Science in medieval Islam

In the history of science, Islamic science refers to the science developed under the Islamic civilization between the 8th and 16th centuries, during what is known as the Islamic Golden Age. [cite journal|first=A. I.|last=Sabra|authorlink=A. I. Sabra|title=Situating Arabic Science: Locality versus Essence|journal=Isis|year=1996|volume=87|pages=654–670|url=|issue=4|doi=10.1086/357651quote|"Let us begin with a neutral and innocent definition of Arabic, or what also may be called Islamic, science in terms of time and space: the term "Arabic" (or "Islamic") "science" the scientific activities of individuals who lived in a region that might extended chronologically from the eighth century A.D. to the beginning of the modern era, and geographically from the Iberian Peninsula and north Africa to the Indus valley and from the Southern Arabia to the Caspian Sea—that is, the region covered for most of that period by what we call Islamic Civilization, and in which the results of the activities referred to were for the most part expressed in the Arabic Language. We need not be concerned over the refinements that obviously need to be introduced over this seemingly neutral definition."] It is also known as Arabic science since most texts during this period were written in Arabic, the "lingua franca" of Islamic civilization. Despite these names, not all scientists during this period were Muslim or Arab, as there were a number of notable non-Arab scientists (most notably Persians), as well as some non-Muslim scientists, contributing to science in the Islamic civilization. [Bernard Lewis, "What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response":]

There are several different views on Islamic science among historians of science. The traditionalist view, as exemplified by Bertrand Russell, [Bertrand Russell (1945), "History of Western Philosophy", book 2, part 2, chapter X] holds that Islamic science, while admirable in many technical ways, lacked the intellectual energy required for innovation and was chiefly important as a preserver of ancient knowledge and transmitter to medieval Europe. The revisionist view, as exemplified by Abdus Salam [Abdus Salam, H. R. Dalafi, Mohamed Hassan (1994). "Renaissance of Sciences in Islamic Countries", p. 162. World Scientific, ISBN 9971507137.] and George Saliba,Harv|Saliba|1994|pp=245, 250, 256-257] holds that a Muslim scientific revolution occurred during the Middle Ages, [Abid Ullah Jan (2006), "After Fascism: Muslims and the struggle for self-determination", "Islam, the West, and the Question of Dominance", Pragmatic Publishings, ISBN 978-0-9733687-5-8.] [Salah Zaimeche (2003), [ An Introduction to Muslim Science] , FSTC.] an expression with which scholars such as Donald Routledge Hill and Ahmad Y Hassan express the view that Islam was the driving force behind the Muslim achievements, [Ahmad Y Hassan and Donald Routledge Hill (1986), "Islamic Technology: An Illustrated History", p. 282, Cambridge University Press] while Robert Briffault even sees Islamic science as the foundation of modern science. The most prominent view in recent scholarship, however, as examplified by Toby E. Huff,Harv|Huff|2003] [citation|last=Saliba|first=George|author-link=George Saliba|title=Seeking the Origins of Modern Science? Review of Toby E. Huff, The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China and the West|url=|journal=Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies|volume=1|issue=2|date=Autumn 1999|accessdate=2008-04-10] Will Durant, Fielding H. Garrison, Muhammad Iqbal Hossein Nasr and Bernard Lewis, [citation|title=End the Biggest Educational and Intellectual Blunder in History: A $100,000 Challenge to Our Top Educational Leaders|first=Norman W.|last=Edmund|publisher=Scientific Method Publishing|year=2005|isbn=0963286668|page=447] holds that Muslim scientists did help in laying the foundations for an experimental science with their contributions to the scientific method and their empirical, experimental and quantitative approach to scientific inquiry, but that their work cannot be considered a Scientific Revolution, like what occurred in early modern Europe and led to the emergence of modern science, [Thomas Kuhn, "The Copernican Revolution", (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Pr., 1957), p. 142.] [Herbert Butterfield, The Origins of Modern Science, 1300-1800.] with the exception of Ibn al-Haytham's "Book of Optics" which is widely considered a revolution in the fields of optics and visual perception. [Citation|journal=The Medieval History Journal|volume=9|issue=1|pages=89-98|year=2006|doi=10.1177/097194580500900105|title=The Gaze in Ibn al-Haytham|first=Gérard|last=Simon] [citation|title=Burning Instruments: From Diocles to Ibn Sahl|first=Hélèna|last=Bellosta|journal=Arabic Sciences and Philosophy|year=2002|volume=12|pages=285-303|publisher=Cambridge University Press|doi=10.1017/S095742390200214X] [citation|title=Portraits of Science: A Polymath in the 10th Century|first=Roshdi|last=Rashed|journal=Science|date=2 August 2002|volume=297|issue=5582|page=773|doi=10.1126/science.1074591] [Citation |last=Lindberg |first=David C. |year=1967 |title=Alhazen's Theory of Vision and Its Reception in the West |journal=Isis |volume=58 |issue=3 |pages=321–341 [332] |doi=10.1086/350266 ]



During the early Muslim conquests, the Muslim Arab forces, led primarily by Khalid ibn al-Walid, conquered the Sassanid Persian Empire and more than half of the Byzantine Roman Empire, establishing the Arab Empire across the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa, followed by further expansions across Pakistan, southern Italy and the Iberian Peninsula. As a result, the Islamic governments inherited the knowledge and skills of the ancient Middle East, of Greece, of Persia and of India [Bernard Lewis, "What Went Wrong?"]

The art of papermaking was obtained from two Chinese prisoners at the Battle of Talas (751), resulting in paper mills being built in Samarkand and Baghdad. The Arabs improved upon the Chinese techniques using linen rags instead of mulberry bark.

Most notable Arab scientists and Iranian scientists lived and practiced during the Islamic Golden Age, though not all scientists in Islamic civilization were Arab or Muslim. Some argue that the term "Arab-Islamic" does not appreciate the rich diversity of eastern scholars who have contributed to science in that era. [Behrooz Broumand, The contribution of Iranian scientists to world civilization, Archives of Iranian Medicine 2006; 9 (3): 288 – 290]

During the Islamic Golden Age, Muslim scholars made significant advances in science, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, engineering, and many other fields. During this time, early Islamic philosophy developed and was often pivotal in scientific debates — key figures were usually scientists and philosophers.

The number of important and original Arabic works written on the mathematical sciences is much larger than the combined total of Latin and Greek works on the mathematical sciences. [N. M. Swerdlow (1993). "Montucla's Legacy: The History of the Exact Sciences", "Journal of the History of Ideas" 54 (2), p. 299-328 [320] .]

cientific institutions

A number of important institutions previously unknown in the ancient world have their origins in the medieval Islamic world, with the most notable examples being: the public hospital (which replaced healing temples and sleep temples) and psychiatric hospital, [Ibrahim B. Syed PhD, "Islamic Medicine: 1000 years ahead of its times", "Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine", 2002 (2), p. 2-9 [7-8] .] the public library and lending library, the academic degree-granting university, the astronomical observatory as a research institutePeter Barrett (2004), "Science and Theology Since Copernicus: The Search for Understanding", p. 18, Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 056708969X.] (as opposed to a private observation post as was the case in ancient times), [citation|last=Micheau|first=Francoise|contribution=The Scientific Institutions in the Medieval Near East|pages=992–3, in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=985-1007] and the trust (Waqf). [Harv|Gaudiosi|1988] [Harv|Hudson|2003|p=32]

The first universities which issued diplomas were the Bimaristan medical university-hospitals of the medieval Islamic world, where medical diplomas were issued to students of Islamic medicine who were qualified to be practicing doctors of medicine from the 9th century. Sir John Bagot Glubb wrote: [John Bagot Glubb (cf. [ Quotations on Islamic Civilization] )]

The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes the University of Al Karaouine in Fez, Morocco as the oldest university in the world with its founding in 859. ["The Guinness Book Of Records", Published 1998, ISBN 0-5535-7895-2, P.242 ] Al-Azhar University, founded in Cairo, Egypt in the 10th century, offered a variety of academic degrees, including postgraduate degrees, and is often considered the first full-fledged university.

