiqī ibn as-Saffar al‐Andalusi (born in Cordoba, died in the year 1035 at Denia), also known as Ibn as-Saffar (Arabic: ابن الصَّفَّار, literally: son of the brass worker), was a Spanish-Arab[1] astronomer in Al-Andalus. He worked at the school founded by his colleague Al-Majriti in Córdoba. His best-known work was a treatise on the astrolabe, a text that was in active use until the 15th century and influenced the work of Kepler. He also wrote a commentary on the Zij as-Sindhind, and measured the coordinates of Mecca.[2]

Ibn as-Saffar later influenced the works of Abu as-Salt.

Paul Kunitzsch argued that a Latin treatise on the astrolabe long attributed to Mashallah, and used by Chaucer to write A Treatise on the Astrolabe, is in fact written by Ibn as-Saffar.[3][4]

The exoplanet Saffar, also known as Upsilon Andromedae b, is named in his honor.

Saffar Island in Antarctica is named after Ibn as-Saffar.


  1. ^ North, John (2008). Cosmos: An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226594415.
  2. ^ Rius 2007.
  3. ^ Kunitzsch, Paul (1981). "On the authenticity of the treatise on the composition and use of the astrolabe ascribed to Messahalla". Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences Oxford. 31 (106): 42–62.
  4. ^ Selin, Helaine (2008-03-12). Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 1335. ISBN 978-1-4020-4559-2. Paul Kunitzsch has recently established that the Latin treatise on the astrolabe long ascribed to Ma'sh'allah and translated by John of Seville is in fact by Ibn al-Saffar, a disciple of Maslama al-Majriti.