Khayyam was not only a well-known poet and a quatrain composer of the fifth century (Lunar), but he was also a mathematician, philosopher, and astronomer whose works are published all across the world.
He was born on the 28 of Ordibehesht 428 (Solar) in Neishabur. He learned the fundamentals of religion from the Imam Movafagh Neishaburi and then he spent time on philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy.
Around the year 499 (Lunar) he wrote a book about third degree math equations named Resale fi Albarahin Ala Masaele al Jabr and al Moqabele under the guidance of Ghazi al Ghozat of Samarghand, and since he had a good relationship with Khaje Nezam ol Molk Toosi, he offered this book to him after he finished writing it. He probably wrote the Mizan al Hokm and Qastas al Mostaghim essays in there. The Moshkelat al Hesab essay (some problems about arithmetic) was probably also written in these years. Gholam Hossein Moraghebi has said that Khayyam did not choose a wife during his life.
Hakim Omar Khayyam Neishaburi was invited to Isfahan by the king Jalal al Din Malek Shah Saljughi and his ministry of education Nezam al Molk to be in charge of the Isfahan observatory. He was in Isfahan for eighteen years. But after the death of Malek Shah and Nezam al Molk getting killed, Khayyam was not treated so kindly, in a way that monetary help to the observatory was stopped. After the year 479 (Lunar), Khayyam decided to leave Isfahan and go to Marv, the new capital city of Saljughian dynasty.
The death of Khayyam is predicted to be between the years 517 to 520 (Lunar). And his shrine is currently in the city of Neishabur, in a garden that is also home to the shrine of Imamzade Mahrugh.
The quatrains of Khayyam that can be said to be the most well-known work of Khayyam has been translated to many languages in the world. The quatrains of Khayyam are divided into some general categories that include the mystery of creation, the origin of universe, the suffering of life, the passing of time, carpe diem, and being whatever it may be.
Nowruz Name is another literary work by him that is about Nowruz and the customs of kings. He has written the books Mizan al Hekmat on Physics and Lavazem al Meknat on meteorology.
His other works are Jabr and Moghabele of Khayyam, Kavan and Taklif essay, and the Masael al Hesab essay.
Interesting Facts about Khayyam
- He was the first person to show that a third degree equation can have more than one answer or no answers at all.
- He was the first person to determine the binomial theorems and after Newton achieved the same results it got called the Khayyam-Newton binomial and the orderly writing of these theorems leads to the Khayyam-Pascal triangle.
- He calculated the Jalali calendar (the solar calendar) with precise 30-year circulations.
- He calculated the axis of the earth around the sun to 16 decimal numbers.
- Khayyam considers himself a pupil of the Ibn Sina school. According to Beihaghi, before dying he was reading the metaphysics of the Ibn Sina’s book Shafa.
- One of the holes on the moon is named after him as Khayyam to honor him.
- An asteroid is named after him.
- Martin Luther King talked about him in his lectures and Abraham Lincoln read his poems before going to bed.
- Khayyam became famous in the west after Fitzgerald translated his works.
- His effect on the literature of the west can be seen in the works by Mark Twain and T. S. Elliot.
The Interesting Story of Khayyam’s Red Flower
When William Simpson came to Neishabur he started going around in the city until he got to the shrine of Khayyam and wrote about it:
“and then I looked for a plant or something that has grown in that place to take with me as a souvenir. Some of the plants that had grown from among the bricks were too weak and were not suitable for this purpose. In the garden, I looked around the in front of the shrine; with my good luck I found a row of red flowers. In that season of the year there were no flowers left and even the leaves were brown. Despite this, I found some green leaves; three whole bushes and I cut a branch from them.” He sent these to England. They were planted in the Kev garden and then they were also planted on the grave of the Khayyam’s translator Fitzgerald.
This plant which was a rose flower with a good aroma and pink peddles was replicated through the years and became famous all around the world as “the Rose Flower of Omar Khayyam.”
A Beautiful Quatrain by Khayyam about Life
Khayyam if you are drunk from the wine then be happy
If you are sitting down with a beautiful woman then be happy
Since the end of the world is nothingness
As if you never existed so when you de then be happy
A Beautiful Quatrain by Khayyam about Death
These few days of life have passed
Like water in a river and wind in a meadow
I never felt sorrow about two days
The day that has not come and the day that has passed