Thursday, April 28, 2011

Islam and science

Islam and science

Islam and science

The Qur'an calls upon Muslims to look around them and study the physical world, so that they might appreciate the majesty of Allah's creation:
"Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the benefit of mankind; in the rain which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth -- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise." (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:164)
And the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told Muslims to "seek knowledge, even if it be in China." (Meaning 'seek knowledge wherever it may be found.')
Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science


Known in the West as Alhazen, Alhacen, or Alhazeni,Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham was the first person to test hypotheses with verifiable experiments, developing the scientific method more than 200 years before European scholars learned of it—by reading his books.

Born in Basra in 965, Ibn al-Haitham first studied theology, trying unsuccessfully to resolve the differences between the Shi'ah and Sunnah sects. Ibn al-Haitham then turned his attention to the works of the ancient Greek philosophers and mathematicians, including Euclid and Archimedes. He completed the fragmentary Conicsby Apollonius of Perga. Ibn al-Haitham was the first person to apply algebra to geometry, founding the branch of mathematics known as analytic geometry.

A devout Muslim, Ibn al-Haitham believed that human beings are flawed and only God is perfect. To discover the truth about nature, Ibn a-Haitham reasoned, one had to eliminate human opinion and allow the universe to speak for itself through physical experiments. "The seeker after truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them," the first scientist wrote, "but rather the one who suspects his faith in them and questions what he gathers from them, the one who submits to argument and demonstration."

In his massive study of light and vision, Kitâb al-Manâzir (Book of Optics ), Ibn al-Haytham submitted every hypothesis to a physical test or mathematical proof. To test his hypothesis that "lights and colors do not blend in the air," for example, Ibn al-Haytham devised the world's first camera obscura, observed what happened when light rays intersected at its aperture, and recorded the results. Throughout his investigations, Ibn al-Haytham followed all the steps of the scientific method.

Kitab al-Manazir was translated into Latin as De aspectibus and attributed to Alhazen in the late thirteenth century in Spain. Copies of the book circulated throughout Europe. Roger Bacon, who sometimes is credited as the first scientist, wrote a summary of Kitab al-Manazir entitled Perspectiva (Optics) some two hundred years after the death of the scholar known as Alhazen.

Ibn al-Haytham conducted many of his experiments investigating the properties of light during a ten-year period when he was stripped of his possessions and imprisoned as a madman in Cairo. How Ibn al-Haytham came to be in Egypt, why he was judged insane, and how his discoveries launched the scientific revolution are just some of the questions Bradley Steffens answers in Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist, the world's first biography of the Muslim polymath.

Midwest Book Review calls Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist a "fine blend of history and science biography." Booklistconcurs, praising Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist as a "clearly written introduction to Ibn al-Haytham, his society, and his contributions." Kirkus Reviews touts Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist as "an illuminating narrative...of a devout, brilliant polymath." Children's Literature adds, "Steffens deftly weaves an overview of Islamic history into this biography. Writing for The Fountain, Dr. Ertan Salik adds: "I congratulate Bradley Steffens for his beautiful work about Ibn al-Haythamand his advancement of experimental science."

Critics are not the only ones praising Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist; casual readers are lauding it as well. Abdul Jabbar Al-Shammari, the director of the Ibn al-Haitham Center for Science and Technology in Amman, Jordan, writes: "I enjoyed reading about the events in the life of the first scientist, Ibn al-Haitham. I congratulate Bradley Steffens on writing a fantastic and accurate book.” A. Nor of Ohio adds, "I find the book interesting, for it accords and recognizes a Muslim scientist his proper place as the first scientist who is responsible for advocating experimental work in verifying conceived scientific ideas (hypotheses)." And Reformistan blogger Usman Mirza, of Karachi, Pakistan, writes, "As Muslims, we are subject of taunts for our ‘backwardness’ and lack of secular, scientific achievements. I encourage readers to read a book on the 'first scientist', a Muslim in Islam’s golden age. It is a nicely written biography of Ibn al-Haytham by a westerner, Bradley Steffens. He has written about a neglected subject that needs to be read by all."
·         ABU ABDULLAH AL-BATTANI (Astronomy)
·         ABU AL-NASR AL-FARABI( Logic, sociology, philosophy)
·         ALI IBN RABBAN AL-TABARI (Physician , mathematician, sociology)
·         AL-FARGHANI (astronomer)
·         ABUL HASAN ALI AL-MASU'DI (Traveler)
·         ALI IBN RABBAN AL-TABARI (Physician)
·         IBN RUSHD (Philosophy ,Logic)
·         MOHAMMAD IBN ZAKARIYA AL-RAZI (Chemist, Philosopher)
·         NASIR AL-DIN AL-TUSI ( philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, theologian and physician)
·         Thabit Ibn Qurra (mathmatician)
·         OMAR AL-KHAYYAM (mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, physician)
·         YAQUB IBN ISHAQ AL-KINDI (philosopher, mathematician, physicist, astronomer, physician)
·         AL-IDRIS(Botony)
·         ABUL WAFA MUHAMMAD AL-BUZJANI (Mathematician)

