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    Array Ibn Abi Ahmed's Avatar
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    Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science (OP)


    Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science


    The concept that the sciences are exclusively the products of Western minds remains unquestioned by most individuals. A review of any of the standard texts or encyclopedias regarding the history of science would support this view. As these books are perused, it becomes evident that the only contributors given significant mention are Europeans and/or Americans. It is hardly necessary to repeat the oft-mentioned names: Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Bacon, Newton, Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, etc. The unavoidable conclusion is that major contributions to the development of the modern sciences by other cultures is minimal. Most texts give little or no mention of the advancements made by ancient Indian, Chinese or, particularly, Muslim scholars.

    Western civilization has made invaluable contributions to the development of the sciences. However, so have numerous other cultures. Unfortunately, Westerners have long been credited with discoveries made many centuries before by Islamic scholars. Thus, many of the basic sciences were invented by non-Europeans. For instance, George Sarton states that modern Western medicine did not originate from Europe and that it actually arose from the (Islamic) orient.

    The data in this section concerning dates, names and topics of Western advances has been derived from three main sources: World Book Encyclopedia, Encyclopaedia Britannica and Isaac Asimov's 700 page book, Chronology of Science and Discovery. Supportive data for the accomplishments of Islamic scholars is derived from the miscellaneous references listed in the bibliography of this book.



    What is Taught:
    The first mention of man in flight was by Roger Bacon, who drew a flying apparatus. Leonardo da Vinci also conceived of airborne transport and drew several prototypes.


    What Should be Taught:
    Ibn Firnas of Islamic Spain invented, constructed and tested a flying machine in the 800's A.D. Roger Bacon learned of flying machines from Arabic references to Ibn Firnas' machine. The latter's invention antedates Bacon by 500 years and Da Vinci by some 700 years.


    What is Taught:
    Glass mirrors were first produced in 1291 in Venice.


    What Should be Taught: Glass mirrors were in use in Islamic Spain as early as the 11th century. The Venetians learned of the art of fine glass production from Syrian artisans during the 9th and 10th centuries.


    What is Taught:
    Until the 14th century, the only type of clock available was the water clock. In 1335, a large mechanical clock was erected in Milan, Italy. This was possibly the first weight-driven clock.


    What Should be Taught:
    A variety of mechanical clocks were produced by Spanish Muslim engineers, both large and small, and this knowledge was transmitted to Europe through Latin translations of Islamic books on mechanics. These clocks were weight-driven. Designs and illustrations of epi-cyclic and segmental gears were provided. One such clock included a mercury escapement. The latter type was directly copied by Europeans during the 15th century. In addition, during the 9th century, Ibn Firnas of Islamic Spain, according to Will Durant, invented a watch-like device which kept accurate time. The Muslims also constructed a variety of highly accurate astronomical clocks for use in their observatories.


    What is Taught: In the 17th century, the pendulum was developed by Galileo during his teenage years. He noticed a chandelier swaying as it was being blown by the wind. As a result, he went home and invented the pendulum.


    What Should be Taught: The pendulum was discovered by Ibn Yunus al-Masri during the 10th century, who was the first to study and document its oscillatory motion. Its value for use in clocks was introduced by Muslim physicists during the 15th century.


    What is Taught: Movable type and the printing press was invented in the West by Johannes Gutenberg of Germany during the 15th century.

    What Should be Taught: In 1454, Gutenberg developed the most sophisticated printing press of the Middle Ages. However, movable brass type was in use in Islamic Spain 100 years prior, and that is where the West's first printing devices were made.


    What is Taught: Isaac Newton's 17th century study of lenses, light and prisms forms the foundation of the modern science of optics.


    What Should be Taught:
    In the 1lth century al-Haytham determined virtually everything that Newton advanced regarding optics centuries prior and is regarded by numerous authorities as the "founder of optics. " There is little doubt that Newton was influenced by him. Al-Haytham was the most quoted physicist of the Middle Ages. His works were utilized and quoted by a greater number of European scholars during the 16th and 17th centuries than those of Newton and Galileo combined.


    What is Taught: Isaac Newton, during the 17th century, discovered that white light consists of various rays of colored light.


    What Should be Taught:
    This discovery was made in its entirety by al-Haytham (1lth century) and Kamal ad-Din (14th century). Newton did make original discoveries, but this was not one of them.


    What is Taught: The concept of the finite nature of matter was first introduced by Antione Lavoisier during the 18th century. He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same. Thus, for instance, if water is heated to steam, if salt is dissolved in water or if a piece of wood is burned to ashes, the total mass remains unchanged.


    What Should be Taught:
    The principles of this discovery were elaborated centuries before by Islamic Persia's great scholar, al-Biruni (d. 1050). Lavoisier was a disciple of the Muslim chemists and physicists and referred to their books frequently.


    What is Taught: The Greeks were the developers of trigonometry.


    What Should be Taught: Trigonometry remained largely a theoretical science among the Greeks. It was developed to a level of modern perfection by Muslim scholars, although the weight of the credit must be given to al-Battani. The words describing the basic functions of this science, sine, cosine and tangent, are all derived from Arabic terms. Thus, original contributions by the Greeks in trigonometry were minimal.

