Mariam al-Asturlabi

Astrolabes and Al-Ijliya 

The making of astrolabes, a branch of applied science of great status, was practiced by many include one woman from Aleppo (Syria), Mariam* “Al-Astrolabiya” Al-Ijliya (Al-‘Ijliyah bint al-‘Ijli al-Asturlabi), who followed her father’s profession and was employed at the court of Sayf al-Dawlah (333 H/944 CE-357/967), one of the powerful Hamdanid rulers in northern Syria who guarded the frontier with the Byzantine empire in the tenth century CE.

Mariam al-Asturlabiyy (Arabic: مريم الأسطرلابي‎ or al-ʻIjliyyah bint al-ʻIjliyy al-Asturlabiyy (Arabic: العجلية بنت العجلي الأسطرلابي‎),[1] was a 10th-century female astronomer and maker of astrolabes in Aleppo, in what is now northern Syria.[2]

Early life

She was the daughter of an astrolabist known as al-ʻIjliyy al-Asturlabī.[3] According to ibn al-Nadim, she was an apprentice (tilmīthah) of Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd Allāh Nasṭūlus.[3]


Al-‘Ijliyah developed and manufactured astrolabes, an astronomical and navigation instrument, during the 10th century.[1][4] She was employed by the Emir of Aleppo, Sayf al-Dawla, who reigned from 944 to 967 AD.[3][1]


The main-belt asteroid 7060 Al-‘Ijliya, discovered by Henry E. Holt at Palomar Observatory in 1990, was named in her honor.[2] Naming citation was published on 14 November 2016 (M.P.C. 102252).[5]

She inspired a character in 2015 award-winning book Binti.[6] She was named an extraordinary woman from the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation by 1001 Inventions.


Mariam Al-Astrulabi by Rudaina Al-Mirbati