Showing posts with label muslim scientist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label muslim scientist. Show all posts

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Quran and Science


Science and Islam


Islam is a system of life that originated from the Allah, the Creator. Allah is the One who created man, life, and the universe and subjected man to the physical laws that He imposed on the universe. The Qur'an, as revealed to Muhammad SAW, directs man to think and study the physical world in order to understand the reality and to appreciate more the greatness of the Creator.

Many verses in the Qur'an point to the physical world and explain natural phenomena, as a confirmation for humanity that this revelation came from the Creator. Some of these explanations could not be understood at the time of the revelation because mankind did not have the tools that are taken for granted in modem times, such as the microscope, X-rays and so on.  lt is only during the last hundred years that some of these explanations became understood as a result of advances in Science.

The examples in the Qur'an are many and range from the creation of the universe down to the fertilization of the egg by the sperm. It will suffice here just to quote few of these verses.


"Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the rain which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive there with after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He scatters therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed proofs for people of understanding." [Translation of the meaning of the Qur'an, 2: 164]



"Verily, in cattle there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of what is inside their bodies, coming from a conjunction between the contents of the intestines and blood, a milk pure and pleasant for those who drink it. "[Translation of the meaning of the Qur'an, 16:66]


"Do you not see that Allah has made subservient to you what so ever is in the earth, and the ships that sail through the sea by His command? He with holds the heaven from falling on the earth except by His Leave. Verily, Allah is. for mankind. full of Kindness, Most Merciful.  [Translation of the meaning of the Qur'an, 22:65]



"Then We placed him as (a drop) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed. Then we made the sperm into a thing which clings (to the womb), then of that thing We made a (fetus) lump, then We made out of that lump, bones and clothed the bones with flesh, then We developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the perfect Creator. "[Translation of the meaning of the Qur 'an, 23: 13-14]


Although Qur'an points to the physical world to make people think, and it encourages people to discover physical laws, the Qur'an is not a book of science. Rather, it came to organize human relationships with the self, with other humans, with the Creator, and with the surroundings. Islamic law therefore deals with the proper use of scientific facts and not with their discovery. For example, Islam does not prevent people from designing a space craft or a laser gun, but it does lay down principles for their use.

Evidence that Islam does not interfere with scientific discovery can be seen from an incident that took place during the time of the Messenger of Allah , who once suggested to farmers that it might be better if they left palm date trees without cross-pollinating them as they did every year. The following year, farmers complained that the trees did not produce normal yield, so the Messenger of Allah said, "You know the affairs Of your world better." This means that this advice was not from Islamic text; rather it was a personal opinion of the Messenger of Allah (saw) as a man. Thus, people were left to their own scientific discovery and applications.

Also, there are no records in history to show that the Islamic Government, its scholars or learned people ever gave Islamic rulings on scientific matters, unlike the Church in Europe, which interfered with scientific discovery. In fact, many of the leading scientists were also Islamic scholars, and they did not see any contradiction between science and Islam. However, few scientists went beyond their subject matters and propagated incorrect ideas about Islamic belief, for which they were rebuked and corrected but not tortured or persecuted. There is, therefore, no contradiction between Islam and science.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Muslim Astronomers

Need for Astronomical Science
- Travel for Trade Find direction of Makkah
- Building Mosques
- Star Maps
- Astrolabes Building of Observatories
- Celestial Motions
- Geodetic Measurements
- Verification of Solar Year
- Astronomical Instruments
Arab developed interest  in study of stars and sky because as the dwellers of the desert who usually traveled at night in connection with trade, war and migration from one place to another, they found the direction of their journey with the help of the stars. The clear sky of the desert gave them a chance of making precise observations. Thus there was some locally acquired knowledge of the fixed stars, the movements of the planets and the changes of the weather. After the advent of Islam, the Muslims had to determine the time of the prayers and the direction of the Ka'abah. For this Muslims who once flourished in trade all over the world of launched Jihad, had to travel on the land and the sea. As an aid to travel, navigation and meteorology, a by-product of navigation, they needed star maps. The necessity of such maps also resulted in their interest in astronomy.
The regular study of astronomy and mathematic s was begun at Baghdad in the second half of the 8th century CE during the time of the second 'Abbasi Khaleefah al-Mansur, The investigations on astronomy continued. Nearly all of the original and creative work was done by Muslims. Astronomy reached its highest in the 13th and 14th centuries CEo In the 12th century CE, the Christians and Jews started the work of translation from Arabic into Latin and Hebrew, and began to conduct research in this field. But until the end of the 13th century CE, no mathematical and astronomical work comparable to that of the Muslims could be produced by the Christians or Jews.

