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Muslim contributions to society
Registered User
User ID: 14247
10-02-2012 06:52 PM

Posts: 24,910

Post: #16
RE: Muslim contributions to society
LoP Guest  Wrote: (10-02-2012 06:09 PM)
I applaud those who reminded us of the historical contributions of Islam to science, philosophy, mathematics etc.

However, notice how much of those contributions have stopped en masse. The culture has been stiffled by radical elements - and that's a flaw. It's also why, eventually, that viewpoint is destined to die out.

Either religions adapt to a changing society, or they eventually fade away as being obsolete. I believe the same will happen with the Catholic Church and the traditional Zionists, as well. They are following a course too rigid, too fixed in some assumed "mythological" past, to appeal to the demands of a changing, dynamic world. All three of these world religions have contributed to society and all three have helped their groups coalesce - but in this ever shrinking, ever changing world, they must be more encompassing to be of further value.

The contributions haven't stopped, you just don't hear about them, look up all the muslim scientists, there are many, and even recently space technology and engines were developed by a student from Egypt.

If you rely on the disproportionate and biased media for your ideas about reality, then you really know nothing about the world outside other than lies and propaganda.

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LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 124912
10-02-2012 07:32 PM


Post: #17
RE: Muslim contributions to society
unfortunately for OP without muslims we would still be in the dark ages thinking the earth is flat, that the sun orbits around the earth and that all illness' are actually demonic possessions
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Registered User
User ID: 121899
10-02-2012 07:37 PM

Posts: 10,044

Post: #18
RE: Muslim contributions to society
LoP Guest  Wrote: (10-02-2012 04:34 PM)
Have you ever been to a Muslim hospital ?

Have you heard a Muslim orchestra?

Have you seen a Muslim band march in a parade?

Have you seen Muslims, shake hands with Muslim Girl Scouts?

Have you seen a Muslim Candy Striper?

Have you seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life ????

Have you ever seen a muslim pet a dog?

funny but...

do you count? Rofl

Arabic numerals [1][2] or Arabic numerals[2][3] or Arabic numerals[4] are the ten digits (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). They are descended from the Arabic numeral system developed by Arabian mathematicians,[5] in which a sequence of digits such as "975" is read as a numeral. They were transmitted to Europe in the Middle Ages. The use of Arabic numerals spread around the world through European trade, books and colonialism. Today they are the most common symbolic representation of numbers in the world.

The reason the digits are more commonly known as "Arabic numerals" in Europe and the Americas is that they were introduced to Europe in the 10th century by Arabs in North Africa & Middle East, who were then using the digits.This is not to be confused with what the Arabs call the "Hindi numerals", namely the Eastern numerals (٠‎ - ١‎ - ٢‎ - ٣‎ - ٤‎ - ٥‎ - ٦‎ - ٧‎ - ٨‎ - ٩‎) used in the Middle East, or any of the numerals currently used in Indian languages (e.g. Devanagari: ०.१.२.३.४.५.६.७.८.९).[6]

In English, the term Arabic numerals can be ambiguous. It most commonly refers to the numeral system widely used in Europe and the Americas. Arabic numerals is the conventional name for the entire family of related systems of Arabic. It may also be intended to mean the numerals used by Arabs in North Africa & Middle East, in which case it generally refers to the Eastern Arabic-Indian numerals.

The decimal Arabic numeral system was invented around 500 CE. The system was revolutionary by including a zero and positional notation. It is considered an important milestone in the development of mathematics. One may distinguish between this positional system, which is identical throughout the family, and the precise glyphs used to write the numerals, which vary regionally. The glyphs most commonly used in conjunction with the Latin script since early modern times are 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9.

Although the phrase "Arabic numeral" is frequently capitalized, it is sometimes written in lower case: for instance, in its entry in the Oxford English dictionary.[7] This helps distinguish it from "Arabic numerals" as the East Arabic numerals specific to the Arabs.

she had a stroke now half of her brain is missing - livia soprano
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Registered User
User ID: 124444
10-02-2012 07:40 PM

Posts: 4,709

Post: #19
RE: Muslim contributions to society
one word.


The modern world wouldn't exist without it.

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LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 124641
10-02-2012 08:13 PM


Post: #20
RE: Muslim contributions to society
LoP Guest  Wrote: (10-02-2012 05:39 PM)
A Muslim taught my how to throw any item within arms length at someone with optimal damage.

Was that the guy that chucked a shoe at G.W.Bush by any chance
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LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 124641
10-02-2012 08:15 PM


Post: #21
RE: Muslim contributions to society
evo  Wrote: (10-02-2012 07:40 PM)
one word.