A number of distinct features of the modern library were introduced in the Islamic world, where libraries not only served as a collection of manuscripts as was the case in ancient libraries, but also as a public library and lending library, a centre for the instruction and spread of sciences and ideas, a place for meetings and discussions, and sometimes as a lodging for scholars or boarding school for pupils. The concept of the library catalog was also introduced in medieval Islamic libraries, where books were organized into specific genres and categories. [citation|last=Micheau|first=Francoise|contribution=The Scientific Institutions in the Medieval Near East|pages=988–991 in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=985-1007]

Another common feature during the Islamic Golden Age was the large number of Muslim polymaths or "universal geniuses", scholars who contributed to many different fields of knowledge. Muslim polymaths were known as "Hakeems" and they had a wide breadth of knowledge in many different fields of religious and secular learning, comparable to the later "Renaissance Men", such as Leonardo da Vinci, of the European Renaissance period. Polymath scholars were so common during the Islamic Golden Age that it was rare to find a scholar who specialized in any single field at the time.Karima Alavi, [ Tapestry of Travel] , Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University.] Notable Muslim polymaths included al-Biruni, al-Jahiz, al-Kindi, Abu Bakr Muhammad al-Razi, Ibn Sina, al-Idrisi, Ibn Bajja, Ibn Zuhr, Ibn Tufayl, Ibn Rushd, al-Suyuticitation|first=Ziauddin|last=Sardar|author-link=Ziauddin Sardar|date=1998|contribution=Science in Islamic philosophy|title=Islamic Philosophy|publisher=Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy|url=|accessdate=2008-02-03] Geber, al-Khwarizmi, the Banū Mūsā, Abbas Ibn Firnas, al-Farabi, al-Masudi, al-Muqaddasi, Alhacen, Omar Khayyám, al-Ghazali, al-Khazini, Avempace, al-Jazari, Ibn al-Nafis, Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī, Ibn al-Shatir, Ibn Khaldun, and Taqi al-Din, among many others.


Islamic science and the numbers of Islamic scientists were traditionally believed to have begun declining from the 12th or 13th centuries. It was believed that, though the Islamic civilization would still produce scientists, that they became the exception, rather than the rule (see List of Islamic scholars). Recent scholarship, however, has come to question this traditional picture of decline, pointing to continued astronomical activity as a sign of a continuing and creative scientific tradition through to the 16th century, of which the work of Ibn al-Shatir (1304–1375) in Damascus is considered the most noteworthy example. [Harv|Saliba|1994|p=vii: quote|"The main thesis, for which this collection of articles came be used as evidence, is the one claiming that the period often called a period of decline in Islamic intellectual history was, scientifically speaking from the point of view of astronomy, a very productive period in which astronomical thories of the highest order were produced."] [David A. King, "The Astronomy of the Mamluks", "Isis", 74 (1983):531-555] This was also the case for other areas of Islamic science, such as medicine, exemplified by the works of Ibn al-Nafis and Şerafeddin Sabuncuoğlu, and the social sciences, exemplified by Ibn Khaldun's "Muqaddimah" (1370), which itself points out that science was declining in Iraq, Al-Andalus and Maghreb, but continuing to flourish in Persia, Syria and Egypt.Ahmad Y Hassan, [ Factors Behind the Decline of Islamic Science After the Sixteenth Century] ]

One reason given for the scientific decline was when the orthodox Ash'ari school of theology challenged the more rational Mu'tazili school of theology, with al-Ghazali's "The Incoherence of the Philosophers" ("Tahafut al-falasifa") being the most notable example. This interpretation was introduced by the Hungarian Orientalist Ignaz Goldziher, who believed that there was an intrinsic antagonism between Islamic orthodoxy and the Greek-influenced traditions of science. [Ignaz Goldziher, "Stellung der alten islamischen Orthodoxie zu den antiken Wissenschaften"(1915)] Recent scholarship has questioned this traditional view, however, with a number of scholars pointing out that the Ash'ari school supported science but were only opposed to speculative philosophy and that some of the greatest Muslim scientists such as Alhazen, Biruni, Ibn al-Nafis and Ibn Khaldun were themselves followers of the Ash'ari school. Emilie Savage-Smith also pointed out that Al-Ghazali's positive views towards medicine, particularly anatomy, were a source of encouragement for the increased use of dissection by Muslim physicians (such as Avenzoar and Ibn al-Nafis) in the 12th and 13th centuries. [citation|first=Emilie|last=Savage-Smith|title=Attitudes Toward Dissection in Medieval Islam|journal=Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences|year=1995|volume=50|issue=1|publisher=Oxford University Press|pages=67–110|doi=10.1093/jhmas/50.1.67|pmid=7876530]

Other reasons for the decline of Islamic science include conflicts between the Sunni and Shia Muslims, and invasions by Crusaders and Mongols on Islamic lands between the 11th and 13th centuries, especially the Mongol invasions of the 13th century. The Mongols destroyed Muslim libraries, observatories, hospitals, and universities, culminating in the destruction of Baghdad, the Abbasid capital and intellectual centre, in 1258, which is traditionally believed to have marked an end to the Islamic Golden Age. [Erica Fraser. [ The Islamic World to 1600] , University of Calgary.]

From the 13th century, some traditionalist Muslims believed that the Crusades and Mongol invasions may have been a divine punishment from God against Muslims deviating from the Sunnah, a view that was held even by the famous polymath Ibn al-Nafis. [Nahyan A. G. Fancy (2006), "Pulmonary Transit and Bodily Resurrection: The Interaction of Medicine, Philosophy and Religion in the Works of Ibn al-Nafīs (d. 1288)", p. 49 & 59, "Electronic Theses and Dissertations", University of Notre Dame. [] ] Such traditionalist views as well as numerous wars and conflicts at the time are believed to have created a climate which made Islamic science less successful than before. However, Y. Ziedan has pointed out that the sack of Baghdad in 1258 was followed by intense scientific activity across Damascus and Cairo, as many Muslim scholars wrote huge encyclopedias (including an 80-volume medical encyclopedia by Ibn al-Nafis) in an attempt to preserve the scientific heritage of the Islamic world and cope with the loss of Baghdad. [citation|title=Contributions of Ibn Al-Nafis to the progress of medicine and urology: A study and translations from his medical works|last=Abdel-Halim|first=R. E.|journal=Saudi Medical Journal|year=2008|volume=29|issue=1|pages=13-22 [15-6] ]

Another reason given for the decline of Islamic science is the disruption to the cycle of equity based on Ibn Khaldun's famous model of Asabiyyah (the rise and fall of civilizations), which points to the decline being mainly due to political and economic factors rather than religious factors. With the fall of Islamic Spain in 1492, the scientific and technological initiative of the Islamic world was inherited by Europeans and laid the foundations for Europe's Renaissance and Scientific Revolution.Edward Grant (1996), "The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional, and Intellectual Contexts", Cambridge: Cambridge University Press]

Influence on European science

Contributing to the growth of European science was the major search by European scholars for new learning which they could only find among Muslims, especially in Islamic Spain and Sicily. These scholars translated new scientific and philosophical texts from Arabic into Latin.

One of the most productive translators in Spain was Gerard of Cremona, who translated 87 books from Arabic to Latin,including Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī's "On Algebra and Almucabala", Jabir ibn Aflah's "Elementa astronomica",
al-Kindi's "On Optics", Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī's "On Elements of Astronomy on the Celestial Motions", al-Farabi's "On the Classification of the Sciences", [For a list of Gerard of Cremona's translations see: Edward Grant (1974) "A Source Book in Medieval Science", (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Pr.), pp. 35-8 or Charles Burnett, "The Coherence of the Arabic-Latin Translation Program in Toledo in the Twelfth Century," "Science in Context", 14 (2001): at 249-288, at pp. 275-281.] the chemical and medical works of Razi,the works of Thabit ibn Qurra and Hunayn ibn Ishaq, [D. Campbell, "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages", p. 6.] and the works of Arzachel, Jabir ibn Aflah, the Banū Mūsā, Abū Kāmil Shujā ibn Aslam, Abu al-Qasim, and Ibn al-Haytham (including the "Book of Optics").

Other Arabic works translated into Latin during the 12th century include the works of Muhammad ibn Jābir al-Harrānī al-Battānī and Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī (including "The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing"),the works of Abu al-Qasim (including the "al-Tasrif"),D. Campbell, "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages", p. 3.]
Muhammad al-Fazari's "Great Sindhind" (based on the "Surya Siddhanta" and the works of Brahmagupta), [G. G. Joseph, "The Crest of the Peacock", p. 306.] the works of Razi and Avicenna (including "The Book of Healing" and "The Canon of Medicine"), [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," pp. 444-6, 451] the works of Averroes,the works of Thabit ibn Qurra, al-Farabi, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī, Hunayn ibn Ishaq, and his nephew Hubaysh ibn al-Hasan, [D. Campbell, "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages", p. 4-5.] the works of al-Kindi, Abraham bar Hiyya's "Liber embadorum", Ibn Sarabi's (Serapion Junior) "De Simplicibus",the works of Qusta ibn Luqa, [D. Campbell, "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages", p. 5.] the works of Maslamah Ibn Ahmad al-Majriti, Ja'far ibn Muhammad Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi, and al-Ghazali,Salah Zaimeche (2003). [ Aspects of the Islamic Influence on Science and Learning in the Christian West] , p. 10. Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation.] the works of Nur Ed-Din Al Betrugi, including "On the Motions of the Heavens", [ [ "Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexicon"] ]
Ali ibn Abbas al-Majusi's medical encyclopedia, "The Complete Book of the Medical Art",Jerome B. Bieber. [ Medieval Translation Table 2: Arabic Sources] , Santa Fe Community College.]
Abu Mashar's "Introduction to Astrology", [Charles Burnett, ed. "Adelard of Bath, Conversations with His Nephew," (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. xi.] the works of Maimonides, Ibn Zezla (Byngezla), Masawaiyh, Serapion, al-Qifti, and Albe'thar. [D. Campbell, "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages", p. 4.]
Abū Kāmil Shujā ibn Aslam's "Algebra",V. J. Katz, "A History of Mathematics: An Introduction", p. 291.] the chemical works of Geber, and the "De Proprietatibus Elementorum", an Arabic work on geology written by a pseudo-Aristotle. By the beginning of the 13th century, Mark of Toledo translated the Qur'an and various medical works. [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," pp. 429, 455]