Prof. Jim Al-Khalili Science & Islam Part 1 Language
of Science Muslim Heritage
British scientist, author and broadcaster Prof. Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria,
Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge
that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries.


Prof. Jim Al-Khalili Science & Islam Part 3 Power of Doubt Muslim Heritage

Muslim civilisation stretched from southern Spain as far as China. From the 7th century onwards, scholars of many faiths built on the ancient knowledge of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, making breakthroughs that paved the way for the Renaissance.

The discoveries made by men and women in Muslim civilisation have left their mark on the way we live today. 1001 Inventions uncovers a thousand years of science and technology that has a huge but hidden impact on the modern world.

For Muslims the Qur'an establishes God's Law and reveals the true nature of reality. It is said to contain all knowledge and thus the acquisition of knowledge is seen as a religious act.
Muslim scholars did not separate areas of learning such as medicine, mathematics and literature; instead, each was regarded as a single part of a unified whole truth.

How Islam Influenced Science

by Macksood Aftab

Managing Editor of The Islamic Herald

During the Middle Ages the Islamic World had a very significant impact upon Europe, which in turn cleared the way for the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution. In the Medieval age, Islam and Muslims influenced Europe in a number of different ways. One of the most important of these subjects was Science.
Ever since Islam was born, Muslims had made immense leaps forward in the area of Science. Cities like Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo and Cordoba were the centers of civilization. These cities were flourishing and Muslim scientists made tremendous progress in applied as well as theoretical Science and Technology. In Europe, however, the situation was much different. Europe was in the Dark Ages. It had no infrastructure or central government. To the Muslims, Europe was backward, unorganized, carried no strategic importance and was essentially irrelevant. This considering the time period was in fact true. Nevertheless the Catholic Church (which at the time was the strongest institution in Europe) successfully convinced Christian Europe that the Muslims were infidels. This caused Europeans to think that Muslims were culturally inferior to Europe and thus Europe was unable to benefit from the new scientific discoveries being made in the Islamic lands before the 1100’s. By doing this Europe kept itself in the Dark Ages while from China to Spain Islamic Civilization prospered. During the Crusades there was limited contact between Muslims and Christians and not much was transferred. As A. Lewis explains, "The Crusaders were men of action, not men of learning". The real exchange of ideas which led to the Scientific revolution and to the renaissance occurred in Muslim Spain.
Cordoba was the capital of Muslim Spain. It soon became the center for all light and learning for the entire Europe. Scholars and students from various parts of the world and Europe came to Cordoba to study. The contrast in intellectual activity is demonstrated best by one example: ‘In the ninth century, the library of the monastery of St. Gall was the largest in Europe. It boasted 36 volumes. At the same time, that of Cordoba contained over 500,000!’.
The idea of the college was a concept which was borrowed from Muslims. The first colleges appeared in the Muslim world in the late 600's and early 700's. In Europe, some of the earliest colleges are those under the University of Paris and Oxford they were founded around the thirteenth century. These early European colleges were also funded by trusts similar to the Islamic ones and legal historians have traced them back to the Islamic system. The internal organization of these European colleges was strikingly similar to the Islamic ones, for example the idea of Graduate (Sahib) and undergraduate (mutafaqqih) is derived directly from Islamic terms.