The modern world wouldn't exist without it.

when the f*** do you in your day too day life use friggin Algebra,whats that you dont hmmm,did puting men the moon use any Algebra,no.
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Registered User
User ID: 124444
10-02-2012 08:17 PM

Posts: 4,709

Post: #22
RE: Muslim contributions to society
LoP Guest  Wrote: (10-02-2012 08:15 PM)
evo  Wrote: (10-02-2012 07:40 PM)
one word.


The modern world wouldn't exist without it.

when the f*** do you in your day too day life use friggin Algebra,whats that you dont hmmm,did puting men the moon use any Algebra,no.

This best be a f*cking troll attempt... I don't believe anyone can be so unbelievably stupid.

[Image: evo-1.png]
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Registered User
User ID: 124673
10-02-2012 08:57 PM

Posts: 1,487

Post: #23
RE: Muslim contributions to society
The Muslims' contribution to the advancement of humanity can be summed up by stating the Muslims merely went from place to place stealing whatever science there was there, killing the people who formulated it and could use it, then used the tech until it wore out or broke down and then they went back to being the primitive herders they always have been.

Their ancestors sacked the Greek Empire, the Egyptian Empire, the Roman Empire and other budding empires no doubt.

After destroying just about everything and killing and/or enslaving the people, they simply made use of what tech existed in those places.

Without the Muslims, tech would surely be far more advanced now than it is.

Just look at how the majority of Muslims countries are and ask yourself if the natives are advanced in any meaningful way ... they aren't. Anything they have which is useful comes from the White West (what remains of it).

Jews? Jews and Muslims are birds of a feather. The Muslims' history is one of violently stealing anything that catches their eye, and the Jews have a history of using usury, extortion, blackmail and hiring thugs (such as the Muslims) to do their dirty work.

The sum total of the Muslims' contribution to the planet is negative - same as the Jews.

Are Christians so wonderful? I don't think so. The great scholars and scientists in the days of the great empires weren't Christians.

Religion sucks life.
(This post was last modified: 10-02-2012 09:00 PM by mael.) Quote this message in a reply
LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 124916
10-02-2012 08:58 PM


Post: #24
RE: Muslim contributions to society
It's all bullshit. The Africans say the same shit: "we invented air to breath" and "we invented gravity" Lol

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Richard Eldritch
User ID: 122071
10-02-2012 09:01 PM

Posts: 41,174

Post: #25
RE: Muslim contributions to society
You Ignorant f*cks! Have none of you eaten their delicious currys? God bless the muslims and may the poppadoms never stop flowing.......

Pope Barbie Imaculata Wrote: (Today 08:28 PM)

Would you like some cheezwhiz with your whine?
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Registered User
User ID: 124444
10-02-2012 09:03 PM

Posts: 4,709

Post: #26
RE: Muslim contributions to society
Richard Eldritch  Wrote: (10-02-2012 09:01 PM)
You Ignorant f*cks! Have none of you eaten their delicious currys? God bless the muslims and may the poppadoms never stop flowing.......

If you're gonna attribute poppadoms and curries to any religion it would be Hindu mate :p

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LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 124931
10-02-2012 09:29 PM


Post: #27
RE: Muslim contributions to society
LoP Guest  Wrote: (10-02-2012 06:17 PM)
northoftheborder  Wrote: (10-02-2012 06:12 PM)
The biggest things Muslims can contribute to society is to find a deep hole they can never escape from and throw themselves into it.

before or after self-stoning??

You do realise for a muslim it is against there religion to charge interest on a loan? this goes for their banks aswell.
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Richard Eldritch
User ID: 122071
10-02-2012 09:30 PM

Posts: 41,174

Post: #28
RE: Muslim contributions to society
evo  Wrote: (10-02-2012 09:03 PM)
Richard Eldritch  Wrote: (10-02-2012 09:01 PM)
You Ignorant f*cks! Have none of you eaten their delicious currys? God bless the muslims and may the poppadoms never stop flowing.......

If you're gonna attribute poppadoms and curries to any religion it would be Hindu mate :p

Pah! Hindus? Vegetarians..almost buddists. chuckle

Pope Barbie Imaculata Wrote: (Today 08:28 PM)

Would you like some cheezwhiz with your whine?
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Registered User
User ID: 124444
10-02-2012 09:32 PM

Posts: 4,709

Post: #29
RE: Muslim contributions to society
Richard Eldritch  Wrote: (10-02-2012 09:30 PM)
evo  Wrote: (10-02-2012 09:03 PM)
Richard Eldritch  Wrote: (10-02-2012 09:01 PM)
You Ignorant f*cks! Have none of you eaten their delicious currys? God bless the muslims and may the poppadoms never stop flowing.......

If you're gonna attribute poppadoms and curries to any religion it would be Hindu mate :p

Pah! Hindus? Vegetarians..almost buddists. chuckle

lol curry doesn't have to have meat chuckle

[Image: evo-1.png]
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LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 121611
10-02-2012 09:34 PM


Post: #30
RE: Muslim contributions to society
And nothing since except jihad.