    What is Taught: The use of decimal fractions in mathematics was first developed by a Dutchman, Simon Stevin, in 1589. He helped advance the mathematical sciences by replacing the cumbersome fractions, for instance, 1/2, with decimal fractions, for example, 0.5.


    What Should be Taught: Muslim mathematicians were the first to utilize decimals instead of fractions on a large scale. Al-Kashi's book, Key to Arithmetic, was written at the beginning of the 15th century and was the stimulus for the systematic application of decimals to whole numbers and fractions thereof. It is highly probably that Stevin imported the idea to Europe from al-Kashi's work.


    What is Taught: The first man to utilize algebraic symbols was the French mathematician, Francois Vieta. In 1591, he wrote an algebra book describing equations with letters such as the now familiar x and y's. Asimov says that this discovery had an impact similar to the progression from Roman numerals to Arabic numbers.


    What Should be Taught: Muslim mathematicians, the inventors of algebra, introduced the concept of using letters for unknown variables in equations as early as the 9th century A.D. Through this system, they solved a variety of complex equations, including quadratic and cubic equations. They used symbols to develop and perfect the binomial theorem.


    What is Taught: The difficult cubic equations (x to the third power) remained unsolved until the 16th century when Niccolo Tartaglia, an Italian mathematician, solved them.


    What Should be Taught: Cubic equations as well as numerous equations of even higher degrees were solved with ease by Muslim mathematicians as early as the 10th century.


    What is Taught:
    The concept that numbers could be less than zero, that is negative numbers, was unknown until 1545 when Geronimo Cardano introduced the idea.


    What Should he Taught: Muslim mathematicians introduced negative numbers for use in a variety of arithmetic functions at least 400 years prior to Cardano.


    What is Taught: In 1614, John Napier invented logarithms and logarithmic tables.


    What Should be Taught:
    Muslim mathematicians invented logarithms and produced logarithmic tables several centuries prior. Such tables were common in the Islamic world as early as the 13th century.


    What is Taught: During the 17th century Rene Descartes made the discovery that algebra could be used to solve geometrical problems. By this, he greatly advanced the science of geometry.


    What Should be Taught:
    Mathematicians of the Islamic Empire accomplished precisely this as early as the 9th century A.D. Thabit bin Qurrah was the first to do so, and he was followed by Abu'l Wafa, whose 10th century book utilized algebra to advance geometry into an exact and simplified science.


    What is Taught:
    Isaac Newton, during the 17th century, developed the binomial theorem, which is a crucial component for the study of algebra.


    What Should be Taught: Hundreds of Muslim mathematicians utilized and perfected the binomial theorem. They initiated its use for the systematic solution of algebraic problems during the 10th century (or prior).


    What is Taught: No improvement had been made in the astronomy of the ancients during the Middle Ages regarding the motion of planets until the 13th century. Then Alphonso the Wise of Castile (Middle Spain) invented the Aphonsine Tables, which were more accurate than Ptolemy's.


    What Should be Taught: Muslim astronomers made numerous improvements upon Ptolemy's findings as early as the 9th century. They were the first astronomers to dispute his archaic ideas. In their critic of the Greeks, they synthesized proof that the sun is the center of the solar system and that the orbits of the earth and other planets might be elliptical. They produced hundreds of highly accurate astronomical tables and star charts. Many of their calculations are so precise that they are regarded as contemporary. The AlphonsineTables are little more than copies of works on astronomy transmitted to Europe via Islamic Spain, i.e. the Toledo Tables.


    What is Taught: The English scholar Roger Bacon (d. 1292) first mentioned glass lenses for improving vision. At nearly the same time, eyeglasses could be found in use both in China and Europe.


    What Should be Taught: Ibn Firnas of Islamic Spain invented eyeglasses during the 9th century, and they were manufactured and sold throughout Spain for over two centuries. Any mention of eyeglasses by Roger Bacon was simply a regurgitation of the work of al-Haytham (d. 1039), whose research Bacon frequently referred to.


    What is Taught: Gunpowder was developed in the Western world as a result of Roger Bacon's work in 1242. The first usage of gunpowder in weapons was when the Chinese fired it from bamboo shoots in attempt to frighten Mongol conquerors. They produced it by adding sulfur and charcoal to saltpeter.


    What Should be Taught: The Chinese developed saltpeter for use in fireworks and knew of no tactical military use for gunpowder, nor did they invent its formula. Research by Reinuad and Fave have clearly shown that gunpowder was formulated initially by Muslim chemists. Further, these historians claim that the Muslims developed the first fire-arms. Notably, Muslim armies used grenades and other weapons in their defence of Algericus against the Franks during the 14th century. Jean Mathes indicates that the Muslim rulers had stock-piles of grenades, rifles, crude cannons, incendiary devices, sulfur bombs and pistols decades before such devices were used in Europe. The first mention of a cannon was in an Arabic text around 1300 A.D. Roger Bacon learned of the formula for gunpowder from Latin translations of Arabic books. He brought forth nothing original in this regard.