Fibonacci presented the first complete European account of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system from Arabic sources in his "Liber Abaci" (1202).Jerome B. Bieber. [ Medieval Translation Table 2: Arabic Sources] , Santa Fe Community College.] Al-Khazini's "Zij as-Sanjari" was translated into Greek by Gregory Choniades in the 13th century and was studied in the Byzantine Empire. [David Pingree (1964), "Gregory Chioniades and Palaeologan Astronomy", "Dumbarton Oaks Papers" 18, p. 135-160.] The astronomical corrections to the Ptolemaic model made by al-Battani and Averroes and the non-Ptolemaic models produced by Mo'ayyeduddin Urdi (Urdi lemma), Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī (Tusi-couple) and Ibn al-Shatir were later adapted into the Copernican heliocentric model. Al-Kindi's (Alkindus) law of terrestrial gravity influenced Robert Hooke's law of celestial gravity, which in turn inspired Newton's law of universal gravitation. Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī's "Ta'rikh al-Hind" and "Kitab al-qanun al-Mas’udi" were translated into Latin as "Indica" and "Canon Mas’udicus" respectively. Ibn al-Nafis' "Commentary on Compound Drugs" was translated into Latin by Andrea Alpago (d. 1522), who may have also translated Ibn al-Nafis' "Commentary on Anatomy in the Canon of Avicenna", which first described pulmonary circulation and coronary circulation, and which may have had an influence on Michael Servetus, Realdo Colombo and William Harvey. [ [ Anatomy and Physiology] , Islamic Medical Manuscripts, United States National Library of Medicine.] Translations of the algebraic and geometrical works of Ibn al-Haytham, Omar Khayyám and Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī were later influential in the development of non-Euclidean geometry in Europe from the 17th century. [D. S. Kasir (1931). "The Algebra of Omar Khayyam", p. 6-7. Teacher's College Press, Columbia University, New York.] [Boris A. Rosenfeld and Adolf P. Youschkevitch (1996), "Geometry", p. 469, in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=447-494] Ibn Tufail's "Hayy ibn Yaqdhan" was translated into Latin by Edward Pococke in 1671 and into English by Simon Ockley in 1708 and became "one of the most important books that heralded the Scientific Revolution." [Samar Attar, "The Vital Roots of European Enlightenment: Ibn Tufayl's Influence on Modern Western Thought", Lexington Books, ISBN 0739119893.] Ibn al-Baitar's "Kitab al-Jami fi al-Adwiya al-Mufrada" also had an influence on European botany after it was translated into Latin in 1758.

cientific method

Muslim scientists placed a greater emphasis on experimentation than previous ancient civilizations (for example, Greek philosophy placed a greater emphasis on rationality rather than empiricism), which was due to the emphasis on empirical observation found in the Qur'an and Sunnah, [quote|"Observe nature and reflect over it."|Qur'an (cf. C. A. Qadir (1990), "Philosophy and Science in the lslumic World", Routledge, London)
(cf. Bettany, Laurence (1995), "Ibn al-Haytham: an answer to multicultural science teaching?", "Physics Education" 30: 247-252 [247] )
] [cite quran|17|36|quote=You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.] [cite quran|2|164|quote=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.] and the rigorous historical methods established in the science of hadith.Ahmad, I. A. (June 3, 2002), [ The Rise and Fall of Islamic Science: The Calendar as a Case Study] , "Faith and Reason: Convergence and Complementarity", Al Akhawayn University. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.] Muslim scientists thus combined precise observation, controlled experiment and careful records with a new approach to scientific inquiry which led to the development of the scientific method. In particular, the empirical observations and experiments of Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen) in his "Book of Optics" (1021) is seen as the beginning of the modern scientific method,David Agar (2001). [ Arabic Studies in Physics and Astronomy During 800 - 1400 AD] . University of Jyväskylä.] which he first introduced to optics and psychology. Rosanna Gorini writes:

Other early experimental methods were developed by Geber (for chemistry), Muhammad al-Bukhari (for history and the science of hadith), al-Kindi (for the Earth sciences), Avicenna (for medicine), Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī (for astronomy and mechanics),MacTutor|id=Al-Biruni|title=Al-Biruni] Ibn Zuhr (for surgery) and Ibn Khaldun (for the social sciences). The most important development of the scientific method, the use of experimentation and quantification to distinguish between competing scientific theories set within a generally empirical orientation, was introduced by Muslim scientists.

Ibn al-Haytham, a pioneer of modern optics, [R. L. Verma "Al-Hazen: father of modern optics", "Al-Arabi", 8 (1969): 12-13.] used the scientific method to obtain the results in his "Book of Optics". In particular, he combined observations, experiments and rational arguments to show that his modern intromission theory of vision, where rays of light are emitted from objects rather than from the eyes, is scientifically correct, and that the ancient emission theory of vision supported by Ptolemy and Euclid (where the eyes emit rays of light), and the ancient intromission theory supported by Aristotle (where objects emit physical particles to the eyes), were both wrong. [D. C. Lindberg, "Theories of Vision from al-Kindi to Kepler", (Chicago, Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1976), pp. 60-7.] It is known that Roger Bacon was familiar with Ibn al-Haytham's work. Ibn al-Haytham is featured on the 10,000 Iraqi dinar note.

Ibn al-Haytham developed rigorous experimental methods of controlled scientific testing in order to verify theoretical hypotheses and substantiate inductive conjectures. Ibn al-Haytham's scientific method was similar to the modern scientific method in that it consisted of the following procedures: [Bradley Steffens (2006). "Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist", Morgan Reynolds Publishing, ISBN 1599350246. (cf. Bradley Steffens, "Who Was the First Scientist?", "Ezine Articles".)]

#Statement of problem
#Formulation of hypothesis
#Testing of hypothesis using experimentation
#Analysis of experimental results
#Interpretation of data and formulation of conclusion
#Publication of findings

The development of the scientific method is considered to be fundamental to modern science and some — especially philosophers of science and practicing scientists — consider earlier inquiries into nature to be "pre-scientific". Some consider Ibn al-Haytham to be the "first scientist" for this reason. [Bradley Steffens (2006). "Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist", Morgan Reynolds Publishing, ISBN 1599350246.]

In "The Model of the Motions", Ibn al-Haytham also describes an early version of Occam's razor, where he employs only minimal hypotheses regarding the properties that characterize astronomical motions, as he attempts to eliminate from his planetary model the cosmological hypotheses that cannot be observed from Earth. [Roshdi Rashed (2007). "The Celestial Kinematics of Ibn al-Haytham", "Arabic Sciences and Philosophy" 17, p. 7-55 [35-36] . Cambridge University Press.]

Robert Briffault wrote in "The Making of Humanity":

George Sarton wrote in the "Introduction to the History of Science":

Oliver Joseph Lodge wrote in the "Pioneers of Science":

Muhammad Iqbal wrote in "The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam":

Peer review

The first documented description of a peer review process is found in the "Ethics of the Physician" written by Ishaq bin Ali al-Rahwi (854–931) of al-Raha, Syria, who describes the first medical peer review process. His work, as well as later Arabic medical manuals, state that a visiting physician must always make duplicate notes of a patient's condition on every visit. When the patient was cured or had died, the notes of the physician were examined by a local medical council of other physicians, who would review the practising physician's notes to decide whether his/her performance have met the required standards of medical care. If their reviews were negative, the practicing physician could face a lawsuit from a maltreated patient. [Ray Spier (2002), "The history of the peer-review process", "Trends in Biotechnology" 20 (8), p. 357-358 [357] .]