A New Man  Wrote: (10-02-2012 04:39 PM)
Since you asked...
In the seventh century A.D., the prophet Muhammad (SAW) was
sent to the people of Arabia. Within a decade of his death
the Muslims had conquered all of the Arabian peninsula. Within a
century, Islam had spread from Al-Andalus in Spain to the borders of
China. Islam unified science, theology, and philosophy. Muslims were
commanded to study, seek knowledge, and learn and benefit from
others' experiences by Allah (SWT) in the holy Quran and by the
prophet Muhammad (SAW) in the Sunnah. It was this that inspired the
Muslims to great heights in sciences, medicine, mathematics,
astronomy, chemistry, philosophy, art and architecture.

Muslim scholars began obtaining Greek treatises and started
their study and translation into Arabic a few centuries after
the Hijrah (622 A.D.) They critically analyzed, collated , corrected
and supplemented substantially the Greek science and philosophy.
After this period began what is known as the Golden Age
of Islam, which lasted for over two centuries. It is here we find
many of the great scientists of Islam who literally left behind
hundreds and thousands of books on the various branches of science.

Abu Ali al-Hussain Ibn Abdallah Ibn Sina, universally known
as Avicinna (980-1037), alone wrote 246 books, including
Kitab-al Shifa (The Book of Healing) consisting of 20 volumes and Al-
Qanun fit Tibb (The Canons of Medicine) . The Qanun was the chief
guide for medical science in the West from the twelfth to the
seventeenth century. Dr. William Osler, who wrote The Evolution of
Modern Science, remarks "The Qanun has remained a medical Bible for
a longer period than any other work". Containing over
a million words, it surveyed the entire medical knowledge available
from ancient and Muslim sources, and including his own original

Ibn Sina's original contributions included such advances
such as recognition of the contagious nature of phtisis and
tuberculosis; distribution of diseases by water and soil and the
interaction between psychology and health. Also, the book described
over 760 drugs and became the most authentic of its era. Ibn Sina
was also the first to describe meningitis and made rich contributions
to anatomy, gynaecology and child health.

This interest in medicine went back to the time of
the Prophet (SAW), who once said that there
existed a cure for every disease. With this spirit there were
hospitals and clinics built all over the Muslim world, the earliest
built in 707 by Caliph Walid ibn Abd a-Malik in Damascus.
Muslims made many advances such as the idea of circulation of
blood and quarantine and the foundation of the first apothecary shops
and the earliest school of pharmacy.

Hunayn ibn Ishaq, a philosopher and physician made advances
in Medicine, Physics, Mathematics, Astronomy Veterinary
Science, and Ophthalmology. He was the head of the famous school of
translators founded by Caliph Mamun at Baghdad and wrote the first
systematic text book on opthamology.

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (865-925 AD) , known
as Rhazes, was one of the most prolific Muslim doctors and
probably second only to Ibn Sina in his accomplishments. He was born
at Ray, Iran and became a student of Hunayn ibn Ishaq and later a
student of Ali ibn Rabban. He wrote over 200 books, including Kitab
al-Mansuri, ten volumes on Greek medicine, and al-Hawi, an
encyclopedia of medicine in 20 volumes. In al-Hawi, he
included each medical subject's information available from Greek and
Arab sources and then added his own remarks based on his experience
and views. He classified substances as vegetable, animal or mineral
while other alchemists divided them into "bodies", "souls" and

Al-Razi was first placed in charge of the first Royal
Hospital at Ray, from where he soon moved to a similar
position in Baghdad where he remained the head of its famous
Muqtadari Hospital for a long time. He found a treatment for kidney
and bladder stones, and explained the nature of various infectious
diseases. He also conducted research on smallpox and
measles and was the first to introduce the use of alcohol for medical
purposes. A unique feature to his medical system was
that he greatly favored cure through correct and regulated food
intake. This was combined with his emphasis on the influence of
psychological factors on health. He also tried proposed remedies
first on animals in order to evaluate their effects and side
effects. He was also an expert surgeon and the first to use opium
for anesthesia.

Another great physician who soon followed was al-Razi was
Abul Qasim al-Zahrawi (963-1013 AD) who is known as Albucasis
to the West. A famous surgeon in his time, at the court of Caliph
al- Hakam II , students and patients flocked to him from the Muslim
world and Europe. He wrote the medical encyclopedia al-Tasrif li man
ajaz an-il-talif, which contained 30 sections of surgical knowledge
and illustrations of 200 surgical instruments, most of which he
designed himself. The Encyclopedia was not only a standard for
physicians, but even five centuries later it was being used as the
standard textbook on surgery in universities in Europe.
He also performed many delicate operations such as Cesareans and was
also the first to use silk thread for stitching wounds.

