He is famous as a chemist, mathematician, and reliable philosopher. Al-Kindi who has the full name of Abu Yusuf Ya’kub ibn Ishak al-Kindi is called the Alkindus by the West. He was born in 809 AD in Kufifah to a rich and respected family. Al-Kindi greatly admired the thoughts of Greco-Roman philosophers. He was also inspired by two great Greek philosophers, Socrates and Aristotle. The influence of these two figures can be seen in the works of al-Kindi.
Is it true that Einstein was the first person to come up with the theory of relativity? The theory of relativity itself is a revolution of the development of mathematics and physics. In the West, there are some who doubt the truth that Einstein’s theory of relativity was first discovered. A number of historical scientists argue that the theory of relativity was first expressed by Galileo Galilei in his work entitled Dialogue Concerning the World’s Two Chief Systems in 1632. In fact, about 1,100 years before Einstein sparked his theory of relativity, a Muslim scientist named al-Kindi had laid the foundation the basis of the theory of relativity. Indeed, it is not surprising that great scientists of al-Kindi caliber were able to come up with the theory in the ninth century AD.
In al-Kindi’s biography, Al Muntakhah, it was clearly shown that he was the first person to become famous among Muslims who studied philosophy. His translations and corrections to the original works themselves have made him a driving force for knowledge so that it can develop as it is today. He was instrumental in introducing the problems of metaphysics, psychology, ethics and approaches based on logic and scientific methods to the Arabs.
Many Arab scientists consider him to be the founder of Arabic Muslim philosophy, a perfect philosopher and wise thinker. His extraordinary work places him in the highest position in the field of science, Geralomo Cardano (1501-1575), an Italian scholar of the Renaissance era saying that al-Kindi was one of the 12 greatest thinkers in the Middle Ages. Al-Kindi is also touted as the best man of his day because of the diversity of knowledge he mastered. The world also established him as the most formidable Arab philosopher.
As a versatile scientist, Al-Kindi not only succeeded in giving birth to thoughts in the field of philosophy alone. One of his works which is phenomenal is the Proceedings of Fi Istikhraj al-Mu’amma. The book parses and discusses cryptology or the art of breaking codes. In his book, al-Kindi explained how the secret codes were deciphered. Techniques for deciphering codes or codes that are difficult to solve are also discussed thoroughly in the book. In addition, he also classifies secret codes and explains Arabic phonetic science and its syntax. The most important thing, in the book al-Kindi introduces the use of some statistical techniques to decode secret codes.
The field of cryptography is so mastered, because he himself is an expert in the field of mathematics. In this field of science, he wrote four books on the numbering system which form the basis of modern arithmetic. Working in uncovering secret codes and messages hidden in original Greek and Roman texts has sharpened his instincts in the field of crypto-analysis. He described this skill in a paper, which after being brought to the West a few centuries afterwards, was later translated under the title Manuscript on Deciphering Cryptographic Messages.
Hundreds of his works can be sorted into various fields, such as philosophy, logic, arithmetic, music, astronomy, geometry, medical, astrology, dialectics, psychology, politics and meteorology. His most numerous book is a book about geometry which reaches 32 titles. Books on philosophy and medicine each have 22 titles, nine logic and 12 physics. His works were also translated into Latin and European languages. The books were even still used for several centuries after he died.