Applied sciences

Fielding H. Garrison wrote in the "History of Medicine":

In the applied sciences, a significant number of inventions and technologies were produced by medieval Muslim scientists and engineers such as Abbas Ibn Firnas, Taqi al-Din, and particularly al-Jazari, who is considered a pioneer in modern engineering. [ [ 1000 Years of Knowledge Rediscovered at Ibn Battuta Mall] , MTE Studios.] Some of the inventions believed to have come from the medieval Islamic world include the programmable automaton, [Teun Koetsier (2001), "On the prehistory of programmable machines: musical automata, looms, calculators", "Mechanism and Machine theory" 36: 590-591] coffee, the soap bar, shampoo, pure distillation, liquefaction, crystallisation, purification, oxidisation, evaporation, filtration, distilled alcohol, uric acid, nitric acid, alembic, the crankshaft, the valve, the reciprocating suction piston pump, mechanical clocks driven by water and weights, the combination lock, quilting, the pointed arch, the scalpel, the bone saw, forceps, surgical catgut, the windmill, inoculation, the fountain pen, cryptanalysis, frequency analysis, the three-course meal, stained glass and quartz glass, Persian carpet, the modern cheque, the celestial globe, explosive rockets and incendiary devices, the torpedo, and artificial pleasure gardens.

Agricultural sciences

During the Muslim Agricultural Revolution, Muslim scientists made significant advances in botany and laid the foundations of agricultural science. Muslim botanists and agriculturists demonstrated advanced agronomical, agrotechnical and economic knowledge in areas such as meteorology, climatology, hydrology, soil occupation, and the economy and management of agricultural enterprises. They also demosntrated agricultural knowledge in areas such as pedology, agricultural ecology, irrigation, preparation of soil, planting, spreading of manure, killing herbs, sowing, cutting trees, grafting, pruning vine, prophylaxis, phytotherapy, the care and improvement of cultures and plants, and the harvest and storage of crops. [Toufic Fahd (1996), "Botany and agriculture", p. 849, in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=813-852]

Al-Dinawari (828-896) is considered the founder of Arabic botany for his "Book of Plants", in which he described at least 637 plants and discussed plant evolution from its birth to its death, describing the phases of plant growth and the production of flowers and fruit.citation|last=Fahd|first=Toufic|contribution=Botany and agriculture|pages=815, in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996]

In the 13th century, the Andalusian-Arabian biologist Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati developed an early scientific method for botany, introducing empirical and experimental techniques in the testing, description and identification of numerous materia medica, and separating unverified reports from those supported by actual tests and observations. [Citation |first=Toby |last=Huff |year=2003 |title=The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China, and the West |page=218 |publisher=Cambridge University Press |isbn=0521529948 |pages=813–852] His student Ibn al-Baitar published the "Kitab al-Jami fi al-Adwiya al-Mufrada", which is considered one of the greatest botanical compilations in history, and was a botanical authority for centuries. It contains details on at least 1,400 different plants, foods, and drugs, 300 of which were his own original discoveries. His work was also influential in Europe after it was translated into Latin in 1758. [Diane Boulanger (2002), "The Islamic Contribution to Science, Mathematics and Technology", "OISE Papers", in "STSE Education", Vol. 3.] Russell McNeil, [ Ibn al-Baitar] , Malaspina University-College.]


Muslim physicians made many significant advances and contributions to medicine, including anatomy, ophthalmology, pathology, the pharmaceutical sciences (including pharmacy and pharmacology), physiology, and surgery. Muslim physicians set up some of the earliest dedicated hospitals, which later spread to Europe during the Crusades, inspired by the hospitals in the Middle East.George Sarton, "Introduction to the History of Science".
(cf. Dr. A. Zahoor and Dr. Z. Haq (1997), [ Quotations From Famous Historians of Science] , Cyberistan.]

Al-Kindi wrote "De Gradibus", in which he first demonstrated the application of quantification and mathematics to medicine, particularly in the field of pharmacology. This includes the development of a mathematical scale to quantify the strength of drugs, and a system that would allow a doctor to determine in advance the most critical days of a patient's illness. [Felix Klein-Frank (2001), "Al-Kindi", in Oliver Leaman and Hossein Nasr, "History of Islamic Philosophy", p. 172. Routledge, London.] Razi (Rhazes) (865-925), a pioneer of pediatrics, [David W. Tschanz, PhD (2003), "Arab Roots of European Medicine", "Heart Views" 4 (2).] recorded clinical cases of his own experience and provided very useful recordings of various diseases. His "Comprehensive Book of Medicine", which introduced measles and smallpox, was very influential in Europe. In his "Doubts about Galen", al-Razi was also the first to prove both Galen's theory of humorism and Aristotle's theory of classical elements false using experimentation.G. Stolyarov II (2002), "Rhazes: The Thinking Western Physician", "The Rational Argumentator", Issue VI.] He also introduced urinalysis and stool tests. [Rafik Berjak and Muzaffar Iqbal, "Ibn Sina—Al-Biruni correspondence", "Islam & Science", December 2003.]

Abu al-Qasim (Abulcasis), considered a pioneer of modern surgery, [A. Martin-Araguz, C. Bustamante-Martinez, Ajo V. Fernandez-Armayor, J. M. Moreno-Martinez (2002). "Neuroscience in al-Andalus and its influence on medieval scholastic medicine", "Revista de neurología" 34 (9), p. 877-892.] wrote the "Al-Tasrif" (1000), a 30-volume medical encyclopedia which was taught at Muslim and European medical schools until the 17th century. He invented numerous surgical instruments, including the first instruments unique to women,Bashar Saad, Hassan Azaizeh, Omar Said (October 2005). "Tradition and Perspectives of Arab Herbal Medicine: A Review", "Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine" 2 (4), p. 475-479 [476] . Oxford University Press.] as well as the surgical uses of catgut and forceps, the ligature, surgical needle, scalpel, curette, retractor, surgical spoon, sound, surgical hook, surgical rod, and specula, [Khaled al-Hadidi (1978), "The Role of Muslim Scholars in Oto-rhino-Laryngology", "The Egyptian Journal of O.R.L." 4 (1), p. 1-15. (cf. [ Ear, Nose and Throat Medical Practice in Muslim Heritage] , Foundation for Science Technology and Civilization.)] bone saw, and plaster. [Zafarul-Islam Khan, [ At The Threshhold Of A New Millennium – II] , "The Milli Gazette".] In 1021, Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen) made important advances in eye surgery, as he studied and correctly explained the process of sight and visual perception for the first time in his "Book of Optics" (1021).

Avicenna, who was a pioneer of experimental medicine and was also an influential thinker and medical scholar, wrote "The Canon of Medicine" (1025) and "The Book of Healing" (1027), which remained standard textbooks in both Muslim and European universities until at least the 17th century. Avicenna's contributions include the introduction of systematic experimentation and quantification into the study of physiology, [Katharine Park (March 1990). "Avicenna in Renaissance Italy: The Canon and Medical Teaching in Italian Universities after 1500" by Nancy G. Siraisi", "The Journal of Modern History" 62 (1), p. 169-170.] the discovery of the contagious nature of infectious diseases, the introduction of quarantine to limit the spread of contagious diseases, the introduction of experimental medicine, [citation|journal=European Review|year=2008|volume=16|pages=219–27|publisher=Cambridge University Press|title=Islamic Pharmacology in the Middle Ages: Theories and Substances|first=Danielle|last=Jacquart|doi=10.1017/S1062798708000215] evidence-based medicine, clinical trials, [David W. Tschanz, MSPH, PhD (August 2003). "Arab Roots of European Medicine", "Heart Views" 4 (2).]
randomized controlled trials, [Jonathan D. Eldredge (2003), "The Randomised Controlled Trial design: unrecognized opportunities for health sciences librarianship", "Health Information and Libraries Journal" 20, p. 34–44 [36] .] [Bernard S. Bloom, Aurelia Retbi, Sandrine Dahan, Egon Jonsson (2000), "Evaluation Of Randomized Controlled Trials On Complementary And Alternative Medicine", "International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care" 16 (1), p. 13–21 [19] .]
efficacy tests, [D. Craig Brater and Walter J. Daly (2000), "Clinical pharmacology in the Middle Ages: Principles that presage the 21st century", "Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics" 67 (5), p. 447-450 [449] .] [Walter J. Daly and D. Craig Brater (2000), "Medieval contributions to the search for truth in clinical medicine", "Perspectives in Biology and Medicine" 43 (4), p. 530–540 [536] , Johns Hopkins University Press.] and clinical pharmacology, [D. Craig Brater and Walter J. Daly (2000), "Clinical pharmacology in the Middle Ages: Principles that presage the 21st century", "Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics" 67 (5), p. 447-450 [448] .] the importance of dietetics and the influence of climate and environment on health, [ [ The Canon of Medicine] , The American Institute of Unani Medicine, 2003.] the distinction of mediastinitis from pleurisy, the contagious nature of phthisis and tuberculosis, the distribution of diseases by water and soil, and the first careful descriptions of skin troubles, sexually transmitted diseases, perversions, and nervous ailments, as well the use of ice to treat fevers, and the separation of medicine from pharmacology, which was important to the development of the pharmaceutical sciences.

Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) is considered a pioneer of experimental surgery, [Rabie E. Abdel-Halim (2006), "Contributions of Muhadhdhab Al-Deen Al-Baghdadi to the progress of medicine and urology", "Saudi Medical Journal" 27 (11): 1631-1641.] for introducing the experimental method into surgery in the 12th century, as he was the first to employ animal testing in order to experiment with surgical procedures before applying them to human patients.Rabie E. Abdel-Halim (2005), "Contributions of Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) to the progress of surgery: A study and translations from his book Al-Taisir", "Saudi Medical Journal 2005; Vol. 26 (9): 1333-1339".] He also performed the first dissections and postmortem autopsies on both humans as well as animals. [ [ Islamic medicine] , "Hutchinson Encyclopedia".]

In 1242, Ibn al-Nafis, considered a pioneer of circulatory physiology, [Chairman's Reflections (2004), "Traditional Medicine Among Gulf Arabs, Part II: Blood-letting", "Heart Views" 5 (2), p. 74-85 [80] .] was the first to describe pulmonary circulation and coronary circulation, [Husain F. Nagamia (2003), "Ibn al-Nafīs: A Biographical Sketch of the Discoverer of Pulmonary and Coronary Circulation", "Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine" 1, p. 22–28.] which form the basis of the circulatory system, for which he is considered one of the greatest physiologists in history. [George Sarton (cf. Dr. Paul Ghalioungui (1982), "The West denies Ibn Al Nafis's contribution to the discovery of the circulation", "Symposium on Ibn al-Nafis", Second International Conference on Islamic Medicine: Islamic Medical Organization, Kuwait)
(cf. [ The West denies Ibn Al Nafis's contribution to the discovery of the circulation] , "Encyclopedia of Islamic World")
] He also described the earliest concept of metabolism, [Dr. Abu Shadi Al-Roubi (1982), "Ibn Al-Nafis as a philosopher", "Symposium on Ibn al-Nafis", Second International Conference on Islamic Medicine: Islamic Medical Organization, Kuwait (cf. [ Ibn al-Nafis As a Philosopher] , "Encyclopedia of Islamic World").] and developed new systems of physiology and psychology to replace the Avicennian and Galenic systems, while discrediting many of their erroneous theories on the four humours, pulsation, [Nahyan A. G. Fancy (2006), "Pulmonary Transit and Bodily Resurrection: The Interaction of Medicine, Philosophy and Religion in the Works of Ibn al-Nafīs (d. 1288)", p. 3 & 6, "Electronic Theses and Dissertations", University of Notre Dame. [] ] bones, muscles, intestines, sensory organs, bilious canals, esophagus, stomach, etc. [Dr. Sulaiman Oataya (1982), "Ibn ul Nafis has dissected the human body", "Symposium on Ibn al-Nafis", Second International Conference on Islamic Medicine: Islamic Medical Organization, Kuwait (cf. [ Ibn ul-Nafis has Dissected the Human Body] , "Encyclopedia of Islamic World").] Ibn al-Lubudi (1210-1267) rejected the theory of four humours supported by Galen and Hippocrates, discovered that the body and its preservation depend exclusively upon blood, rejected Galen's idea that women can produce sperm, and discovered that the movement of arteries are not dependent upon the movement of the heart, that the heart is the first organ to form in a fetus' body (rather than the brain as claimed by Hippocrates), and that the bones forming the skull can grow into tumors. [L. Leclerc (1876), "Histoire de la medecine Arabe", vol. 2, p. 161, Paris.
(cf. Salah Zaimeche, [ The Scholars of Aleppo: Al Mahassin, Al Urdi, Al-Lubudi, Al-Halabi] , Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation)

The "Tashrih al-badan" ("Anatomy of the body") of Mansur ibn Ilyas (c. 1390) contained comprehensive diagrams of the body's structural, nervous and circulatory systems. [Harv|Turner|1997|pp=136—138] During the Black Death bubonic plague in 14th century al-Andalus, Ibn Khatima and Ibn al-Khatib hypothesized that infectious diseases are caused by "contagious entities" which enter the human body. [Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph.D. (2002). "Islamic Medicine: 1000 years ahead of its times", "Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine" 2, p. 2-9.] Other medical innovations first introduced by Muslim physicians include the discovery of the immune system, the use of animal testing, and the combination of medicine with other sciences (including agriculture, botany, chemistry, and pharmacology), as well as the invention of the injection syringe by Ammar ibn Ali al-Mawsili in 9th century Iraq, the first drugstores in Baghdad (754), the distinction between medicine and pharmacy by the 12th century, and the discovery of at least 2,000 medicinal and chemical substances. [S. Hadzovic (1997). "Pharmacy and the great contribution of Arab-Islamic science to its development", "Medicinski Arhiv" 51 (1-2), p. 47-50.]

Formal sciences


Early Islamic law placed importance on formulating standards of argument, which gave rise to a novel approach to logic in Kalam, but this approach was later influenced by ideas from Greek philosophy and Hellenistic philosophy with the rise of the Mu'tazili theologians, who highly valued Aristotle's "Organon". The works of Hellenistic-influenced Islamic philosophers were crucial in the reception of Aristotelian logic in medieval Europe, along with the commentaries on the "Organon" by Averroes. The works of al-Farabi, Avicenna, al-Ghazali and other Muslim logicians who often criticized and corrected Aristotelian logic and introduced their own forms of logic, also played a central role in the subsequent development of medieval European logic.

Islamic logic not only included the study of formal patterns of inference and their validity but also elements of the philosophy of language and elements of epistemology and metaphysics. Due to disputes with Arabic grammarians, Islamic philosophers were very interested in working out the relationship between logic and language, and they devoted much discussion to the question of the subject matter and aims of logic in relation to reasoning and speech. In the area of formal logical analysis, they elaborated upon the theory of terms, propositions and syllogisms. They considered the syllogism to be the form to which all rational argumentation could be reduced, and they regarded syllogistic theory as the focal point of logic. Even poetics was considered as a syllogistic art in some fashion by many major Islamic logicians.

Important developments made by Muslim logicians included the development of "Avicennian logic" as a replacement of Aristotelian logic. Avicenna's system of logic was responsible for the introduction of hypothetical syllogism,Lenn Evan Goodman (2003), "Islamic Humanism", p. 155, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195135806.] temporal modal logic, [ [ History of logic: Arabic logic] , "Encyclopædia Britannica".] [Dr. Lotfollah Nabavi, [ Sohrevardi's Theory of Decisive Necessity and kripke's QSS System] , "Journal of Faculty of Literature and Human Sciences".] and inductive logic. [ [ Science and Muslim Scientists] , Islam Herald.] [Wael B. Hallaq (1993), "Ibn Taymiyya Against the Greek Logicians", p. 48. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198240430.] Other important developments in Islamic philosophy include the development of a strict science of citation, the isnad or "backing", and the development of a scientific method of open inquiry to disprove claims, the ijtihad, which could be generally applied to many types of questions. From the 12th century, despite the logical sophistication of al-Ghazali, the rise of the Asharite school in the late Middle Ages slowly limited original work on logic in the Islamic world, though it did continue into the 15th century.


John J. O'Connor and Edmund F. Robertson wrote in the "MacTutor History of Mathematics archive":

Al-Khwarizmi (780-850), from whose name the word algorithm derives, contributed significantly to algebra, which is named after his book, "Kitab al-Jabr", the first book on elementary algebra. [Harv|Eglash|1999|p=61] He also introduced what is now known as Arabic numerals, which originally came from India, though Muslim mathematicians did make several refinements to the number system, such as the introduction of decimal point notation. Al-Kindi (801-873) was a pioneer in cryptanalysis and cryptology. He gave the first known recorded explanations of cryptanalysis and frequency analysis in "A Manuscript on Deciphering Cryptographic Messages". [Simon Singh, "The Code Book", p. 14-20.] [cite web |url= |title=Al-Kindi, Cryptgraphy, Codebreaking and Ciphers |accessdate=2007-01-12 |format=HTML]

The first known proof by mathematical induction appears in a book written by Al-Karaji around 1000 AD, who used it to prove the binomial theorem, Pascal's triangle, and the sum of integral cubes. [Victor J. Katz (1998). "History of Mathematics: An Introduction", p. 255-259. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0321016181.] The historian of mathematics, F. Woepcke, [F. Woepcke (1853). "Extrait du Fakhri, traité d'Algèbre par Abou Bekr Mohammed Ben Alhacan Alkarkhi". Paris.] praised Al-Karaji for being "the first who introduced the theory of algebraic calculus." Ibn al-Haytham was the first mathematician to derive the formula for the sum of the fourth powers, and using the method of induction, he developed a method for determining the general formula for the sum of any integral powers, which was fundamental to the development of integral calculus. [Victor J. Katz (1995). "Ideas of Calculus in Islam and India", "Mathematics Magazine" 68 (3), p. 163-174.] The 11th century poet-mathematician Omar Khayyám was the first to find general geometric solutions of cubic equations and laid the foundations for the development of analytic geometry, algebraic geometry and non-Euclidean geometry. Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi (1135-1213) found algebraic and numerical solutions to cubic equations and was the first to discover the derivative of cubic polynomials, an important result in differential calculus. [J. L. Berggren (1990). "Innovation and Tradition in Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi's Muadalat", "Journal of the American Oriental Society" 110 (2), p. 304-309.]

