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 {  إِنَّ اللَّــهَ لا يُغَيِّــرُ مَـا بِقَــوْمٍ حَتَّــى يُـغَيِّـــرُوا مَــا بِــأَنْــفُسِــــهِـمْ  }

سورة  الرعد  .  الآيـة   :   11

ahlaa

" ليست المشكلة أن نعلم المسلم عقيدة هو يملكها، و إنما المهم أن نرد إلي هذه العقيدة فاعليتها و قوتها الإيجابية و تأثيرها الإجتماعي و في كلمة واحدة : إن مشكلتنا ليست في أن نبرهن للمسلم علي وجود الله بقدر ما هي في أن نشعره بوجوده و نملأ به نفسه، بإعتباره مصدرا للطاقة. "
-  المفكر الجزائري المسلم الراحل الأستاذ مالك بن نبي رحمه الله  -

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rasoulallahbinbadisassalacerhso  wefaqdev iktab
الإثنين, 26 تشرين1/أكتوير 2020 15:52

Contribution of Muslim Scientists to the World: An Overview of Some Selected Fields 1

كتبه  By Muhammad Adil Afridi
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Introduction To the Muslims, history is a chain of incidents that inform the time values of Islam; it concentrates on knowing and “realizing” these ideologies than in nurturing uniqueness and change as essential virtues. The symbol of Islamic civilization is not a rolling river, but the dice of the Ka‘bah; the firmness of which represents the everlasting and incontrovertible character of Islam.i The arts and sciences in Islam are based on the idea of unity, which is the heart of the Muslim revelation. All unpretentious Islamic art, whether it be the Alhambra or the Paris Mosque, carries the plastic methods through which one can anticipate the Divine Unity manifesting itself in multiplicity, so are all the sciences that can properly be called Islamic reveal of the unity of Nature. One might say that the aim of all the Islamic sciences; all the medieval and ancient cosmological sciences, is to show the unity and interrelatedness of all that exists. Thus, in planning the unity of the cosmos, human being may be led to the unity of the Divine Principle, of which the unity of Nature is the image.ii The history of Islamic involvement in science, technology, and entrepreneurship is a remarkable saga of new sightings in pure and applied science; in which technological advancement and entrepreneurship that establish the spirited and essential base of modern 

science, technology and business arrangements. The story of the Muslim sciences takes the form of captivation of knowledge from different civilizations, accumulating their original and significant contributions, and increasing knowledge across countries and regions through trade, cultural interactions, and education. This story is also of the saga of decline and evisceration of the Islamic population at the beginning in the early 17th century.iii The key time periods in which can be captured the growth and descent of the Islamic sciences are: the age of transformation of ancient texts, namely Greek, Chinese, Indian etc. Between the 8th and 9th centuries then came the era of original thinking and influences of the 9th and 11th century. This was shadowed by the weakening in intellectual and systematic thoughts until the 17th century. In contemporary world, Islam is understood as many things, but seldom viewed as a cradle of motivation and instruction. Nevertheless, it is a force of education and it is not only verses of the Quran that affirm to that fact, but also the boundless body of scholarships produced during the Middle Ages. While Europe was in the throes of darkness, it was the Muslims, prompted on by the elegance of their teachings, that picked up the torch of scholarship and science. It was the Muslims who nurtured the knowledge of ancient times, expanded upon it, and finally, passed it on to Europe. It is important for contemporary Muslims to know about and appreciate the contributions of the Islamic civilization by the early Muslims. Colonialism; the organization of the Western educational model, along with Euro centrism often reveal Islam as backward, incongruent with science and technology and anti-educational. Muslim school children never acquired of their prominent past and the only thing often passed on to them is the inferiority complex. Mistakes can be learnt from the past and we can enrich our future by analyzing them critically. iv Finally, this paper will try to accomplish the goal of describing contributions of Muslim scholars in Islamic civilization but most importantly in science with a brief explanation of their work in Mathematics, Physics and Medicine. Furthermore, this study will also try to promote the methodology to gain the same influential position in the field of knowledge, science and other fields as was acquired by previous Muslim scholars by discussing the definition and necessity of Islamization of Knowledge.