Al-Idrisi was born in Cordova, Spain in 1099. His major
contribution was in medicinal plants which he described in
many books, such as Kitab al-Jami-li-Sifat Ashtat al-Nabatat. He
collected plans and data not reported earlier and added this to the
subject of botany. From him a large number of new drugs from plants
with their evaluations became available to medical practitioners.
Al-Idrisi also made original contributions to topography, as related
to economics, physical factors and cultural aspects. He wrote
geographical encyclopedias, the largest called Rawd-Unnas wa Nuzhalat
Nafs (Pleasure of Men and Delight of Souls). Al-Idrisi
also wrote on the subjects of fauna, zoology and threapeutical
aspects. His work was soon translated into Latin and his books on
geography especially remained popular in the east and west for
several centuries.

Working in the field of botany as well was abu Muhammad Ibn
al-Baitar, also from Spain. He was one of the greatest
scientists of Muslim Spain and one of the greatest botanists and
pharmacists of the Middle Ages. He went on many traveling
expeditions to collect plants as far as Africa and Asia Minor. He
wrote Kitab al-Jami al-Adiwaya al-Mufrada, one of the greatest
botanical compilations dealing with medicinal plants in Arabic The
encyclopedia was made of over 1,400 items, many of which were not
known before. The book referred to the works of 150 authors, mostly
Arabic and quoted about 20 early Greek scientists. It was translated
into Latin and published as late as 1758.

Ibn al-Baitars works were characterized by observation,
analysis and classification and exerted a profound influence
on Eastern as well as Western botany and medicine. Even though many
of his works were translated and published late in the western
languages, many earlier scientists had studied various parts of the
book and made several references to it.

At the same time as these advances in medicine were being
made, the Muslims produced some of the most outstanding
Mathematicians. Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, born in 780 A.D.,
was the founder of modern Algebra. He developed sine, cosine and
trigonometrical tables, which were later translated to the West. His
book on algebra Hisab al-Jabr waal-Muqabalah (The Calculation of
Integration and Equation) was used until the 16th century as the
principal textbook of European universities. In it he
writes that given an equation, collecting the unknowns in one side of
the equation is called al-Jabr and collecting the knowns in the other
side of the equation is called al- Mukabalah. He also described six
basic types of equations: nx=m , x^2=nx , x^2=m , m+x^2 =nx, m+nx
+x^2 and x^2=m+nx. He also solved the particular equation
x^2+21=10x using geometrical arguments.

Al-Khawarizmi also helped introduce Arabic numerals, the
decimal position system, and the concept of zero. Algebra
and Algorithm are in fact corruption's of his work and name.
Interestingly, this first every book on algebra included many
examples from the Islamic inheritance laws and how they could be
solved using algebra. Under al-Mamun the caliph of the time, he with
some others were the first to map the globe.

In the field of Algebra the Muslims continued with Thabit Ibn
Qurra's more general equations solved by geometrical
arguments. In 901, Abu Kamil, called "the Egyptian calculator", did
some work on algebra in which he established rules for manipulating
algebraic expressions. He also proved various laws such as
ax*bx-abx^2, a(bx)=(ab)x and (10-x)(10-x)=100+x^2-20x (Mirza, p124).
Around 1000, Abu Bakr Al-Karaji, in his book The Marvelous discussed
higher order equations such as fourth and fifth order equations,
combing geometry and arithmetic. Al-Samawal
established the power law x^nx^n=x^(m+n) in 1180 in his work The
Shining which is just one of his 85 books. He also worked on
performing multiplication of algebraic expressions involving terms
with different powers and division of polynomials. Abu
Yunus proved the famous identity cos(a)cos(b)={cos(a+b)+cos(a-b)}/2
and used spherical trigonometry to set formulas to computer prayer
times. Al-Biruni also used spherical trigonometry to find the
direction of Mecca or any other city on the globe.

Another outstanding mathematician was Ghiyath al-Din al
Kashani of the late fourteenth century. He worked on the
theory of numbers and techniques of computations. In 1424, he
computed a value of 2pi to sixteen decimal digits of accuracy using
an approximation of the circle by 805306368 side polygon. One of his
most important works was Miftah elHussab or The Calculators' Key, in
it he described an algorithm for finding the fifth root of any
number. The book was used in Persian schools until the seventeenth
century. Later in his life he moved to Samarkand at the request of
the then ruler to help direct a new scientific school and observatory
and conduct research with other scholars of the time. Kashani also
wrote on how to approximate sin(1) by solving a cubic equation

Umar Khayyam known to the west as only a poet actually also
was an excellent mathematician. He criticized Euclid's
theorems, evolved a methodology for the solution of third degree
equations, and did research in the field of binomials and their

Abu Wafa Muhammad al-Buzanji was born in Buzjan, Nishapur in
940 A. D. He became a great mathematician and astronomer at
Baghdad and died in 997 A.D. Al-Buzanji's main contribution lies in
several branches of mathematics, in geometry and trigonometry
especially. In geometry he contributed to a solution of geometrical
problems with opening of the compass, construction of a square
equivalent to other squares, regular polyhedra, construction of
regular hectagon taking for its side of the equilateral triangle
inscribed in the same circle, constructions of parabola by points and
geometrical solution of the equations x4=a and x4+ax3=b.