Other achievements of Muslim mathematicians include the invention of spherical trigonometry, [cite book |last=Syed |first=M. H. |title=Islam and Science |year=2005 |publisher=Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. |isbn=8-1261-1345-6 |pages=71] the discovery of all the trigonometric functions besides sine and cosine, early inquiry which aided the development of analytic geometry by Ibn al-Haytham, the first refutations of Euclidean geometry and the parallel postulate by Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī, the first attempt at a non-Euclidean geometry by Sadr al-Din, the development of symbolic algebra by Abū al-Hasan ibn Alī al-Qalasādī, [MacTutor Biography|id=Al-Qalasadi|title=Abu'l Hasan ibn Ali al Qalasadi] and numerous other advances in algebra, arithmetic, calculus, cryptography, geometry, number theory and trigonometry.

Natural sciences


Islamic astrology, in Arabic "ilm al-nujum" is the study of the heavens by early Muslims. In early Arabic sources, "ilm al-nujum" was used to refer to both astronomy and astrology. In medieval sources, however, a clear distinction was made between "ilm al-nujum" (science of the stars) or "ilm al-falak" (science of the celestial orbs), referring to astrology, and" ilm al-haya" (science of the figure of the heavens), referring to astronomy. Both fields were rooted in Greek, Persian, and Indian traditions. Despite consistent critiques of astrology by scientists and religious scholars, astrological prognostications required a fair amount of exact scientific knowledge and thus gave partial incentive for the study and development of astronomy.

The first semantic distinction between astronomy and astrology was given by al-Biruni in the 11th century, though he himself refuted the study of astrology.S. Pines (September 1964). "The Semantic Distinction between the Terms Astronomy and Astrology according to al-Biruni", "Isis" 55 (3), p. 343-349.] The study of astrology was also refuted by other Muslim astronomers at the time, including al-Farabi, Ibn al-Haytham, Avicenna and Averroes. Their reasons for refuting astrology were both due to the methods used by astrologers being conjectural rather than empirical and also due to the views of astrologers conflicting with orthodox Islam. [Harv|Saliba|1994|pp=60 & 67-69]


Nasir al-Din Tusi was a polymath who resolved significant problems in the Ptolemaic system with the Tusi-couple, which played an important role in Copernican heliocentrism.]

In astronomy, the works of Egyptian/Greek astronomer Ptolemy, particularly the "Almagest", and the Indian work of Brahmagupta, were significantly refined over the years by Muslim astronomers. The astronomical tables of Al-Khwarizmi and of Maslamah Ibn Ahmad al-Majriti served as important sources of information for Latinized European thinkers rediscovering the works of astronomy, where extensive interest in astrology was discouraged.

In the 11th century, Muslim astronomers began questioning the Ptolemaic system, beginning with Ibn al-Haytham, and they were the first to conduct elaborate experiments related to astronomical phenomena, beginning with Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī's introduction of the experimental method into astronomy.Dr. A. Zahoor (1997), [ Abu Raihan Muhammad al-Biruni] , Hasanuddin University.] Many of them made changes and corrections to the Ptolemaic model and proposed alternative non-Ptolemaic models within a geocentric framework. In particular, the corrections and critiques of al-Battani, Ibn al-Haytham, and Averroes, and the non-Ptolemaic models of the Maragha astronomers, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (Tusi-couple), Mo'ayyeduddin Urdi (Urdi lemma), and Ibn al-Shatir, were later adapted into the heliocentric Copernican model, [M. Gill (2005). [ Was Muslim Astronomy the Harbinger of Copernicanism?] ] [Richard Covington (May-June 2007). "Rediscovering Arabic science", "Saudi Aramco World", p. 2-16.] and that Copernicus' arguments for the Earth's rotation were similar to those of al-Tusi and Ali al-Qushji. Some have referred to the achievements of the Maragha school as a "Maragha Revolution", "Maragha School Revolution", or "Scientific Revolution before the Renaissance".

Other contributions from Muslim astronomers include Biruni speculating that the Milky Way galaxy is a collection of numerous nebulous stars, the development of a planetary model without any epicycles by Ibn Bajjah (Avempace), [Bernard R. Goldstein (March 1972). "Theory and Observation in Medieval Astronomy", "Isis" 63 (1), p. 39-47 [40-41] .] the optical writings of Ibn al-Haytham having laid the foundations for the later European development of telescopic astronomy, [O. S. Marshall (1950). "Alhazen and the Telescope", "Astronomical Society of the Pacific Leaflets" 6, pp. 4-11.] the development of universal astrolabes, [cite book |last=Krebs |first=Robert E. |title=Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance |year=2004 |publisher=Greenwood Press |isbn=0-3133-2433-6 |pages=196] the invention of numerous other astronomical instruments, continuation of inquiry into the motion of the planets, Ja'far Muhammad ibn Mūsā ibn Shākir's discovery that the heavenly bodies and celestial spheres are subject to the same physical laws as Earth,George Saliba (1994). "Early Arabic Critique of Ptolemaic Cosmology: A Ninth-Century Text on the Motion of the Celestial Spheres", "Journal for the History of Astronomy" 25, p. 115-141 [116] .] the first elaborate experiments related to astronomical phenomena and the first semantic distinction between astronomy and astrology by Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī,the use of exacting empirical observations and experimental techniques, [Toby Huff, "The Rise of Early Modern Science", p. 326. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521529948.] the discovery that the celestial spheres are not solid and that the heavens are less dense than the air by Ibn al-Haytham, [Edward Rosen (1985), "The Dissolution of the Solid Celestial Spheres", "Journal of the History of Ideas" 46 (1), p. 13-31 [19-20, 21] .] the separation of natural philosophy from astronomy by Ibn al-Haytham [Roshdi Rashed (2007). "The Celestial Kinematics of Ibn al-Haytham", "Arabic Sciences and Philosophy" 17, p. 7-55. Cambridge University Press.] and al-Qushji,the rejection of the Ptolemaic model on empirical rather than philosophical grounds by Ibn al-Shatir,and the first empirical observational evidence of the Earth's rotation by al-Tusi and al-Qushji.F. Jamil Ragep (2001), "Tusi and Copernicus: The Earth's Motion in Context", "Science in Context" 14 (1-2), p. 145–163. Cambridge University Press.] Several Muslim astronomers also discussed the possibility of a heliocentric model with elliptical orbits, [Seyyed Hossein Nasr (1964), "An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines," (Cambridge: Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press), p. 135-136] such as Ja'far ibn Muhammad Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi, Ibn al-Haytham, Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, al-Sijzi, 'Umar al-Katibi al-Qazwini, and Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi. [A. Baker and L. Chapter (2002), "Part 4: The Sciences". In M. M. Sharif, "A History of Muslim Philosophy", "Philosophia Islamica".]


The 9th century chemist, Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyan), is considered a pioneer of chemistry, [citation|first=Zygmunt S.|last=Derewenda|year=2007|title=On wine, chirality and crystallography|journal=Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations of Crystallography|volume=64|pages=246–258 [247] |doi=10.1107/S0108767307054293] [John Warren (2005). "War and the Cultural Heritage of Iraq: a sadly mismanaged affair", "Third World Quarterly", Volume 26, Issue 4 & 5, p. 815-830.] Paul Vallely, [ How Islamic Inventors Changed the World] , "The Independent", 11 March 2006.] for introducing an early experimental method for chemistry, as well as the alembic, still, retort, pure distillation, liquefaction, crystallisation, purification, oxidisation, evaporation, and filtration.

Al-Kindi was the first to refute the study of traditional alchemy and the theory of the transmutation of metals, [Felix Klein-Frank (2001), "Al-Kindi", in Oliver Leaman & Hossein Nasr, "History of Islamic Philosophy", p. 174. London: Routledge.] followed by Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, [Michael E. Marmura (1965). "An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines. Conceptions of Nature and Methods Used for Its Study by the Ikhwan Al-Safa'an, Al-Biruni, and Ibn Sina" by Seyyed Hossein Nasr", "Speculum" 40 (4), p. 744-746.] Avicenna, [Robert Briffault (1938). "The Making of Humanity", p. 196-197.] and Ibn Khaldun. Avicenna also invented steam distillation and produced the first essential oils, which led to the development of aromatherapy. Razi first distilled petroleum, invented kerosene and kerosene lamps, soap bars and modern recipes for soap, and antiseptics. In his "Doubts about Galen", al-Razi was also the first to prove both Aristotle's theory of classical elements and Galen's theory of humorism wrong using an experimental method. In the 13th century, Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī stated an early version of the law of conservation of mass, noting that a body of matter is able to change, but is not able to disappear. [Farid Alakbarov (Summer 2001). [ A 13th-Century Darwin? Tusi's Views on Evolution] , "Azerbaijan International" 9 (2).]

