Muslim scientists: On the shoulders of giants

Source: Tribune.com

Given the state of science in the Muslim world today, one could be forgiven for imagining that Muslim scientists have made no contributions to the accumulated knowledge of the world. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Ibn-e-Sina

COUNTRY: Iran

INTEREST: Medicine, Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology, Psychology, Theology, Logic, Mathematics and Poetry

WORKS: Ibn-e-Sina, known in the west as Avicenna, memorised the Qur’an and a great deal of Arabic poetry by the age of ten. At the age of thirteen, he began to study medicine and mastered the subject in just three years after which he began treating patients.

His most famous work is the 14-volume Al-Qanun fit Tibb that served as a chief guide for medical science in the West from the 12th to the 17th century. The book is known for the discovery of contagious and sexually transmitted diseases, the introduction of quarantine to limit the spread of infectious diseases and the introduction of experimental medicine.

His most important mathematical work is the 20-volume Kitab al-Shifa (The Book of Healing) in which he included astronomy and music as branches of mathematics.

LEGACY: Ibn-e-Sina is considered the most famous Muslim scientist. He is remembered in the West as a major figure who made important contributions to medicine and eventually the European Renaissance.

In his honour, a lunar crater on the far side of the moon has been named after him. In March 2008 it was announced that all new directories of education institutions for health care professionals worldwide would now be called Avicenna Directories.

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2 replies

  1. Muhammad: the Light of the Dark Ages of Europe!
    An honest study of the causes of the Dark Ages and European renaissance will lead to the inevitable conclusion that Muhammad, may peace be on him, was the Messiah of the Dark Ages.

    John Davenport writes in An apology for Mohammed and the Koran:

    It is in the compositions of Friar Bacon, who was born in 1214, and who learned the Oriental languages, that we discover the most extensive acquaintance with the Arabian anthors. He quotes Albumazar, Thabet-Ebu-Corah, Ali Alhacer, Alkandi, Alfraganus and Arzakeb; and seems to have been as familiar with them as with the Greek and Latin classics, especially with Avicenna, whom he calls ‘the chief and prince of philosophy.’ The great Lord Bacon, it is well known, imbibed and borrowed the first principles of his famous experimental philosophy from his predecessor and namesake Roger Bacon, a fact which indisputably establishes the derivation of the Baconian philosophical system from the descendants of Ishmael and disciples of Mohammed.

    In a short paragraph, John Davenport has very precisely identified all the links in the human intellectual evolution. Additionally, his book, that is available in Google books, is a master piece in the defence of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him. Read his two page Preface and he is standing shoulder to shoulder with other great defenders of the Prophet Muhammad in the Western world, like Thomas Carlyle.

    In ignoring the slow and multi-ethnic, cultural and religious history of science, some Western scientists and historians aim at making a god out of science and seek self-aggrandizement at the expense of the True God and human equality, they propose the European science to be some sort of magical wand and what preceded it as not good enough or label it as pre-science or mystical science etc!

    http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2011/11/religion/islam/muhammad-the-light-for-the-dark-ages-of-europe-2

  2. Source: Revelation and Rationality — There is no contradiction between the Word of God and the Act of God

    By Zubair Ahmed – from Tahir Magazine UK Autumn Edition 2011

    “Father of modern medicine” – when one reads the term, without a name being mentioned, one would naturally link the term to someone who lived very recently either in Europe or America. But the title belongs to a man who lived more than 1000 years ago from today.

    Surprising as it may sound, he was the product of knowledge revolution brought about by Islam. Known as Avicenna in the western world or “ibn Sina“ in the Muslim world, medicine was only one of the areas where his quest of knowledge benefited mankind. Such was his effect on medical world that his book Qanun (Cannon of Medicine) was taught in Europe for more than 500 years after his death.

    His full name was Abū Alī al-Ḥusayn ibn Abd Allāh ibn Sīnā. He was an astronomer, chemist, geologist, Hafiz, psychologist, scholar, theologian, logician, mathematician, physicist, poet, and scientist. In other words he was a polymath. Polymath is a person who has expert knowledge in many fields. He is regarded as one of the famous and influential mind of the Islamic Golden Age.

    Avicenna was born c. 980 in Afshana, near Bukhara, present day Uzbekistan in Central Asia, which was not advanced in technology or science. When he was a teenager he began studying philosophy, which was difficult for him to understand. In moments of confusion and frustration, he left his books and would go to the mosque and pray until he understood and worked out complex philosophical issues. Deep into the night he would continue his studies, and even in his dreams would work out the solutions to big scientific problems. He read through the Metaphysics of Aristotle forty times, till the words were imprinted on his memory. When he uncovered a medical mystery he would become so happy and thank God straight away, also giving money to the poor in God’s name.

    http://thebeerevelation.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/world-leading-muslims-the-life-of-avicenna/#more-1211

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