    What is Taught: The compass was invented by the Chinese who may have been the first to use it for navigational purposes sometime between 1000 and 1100 A.D. The earliest reference to its use in navigation was by the Englishman, Alexander Neckam (1157-1217).


    What Should be Taught:
    Muslim geographers and navigators learned of the magnetic needle, possibly from the Chinese, and were the first to use magnetic needles in navigation. They invented the compass and passed the knowledge of its use in navigation to the West. European navigators relied on Muslim pilots and their instruments when exploring unknown territories. Gustav Le Bon claims that the magnetic needle and compass were entirely invented by the Muslims and that the Chinese had little to do with it. Neckam, as well as the Chinese, probably learned of it from Muslim traders. It is noteworthy that the Chinese improved their navigational expertise after they began interacting with the Muslims during the 8th century.

    What is Taught: The first man to classify the races was the German Johann F. Blumenbach, who divided mankind into white, yellow, brown, black and red peoples.


    What Should be Taught: Muslim scholars of the 9th through 14th centuries invented the science of ethnography. A number of Muslim geographers classified the races, writing detailed explanations of their unique cultural habits and physical appearances. They wrote thousands of pages on this subject. Blumenbach's works were insignificant in comparison.


    What is Taught: The science of geography was revived during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries when the ancient works of Ptolemy were discovered. The Crusades and the Portuguese/Spanish expeditions also contributed to this reawakening. The first scientifically-based treatise on geography were produced during this period by Europe's scholars.


    What Should be Taught: Muslim geographers produced untold volumes of books on the geography of Africa, Asia, India, China and the Indies during the 8th through 15th centuries. These writings included the world's first geographical encyclopedias, almanacs and road maps. Ibn Battutah's 14th century masterpieces provide a detailed view of the geography of the ancient world. The Muslim geographers of the 10th through 15th centuries far exceeded the output by Europeans regarding the geography of these regions well into the 18th century. The Crusades led to the destruction of educational institutions, their scholars and books. They brought nothing substantive regarding geography to the Western world.


    What is Taught:
    Robert Boyle, in the 17th century, originated the science of chemistry.


    What Should be Taught:
    A variety of Muslim chemists, including ar-Razi, al-Jabr, al-Biruni and al-Kindi, performed scientific experiments in chemistry some 700 years prior to Boyle. Durant writes that the Muslims introduced the experimental method to this science. Humboldt regards the Muslims as the founders of chemistry.


    What is Taught: Leonardo da Vinci (16th century) fathered the science of geology when he noted that fossils found on mountains indicated a watery origin of the earth.


    What Should be Taught: Al-Biruni (1lth century) made precisely this observation and added much to it, including a huge book on geology, hundreds of years before Da Vinci was born. Ibn Sina noted this as well (see pages 100-101). it is probable that Da Vinci first learned of this concept from Latin translations of Islamic books. He added nothing original to their findings.


    What is Taught: The first mention of the geological formation of valleys was in 1756, when Nicolas Desmarest proposed that they were formed over a long periods of time by streams.


    What Should be Taught: Ibn Sina and al-Biruni made precisely this discovery during the 11th century (see pages 102 and 103), fully 700 years prior to Desmarest.


    What is Taught:
    Galileo (17th century) was the world's first great experimenter.


    What Should be Taught: Al-Biruni (d. 1050) was the world's first great experimenter. He wrote over 200 books, many of which discuss his precise experiments. His literary output in the sciences amounts to some 13,000 pages, far exceeding that written by Galileo or, for that matter, Galileo and Newton combined.


    What is Taught: The Italian Giovanni Morgagni is regarded as the father of pathology because he was the first to correctly describe the nature of disease.


    What Should be Taught:
    Islam's surgeons were the first pathologists. They fully realized the nature of disease and described a variety of diseases to modern detail. Ibn Zuhr correctly described the nature of pleurisy, tuberculosis and pericarditis. Az-Zahrawi accurately documented the pathology of hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and other congenital diseases. Ibn al-Quff and Ibn an-Nafs gave perfect descriptions of the diseases of circulation. Other Muslim surgeons gave the first accurate descriptions of certain malignancies, including cancer of the stomach, bowel and esophagus. These surgeons were the originators of pathology, not Giovanni Morgagni.


    What is Taught:
    Paul Ehrlich (19th century) is the originator of drug chemotherapy, that is the use of specific drugs to kill microbes.


    What Should be Taught:
    Muslim physicians used a variety of specific substances to destroy microbes. They applied sulfur topically specifically to kill the scabies mite. Ar-Razi (10th century) used mercurial compounds as topical antiseptics.


    What is Taught: Purified alcohol, made through distillation, was first produced by Arnau de Villanova, a Spanish alchemist, in 1300 A.D.


    What Should be Taught: Numerous Muslim chemists produced medicinal-grade alcohol through distillation as early as the 10th century and manufactured on a large scale the first distillation devices for use in chemistry. They used alcohol as a solvent and antiseptic.


    What is Taught: The first surgery performed under inhalation anesthesia was conducted by C.W. Long, an American, in 1845.