Contributions of Muslim Scholars In the seventh century CE, prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) 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-Hamrah in Spain to the borders of China. Islam unified science, theology, and philosophy. Muslims were commanded by Allah SWT to study, seek knowledge, learn and benefit from others; in the holy Quran and by the prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) in the Sunnah. It was this that inspired the Muslims to great heights in sciences, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, philosophy, art and architecture.v Muslim scholars commenced in acquiring Greek expositions and established their study and conversion into Arabic a few centuries after the Hijrah. They significantly examined, assembled, approved and incremented the science and philosophy of the Greeks. After this phase began what is acknowledged as the Golden Age of Islam, which remained for over two centuries. It is that we discovered many Islamic scientist who left behind hundreds and thousands of books on several branches of science.vi It may be notable that the Islamic enlightened route started with “Read”, followed by five Qur’anic verses consults about science. A statistic for the number of alphabet in the word of “science” and its derivations in the noble Quran, it was repetitive 779 times, that is averaging 7 times a chapter. It positions the second after the word “Allah”. This in fact replicates the importance of knowledge in the Islamic civilization. Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) also informed that, “The Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) said: Allah, His angels and all those in Heavens and on Earth, even ants in their hills and fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct others in beneficial knowledge (AlTirmidhi, Hadith 422) Consequently, Muslim scholars received this fact clearly and then contributed uniquely to human history in terms of science in countless volumes that can never be presented in a single study.vii The contribution of Muslim scholars in science is also a vast area to be discussed but this paper attempts to shed light on a few sectors where Muslim scholars are still treated as pioneers that are as follows:

In Mathematics: it is surprising to take note that Islam so intensely desires mankind to study and explore the universe. For example in the Holy Qur’an, it is stated that: 

“We (Allah) will show you (mankind) our signs/patterns in the horizons/universe and in yourselves until you are convinced that the revelation is the truth.” [The Qur'an, 14:53] This brought about Muslim scholars fascination in Mathematics, Physics, Medicine and other sciences. The Muslims developed the symbol for zero and they systematized the numbers into the decimal system - base 10. Additionally, they designed the symbol to represent an unknown quantity, i.e. variables like χ. Here we will give a short biography of these wonderfull Muslim scholars who contributed in the field of Mathematics: Muhammad bin Musa al-Khwarizmi who contributed the foundation of the subject of algebra, which was later advanced by others, most notably by Umar Khayyam. Al-Khwarizmi’s work, in Latin translation, carried the Arabic numerals along with the mathematics to Europe, through Spain. The word “algorithm” is derived from his name.. Al-Khwarizmi, born in 780 CE., was the forefather of modern Algebra. He developed sine, cosine and trigonometry tables, which were later translated to the West. His book on algebra “Hisab alJabr waal-Muqabalah” (The Calculation of Integration and Equation) was used until the 16th century as the principal textbook of European universities. In it he composes that given an equation, collecting the unknowns into one side of the equation is called al-Jabr and collecting the known on the other side of the equation is called al- Mukabalah. He also described six basic types of equations: , , . He also explained the particular equation x^2+21=10x using geometrical arguments.viii. Al-Khwarizmi also aided in announcing Arabic numerals, which are decimal position system, and the concept of zero. Algebra and Algorithm are in fact combination of his work and name. Interestingly, this book on algebra comprised many examples from the Islamic inheritance laws and how they could be answered using algebra. Under al-Mamun, the caliph of that time, with some others were the first to map the globe..