The Muslim astronomers also prepared the star maps to preserve the old astronomical knowledge and to use them as aid to travel navigation and meteorology. Astronomer
Ibrahim ibn Habib al-Fazari was the first Muslim who constructed astrolabes . He composed a poem on astrology, and compiled a (calendar) according to the Arab method. He also wrote on the use of astrolabes and on the armillary spheres.
During the time of Khaleefah al-Ma'mun the important work of translation of Ptolemy's Almagest from Greek into Arabic was completed: Khaleefah al-Ma 'rnun (786 - 833 CE) built an observatory In Baghdad in his Bayt al-Hikmah and another in the plains of Tadmor".
More original and improved work was done in the second half of the 10th century CEo The elaboration of trigonometry, arch was considered to be a branch of astronomy at that time , was  also continued. Great attention was paid to the construction of good astronomical instruments, especially to the spherical astrolabe which was newly introduced at that time. Hamid ibn 'Ali and 'Abdullah Muhammad ibn Jabir ibn Sinan al-Battani were famous makers of astrolabes

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Muslim Contribution to Engineering

- Windmills
- Crankshaft
- Waterwheel
- Hydraulic Apparatus
- Magnetic Needle
- Guns and Cannons
- Wind, Tidal and Steam Power

Many centuries before the Industrial Revolution in Europe, Muslims had already started on the path of innovation in the field of engineering and industrialization. There is ample evidence that suggests that Muslims were the first to make industrial uses of tidal power, wind power and steam power.
As for wind power, the Muslims were using windmills in the 7''' century CE to grind com and to draw water for irrigation. It is reported that windmills were widely used during the rule of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab", the second Khaleefah.
Building on the knowledge of the water flows, the Muslims invented water turbine, which had water wheels with curved blades onto which water flow was directed axially. This was first described in a 9th century CE Arabic text for use in a watermill.
The Muslims are noted as the first to invent various types of industrial mills. These include, hullers ", paper mills , saw mills, ship mills, stamp mills, steel mills, sugar mills and tide mills. By 11th century CE, mills of all types were established across regions from Spain and North African to the Middle East and Asia.
In additional to the mills, many other industries were established for astronomical instruments, ceramics, chemicals, distillation technologies, clocks, glass, matting, mosaics, pulp and paper, perfumery, petroleum, pharmaceuticals, rope-making, shipping, shipbuilding, silk, textiles, weapons, and the mining of minerals such as sulfur, ammonia, lead and iron. The first large factory complexes were built for many of these industries. Knowledge of these industries was later transmitted to medieval Europe.

Another area of ingenuity of the Muslims can be seen in harnessing steam for power. Engineer Taqi al-Din described the first practical steam turbine as a prime mover for rotating a spit. In his book, AI- Turuq alSaniyya fi al-Alat al-Ruhaniyya (The Sublime Methods of Spiritual Machines), completed in 1551 CE, he wrote:
The Muslims' contributed greatly towards mechanical engineering as well. They worked on the mechanics of wheel, usage of axle, waterwheel, lever pulley, gears, toothed wheel, and other mechanical devices such as crank shaft.
Amongst the famous mechanical engineers of the 13th century CE was Abu al-'Isa Ismail ibn Razzaz Badi al-Zaman al-Jazari. He wrote amply on various mechanical engineering topics and invented a number of machines. His best work was published in 1206CE title AI-Jami bain al amwal-Amal al-Nafi fi Sinat 'at al-Hiyal (The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices), in which he described in great detail 50 mechanical devices. Amongst his work include water clocks, hand washing device (for making ablution), machines for raising water, double acting pumps with suction pipes, use of a crank shaft in a machine, calibration of orifices, lamination of timber to reduce warping, static balancing of wheels, use of paper models to establish a design and casting of metals in closed mould boxes with green sand.
Qaisar ibn Abu al-Qasim, a mathematician and astronomer (d. 1251 CE) made improvements on the waterwheels. Such improved types of water-wheels are still seen on Orontes10 and are among the landmarks of Hama. Muslims led the world at that time in making clocks. Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Rustam al-Khurasani was a famous constructor of clocks, and as a result, he was called al-Sa 'ati (the clock maker).
The Muslims were also the first to use explosive material in guns and cannons. The purpose of this invention was to throw bullets at the enemy from a long distance. The Chinese used sodium nitrate only. But the penetrating power of explosives was discovered and used only by the Muslims. The earliest known military applications of these explosive gunpowder compositions were the explosive cannons first used by the Muslims to repel the Mongols at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260 CEo The statement given by Ibn Khaldun in his History of Berbers also proves the use of the guns at the time of war.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Contribution of Muslims to Chemistry