In the field of Mathematics the number Zero (0) and the decimal system was introduced to Europe, which became the basis for the Scientific revolution. The Arabic numerals were also transferred to Europe, this made mathematical tasks much easier, problems that took days to solve could now be solved in minutes. The works of Al-Khwarizmi (Alghorismus) were translated into Latin. Alghorismus, from whom the mathematical term algorism was derived, wrote Sindhind, a compilation of astronomical tables. He, more importantly, laid the ground work for algebra and found methods to deal with complex mathematical problems, such as square roots and complex fractions. He conducted numerous experiments, measured the height of the earth's atmosphere and discovered the principle of the magnifying lens. Many of his books were translated into European languages. Trigonometric work by Alkirmani of Toledo was translated into Latin (from which we get the sine and cosine functions) along with the Greek knowledge of Geometry by Euclid. Along with mathematics, masses of other knowledge in the field of physical science was transferred.
Islamic contributions to Science were now rapidly being translated and transferred from Spain to the rest of Europe. Ibnul Hairham’s works on Optics, (in which he deals with 50 Optical questions put to Muslim Scholars by the Franks), was translated widely. The Muslims discovered the Principle of Pendulum, which was used to measure time. Many of the principles of Isaac Newton were derived from former Islamic scientific contributions. In the field of Chemistry numerous Islamic works were translated into Latin. One of the fields of study in this area was alchemy. The Muslims by exploring various elements, developed a good understanding of the constitution of matter. Jabir ibn-Hayyan (Geber) was the leading chemist in the Muslim world, some scholars link the introduction of the ‘scientific method’ back to him. A great number of terms used in Chemistry such as alchohol, alembic, alkali and elixir are of Islamic origin.
Medicine was a key science explored by Muslims. Al-Rhazes is one of the most famous Doctors and writers of Islamic History. Every major city had an hospital, the hospital at Cairo had over 8000 beds, with separate wards for fevers, ophthalmic, dysentery and surgical cases. He discovered the origin of smallpox and showed that one could only acquire it once in one's life, thus showing the existence of the immune system and how it worked. Muslim doctors were also aware of the contagious qualities of diseases. Hundreds of medical works were translated into Latin.
All of this knowledge transferred from the Muslims to the Europeans was the vital raw material for the Scientific Revolution. Muslims not only passed on Greek classical works but also introduced new scientific theories, without which the European Renaissance could not have occurred. Thus even though many of the Islamic contributions go unacknowledged, they played an integral role in the European transformation.
For Further Study:
Contributions of Islam to Medicine - excellent article by Ezzat Abouleish , M. D.
How Islam Influenced Science - overview from the Islamic Herald
Islam in Medieval History - links from's Medieval History Guide
Islamic Medicine - overview of Muslim contributions to the field of medicine
Medieval Science - another resource from's Guide to Medieval History
Muslim Scientists and Scholars - biographies of the well-known and lesser-known
Science and Islam - overview of the many fields Muslims studied
Scientific Contributions of Muslims - in English and Arabic.
Setting the Record Straight - Westerners take credit for many discoveries that were actually made by Muslim scientists.
Timeline of Muslim Scientists - includes names and dates, but no biographical 




The first word of the Quran to come down was Iqra`! (Read!), and the Angel Gabriel repeated it to the Prophet about 3 times while the Prophet explained he was illiterate and unable to read or write. Thereafter the rest of the initial verses during this first encounter were revealed:
In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful
[96.1] Read in the name of your Lord Who created.
[96.2] He created man from a clot.
[96.3] Read and your Lord is Most Honorable,
[96.4] Who taught (to write) with the pen
[96.5] Taught man what he knew not.

Dears Readers, Here I am posting some useful information according to my limited ability. You must ask to Almighty GOD for True understanding; Please Study Quran with an open mind and open Heart. Last 1400 years without change in Arabic scripture. Millions of Muslims remembering by heart. East to west, you could not find in any change in original Arabic. It is a miracle. Find out on your own. Translations do not have full explanations, for that reason you have to read some books of of the popular scholars of the day was Ibn Taymiyyah.His One book of Emaan has good explanation about Quranic messages. My best regards Thanks, Website:

 Q U R A N   with Hindi Translation