    What Should be Taught:
    Six hundred years prior to Long, Islamic Spain's Az-Zahrawi and Ibn Zuhr, among other Muslim surgeons, performed hundreds of surgeries under inhalation anesthesia with the use of narcotic-soaked sponges which were placed over the face.

    What is Taught: During the 16th century Paracelsus invented the use of opium extracts for anesthesia.


    What Should be Taught: Muslim physicians introduced the anesthetic value of opium derivatives during the Middle Ages. Opium was originally used as an anesthetic agent by the Greeks. Paracelus was a student of Ibn Sina's works from which it is almost assured that he derived this idea.


    What is Taught: Modern anesthesia was invented in the 19th century by Humphrey Davy and Horace Wells.


    What Should be Taught: Modern anesthesia was discovered, mastered and perfected by Muslim anesthetists 900 years before the advent of Davy and Wells. They utilized oral as well as inhalant anesthetics.


    What is Taught:
    The concept of quarantine was first developed in 1403. In Venice, a law was passed preventing strangers from entering the city until a certain waiting period had passed. If, by then, no sign of illness could be found, they were allowed in.


    What Should be Taught: The concept of quarantine was first introduced in the 7th century A.D. by the prophet Muhammad, who wisely warned against entering or leaving a region suffering from plague. As early as the 10th century, Muslim physicians innovated the use of isolation wards for individuals suffering with communicable diseases.


    What is Taught: The scientific use of antiseptics in surgery was discovered by the British surgeon Joseph Lister in 1865.


    What Should be Taught:
    As early as the 10th century, Muslim physicians and surgeons were applying purified alcohol to wounds as an antiseptic agent. Surgeons in Islamic Spain utilized special methods for maintaining antisepsis prior to and during surgery. They also originated specific protocols for maintaining hygiene during the post-operative period. Their success rate was so high that dignitaries throughout Europe came to Cordova, Spain, to be treated at what was comparably the "Mayo Clinic" of the Middle Ages.


    What is Taught: In 1545, the scientific use of surgery was advanced by the French surgeon Ambroise Pare. Prior to him, surgeons attempted to stop bleeding through the gruesome procedure of searing the wound with boiling oil. Pare stopped the use of boiling oils and began ligating arteries. He is considered the "father of rational surgery." Pare was also one of the first Europeans to condemn such grotesque "surgical" procedures as trepanning (see reference #6, pg. 110).


    What Should be Taught: Islamic Spain's illustrious surgeon, az-Zahrawi (d. 1013), began ligating arteries with fine sutures over 500 years prior to Pare. He perfected the use of Catgut, that is suture made from animal intestines. Additionally, he instituted the use of cotton plus wax to plug bleeding wounds. The full details of his works were made available to Europeans through Latin translations.


    Despite this, barbers and herdsmen continued be the primary individuals practicing the "art" of surgery for nearly six centuries after az-Zahrawi's death. Pare himself was a barber, albeit more skilled and conscientious than the average ones.


    Included in az-Zahrawi's legacy are dozens of books. His most famous work is a 30 volume treatise on medicine and surgery. His books contain sections on preventive medicine, nutrition, cosmetics, drug therapy, surgical technique, anesthesia, pre and post-operative care as well as drawings of some 200 surgical devices, many of which he invented. The refined and scholarly az-Zahrawi must be regarded as the father and founder of rational surgery, not the uneducated Pare.


    What is Taught: William Harvey, during the early 17th century, discovered that blood circulates. He was the first to correctly describe the function of the heart, arteries and veins. Rome's Galen had presented erroneous ideas regarding the circulatory system, and Harvey was the first to determine that blood is pumped throughout the body via the action of the heart and the venous valves. Therefore, he is regarded as the founder of human physiology.


    What Should be Taught: In the 10th century, Islam's ar-Razi wrote an in-depth treatise on the venous system, accurately describing the function of the veins and their valves. Ibn an-Nafs and Ibn al-Quff (13th century) provided full documentation that the blood circulates and correctly described the physiology of the heart and the function of its valves 300 years before Harvey. William Harvey was a graduate of Italy's famous Padua University at a time when the majority of its curriculum was based upon Ibn Sina's and ar-Razi's textbooks.


    What is Taught: The first pharmacopeia (book of medicines) was published by a German scholar in 1542. According to World Book Encyclopedia, the science of pharmacology was begun in the 1900's as an off-shoot of chemistry due to the analysis of crude plant materials. Chemists, after isolating the active ingredients from plants, realized their medicinal value.


    What Should be Taught:
    According to the eminent scholar of Arab history, Phillip Hitti, the Muslims, not the Greeks or Europeans, wrote the first "modern" pharmacopeia. The science of pharmacology was originated by Muslim physicians during the 9th century. They developed it into a highly refined and exact science. Muslim chemists, pharmacists and physicians produced thousands of drugs and/or crude herbal extracts one thousand years prior to the supposed birth of pharmacology. During the 14th century Ibn Baytar wrote a monumental pharmacopeia listing some 1400 different drugs. Hundreds of other pharmacopeias were published during the Islamic Era. It is likely that the German work is an offshoot of that by Ibn Baytar, which was widely circulated in Europe.


