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Answered 2013-07-15 11:22:52

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In the modern world Islam is seen as many things, but rarely is it viewed as a source of inspiration and enlightenment. Though it is a force of enlightenment and it is not only verses of the Quran that testify to that fact, but also the great body of scholarship produced during the Middle Ages. While Europe was in the midst of darkness, it was the Muslims, spurred on by the light of their new Deen who picked up the torch of scholarship and science. It was the Muslims who preserved the knowledge of antiquity, elaborated upon it, and finally, passed it on to Europe.

Although every peoples earn what they do and pass on, it is important for us to learn about and appreciate the contributions of the Islamic civilization by the early Muslims. Colonialism, the institution of the Western educational model, along with Eurocentrism often portrays Islam as backwards, incompatible with science and technology and anti-educational. Muslim school children never learn of their glorious past and often the only thing passed on to them is the inferiority complex of the generation before them. From the past we can learn from our mistakes and use the analysis of those great examples before us as role models to enrich us in the future.

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 contributions.

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 "spirits".

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 accurately. 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 coefficients.

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 sciences.

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 (Sociology).

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 light.

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.

Answer 2

What were the contributions made by Muslim scholars in science?

Hardly any.

Muslims today like to think that there was an Islamic Golden Age where Muslim scientists made these huge discoveries which ultimately triggered THE Renaissance.

Sadly, this is mere propaganda.

Roughly 1000 years ago people from the Middle East from different nations and with different beliefs - or no beliefs - came together and consolidated, furthered and advanced existing scientific knowledge.

It is really easy to verify or falsify claims with just basic researching skills.

Also, there is no such thing as "Islamic Science" just as there is no "Democratic Science" or "Taoist Science". What is outright hilarious is that many times names which sound Arabic are thrown into the pot without realiseing that someone like Al Razi was an outspoken critic of Islam and mocked the Koran - and yet is on the list of Muslim Scientists.

Nevertheless, there are entire books and even exhibitions on 1001 Islamic inventions which are mere fabrications. Quite embarrassing really.

The most often used example is the "invention" or "discovery" of algebra and the usage of Arabic numerals.

As a quick search using any search engine entering anything like "history ancient algebra" will reveal, algebra was known to the Babylonians, Indians and Egyptians. Algebra is not something which actually can be "invented" or "discovered" but is an ongoing process which will never end.

The numerals we use are a development of Indian/Arabic/medieval numbers which evolved over time. We just use the name Arabic numerals. And just as the name algebra is of Arabic origins (restoration or tidying up), the contents is not entirely Arabic, even though some major contributions were made roughly 1000 years ago.

Where it gets comical is when names such as al-Razi are included in the list of contributors. He was a strident critic of Islam and mocked the Koran. But because he has an Arabic sounding name, gullible and ignorant people simply use his research in their attempt to upgrade Islam.

It's quite sad, really.

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