- Definition of Organic & Inorganic Chemistry
- Sulfur Mercury Theory of Metals
- Calcination
- Reduction
- Discoveries of various Acids Sulfuric & Nitric acids
- Preparation of Drugs
- Applied Chemistry
- Paper
Chemistry deals with the composition and properties of substances and the changes of composition they undergo. It has been divided into Inorganic and Organic. The conception of this division in modem Chemistry came from al-Razi 's classification of chemical substances into mineral, vegetable and animal. Inorganic chemistry, which deals with the preparation and properties of the elements and their compounds, originally arose from the study of minerals and metals. Organic chemistry, which deals with carbon compounds, developed through the investigation of animal and plant products.
Jabir ibn Hayyan, a great Muslim chemist of the 8th century CE, modified the Aristotelian doctrine of the four elements, and presented the so called sulfur mercury theory of metals. According to this theory, metals duller essentially because of different proportions of sulfur and mercury in them. He recognized and stated the importance of experimentation in chemistry; He combined the theoretical knowledge of the Greeks and the practical knowledge of craftsmen, and made noteworthy advances both in the theory and practice of chemistry. Jabir's contribution to chemistry is very great. He gave a scientific description of two principle operations of chemistry. One of them is calcination which is employed in the extraction of metals from their ores. The other is reduction which is employed in numerous chemical treatments. He improved upon the methods of evaporation, melting, distillation, sublimation and crystallization. These are the fundamental methods employed in the purification of chemical substances, enabling the chemist to study their properties and uses, and to prepare them. The process of distillation is particularly used for taking extracts of plant material. The most important discovery made by Jabir was the preparation of sulfuric acid. The importance of this discovery can be realized by the fact that in this modem age the extent of the industrial progress of a country is mostly judged by the amount of sulfuric acid used in that country.
Another important acid prepared by him was nitric acid which he obtained by distilling a mixture of alum and copper sulfate. Then by dissolving ammonium chloride into this acid, he prepared aqua-regia which unlike acids could dissolve gold in it.

Jabir classified chemical substances, on the basis of some distinctive features, into bodies (gold, silver, etc.) and souls (mercury, sulfur, etc.) to make the study of their properties easier. In the same century Jabir's work was further advanced by al-Razi who wrote many chemical treatises, and described a number of chemical instruments. He applied his chemical knowledge for medical purposes, thus laying the foundation of applied chemistry.
Abu Mansur distinguished between sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate. He had some knowledge of arsenious oxide, cupric oxide, antimony and other substances. He knew the toxicological effects of copper and lead compounds, the depilatory virtue of quicklime, the composition of plaster of Paris and its surgical use.
The great Muslim surgeon, Khalaf ibn' Abbas al-Zahrawi wrote a great medical encyclopedia, Al-Tasrif, which contains interesting methods of preparing drugs by sublimation and distillation, but it's most important part is the surgical one. Ibn Sina wrote a treatise on minerals that provided one of the main sources of geological knowledge, and chemistry in Western Europe until the Renaissance. The Muslim chemists applied their chemical knowledge to a large number of industrial arts.
Paper is also featured in the pioneering works of the Muslims. Paper was invented by the Chinese who prepared it from the cocoon of the silk worm. Some specimens of Chinese paper dates back to the second century C.E. The first manufacture of the paper outside China occurred in Samarkand  in 757 C.E., when Samarkand was captured by the Muslims, the manufacture of paper spread all over the Muslims World. By the end of the 12th century CE, there were four hundred paper mills in Fas alone. In Spain the main center of manufacturing of paper was Shatiba which remained a Muslim city until 1239 C.E., Cordoba was the center of the paper business in Spain.
The Muslims developed this art. They prepared paper not only from silk, but also from cotton, rags and wood. In the middle of the 10th century CE the paper industry was introduced into Spain. In Khurasan" paper was made from linen. Joseph Karabacek, in one of his works, explains the process of making paper in minute detail, describing how the pulp is prepared to make sheets, washed and cleaned them, colored, polished and pasted. No text comparable to this in any other language exists from that time. The preparation of pulp involves a large number of complicated chemical processes, which indicates the level of achievement in chemistry reached by Muslims.
The manufacture of writing paper in Spain is one of the most beneficial contributions of Muslim to Europe. Without paper the scale on which popular education in Europe developed would not have been possible. The Muslims method of producing paper from cotton could only be useful for the Europeans. After Spain the art of paper making was established in Italy in1268 CE France owed its first paper mills to Muslim Spain. From these countries the industry spread throughout Europe.