    What is Taught: The discovery of the scientific use of drugs in the treatment of specific diseases was made by Paracelsus, the Swiss-born physician, during the 16th century. He is also credited with being the first to use practical experience as a determining factor in the treatment of patients rather than relying exclusively on the works of the ancients.


    What Should be Taught: Ar-Razi, Ibn Sina, al-Kindi, Ibn Rushd, az-Zahrawi, Ibn Zuhr, Ibn Baytar, Ibn al-Jazzar, Ibn Juljul, Ibn al-Quff, Ibn an-Nafs, al-Biruni, Ibn Sahl and hundreds of other Muslim physicians mastered the science of drug therapy for the treatment of specific symptoms and diseases. In fact, this concept was entirely their invention. The word "drug" is derived from Arabic. Their use of practical experience and careful observation was extensive.


    Muslim physicians were the first to criticize ancient medical theories and practices. Ar-Razi devoted an entire book as a critique of Galen's anatomy. The works of Paracelsus are insignificant compared to the vast volumes of medical writings and original findings accomplished by the medical giants of Islam.


    What is Taught: The first sound approach to the treatment of disease was made by a German, Johann Weger, in the 1500's.


    What Should be Taught: Harvard's George Sarton says that modern medicine is entirely an Islamic development and that Setting the Record Straight the Muslim physicians of the 9th through 12th centuries were precise, scientific, rational and sound in their approach. Johann Weger was among thousands of Europeans physicians during the 15th through 17th centuries who were taught the medicine of ar-Razi and Ibn Sina. He contributed nothing original.


    What is Taught: Medical treatment for the insane was modernized by Philippe Pinel when in 1793 he operated France's first insane asylum.


    What Should be Taught: As early as the 1lth century, Islamic hospitals maintained special wards for the insane. They treated them kindly and presumed their disease was real at a time when the insane were routinely burned alive in Europe as witches and sorcerers. A curative approach was taken for mental illness and, for the first time in history, the mentally ill were treated with supportive care, drugs and psychotherapy. Every major Islamic city maintained an insane asylum where patients were treated at no charge. In fact, the Islamic system for the treatment of the insane excels in comparison to the current model, as it was more humane and was highly effective as well.


    What is Taught: Kerosine was first produced by the an Englishman, Abraham Gesner, in 1853. He distilled it from asphalt.


    What Should be Taught:
    Muslim chemists produced kerosine as a distillate from petroleum products over 1,000 years prior to Gesner (see Encyclopaedia Britannica under the heading, Petroleum).


    Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

    Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” - Dhul-Nun

    "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Victor Frankl

  2. #21
    Perseveranze's Avatar
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    Re: Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo View Post
    This appears to be all taken from progressive.----------- but this was written about a 100 years ago. But if it is true that Islam's influence is traceable everywhere then we have to take the bad and the good - however, it is one of those saying that is impossible to prove rather like the saying "every one knows" but like all universals it is disproved by one case and we might cite anything from the invention of the Yoyo to democracy. What is it about Muslims that they crave supremacy in everything but give credit to nothing else? The comment about the Greeks is plainly and totally untrue and one is amazed that anyone would say such nonsense let alone believe it. If one reads on in the quote we find Mohammed being described as a dictator - is that how Muslims see him?
    Asalaamu Alaikum,

    Are you finding it difficult to accept this? It's not suprising, alot of modern day people in the west don't even know this stuff. Would you like me to try and find you more quotes from well known Intellects?

    It must be owned that all the knowledge whether of Physics, Astronomy, Philosophy or Mathematics, which flourished in Europe from the 10th century was originally derived from the Arabian schools, and the Spanish Saracen may be looked upon as the father of European philosophy. [John Davenport]

    Here is something more modern for you;



    I kindly suggest you research this thoroughly, without somehow comming to the most misunderstood of conclusions. Research on how quick of an advancement the Muslims made, so big that it took the world by storm.

    What inspired the Muslims wasn't the Greeks, it was the Quran, almost every single piece of work they did they had some kind of Quranic verse attatched to it. Although I'm not discrediting the Greeks here, I'm just stating that the level of advancement that came through in this period of time was revolutionary to not just the Arabs but the whole world, one which alot of modern day Science would derive from.

    The power that created in Muslims a ravenous appetite for knowledge sprung from the Qur’an. [Rev. B. Margoliouth]
    Last edited by Perseveranze; 01-01-2011 at 01:58 AM.
    Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

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    M.I.A.'s Avatar
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    Re: Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

    Quote Originally Posted by Perseveranze View Post
    Asalaamu Alaikum,

    Are you finding it difficult to accept this? It's not suprising, alot of modern day people in the west don't even know this stuff. Would you like me to try and find you more quotes from well known Intellects?

    Here is something more modern for you;



    I kindly suggest you research this thoroughly, without somehow comming to the most misunderstood of conclusions.

    Bottom fact is, what Inspired the Muslims wasn't the Greeks, it was the Quran, almost every single piece of work they did they had some kind of Quranic verse attatched to it.