Will Durant wrote in "The Story of Civilization IV: The Age of Faith":

George Sarton wrote in the "Introduction to the History of Science":

Earth sciences

Muslim scientists made a number of contributions to the Earth sciences. Alkindus was the first to introduce experimentation into the Earth sciences.Plinio Prioreschi, "Al-Kindi, A Precursor Of The Scientific Revolution", "Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine", 2002 (2): 17-19.] Biruni is considered a pioneer of geodesy for his important contributions to the field, [H. Mowlana (2001). "Information in the Arab World", "Cooperation South Journal" 1.] along with his significant contributions to geography and geology.

Among his writings on geology, Biruni wrote the following on the geology of India:

John J. O'Connor and Edmund F. Robertson write in the "MacTutor History of Mathematics archive":

Fielding H. Garrison wrote in the "History of Medicine":

George Sarton wrote in the "Introduction to the History of Science":

In geology, Avicenna hypothesized on two causes of mountains in "The Book of Healing" (1027) and developed the law of superposition and concept of uniformitarianism. [Toulmin, S. and Goodfield, J. (1965), "The Ancestry of science: The Discovery of Time", Hutchinson & Co., London, p. 64 (cf. [ Contribution of Ibn Sina to the development of Earth Sciences] )] cite web|author=Munim M. Al-Rawi and Salim Al-Hassani|title=The Contribution of Ibn Sina (Avicenna) to the development of Earth sciences|publisher=FSTC|url=|date=November 2002|accessdate=2008-07-01] In cartography, the Piri Reis map drawn by the Ottoman cartographer Piri Reis in 1513, was one of the earliest world maps to include the Americas, and perhaps the first to include Antarctica. His map of the world was considered the most accurate in the 16th century.

The earliest known treatises dealing with environmentalism and environmental science, especially pollution, were Arabic treatises written by al-Kindi, al-Razi, Ibn Al-Jazzar, al-Tamimi, al-Masihi, Avicenna, Ali ibn Ridwan, Abd-el-latif, and Ibn al-Nafis. Their works covered a number of subjects related to pollution such as air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination, municipal solid waste mishandling, and environmental impact assessments of certain localities. [L. Gari (2002), "Arabic Treatises on Environmental Pollution up to the End of the Thirteenth Century", "Environment and History" 8 (4), pp. 475-488.] Cordoba, al-Andalus also had the first waste containers and waste disposal facilities for litter collection. [S. P. Scott (1904), "History of the Moorish Empire in Europe", 3 vols, J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia and London.
F. B. Artz (1980), "The Mind of the Middle Ages", Third edition revised, University of Chicago Press, pp 148-50.
(cf. [ References] , 1001 Inventions)


In the optics field of physics, Ibn Sahl (c. 940-1000), a mathematician and physicist connected with the court of Baghdad, wrote a treatise "On Burning Mirrors and Lenses" in 984 in which he set out his understanding of how curved mirrors and lenses bend and focus light. Ibn Sahl is now credited with first discovering the law of refraction, usually called Snell's law. [K. B. Wolf, "Geometry and dynamics in refracting systems", "European Journal of Physics" 16, p. 14-20, 1995.] R. Rashed, "A pioneer in anaclastics: Ibn Sahl on burning mirrors and lenses", "Isis" 81, p. 464–491, 1990.] He used this law to work out the shapes of lenses that focus light with no geometric aberrations, known as anaclastic lenses.

Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) (965-1039), who is considered a pioneer of optics and the scientific method, developed a broad theory of light and optics in his "Book of Optics" which explained vision, using geometry and anatomy, and stated that each point on an illuminated area or object radiates light rays in every direction, but that only one ray from each point, which strikes the eye perpendicularly, can be seen. The other rays strike at different angles and are not seen. He used the example of the camera obscura and pinhole camera, which produces an inverted image, to support his argument. This contradicted Ptolemy's theory of vision that objects are seen by rays of light emanating from the eyes. Alhacen held light rays to be streams of minute particles that travelled at a finite speed. He improved accurately described the refraction of light, and discovered the laws of refraction. He dealt at length with the theory of various physical phenomena like shadows, eclipses, and the rainbow. He also attempted to explain binocular vision and the moon illusion. Through these extensive researches on optics, he is considered a pioneer of modern optics. His "Book of Optics" was later translated into Latin, and has been ranked alongside Isaac Newton's "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica" as one of the most influential books in the history of physics, [ H. Salih, M. Al-Amri, M. El Gomati (2005). "The Miracle of Light", "A World of Science" 3 (3). UNESCO.] for initiating a revolution in opticscitation|last1=Sabra|first1=A. I.|author1-link=A. I. Sabra|last2=Hogendijk|first2=J. P.|title=The Enterprise of Science in Islam: New Perspectives|pages=85–118|publisher=MIT Press|isbn=0262194821] and visual perception.Citation |last=Hatfield |first=Gary |contribution=Was the Scientific Revolution Really a Revolution in Science? |editor1-last=Ragep |editor1-first=F. J. |editor2-last=Ragep |editor2-first=Sally P. |editor3-last=Livesey |editor3-first=Steven John |year=1996 |title=Tradition, Transmission, Transformation: Proceedings of Two Conferences on Pre-modern Science held at the University of Oklahoma |publisher=Brill Publishers |isbn=9004091262 |pages=500]

Avicenna (980-1037) agreed that the speed of light is finite, as he "observed that if the perception of light is due to the emission of some sort of particles by a luminous source, the speed of light must be finite." [George Sarton, "Introduction to the History of Science", Vol. 1, p. 710.] Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī (973-1048) also agreed that light has a finite speed, and he was the first to discover that the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound. Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi (1236-1311) and Kamāl al-Dīn al-Fārisī (1260-1320) gave the first correct explanations for the rainbow phenomenon. [MacTutor|id=Al-Farisi|title=Al-Farisi]

In mechanics, Ja'far Muhammad ibn Mūsā ibn Shākir (800-873) of the Banū Mūsā hypothesized that heavenly bodies and celestial spheres were subject to the same laws of physics as Earth, and in his "Astral Motion" and "The Force of Attraction", he also hypothesized that there was a force of attraction between heavenly bodies. [K. A. Waheed (1978). "Islam and The Origins of Modern Science", p. 27. Islamic Publication Ltd., Lahore.] Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī (973-1048), and later al-Khazini, developed experimental scientific methods for mechanics, especially the fields of statics and dynamics, particularly for determining specific weights, such as those based on the theory of balances and weighing. Muslim physicists unified statics and dynamics into the science of mechanics, and they combined the fields of hydrostatics with dynamics to give birth to hydrodynamics. They applied the mathematical theories of ratios and infinitesimal techniques, and introduced algebraic and fine calculation techniques into the field of statics. They were also generalized the theory of the centre of gravity and applied it to three-dimensional bodies. They also founded the theory of the lever and created the "science of gravity" which was later further developed in medieval Europe. [Mariam Rozhanskaya and I. S. Levinova (1996), "Statics", p. 642, in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=614-642: quote|"Using a whole body of mathematical methods (not only those inherited from the antique theory of ratios and infinitesimal techniques, but also the methods of the contemporary algebra and fine calculation techniques), Arabic scientists raised statics to a new, higher level. The classical results of Archimedes in the theory of the centre of gravity were generalized and applied to three-dimensional bodies, the theory of ponderable lever was founded and the 'science of gravity' was created and later further developed in medieval Europe. The phenomena of statics were studied by using the dynamic apporach so that two trends - statics and dynamics - turned out to be inter-related withina single science, mechanics. The combination of the dynamic apporach with Archimedean hydrostatics gave birth to a direction in science which may be called medieval hydrodynamics. [...] Numerous fine experimental methods were developed for determining the specific weight, which were based, in particular, on the theory of balances and weighing. The classical works of al-Biruni and al-Khazini can by right be considered as the beginning of the application of experimental methods in medieval science."] Al-Biruni also theorized that acceleration is connected with non-uniform motion.

In mechanics, Ibn al-Haytham discussed the theory of attraction between masses, and it seems that he was aware of the magnitude of acceleration due to gravity, and he stated that the heavenly bodies "were accountable to the laws of physics". [Duhem, Pierre (1908, 1969). "To Save the Phenomena: An Essay on the Idea of Physical theory from Plato to Galileo", p. 28. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.] Ibn al-Haytham also enunciated the law of inertia when he stated that a body moves perpetually unless an external force stops it or changes its direction of motion.Dr. Nader El-Bizri, "Ibn al-Haytham or Alhazen", in Josef W. Meri (2006), "Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopaedia", Vol. II, p. 343-345, Routledge, New York, London.] He also developed the concept of momentum, [Seyyed Hossein Nasr, "The achievements of Ibn Sina in the field of science and his contributions to its philosophy", "Islam & Science", December 2003.] though he did not quantify this concept mathematically. Avicenna (980-1037) developed the concept of momentum, referring to impetus as being proportional to weight times velocity.A. Sayili (1987), "Ibn Sīnā and Buridan on the Motion of the Projectile", "Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences" 500 (1), p. 477–482:quote|"Thus he considered impetus as proportional to weight times velocity. In other words, his conception of impetus comes very close to the concept of momentum of Newtonian mechanics."] His theory of motion was also consistent with the concept of inertia in classical mechanics.

