The colophon of the first treatise, which bears a date 694 AH/1294-95 AD, states that the title of the book is Kitab mafatih al-qada, 'Keys of Solution'. The author of this text is still to be identified. Rosenfeld lists this work under the following two authors:
Abu ‘Uthman Sahl ibn Bishr ibn Habib ibn Hani al-Isra’ili (al-Yahudi) (d. circa 850 AD). He was a Jewish astrologer at the court of the viceroy of Khurasan, Tahir al-Husayn al-A’war (d.822 AD) and later under Ma’mun vizier al-Hasan ibn al-Sahl (d.850 AD). He was known in Europe as 'Zahel' and 'Zahel Benbris' (Rosenfeld & Ihsanoglu 2003, p.29 and Brockelmann, GAL S I 396).
Mashallah ibn Athari al-Basri (d. circa 815 AD), a Jewish man of science originally from Basra. An astronomer and mathematician, he was part of the group who carried out the preliminary survey for the foundation of Baghdad in 762-63 AD. He worked in Baghdad under the patronage of the Abbasid caliphs al-Mansur, Harun al-Rashid, Amin and al-Ma’mun (Rosenfeld & Ihsanoglu 2003, p.17). A copy of the mafatih al-qada is recorded by Rosenfeld & Ihsanoglu as being in Paris (II 895); the title is also recorded in Brockelmann Gal I 249.
Abu’l-Hasan Kushyar ibn Labban al-Jabali, better known as 'Gilani', as he was originally from Gilan on the Caspian sea, was a Persian astronomer, mathematician and geographer active between 971 and 1029 AD. His treatise Majma’ al-usul fi ahkam al-nujum, translated as 'Introduction to the Principles of Predictions of Stars', is also known under other similar titles (Kitab al-madkhal si sina’at ahkam al-nujum and Kitab al-mujmal (mudkhal al-usul fi sina’at) ahkam al-nujum) (see Rosenfeld & Ihsanoglu 2003, p.119). Several copies survive today; one dated 1061 AH/1651 AD is now in the British Library (inv. no.IO ISL 1514/3, Stocks & Baker 2001, p.379); see also Brockelmann GAL 252-3).
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