    The power that created in Muslims a ravenous appetite for knowledge sprung from the Qur’an. [Rev. B. Margoliouth]
    i dont like the symbol on the ambulance lol

    iv seen snakes on pharmacy bags aswell.. im sure its all well and good but the paranoia kreeps in insidiously.

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    Re: Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

    Quote Originally Posted by Perseveranze View Post
    Are you finding it difficult to accept this? It's not suprising, alot of modern day people in the west don't even know this stuff. Would you like me to try and find you more quotes from well known Intellects?
    Yes please do
    It must be owned that all the knowledge whether of Physics, Astronomy, Philosophy or Mathematics, which flourished in Europe from the 10th century was originally derived from the Arabian schools, and the Spanish Saracen may be looked upon as the father of European philosophy.[John Davenport]
    I think you have to show this to be true - ALL is a very large body of knowledge and also at the same time forget that the Muslim scholars did not start from scratch but built on the work of others. If we consider the famous translation movement and its huge and impressive importance in the development of philology, philosophy and science in Baghdad between roughly the 9th and 10th centuries then you have to remember that scholars of all sorts were there and they did not translate just the odd book but (because the conquered empire was large and the Califs could afford it) but went off and translated whole libraries. You also must be aware that many of the most famous scholars were not Muslim at all, for instance Hunayn (Christian) and Qusta ibn-Luqa (polytheist) and the doyen of the Abbassid translation movement, Al Kindi was not a translator himself but was the head of a major translation circle. One also has to note that many of the towering Islamic figures were Ismaili. Nevertheless it was a fantastic period to get so much knowledge into a single language, incidentally it is said that a good translator could earn the equivalent of £24,000 a month at this time. Sadly, Muslim did not adopt the printing press until long after Europe and so huge numbers of Arabic text were been translated in to Latin because Arabic itself had become too complicated to see in movable type.

    If one considers Ibn Sīnā who wrote it is said 450 works (about half are now lost) though perhaps his most famous were The Book of Healing, a vast encyclopaedia and The Canon of Medicine, which was a standard medical text at many medieval universities until about 1650. The Canon of Medicine provides a complete system of medicine according to the principles of Galen and Hippocrates who were Greeks. One also has to recognise how often people like Ibn Sina were in trouble with shall we call it Islamic Orthodoxy and Ibn Rushd who in my view was one of the greatest thinkers of his age was made to sit outside the Mosque in Cordoba so the 'faithful' could spit on him.

    Perhaps you would like to explain how all this flowering of knowledge came to and end? Or give praise to Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Turing, Dirac, Berners-Lee etc who brought us the modern world and ushered in a staggering acceleration of knowledge never before see in human history? You see people like the above as well as Ibn Rushd and Ibn Sina understood that science belongs to no one and applies to every one no matter what they believe - can you acknowledge this? I suggest you look beyond the Islamic world and research there also and get away once and for all from the mistaken belief that all knowledge does not emanate from Islam.


    What inspired the Muslims wasn't the Greeks, it was the Quran, almost every single piece of work they did they had some kind of Quranic verse attatched to it. Although I'm not discrediting the Greeks here, I'm just stating that the level of advancement that came through in this period of time was revolutionary to not just the Arabs but the whole world, one which alot of modern day Science would derive from.
    What made it possible was conquered nations and the wealth that came from them and the sheer difficulty of running such huge empires. You should also note that most of the great Islamic scientist were in effect private employees of the califs, no oner else had the money and science costs al lot - even then support was often short lived, for example, observatories were created but the longest time any one of the existed was 30 years. But all this fell apart with internal and external rivalries with several simultaneous caliphates being created and inevitably the arrival of those who had 'pure' Islam and as I have already said persecution followed because the whole point of being a scientist is to ask questions however unpalatable they may seem
    Last edited by Hugo; 01-03-2011 at 03:19 PM.

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    Re: Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

    Watch this;









    So what happened to the once glorious scientific legacy of Islam and Arabia? Experts cite many things

    Universities were an Islamic invention later adopted in Europe, but Muslim universities did not shelter and preserve scientific knowledge during wars and other upheavals. Christian warriors carved up the Islamic empire and cut off contact between great scientific centers. Here in Spain, the Catholic reconquest of Ferdinand and Isabella deprived Islamic science of the great libraries and schools in Cordoba, Seville and Toledo. Conflicts also cut off science's lifeblood -- cash for research and education. And the Ottomans, who took over much of the Islamic world in the early 1500s, used their resources to make war, not science.

    It's a shame, Christianity went away from their religion and advanced, when Muslims went away from their religion they went backwards.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo View Post
    Perhaps you would like to explain how all this flowering of knowledge came to and end? Or give praise to Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Turing, Dirac, Berners-Lee etc who brought us the modern world and ushered in a staggering acceleration of knowledge never before see in human history? You see people like the above as well as Ibn Rushd and Ibn Sina understood that science belongs to no one and applies to every one no matter what they believe - can you acknowledge this? I suggest you look beyond the Islamic world and research there also and get away once and for all from the mistaken belief that all knowledge does not emanate from Islam.