Al-Buzanji's contribution to the development of trigonometry
was also extensive. He was the first to show the generality
of the sine theorem relative to spherical triangles. He developed a
new method of constructing sine tables, the value of sin 30` being
correct to the eight decimal place. He also developed relations for
sine(a+b) and the formula: 2 sin2 (a/2) = 1 -cos a and sin a = 2 sin
(a/2) cos (a/2). In addition he studied tangent and
calculated tables for them. He introduced the secant and cosecant
for the first time. He wrote a large number of books on mathematics
and other subjects, most of which have been lost or exist in modified
forms. He also wrote rich commentaries on Euclid, Diophanatos and
al-Khwarizmi. A sizable part of today's trigonometry can be traced
back to him.

Abu Abdullah al-Battani (862-929 A.D.) was a son of a
scientist and also a famous astronomer, mathematician and
astrologer. He is often considered one of the greatest astronomists
of Islam. His career of 42 years included a number of important
discoveries, including the accurate determination of the solar year
as 365 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes, and 24 seconds, which is very close
to modern estimates. He also determined with accuracy
the obliquity of the ecliptic, the length of the seasons and the true
and mean orbit of the sun. He proved that in contrast to Ptolemy,
the variation of the apparent angular diameter of the sun and the
possibility of annular eclipses. His observations of lunar and solar
eclipses were used by Dunthorne in 1749 to determine the secular
acceleration of motion of the moon.

In mathematics, al-Battani was the first to replace the use
of Greekchords by sines and the first to develop the concept
of cotangent and furnished their table in degrees. He wrote a number
of books on astronomy and trigonometry. His most famous book was his
astronomical treatise with tables which was translated into Latin in
the 12th century, called De Sceinta Stellerum De numeris Stellerum et
Motibus. This was extremely influential in Europe until the
Renaissance, with translations available in several languages.
His original discoveries in both astronomy and
trigonometry were of great consequence in the development of those

In the related field of Physics, Abu al-Fath Abd al-Rahman
al-Khazini studied mechanics and hydrostats and wrote books
on physics and astronomy. Al-Biruni, a geographer, chronologist,
mathematician, astronomer, was also a physicist. His Elements of
Astrology remained a textbook for centuries and he also wrote on
specific gravity, and developed formulas to determine absolute and
specific weights of all objects.

Abu al-Hassan al Haitham (965-1039 AD) was one of the most
eminent physicists, whose contribution to optics and the
scientific method were great. Originally from Basra, he went to
Egypt where he was asked to find ways of controlling the flood of the
Nile. Being unsuccessful in this, he feigned madness until the death
of Caliph al-Hakim. He also traveled to Spain and during this time
also had time for his scientific pursuits. He wrote treatises such
as Kital al-Manzir on light, worked with mirrors and lenses,
reflection, refraction, and magnifying and burning glasses.
He discussed the propagation of light and colors, optic
illusions and opposed the view of Euclid and Ptolemy that the eye
sent out visual rays. From studying motion, he discovered the
principle of inertia.

He contradicted Ptolemy's and Euclid's theory of vision that
objects are seen by rays of light emanating from the eyes.
According to Haitham, the rays originated in the object of vision
and not in the eye. Through this kind of extensive research on
optics, he has been considered the father of modern Optics. Roger
Bacon and all medieval Western writers on optics based their work
largely on his Opticae Thesaurus and it even influenced Leonardo da
Vinci, Johann Kepler and Newton.. Haitham also studied
the phenomena of sunrise and sunset and explained rainbows through
the principle of reflection. He was known for the
earliest use of the camera obscura as well.

Al-Kindi (d. 873 AD) considered the first philosopher of the
Arabs, also contributed to Physics , Optics, reflection of
light, specific weights, tides and metallurgy.

Muslims also made discoveries in Chemistry by discovering
many new substances such as potash, nitrate of silver,
corrosive sublimate and nitrate and sulfuric acid as well as
improving methods for evaporation, filtration, sublimation,
calcination, melting, distillation, and crystallization.
Jabir, otherwise known as the father of Arab alchemy
contributed in the fields of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Al-Asma'i (740-882 AD) was a philologist who contributed to
Zoology, Botany and Animal Husbandry. Other
Muslim botanists described plants in detail, medicinal herbs,
physiology of plants and wrote books on horses, camels, sheep, birds,
the history of bees and locusts, the effect of climate on the
behavior of animals and men. Also working on the subject
of Botany, Suri al- Dimashqi researched plants around Damascus and
Lebanon at different stages of growth.

