The Growth of Science within the Historic Islamic Civilization

“The scientific professions and technical expertise can not exist in a society if they don’t seem to be deeply rooted in that society; there have to be a flourishing civilization and a ample demand for these disciplines.” – Ibn-Khaldun

  1. Introduction

Within the fourth century B.C., when Alexander the Nice conquered Asia Minor and based Alexandria, he set the stage for the good migration of Greek philosophy and science to that a part of the world. Throughout the Ptolemaic interval, Alexandria, Egypt, was the ecstatic heart for the development and extent of Greek tradition all through the Mediterranean. That nice heart of studying continued after 641, when Egypt turned a part of the Muslim state. Subsequently, Syria, Baghdad, and Persia turned parallel channels for the communication of principally Greek, Syriac, and pre-Islamic Persian and Indian cultural values. In consequence, Islamic philosophy influenced by the writings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. The good Muslim philosophers e.g. Ibn-Khaldun, Ibn-Sina, Ibn-Rushd, Al-Farabi and Al-Ghazali translated the works of earlier Greek philosophers and added their very own vital contributions. It was primarily by way of such works, intellectually devoted to the originals, that Western civilization was capable of profit from these earlier legacies. These nice philosophers produced a wealth of latest concepts that enriched civilization, notably Western civilization which has depended a lot on their works. The affect of Islam in the end made potential the European Renaissance, which was generated by the concepts of the Greeks filtered by way of the Muslim philosophers. The identical is true of early authorized writings of Muslim students resembling Al-Shaybani, who within the seventh century began the case methodology of instructing Islamic worldwide legislation that was subsequently put into writing within the twelfth century by a disciple in India. It was the premise for the writings of the authorized canonists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries on sure elements of worldwide legislation, particularly the legal guidelines of struggle and peace. It is a vital reality in Muslim historical past that civilization flourished solely underneath a secure authorities with an enlightened science coverage and scientific recommendation. The science coverage of a Muslim state was behind translation motion; the institution of academies, observatories and libraries; the patronage of scientists and the conduct of scientific and technological analysis.

  1. Islamic Civilization

The Prophet of Islam Muhamad (P.B.U.H) began the message of Islam in Mecca and Medina, and the decision for Islam triumphed throughout his lifetime in Arabia. Abu-Bakr (R.A) was elected as the primary caliph in 632. Umar (R.A) succeeded him from 634 till 644. Inside few 12 months throughout Abu-Bakr’s (R.A) and Umar’s (R.A) caliphates the Muslim conquered Syria, Iraq, Iran and Egypt. Throughout Abu-Bakr’s (R.A) time the Muslim defeated the Byzantines on the battle of Ajnadin in 634. In 635, Damascus opened its gates for the victorious Muslim military. The decisive victory over the Byzantines in Syria was achieved on the battle of al-Yarmuk in 636. In Iraq the Muslim conquest was progressing in a parallel path. The most important victory of the Muslims over the Persians came about at al-Qadisiyya in 637. The Muslims took over the capital al-Mada’in and drove the Parsian military exterior the frontiers of Iraq. The destiny of Persia was determined on the battle of Nahawand in 642 after which all Parsian lands surrendered. As quickly as Syria got here underneath Muslim rule, the Muslim armies had been directed to Egypt. The conquest of Egypt was achieved with out a lot problem. Alexandria, the capital, surrendered in 642. The conquest of Syria, Egypt, Iraq and the Persian territories was achieved throughout Umar’s (R.A). With the rise of the Umayyad caliphate the Islamic conquests entered their second section and inside twenty years between 692 and 712 the Umayyads added North Africa and Spain to the Islamic state. They, in impact, doubled the scale of the state, and earlier than the tip of their interval a serious portion of the world, turned a part of Islamic civilization.

Islamic scientific developments had been the foundation of information within the worldfrom the second half of the eighth century to the tip of the eleventh century. Within the period of historical past when the philosophical and scientific heritage of the traditional world was about to be misplaced, Islamic students stepped in to protect that legacy from destruction. Islam and its admirers had created a civilization that performed very vital function on the world stage for greater than a thousand years. Some of the crucial unambiguous qualities of the Islamic civilization is that it’s a well-balanced civilization that introduced collectively science and religion, struck a steadiness between spirit and matter and didn’t separate this world from the Hereafter. That is what distinguishes the Islamic civilization from different civilizations which attribute prime place to the fabric side of life, bodily wants and human instincts, and fix higher consideration to this world by endeavoring to instantaneously fulfill needs of the flesh, with out discovering a correct place for God and the Hereafter of their philosophies and schooling methods. The Islamic civilization drew humankind nearer to God, related the earth and heavens, subordinated this world to the Hereafter, struck a steadiness between thoughts and coronary heart, related spirit and matter,and created a hyperlink between science and religion by elevating the significance of ethical growth to the extent of significance of fabric progress. It’s owing to this that the Islamic civilization gave an unlimited contribution to the event of world civilization. One other particular attribute of the Islamic civilization is that it unfold the spirit of justice, impartiality and tolerance amongst folks, thus the folks of various beliefs and views might dwell collectively in security, peace and mutual respect.