    Watch the video above (and I've already stated above why the Muslims degraded). My point is pretty simple, in a span of 23 Years, Arabia went from a bandit' desert to a real unified civilization, filled with inspiration to do many things; one of which was clearly to seek knowledge (as many Hadiths and Quranic reverences point out to). From the death of the Prophet(pbuh), civilization took from that insipiration and continue'd to ascend at a rapidly increasing rate. This kind of revolution has never happened before, the likes of Einstine as you mentioned were born into an already developing world and through the ages such Great Scientists occurred, more naturally rather than spontaneously. Give me any other book apart from the Quran, any greek book or anything that stemmed their people to deeply think, observe and most importantly have hunger to seek great knowledge.

    My arguement stands clear that if it wasn't for this sudden burst of inspiration, which has never till this day taken place before, Science would still be developing at it's natural pace as it has been since the Europeans took over. What the Greeks could not do (due to that 3rd or X factor that the Muslims had), was done in a matter of a few centuries through Quranic inspirations and the hunger to seek greater knowledge. Discoveries were made upon Knowledge and Spirituality.

    Something happened in 23 years that sparked a revolution off that would change the world in many ways, whether you want to accept it or not (clearly you don't want to, since every expert Quote I give, you have a better opinion and a strange interpretation too), Islamic Science had it's part to share in that revolution and this is not a mistaken belief, it's your misconception due to several possible reasons. Things like Computers changed the world, Nuclear weapons changed the world, they'll all get their credits for it though, Muslims however won't.

    And finally, unless you want to keep going back and forth in an endless arguement (unless you have a change of thought), I recommend we drop it.

    The Prophet said: Let people stop boasting about their ancestors. One is only a pious believer or a miserable sinner. All men are sons of Adam, and Adam came from dust .
    Last edited by Perseveranze; 01-03-2011 at 06:42 PM.
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    Re: Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

    There is no real shortage of books on this subject and the ones of most recent date are as follows. If I were to advise I would start with Masood’s book (linked to the TV series shown in many clips here) as it can easily be read in an afternoon. After that I think Al-Khalili’s (the TV series presenter) book is very readable and since he is a distinguished scientist, humanistic and atheist so in my view he brings a much needed clarity and depth to the actual science involved without any religious bias. But you must read more than one book to get a comprehensive picture and don't rely on carefully selected abstracts from web sites or YouTube if you really want to know and understand this history. Unfortunately, some of these books are expensive but use Amazon or abebooks.com to find second hand copies easily.

    Saliba, G, (2007), Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance, MIT Press, ISBN 978-0262516150
    Lyons, J, (2010), The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, ISBN: 978-1408801215
    Masood, E, (2009), Science and Islam: A History, Icon Books Ltd, ISBN: 978-1848310810
    Morgan, M, (2008), Lost History: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers and Artists, NGS, ISBN: 978-1426202803
    Al-Khalili, J, (2010), Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science, Allen Lane, ISBN: 978-1846141614
    Turner, H, (1997), Science in Medieval Islam: An Illustrated Introduction, University of Texas Press, ISBN: 978-0292781498
    Freely, J, (2010), Aladdin's Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe through the Islamic World, Vintage Books USA, ISBN: 978-0307277831
    Al-Hassani, S.T.S, (2007), 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World, FSTC, ISBN: 978-0955242618
    Karabell, Z (2007), People of the Book: The Forgotten History of Islam and the West, John Murray, ISBN: 978-0719567551

    Obviously I have not read all these books (just 3) but they are written by all kinds of authors from professional scientists and historians to journalists so you are bound to find inaccuracies or errors. For example, a common complaint about many of these books relates to the ethnicity and cultural background of the ancient scientists discussed and often they are all lumped together as ‘Arab’ because they wrote in Arabic giving readers the false impression those scientists such as Khwarizmi, Tusi, ibn-Sina and al-Razi were all Arabs when in fact they were Persian. Similarly we find other famous names such as Hunyan ibn Ishaq, Yahya ibn abi Mansur, Jibril ibn Bakhtyashu and Ibn Massawayh were Christians. Likewise Sahl al-Tabari, Ishaq ibn Amran, Mashaallah and Maimonides were Jewish.

    Of course we cannot hope to understand the context of science at that time if we ignore the influence of Islam for Arabic science was inextricably linked to religion driven by a need to understand the Qu’ran plus the fact that the empire was large and made up of conquered nations so the income was immense so big science could and was funded (you cannot run an observatory for 30 years for peanuts). One final point is that politics in Baghdad during the early Abbasid rule was dominated by Islamic rationalists, known as the Mu’tazilites, who sought to combine faith and reason and this (unlike much of today’s Islamic world) led to a spirit of tolerance in which scientific enquiry of all kinds was encouraged - indeed it was said in the learned salons of Baghdad that you could say anything as long as it was well argued.