In the field of geography, Ibn Majid invented the compass.
The Muslims traversed the Indian, Atlantic and
Pacific Ocean as well as sailing around the African continent, in
their trading with India, Iran and Greece. They wrote such books as
Akhbar al-Hind (Reports on India), Akhbar al-Sin (Reports on China)
and Ajib al-Hind (Curiosities of India). Sulaiman
Al-Makri wrote of his travels in Al-budat and other books. Abu
al-Hasan al-Masudi, a historian and scientist, traveled the world
journeying from Persia, Central Asia, India, the Near East,
Madagascar and the China Sea. He wrote his encyclopedic volume on
his travels which included history, cosmology and geography.

Al-Biruni was the first known writer to identify certain
geological facts, such as the formation of sedimentary rocks
and the great geological changes that happened in the past. He was
also the founder of geodesy and wrote and improved upon the methods
of measuring longitudes, latitudes, heights of mountains and the
diameter of the earth. He also wrote on biological evolution.

Of the many scientists in the field of astronomy, Al-Sufi
helped build a famous observatory under the Buwayh sultan
Sharaf-al-Dawlah. He prepared charts of the heavens with magnitudes
and was the first to mark the nebula of Andromeda in his atlas.
Al-Zarqali from al-Andalus invented the astrolabe and
measured the rate of motion. He also constructed
astronomical instruments and built a water clock.

Jabir ibn Aflah was a Spanish Arab who criticized Ptolemy's
heliocentric theory of planetary motion. He designed the
first portable celestial sphere to explain and measure the movements
of celestial objects and led the way for spherical trigonometry.
Al-Bitruji developed a new theory of stellar movements.
Names of many constellations, words like zenith and
nadir and even names of craters of the moon all go back to the works
of Muslim scholars of this time.

We can see that these Islamic sciences had a great impact
upon both the Western world and also the two major
civilizations east of the Islamic world, India and China. Without
the Islamic scientists and their work, the development of science in
these civilizations would have been different. Between
the eleventh and thirteenth centuries the major works of Islamic
scientists were translated into Latin in Spain, Sicily and Italy.
Muslim scientists like Ibn Sina and al-Razi became household names in
the West. Islamic medicine led the way for European medicine.

In the field of mathematics the works of al-Khwarazmi and
others were taught in the Western universities for centuries.
Astronomical tables written in the West were based
upon the work of Muslims before them. Treatises on algebra that were
written were mostly based on the work of Khayyam. Works in chemistry
written in Latin used an extensive Arabic vocabulary because there
was no Latin vocabulary in this field.

Many of these scientists were also great philosophers, such
as Ibn Sina and al-Razi. Ibn Sina initially began studying
logic, from there he studied physics and metaphysics and was the
first to develop a complete philosophical system in Arabic.
Ibn Sina's philosophical encyclopedia Kitab al- Shifa was a
monumental work, embodying a vast field of knowledge from philosophy
to science. He classified the entire field as follows: theoretical
knowledge; physics, mathematics, and metaphysics; ethics, economics
and politics. His philosophy synthesized Aristotelian tradition,
Neoplatonic influences and Muslim theology. Besides al-Shifa his
well-known treatises in philosophy are al-Najat and Isharat.

Al-Razi's contribution as a philosopher was also well known.
The basic elements in his philosophical system were the
Creator, the spirit, matter, space and time. He discussed their
characteristics in detail and his concepts of space and time as
constituting a continuum. His philosophical views were, however,
criticized by a number of other Muslim scholars of the era.

During the time of Harun al-Rashid (786-809) the Muslims
built a library which contained both originals and
translations of almost any then known scientific work in Sanskrit,
Persian and Greek. His son, Caliph al-Mamun continued the tradition
of philosophy and science and established in Baghdad his Bayt
al-Hikmah (House of Wisdom), a library and academy.
Here the objective was to collect all scientific works, translate
them into Arabic and copy and bind them into books to preserve them.
No doubt much of the knowledge of the Greeks and others was preserved
in this way.

The greatest figure in Islamic philosophy is held to be Imam
al-Ghazali, who was a jurist, theologian, philosopher and
mystic. Born in 1058 in Khorasan, he came to have a high standard of
scholarship in religion and philosophy and gained an appointment as a
professor at the Nizamiyah University, which was one of the most
reputed institutions of learning at the time. Muslim philosophers of
his time had been following and developing many of the viewpoints of
Greek philosophy, including Neoplatonic philosophy, which led to
conflict with some Islamic teachings. Also at this time
the Sufi's began introducing heretical beliefs like avoiding
observances of obligatory prayers and other duties of Islam. Ghazali
sought to show the faults in both these trends.