  • Scientific Contributions of Islamic Civilization and Muslim Students

Islamic civilization could be traced by way of the written data: Pre-Islamic, early Islamic, Umayyad, the primary and second Abbasid, the Hispano-Arabic, the Persian and the fashionable durations. The quite a few influences of those various durations could be readily perceived, as can traces of the Greek, the Indian, and the Pre-Islamic Persian. Right through the primary 4 centuries of Islam, one doesn’t witness the synthesis or homogenization of various cultures however reasonably their transmittal by way of, and at occasions their immersion into, the Islamic framework of values. Islam has been a canal for Western civilization of cultural types which could in any other case have died out. Pre-Islamic poetry and prose, which was communicated orally, was documented largely throughout the Umayyad interval (661-750) when the Arab mode of life initiated fluctuation from the easy nomadic life established within the peninsula to an city and complicated one. Contacts with Greece and Persia gave a higher impulse to music, which repeatedly accompanied the recitation of prose and poetry. By the mid-800 within the Baghdad capital of Abbassids underneath Harun al-Rashid and al-Ma’mun, Islamic tradition and civilization in addition to commerce and contacts with many different components of the world thrived. Equally, nice facilities of spiritual studying had been additionally facilities of scientific developments and information. Such formal facilities started throughout the Abbasid interval (750-1258) when hundreds of mosque colleges had been established.It was within the tenth century that the formal idea of the Madrassah (faculty) was developed in Baghdad and Baghdad had roughly 300 colleges. The Madrassah had a curriculum and full-time and part-time academics and wealthy and poor equally acquired free schooling. From there Maktabat (libraries) had been developed and overseas books acquired. The 2 most well-known libraries had been Bait al-Hikmah in Baghdad and Dar al-Ilm in Cairo and universities resembling Al-Azhar had been additionally established lengthy earlier than these in Europe.

The normal Islamic establishments of studying produced a number of nice theologians, philosophers, students and scientists. Their contributions in varied fields of information level towards the extent of scholarship base established among the many Muslims. Muslim students calculated the angle of the ecliptic; measured the scale of the earth; calculated the precession of the equinoxes; defined, within the area of optics and physics, such phenomena as refraction of sunshine, gravity, capillary attraction, and twilight; and developed observatories for the empirical research of heavenly our bodies. They made advances within the makes use of of medicine, herbs, and meals for medicine; established hospitals with a system of interns and externs; found causes of sure illnesses and developed appropriate diagnoses of them; proposed new ideas of hygiene; made use of anesthetics in surgical procedure with newly innovated surgical instruments; and launched the science of dissection in anatomy. Muslims furthered the scientific breeding of horses and cattle; discovered new methods of grafting to provide new kinds of flowers and fruits; launched new ideas of irrigation, fertilization, and soil cultivation; and improved upon the science of navigation. Within the space of chemistry, Muslim scholarship led to the invention of such substances as potash, alcohol, nitrate of silver, nitric acid, sulfuric acid, and mercury chloride. Muslims scientists additionally developed to a excessive diploma of perfection the humanities of textiles, ceramics, and metallurgy.

Islam encourages considering and acquisition of information, which can be embrace the scientific information. Therefore, the Islamic civilization enormously contributed in the direction of the wellbeing of humanity by way of development in all different fields together with science and expertise. The contributions within the development of information by the Islamic students, scientists and philosophers are huge, a few of them summarized beneath:

  • Jabir ibn Hayyan, Abu Musa (721-815), alchemist often called the “Father of Chemistry.” He studied most branches of studying, together with drugs. After the Abbasids defeated the Umayyads, Jabir turned a courtroom doctor to the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid. Jabir was an in depth buddy of the sixth Shia imam, Ja’far ibn Muhammad, whom he gave credit score for a lot of of his scientific concepts.
  • Al-Khwarizmi (770–840), was a researcher of arithmetic, algorithm, algebra, calculus, astronomy & geography. He compiled astronomical tables, launched Indian numerals (which turned Arabic numerals), formulated the oldest recognized trigonometric tables, and ready a geographic encyclopedia in cooperation with 69 different students.
  • Ibn Ishaq Al-Kindi (Alkindus) (800–873), was an mental of philosophy, physics, optics, drugs, arithmetic & metallurgy.
  • Ali Ibn Rabban Al-Tabari (838–870), was a scholar in drugs, arithmetic, calligraphy & literature.
  • Al-Razi (864– 930), a bodily and scientist of drugs, ophthalmology, smallpox, chemistry & astronomy. Al-Razi’s two most vital medical works are the “Kitab al-Mansuri”, which turned well-known within the West in Gerard of Cremona’s 12th-century Latin translation; and “Kitab al-Hawi”, the “Complete Guide”. Amongst his quite a few minor medical treatises is the famed Treatise on the Small Pox and Measles, which was translated into Latin, Byzantine Greek, and varied fashionable languages.
  • Al-Farabi (870- 950), excelled in sociology, logic, philosophy, political science & music.
  • Abu Al-Qasim Al-Zahravi (936 -1013), was an knowledgeable in surgical procedure & drugs often called the daddy of recent surgical procedure.
  • Ibn Al-Haitham (965-1040), was the mathematician and physicist who made the primary vital contributions to optical principle for the reason that time of Ptolemy (flourished 2nd century). In his treatise on optics, translated into Latin in 1270 as Opticae thesaurus Alhazenilibri vii, Alhazen revealed theories on refraction, reflection, binocular imaginative and prescient, focusing with lenses, the rainbow, parabolic and spherical mirrors, spherical aberration, atmospheric refraction, and the obvious enhance in measurement of planetary our bodies close to the Earth’s horizon. He was first to present an correct account of imaginative and prescient, accurately stating that gentle comes from the item seen to the attention.
  • Abu Raihan Al-Biruni (973-1048), was a Persian scholar and scientist, one of the crucial discovered males of his age and an impressive mental determine. Al-Biruni’s most well-known works are “Athar al-Baqiyah” (Chronology of Historic Nations); “at-Tafhim” (Components of Astrology); “al-Qanun al-Mas’udi” (The Mas’udi Canon), a serious work on astronomy, which he devoted to Sultan Mas’ud of Ghazna; Ta’rikh al-Hind (A Historical past of India); and “Kitab as-Saydalah”, a treatise on medication utilized in drugs. In his works on astronomy, he mentioned with approval the idea of the Earth’s rotation on its axis and made correct calculations of latitude and longitude. He was the first one to find out the circumference earth. Within the area of physics, he defined pure springs by the legal guidelines of hydrostatics and decided with outstanding accuracy the precise weight of 18 treasured stones and metals. In his works on geography, he superior the daring view that the valley of the Indus had as soon as been a sea basin.
  • Ibn-Sina (981–1037), was a scientist of drugs, philosophy, arithmetic & astronomy. He was notably famous for his contributions within the fields of Aristotelian philosophy and drugs. He composed the “Kitab ash-shifa” (Guide of Therapeutic), an enormous philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and the Canon of Medication, which is among the many most well-known books within the historical past of drugs.
  • Ibn-Hazm, (994-1064), was a litterateur, historian, jurist, and theologian of Islamic Spain. One of many main exponents of the Zahiri (literalist) faculty of jurisprudence, he produced some 400 works, protecting jurisprudence, logic, historical past, ethics, comparative faith, and theology, and The Ring of the Dove, on the artwork of affection.
  • Al-Zarqali (1028-1087), an astronomer who invented astrolabe (an instrument used to make astronomical measurements).
  • Al-Ghazali (1058-1111), was a scholar of sociology, theology & philosophy.
  • Ibn-Zuhr (1091-1161), was a scientist and knowledgeable in surgical procedure & drugs.
  • Ibn-Rushd (1128-1198), excelled in philosophy, legislation, drugs, astronomy & theology.
  • Nasir Al-Din Al-Tusi (1201-1274), was the scholar of astronomy and Non-Euclidean
  • Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, Ibn Battuta (1304-1369), was a world traveler, he traveled 75,000 mile voyage from Morocco to China and again.
  • Ibn-Khaldun (1332-1395), was an knowledgeable on sociology, philosophy of historical past and political science.
About Mirza Abdul Aleem Baig 17 Articles
Mirza Abdul Aleem Baig is CAS-TWAS President’s Fellow at USTC, Biomedical Health Informatics Professional and freelance Science Writer.