    Some books don’t quite explain how science was transmitted and absorbed. For example, Ptolemy’s famous book ‘Almagest’ was translated into Arabic (3 versions) and his Planetary Hypothesis had a dramatic impact and shaped the course of Islamic Astronomy and so began a great sky watch and some Islamic Astronomers collected data for over 40 years. From this data they knew that Ptolemy’s model was wrong because any calculations using it had to be updated every few years but no one could figure out why although the famous Tusi couple idea helped simplify and modify the model but its was always fatally flawed. It was not so much that no one had ever thought of a heliocentric model (a number of Islamic astronomers and others did) but no one could figure out, explain, how such a model would work and that had to wait until Copernicus. Even then there was opposition from the Church and his new and correct model initially gave worse results than Tusi's updated model but eventually it was refined and recognised by all as correct.

    Jim Kaklili said "It is rather sad that around the world today to non-Muslims the term Islam, [not without reason], evokes a negative stereotype that contrasts with our Western secular, tolerant and enlightened society. This lazy view can make it difficult to acknowledge that a thousand years ago the roles were reversed where it was understood that progress, through reason and rationality, is by definition a good thing; knowledge and enlightenment are always better than ignorance." In the same way Muslims can take a lazy view that everything Western is bad and instead of trusting in a shared humanity take a supremacist view and bask in the glories of the past whilst forgetting what other have done. For my part it does not concern me whether a particular area of science was developed by Greeks, Christians, Muslims or Jews because for me there is just science (there is only one Ohms law or Archimedes Principle etc) and I take the view that if God created the Universe and its laws there is no real difference in principle perhaps between someone claiming moral revelations and those who discover scientific ones as they all ultimately must come from God.
    Last edited by Hugo; 01-04-2011 at 10:24 PM.

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    Re: Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo View Post
    d since he is a distinguished scientist and humanistic atheist he brings a much needed clarity to the actual science involved without any religious bias

    I must admit that is refreshing and says a mouthful!
    like the other idiot who brings an apostate with a 4th grade education in Islam and presents him as a 'Muslim scholar' and you wonder why you have no credibility around here?

    Here is an advise that you can surely use.. Try books taught in academia! try a little solid history, try Museums and travel before you peddle around braying donkeys who echo your hatred and share your views with no scholastic aptitude whatsoever!

    You can't strike a tent and pass around snake oil as a miracle cure anymore in the face of conventional modern medicine. And The same can't be done of history!

    Take a hike you hateful jealous ignoramus!

    all the best
    Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

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  10. #27
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    Re: Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

    I just want to add one final note for the moment to my posting number 25 by sharing some of Professor Al-Khalili's thoughts with you.

    In today's world the comfortable compatibility between science and religion during the Abassid period contrasts starkly with the tensions between science and the many different faiths around the world today - one only has to think of IVF, weapons research, artificial life to see this and these tension are not good for openness.

    What we saw way back in about 800AD was that in contrast to the Greek philosophers abstract notions, scientists in Baghdad became grounded in something very close to the modern scientific method with its reliance on empirical evidence, experimentation and testability. This does not mean they were 'better' than the Greeks but they did move science a very big step forward. One might say that these scientists in Baghdad were able to disentangle science from religion and so we have the saying "the Qu'ran (or Bible or whatever) tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go".

    It is common in books to refer to all this as 'Arabic science' because the language was Arabic so its an easy and convenient term. But scholars came to Baghdad from all over the place (Iran, Spain, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan etc) in much the same way that scholars are drawn to Oxford or Cambridge or MIT today because that is where the best science is, the best people are, the money to make it all work and the open and free environment for the exchange of ideas. We don't talk about Latin Science or English Science but as long as one understand the term "Arabic Science" to mean science recorded in Arabic in the Abassid (mostly) period then nothing can be really misunderstood. The only caution here is that these great men are known in the literature by Persian names, Arab names and Latin names so its often hard to know where they came from but that should not stop us looking in wonder at what they managed to achieve.

    One final word about the start of the wonderful flowering of science some 1200 years ago is worth saying. In 768 AD Abu Ja'far Abdullah al-Ma'mun (son of the very famous Harun al-Rashid) was born and he was to become the most famous ruler of Baghdad. He was half Arab, half Persian but he is central to the story of Arabic Science for he without doubt became the greatest patron of science in the cavalcade of Islamic rulers and the person responsible for initiating the world's most impressive period of scholarship and learning since Greek times. A time that was not to be repeated until the modern era beginning in the late 17 century and up until now.

    Al-Ma'mun was not the only caliph to support scholarship and science, but he was certainly the most cultured, passionate and enthusiastic. He created, and this is absolutely crucial, an environment that encouraged original thinking and free debate like no other Islamic ruler before or since so scholars from everywhere flocked to Baghdad.
    Last edited by Hugo; 01-05-2011 at 12:38 PM.

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    Re: Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

    Great stuff. I'm not trying to troll here, this is a genuine question: do you have credible references for that? Because I didn't find any on the citation you provided.

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    Re: Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science


    jazakallahu khair for posting this , its annoying that your not taught this stuff in schools i knew about some of them but like discovery of pendulums and the first flying machine an most of the other stuff i had no idea about subhanallah

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    Re: Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

    do we need to feed ourselves with history to know what we are capable of?
    to tell you the truth, i dont believe we are capable of anything
    that is basically our problem
    faith in ourselves, rather than trust in Allah
    There is no power and strength other than him. remember that and we got it made.


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