Ghiyath al-Din al- Kashani was Ghiyath al-Din alKashani of the late fourteenth century. He functioned on the theory of numbers and techniques of computations. In 1424, he figured 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-ulHissab” or “The Calculators’ Key”; in it he defined an algorithm for finding the fifth root of any number. The book was taught in Persian schools until the seventeenth century. Later in his life he relocated to Samarkand on the invitation of the ruler to support directly a new scientific school and observatory and conduct research with other scholars of the time. Kashani also wrote on how to approximate sine by solving a cubic equation accurately.ix Abu Wafa Muhammad al-Buzanji was born in Buzjan, Nishapur in 940 CE. He became a great mathematician and astronomer in Baghdad and died in 997 CE. AlBuzanji’s main contribution lies in several divisions of mathematics, specifically geometry and trigonometry. In geometry he added to a solution of geometrical problems with opening of the compass, construction of a square equivalent to other squares, regular polyhedral, construction of regular hexagon 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. AlBuzanji’s involvement in the progress of trigonometry was also widespread. He was the first person to show the generality of the sine theorem relative to spherical triangles. He established a new scheme of assembling sine tables, the value of sin 30 being correct to the eight decimal place. In addition, he deliberated tangent and planned tables for them. He announced the secant and cosecant for the first time. He composed a large number of books on mathematics and other subjects, most of which have been lost or exist in modified forms. He also penned rich commentaries on Euclid and al-Khwarizmi. A substantial part of today’s trigonometry can be traced back to him.x Abu Abdullah al- Battani (862-929 CE) was the son of a scientist and also a famous astronomer, mathematician and astrologer. He is often considered as one of the greatest astronomers of Islam. In mathematics, al-Battani was the first to substitute the practice of Greek chords and the first to cultivate the concept of cotangent and provided their table in degrees. He composed a number of books on 

astronomy and trigonometry.xi In the tenth century, Mohammad b. Ahmed invented the concept of zero or sifr. Thus, swapping the cumbersome, Roman numerals and creating a revolution in mathematics. This directed to improvements in the calculation of the program of the worlds and progresses in the fields of astronomy and geography. Muslim mathematicians had invented both the Babylonian hexadecimal system and the Indian (Hindu) decimal system, and this provided the basis for numerical techniques in mathematics. Muslims constructed mathematical models using the decimal system, conveying all numbers by means of ten symbols, and each symbol permitted the value of position as well as absolute value. Many inventive methods of doing multiplications were established by Muslims; methods of checking by casting out nines, and decimal fractions. Thus Muslim scholars added and positioned the foundations of modern mathematics and the use of mathematics in the fields of science and engineering.xii In the seventeenth century, Al-Hassan ibn al-Haytham, Europe cracked the problems framed by Al- Hassan Ibn al-Haytham (965-1041) known as “Alhazen’s problem”. Again his work that was interpreted into Latin made Europeans aware of alHaytham’s amazing successes in the field of Optics “Kitab al-Manazir”. A theory of vision and a theory of light, and was called by his successor of the twelfth century “Ptolemy the Second”. Furthermore, by encouraging the use of experiments in scientific research, al-Haytham played an important role in setting the scene for modern science.xiii

 

 

i W. Montgomery Watt, Islamic Surveys: The Influence of Islam on Medieval Europe; Edinburgh, England; 1972, p.84. ii Abdalla, Mohamad. The Fate of Islamic Science between the Eleventh and Sixteenth Centuries: A Comprehensive Review of Scholarship from Ibn Khaldun to the Present. Humanomics. Emerald Group Publishing Ltd, 2004. P26-56. iii Ahmad Y Hassan, Islamic Technology: An illustrated history, Cambridge University Press, 1986. p. 54. iv Ajram, Dr. Kasem, Miracle of Islamic Science, Appendix B, Knowledge House Publishers, 1992. p 35-67. v Ali, Syed Ameer, The Spirit of Islam, Gorgias Press, 1891, p 25-56. vi Armstrong, Karen. Holy War: The Crusades and their Impact on Today’s World. Doubleday: New York, 1991 p 64- 65, 225-226. vii Armstrong, Karen. Islam: A Short History. Random House, 2002, p55.

viii Ashtor, E. A Social and Economic History of the Near East in the Middle Ages. London, 1976, p. 55-75 ix Brend, Barbara. Islamic Art. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991, p. 35-65 x Chaney, Eric. Tolerance, Religious Competition and the Rise and Fall of Muslim Science. Harvard University, 2008, p 15-37 xi Chapra, Umer M. The Future of Economics: An Islamic Perspective. The Islamic Foundation, 2000, p.33-48 xii Colin Ronan, Science: Its History and Development among World’s Cultures; New York; 1982; p.203. xiii Davies, Paul. Super force: The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature. Penguin: London, 1995. p 29

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