In philosophy, Ghazali upheld the approach of mathematics and
exact sciences as essentially correct, but he adopted the
techniques of Aristotelian logic and the Neoplatonic procedqres and
used these as tools to show the flaws in the then prevalent
Aristotelianism and excessive rationalism.. In contrast to some of
the Muslim philosophers like Farabi, he portrayed the inability of
reason to comprehend the absolute and the infinite. Reason could not
transcend the finite and was limited to the observation of the
relative, he argued. Also, several Muslim philosophers had the
opinion that the universe was finite in space but infinite in time.
Ghazali argued that infinite time was related to infinite space. He
was able to create a balance between religion and reason.

Ghazali wrote many books including Tuhafut al-Falasifa (The
Incoherence of the Philosophers) and Ihya al-Ulum al-Islamia
(The Revival of the Islamic Sciences). Ghazali's influence was deep.
His theological doctrines penetrated Europe and influenced Jewish and
Christian Scholasticism and Thomas Aquinas.

Other Muslims also wrote extensively on Creation, God,
Aristotelian thought, logic and developed systems of
jurisprudence and law. During this period especially, Islamic
philosophy was active in Spain and Morocco. These included
Ibn Bajjah who wrote Tadbir al-mutawahhid (Regimen of the Solitary)
where he discussed the perfect society built upon the inner
perfection of individuals within the society. Ibn Tufayl, a
physician and philosopher, followed with Hayy al Yaqzan (Living Son
of the Awake).

Another great philosopher was Ibn Rushd, the Qadi of Cordova,
a jurist, and interpreter of the Shair'ah. Ibn Rushd was a
rationalist and wrote about religion and philosophy. In his book
Kitab Fasl al- Makal, he wrote about the creation of the world,
Divine knowledge of particular things, and the future of the human
soul. He also wrote commentaries on Aristotle, to such an
extent that in the West he was known as "The Commentator" during the
Western Middle Ages and the Renaissance. He wrote an
answer to Al-Ghazali's works and wrote the Tahafut al tahafut
(Incoherence of the Incoherence). Ibn Rushd's influence on Medieval
and Renaissance European history is found to be greater than that of
his influence on the Islamic world.

Ibn Khaldun's (1332-1395) main contribution lies in
philosophy of history and sociology. He wanted to write a
world history aimed at analyzing historical events. The first volume
was known as the Muqaddimah . This monumental work identified
psychological, economic, environmental and social facts that
contributed to the advancement of human civilizations and the
currents of history as opposed to just the political context of
earlier writers.

In this context, he analyzed the dynamics of group
relationships and showed how group feelings, al-'Asabiyya,
give rise to the ascent of a new civilization and political power and
how, later on , its diffusion into a more general civilization
invited the beginning of a still new 'Asabiyya in its pure form. He
identified an almost rhythmic repetition of rise and fall in human
civilization and analyzed factors contributing to it. His
contribution to history is marked by the fact that, unlike most
earlier writers who interpreted history through the political
context, he emphasized environmental, sociological, psychological and
economic factors governing the apparent events. This revolutionized
the science of history and also laid the foundation of Umraniyat

Lastly we come to the realm of the arts. The well known
Hadith "Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty" encouraged
Muslims to beautify the word of Allah through calligraphy and other
expressions. Islamic calligraphy began with the kufi styles, then
followed naskhi, thuluth, muhaqqiq, rayhani, and nasta'liq.
Calligraphy began as a direct response of the soul of Muslims
to the descent of the Quranic revelation.
Calligriphical art moved from beautifying the Quran and texts to
objects, houses and Mosques and eventually to Architecture.

Writes T.B. Irving on Islamic architecture, " ..few
civilizations have approached Islam's beauties in
architecture: her soaring minarets and spires, her fabled domes, her
cool corridors, all reflect the yearning of Muslims, who refusing to
find expression in natural depiction concentrate their energies on
buildings and their embellishment."

These embellishments included the calligraphic mosaics of
mosques, tombs and places through out Persia , India, Turkey,
Egypt, Morocco along with marble carving, plaster work, delicate
inlay and tile work. Muslims also evolved their own style of art,
while producing beautiful ceramic tiles, porcelain, pottery, plates,
bowls, tapestries and rugs, and lamps.

