Muslim scholars have developed a spectrum of view points on science written the context of Islam. The QURAN inspires the Muslims to study nature and investigate the truth. Muslims often cite verse 239 from Surah Al-Baqra “HE HAS TAUGHT YOU WHAT YOU DID NOT KNOW” to support their view that QURAN promotes the acquisition of new knowledge. According to some Muslim scientists, the study of science stems from TAWHID. Some Muslims writers have claimed that QURAN made foreknowledge statements about scientific phenomena that were later confirmed by scientific research for example the structure of embryo, our solar system, and the creation of the universe.

ISLAMIC GOLDEN AGE IN SCIENCE

By Noor ul Huda

Muslim scholars have developed a spectrum of view points on science written the context of Islam. The QURAN inspires the Muslims to study nature and investigate the truth. Muslims often cite verse 239 from Surah Al-Baqra “HE HAS TAUGHT YOU WHAT YOU DID NOT KNOW” to support their view that QURAN promotes the acquisition of new knowledge. According to some Muslim scientists, the study of science stems from TAWHID. Some Muslims writers have claimed that QURAN made foreknowledge statements about scientific phenomena that were later confirmed by scientific research for example the structure of embryo, our solar system, and the creation of the universe.

Islamic Golden Age In Science

Medieval Islamic world science was the science developed and practiced during the Islamic Golden age. This science had practical purposes as well as goal of understanding for instance astronomy was useful for determining the Qibla, botany had practical application in Agriculture, geography was used to make accurate maps. Islamic mathematicians developed methods in algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Islamic doctors described diseases like smallpox and measles and challenged classical Greek medical theory. Muslims scientists described the preparation of hundreds of drugs made from medicinal plants and chemical compounds. Islamic physicists studied optics, mechanics and astronomy.

Islamic scientific achievements cover a wide range of subject areas especially mathematics , astronomy, and medicine and other subjects included physics, alchemy and chemistry, ophthalmology , geography, botany, pharmacology etc.

MUSLIMS CONTRIBUTION IN DIFFERENT FIELDS OF SCIENCE

IN MATHEMATICS

Islamic mathematicians gathered, organized, and classified the mathematics they inherited from ancient Egypt, Greece, India and Persia and went on to make innovations of their own. Islamic mathematics can be divided into algebra, geometry, and arithmetic.

Al-Khwarizmi considered the greatest mathematician of Islamic civilization. He developed algebra and introduced methods of simplifying equations

Islamic Golden Age In Science

Avicenna (father of early modern medicine) contributed to the mathematical techniques such as casting out nines. Umar Khayyam calculated the length of the year to within 5 decimal places. He found geometric solutions to all 13 forms of cubic equations. He developed some quadratic equations still in use.

Islamic Golden Age In Science

Jamshid-al-Kashi created several theorems of trigonometry including law of cosines, also called Al-Kashi theorem. He is also credited with invention of decimal fraction and methods to calculate roots. He calculated pi correctly and 17 significant figures.

Islamic Golden Age In Science

IN MEDICINE

Al-Razi identified small pox and measles and recognized that fever was a part of body defenses.

Islamic Golden Age In Science

Al –Zahrawi was a surgeon whose most important surviving work is referred to as Al-Tasrif (medical knowledge). It is a 30-volume set mainly discussing medical symptoms, treatments, and pharmacology. The last volume on surgery describes surgical instruments, supplies and pioneering procedures.

Islamic Golden Age In Science

Avicenna wrote the major medical textbook “The Canon of medicine”. Ibn- al- Nafis mostly famous for being the first to describe the pulmonary circulation of blood through the lungs

Islamic Golden Age In Science

IN ASTRONOMY

Al-Battani accurately determined the length of the solar year. He contributed to the tables of Toledo (astronomical tables), used by astronomers to predict the movements of sun, moon and planets across the sky. Al- Zarqali developed a more accurate astrolabe (elaborate inclinometer used to identify stars and planets) which was used for centuries afterwards. He constructed water clock in Toledo (city in central Spain). Nasir al Din al Tusi developed trigonometry as a separate field and compiled the most accurate astronomical tables available up to that time.

Islamic Golden Age In Science

IN ALCHEMY AND CHEMISTRY

Jabir –bin-Hayyan wrote on Alchemy (Kimiya) based on his own experiments. He described laboratory techniques and experimental methods that would continue to be used when Alchemy was transformed into Chemistry. He identified Sulphuric and nitric acids, described processes such as sublimation, reduction and distillation. He made use of equipment such as alembic and retort stand.

Islamic Golden Age In Science

IN BOTANY

Al- Dinawari popularized botany in the Islamic world with his six volume Kitab Al-Nabat (book of plants). He described phases of plant growth, production of flowers and fruit. Zakariya al – Qazwini’s 13 century encyclopedia “Ajaib al – Makhluqat (the creation of wonders)” contained realistic botany. Abu-l –Khayr described in minute detail how olive trees should be grown, grafted, treated for diseases and harvested.

Islamic Golden Age In Science

IN GEOGRAPHY AND CARTOGRAPHY

Abu Zayd al-Balkhi, founder of Balkhi school of cartography in Baghdad, wrote an atlas called figures of the regions. Al-Biruni measured the radius of the earth using a new method. It involved the height of a mountain at Nandana (now in Pakistan).

Islamic Golden Age In Science

The Ottoman admiral Ahmed Muhiddin Piri made a map of the new world and west Africa in 1513. He was a part of a major tradition of Ottoman (Turkish empire) cartography.

Islamic Golden Age In Science

IN OPTICS AND OPTHALMOLOGY

Hunayn-ibn- Ishaq wrote the book Ten Treatises on the eye, this was influenced in the west in 17th century. Abbas-ibn Firnas developed lenses for magnification and the improvement of vision.

Ibn Sahl discovered the law of refraction known as Snell’s law.

Islamic Golden Age In Science

Ibn al Haytham (Alhazen: father of modern scientific methodology) proposed his book of optics. He suggested that light was reflected from different directions thus causing objects to look different. He argued that mathematics of reflection and refraction needed to be consistent with the anatomy of eye.

Islamic Golden Age In Science

IN PHARMACOLOGY

Muhammad ibn Zakariya Razi promoted the medical uses of chemical compounds. Abu al Qasim al zahrawi (Abulcasis) pioneered the preparations of medicines by sublimation and distillation. Al- Biruni wrote the Kitab al- Saydalah (book of drugs). Bu Ali Sina or Ibn sina (Avicenna) described 700 drugs, their properties, mode of action and their indications. He wrote “The Canon of Medicine.”

Islamic Golden Age In Science

IN PHYSICS

Ibn-Sina distinguished between force and inclination. He described that the continuation of motion depends on the inclination that is transformed to object and that the objects remain in motion until the inclination is spent. He also claimed that the projectile in a vacuum would not stop unless it is acted upon. That view is consistent with Newton’s 1st law of motion on inertia.

Al biruni demonstrate that non uniform motion is described as the result of acceleration. Aristotle’s theory of motion stated that a constant force produces a uniform motion. Abul-Barakat al Baghdadi disagreed with Aristotle arguing that velocity and acceleration are two different things and that force is proportional to acceleration not to velocity. Ibn Bajjah proposed that for every force there is a reaction. It was still an early version of Newton’s 3rd law of motion.

Islamic Golden Age In Science
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