What I have learnt from the life of my favorite scientist?

About the Author: Muhammad Rizwan Shafique is one of the most talented students of Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan. He is studying in Pharm. D.

Jabir Ibn Hayyan artist's rendition

In our life, there is a person from whom we can learn many lessons. May be that person is a good man or a bad. If he is a good man and he had done good deeds in his life then we learn many things from his actions or deeds, similarly if he is a bad man then we also learn a lesson from that person’s life and we decide by ourselves that he is wrong or not and either we should follow him or not…

In the same way, there are some people who devote their whole life in the field of science and try to make new discoveries and inventions to make easy the life of all people, so they may be able to get benefit from their inventions and discoveries. The life of these men is full of adventures, experiments and lessons. If we follow them then we can learn thousands of things which may be useful for us. Every person have favorite personalities in this world and I have too. In the field of science my favorite scientist is Jabber Bin Hayaan. I have learned many things from the life of my favorite scientist.


Firstly I want to introduce my favorite scientist. His name was Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan and he born in 721 in Kufah, Iraq. He is known as the father of Arab chemistry. He was an Arabic doctor and chemist. Jabber was the one who laid the foundations for modern scientific chemistry. He studied under the great teacher Imam Jaffar Alsadik.

Work and Discoveries:

Jabir ibn Hayyan is widely considered as the father of Chemistry but he was also an astronomer, pharmacist, physician, philosopher and engineer. He was credited for the discovery of nineteen different substances which we call element in modern chemistry. He was the first person to introduce the experimental method in chemistry.

Use of chemical processes:

Jabir perfected the use of various chemical processes used in the modern chemistry laboratories such as distillation, crystallization and sublimation etc. Using some of those methods, he produced concentrated acetic acid from vinegar. He synthesized hydrochloric acid by heating salt and sulfuric acid and nitric acid by heating saltpeter with sulfuric acid. By mixing hydrochloric acid with nitric acid, he invented a super acid called aqua regia which could dissolve even gold. He also isolated citric acid from lemon and tartaric acid from the residue left after wine making.


People have enjoyed perfume for centuries. The hard work of two talented chemists, Jabir ibn Hayyan (born 722) and al-Kindi (born 801) helped lay the foundations and established the perfume industry. Jabir developed many techniques, including distillation, evaporation and filtration, which enabled the collection of the odor of plants into a vapor that could be collected in the form of water or oil.

Aqua Regia:

The discoveries of these acids especially aqua regia helped the chemists to extract and purify gold and other metals for the next thousand years.

Other discoveries and Inventions:

Discovery of “caustic soda”

He was First to evoke water gold.

He was First to introduce the method of separation of NaOH.

He was First to discover nitric acid.

He was First to discover hydrochloric acid .

He was First to retrieve the sulfuric acid and termed it Alzaj oil.

He Introduced improvements to the evaporation methods of liquidation, distillation, fusion and crystallization.

He had been able to prepare a lot of chemicals like hydrated mercury and arsenous oxide.

He explained in detail how to prepare arsenic, antimony, and purification of metals and dyeing of fabrics.

He manufactured incombustible paper.

He made some sort of paint that prevents iron rust.

He was the first to introduce the method of separating gold from silver solution by acids, which is the predominant mode to this day.

What we can learn by studying and focusing on his life:


Motivation is the first thing, which I have gotten from the life of my favorite scientist. His life motivates us to do researches in the field of science. In the modern era, we have all the facilities but the time when he made the discoveries there was no such facilities available but he tried his best to do something new.


Without education man is unable to made new discoveries and inventions. He got education in many fields that’s why at the same time he was a chemist, engineer, pharmacist and physician. I have learned that we should get education not only in a single field but also in all our interested fields.

Hard work;

It was the hard work, which opened the new gates of success for him. He worked days and nights but was not bored and stuck to his work. Here we learn that hard work is the only key that opens the doors of success.


Without true guidance, it was unable to make such discoveries by Jabber bin Hayan. His teacher Imam Jafar Alsadiq taught him and guided him that how he has to work and how to do research. Here we learned that without the true guidance of a teacher it is impossible to do something great.


He did his research in different fields under the supervision of his great teacher Imam Jafar Alsadiq. We can learn that without research and thinking in unique aspect it was impossible to discover and prepare a new thing.

Attraction to work:

He stuck to his work even he bear many difficulties in his researches. We learn that we should not get bored during any work or study and stick to it till it is not accomplished.

Respect the teachers:

By reading the history and focusing about his life we see that he was a good student of his teacher and he respected his teacher. Without the respect and disobeying his teacher he might not be able to do such discoveries. Here we learn that we should respect our teachers.

Think different:

We learned that to prepare something new we should think different and uniquely from others. Only in this way we will invent something different and new. We have to think a unique thing, which every people have not thought.

Study about different fields:

He has a vast knowledge about every field that’s why he was not only the chemist but also a pharmacist, an engineer and physician. This all happened due to the study of different subjects. So we should not study only the course but other books also to strengthen our knowledge.

Education of science and technology:

By getting education of science and technology, we will be able to made progress and any new discovery. Then we will be able to stand in front of whole World.

Experimental work:

He made experiments compulsory in science. He said that without experiments science is nothing. It is an experiment after which we are able to test anything and find the results. We should concentrate not only the theory but experiments too.


Jabber wrote so many books between two hundred and thirty-two and five hundred books (232-500), on which the world depended on for several centuries and until today. He stored his work in these books so that it may reach to the people which came after him.

We should write books and write our research and work so that other people may be able to continue our work from there where we leave.

Our Misery:

This man was one of the greatest geniuses ever born, but we Muslims totally ignored him. On the other hand the Europeans translated his work into their languages and five hundred books and essays can be found in the national libraries of France, Germany and UK. The Europeans studied his books and continue his work and they made more discoveries but we Muslims were aside from it and never tried to focus on education and research that’s why we are standing at that point where other world can defeat us in every field. Here we need to do researches, hard work and get education to gain that glory which our ancestors have achieved.

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