The defining elements of Islamic Architecture are many. The
use of the frame created organization and design..
Calligraphy was found in the decoration of almost every Islamic
building as well as many objects. Geometry become a major art form
by using the circle as a basis and generating patterns from
repetition, symmetry and changing scale to create unusual effects.
Reflected light was developed and multiplied with
the Muqarnas cells beneath domes, and they reflected and refracted

Ceramic tiles and mirrors were added to use light and
increase them. Foliation including the classical vine and
scroll motifs gave rise to the abstract art of the arabesque.
Lastly, water was an essential element, whether flowing
through palaces in India or in fountains found in the inner
courtyards of Spain. Islamic architecture influenced the widespread
use of the niche form for Mihrab, tombstone, door, window or
decorative feature, lamps, domes, mosaics, geometric shapes,
patterns, intertwining leaf motifs and designs, fountains, gardens,
and courtyards.

Islamic art took from the civilizations surrounding it and
also impacted them. The Chinese were influenced in their
vases and carpets. Medieval Europe were influenced in their arts and
showed it from their adoption of arches to their illuminations of
Latin and Hebrew manuscripts. Of course the epitome of
Islamic art can be seen in the greatest Islamic masterpieces such as
the grand mosques of Cordova in Spain, the Taj Mahal in India, and
the Blue mosque in Turkey. The works of these Muslim artists have
become prototypes and models on which other artists and craftsmen
patterned their own works, or from which they derived the inspiration
for related work.

Thus the contributions of early Islam was so rich, so
voluminous and so varied that it defies this brief
descriptive survey. These Muslims drew from their pre-Islamic
traditions, plus those of the civilizations they came into contact
with and they absorbed what went with their beliefs and rejected what
did not. Over the centuries they continued to develop and partake in
the pursuit of knowledge with no hesitation. The destruction of
Baghdad and the Mongol invasions did not even hinder them from
learning and elaborating on the arts and sciences, despite the great
destruction of their books and knowledge.

However, what is most important is not the discoveries
themselves of the early Muslims but the methodology and kind
of thought behind what produced them. Inspired by the truth of
Islam, by strong faith and by Quranic enjoinders to ponder, think and
discover the world did they lead the world in doing so. Only with
this verve to relate the outward world of science, art and philosophy
to inner spirituality and religion can we again reach the heights of
the Golden Age of Islam.

[ A timetable of contributions:]

- Chuzini, Abu al-Fath al-; physicist.
- Ibn Hisham; biographer, historian.
- Ibn Labban, Kushyar.
- Ibn Turk, `Abd al-Hamid; mathematician.
- Ibn al-Muqtafi, Abu al-Fadl Ja`far; astronomer.
- 767 Ibn Ishaq; biographer, historian.
721- 815 Jabir ibn Hayyan, Abu Musa (Geber); alchemist.
780- 850 Khwarizmi, Muhammad ibn Musa al-; astronomer,
82?- 861 Farghani, Abu al-`Abbas al- (Afragamus); astronomer,
- 870 Kindi, Abu Yusuf Ya`qub ibn Ishaq al-Sabah al-;
828- 889 Ibn Qutaybah; historian, philologist, theologian.
826- 901 Ibn Qurra, Thabit; mathematician.
865- 923 Razi, al- (Rhazes); alchemist, philosopher, physician.
839- 923 Tabari, al-; historian, theologian.
858- 929 Battani, al- (Albatenius); astronomer, mathematician.
870- 950 Farabi, al- (Alfarabicus); philosopher, poet.
940- 998 Abu al-Wafa'; astronomer, mathematician.
-1008 Ibn Yunus; astronomer, mathematician.
936-1013 Abu al-Qasim (Albucasis); physician.
-1029 Karkhi, al-; mathematician.
930-1030 Ibn Miskawayh; historian, philosopher.
980-1037 Ibn Sina, Abu `Ali al-Husayn (Avicenna); philosopher,
965-1039 Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen); mathematician, physicist.
973-1048 Biruni, al-; historian, mathematician, physicist.
1058-1111 Ghazali, Abu Hamid al- (Algazel); philosopher.
1048-1131 Khayyam, `Umar (Omar Khayyam); astronomer, mathematician,
1095-1138 Ibn Bajjah (Avempace); philosopher.
1075-1144 Zamakhshari, al-; philologist, theologian.
1090-1162 Ibn Zuhr, Abu Marwun `Abd al-Malik (Avenzoar, Abumeron);
1100-1185 Ibn Tufayl; philosopher, physician.
1126-1198 Ibn Rushd, Abu al-Walid (Averroes); philosopher,
1135-1204 Ibn Maymun (Maimonides); Jewish philosopher, physician.
1201-1274 Tusi, Nasir al-Din al-; astronomer, mathematician,
-1288 Ibn al-Nafis; physician.
-137? Ibn al-Shatir; astronomer.
1332-1406 Ibn Khaldun, Abu Zayd `Abd al-Rahman; historian,
-1436 Kashi, al-; mathematician.
1445-1505 Suyuti, al-; historian, philologist, theologian.
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