In 1121, al-Khazini, in "The Book of the Balance of Wisdom", proposed that the gravity and gravitational potential energy of a body varies depending on its distance from the centre of the Earth, [Mariam Rozhanskaya and I. S. Levinova (1996), "Statics", p. 621, in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=614-642] and in statics, he clearly differentiated between force, mass and weight. [Salah Zaimeche PhD (2005). [ Merv] , p. 5-7. Foundation for Science Technology and Civilization.] Avempace (d. 1138) argued that there is always a reaction force for every force exerted, [Shlomo Pines (1964), "La dynamique d’Ibn Bajja", in "Mélanges Alexandre Koyré", I, 442-468 [462, 468] , Paris
(cf. Abel B. Franco (October 2003), "Avempace, Projectile Motion, and Impetus Theory", "Journal of the History of Ideas" 64 (4): 521-546 [543] )
] though he did not refer to the reaction force as being equal to the exerted force. [Abel B. Franco (October 2003), "Avempace, Projectile Motion, and Impetus Theory", "Journal of the History of Ideas" 64 (4):521-546 [543] )] His theory of motion had an important influence on later physicists like Galileo Galilei. [Ernest A. Moody (1951). "Galileo and Avempace: The Dynamics of the Leaning Tower Experiment (I)", "Journal of the History of Ideas" 12 (2): 163-193 [.] Hibat Allah Abu'l-Barakat al-Baghdaadi (1080-1165) wrote a critique of Aristotelian physics entitled "al-Mu'tabar", where he negated Aristotle's idea that a constant force produces uniform motion, as he theorized that a force applied continuously produces acceleration. [cite encyclopedia |last=Shlomo Pines |title=Abu'l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī , Hibat Allah | encyclopedia = Dictionary of Scientific Biography |volume=1 |pages=26-28 |publisher=Charles Scribner's Sons |location=New York |date=1970 |isbn=0684101149
(cf. Abel B. Franco (October 2003). "Avempace, Projectile Motion, and Impetus Theory", "Journal of the History of Ideas" 64 (4), p. 521-546 [528] .)
] He also described acceleration as the rate of change of velocity. [A. C. Crombie, "Augustine to Galileo 2", p. 67.] Averroes (1126–1198) defined and measured force as "the rate at which work is done in changing the kinetic condition of a material body" [Ernest A. Moody (June 1951). "Galileo and Avempace: The Dynamics of the Leaning Tower Experiment (II)", "Journal of the History of Ideas" 12 (3), p. 375-422 [375] .] and correctly argued "that the effect and measure of force is change in the kinetic condition of a materially resistant mass." [Ernest A. Moody (June 1951). "Galileo and Avempace: The Dynamics of the Leaning Tower Experiment (II)", "Journal of the History of Ideas" 12 (3), p. 375-422 [380] .] In the early 16th century, al-Birjandi developed a hypothesis similar to "circular inertia." The Muslim developments in mechanics laid the foundations for the later development of classical mechanics in early modern Europe. [Mariam Rozhanskaya and I. S. Levinova (1996), "Statics", p. 642, in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=614-642: quote|"Arabic statics was an essential link in the progress of world science. It played an important part in the prehistory of classical mechanics in medieval Europe. Without it classical mechanics proper could probably not have been created."]


In the zoology field of biology, Muslim biologists developed theories on evolution which were widely taught in medieval Islamic schools. John William Draper, a contemporary of Charles Darwin, considered the "Mohammedan theory of evolution" to be developed "much farther than we are disposed to do, extending them even to inorganic or mineral things." According to al-Khazini, ideas on evolution were widespread among "common people" in the Islamic world by the 12th century. [John William Draper (1878). "History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science", p. 154-155, 237. ISBN 1603030964.]

The first Muslim biologist to develop a theory on evolution was al-Jahiz (781-869). He wrote on the effects of the environment on the likelihood of an animal to survive, and he first described the struggle for existence. [Conway Zirkle (1941). Natural Selection before the "Origin of Species", "Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society" 84 (1), p. 71-123.] [Mehmet Bayrakdar (Third Quarter, 1983). "Al-Jahiz And the Rise of Biological Evolutionism", "The Islamic Quarterly". London.] Al-Jahiz was also the first to discuss food chains, [Frank N. Egerton, "A History of the Ecological Sciences, Part 6: Arabic Language Science - Origins and Zoological", "Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America", April 2002: 142-146 [143] ] and was also an early adherent of environmental determinism, arguing that the environment can determine the physical characteristics of the inhabitants of a certain community and that the origins of different human skin colors is the result of the environment. [Lawrence I. Conrad (1982), "Taun and Waba: Conceptions of Plague and Pestilence in Early Islam", "Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient" 25 (3), pp. 268-307 [278] .]

Ibn al-Haytham wrote a book in which he argued for evolutionism (although not natural selection), and numerous other Islamic scholars and scientists, such as Ibn Miskawayh, the Brethren of Purity, al-Khazini, Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, Nasir al-Din Tusi, and Ibn Khaldun, discussed and developed these ideas. Translated into Latin, these works began to appear in the West after the Renaissance and appear to have had an impact on Western science.

Ibn Miskawayh's "al-Fawz al-Asghar" and the Brethren of Purity's "Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity" ("The Epistles of Ikhwan al-Safa") expressed evolutionary ideas on how species evolved from matter, into vapor, and then water, then minerals, then plants, then animals, then apes, and then humans. These works were known in Europe and likely had an influence on Darwinism.Muhammad Hamidullah and Afzal Iqbal (1993), "The Emergence of Islam: Lectures on the Development of Islamic World-view, Intellectual Tradition and Polity", p. 143-144. Islamic Research Institute, Islamabad.]

ocial sciences

Sociology and Antropology

Significant contributions were made to the social sciences in the Islamic civilization. Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī (973-1048) has been described as "the first anthropologist".Akbar S. Ahmed (1984). "Al-Beruni: The First Anthropologist", "RAIN" 60, p. 9-10.] He wrote detailed comparative studies on the anthropology of peoples, religions and cultures in the Middle East, Mediterranean and South Asia. Biruni's anthropology of religion was only possible for a scholar deeply immersed in the lore of other nations. [J. T. Walbridge (1998). "Explaining Away the Greek Gods in Islam", "Journal of the History of Ideas" 59 (3), p. 389-403.] Biruni has also been praised by several scholars for his Islamic anthropology. [Richard Tapper (1995). "Islamic Anthropology" and the "Anthropology of Islam", "Anthropological Quarterly" 68 (3), Anthropological Analysis and Islamic Texts, p. 185-193.] Biruni is also considered a pioneer of Indology. [Zafarul-Islam Khan, [ At The Threshhold Of A New Millennium – II] , "The Milli Gazette".] Al-Saghani (d. 990) wrote some of the earliest comments on the history of science, which included a comparison between the more theoretical approach of the "ancients" (including the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and Indians) to that of the more experimental approach of the "modern scholars" (the Muslim scientists of his time). [Franz Rosenthal (1950). "Al-Asturlabi and as-Samaw'al on Scientific Progress", "Osiris" 9, p. 555-564 [559] .] Al-Muqaddasi (b. 945) also made contributions to the social sciences.

Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) is considered a forerunner of several social sciences [Akbar Ahmed (2002). "Ibn Khaldun’s Understanding of Civilizations and the Dilemmas of Islam and the West Today", "Middle East Journal" 56 (1), p. 25.] such as demography,H. Mowlana (2001). "Information in the Arab World", "Cooperation South Journal" 1.] cultural history, [Mohamad Abdalla (Summer 2007). "Ibn Khaldun on the Fate of Islamic Science after the 11th Century", "Islam & Science" 5 (1), p. 61-70.] historiography, [Salahuddin Ahmed (1999). "A Dictionary of Muslim Names". C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. ISBN 1850653569.] the philosophy of history,Dr. S. W. Akhtar (1997). "The Islamic Concept of Knowledge", "Al-Tawhid: A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Thought & Culture" 12 (3).] sociology, and economics. [I. M. Oweiss (1988), "Ibn Khaldun, the Father of Economics", "Arab Civilization: Challenges and Responses", New York University Press, ISBN 0887066984.] [Jean David C. Boulakia (1971), "Ibn Khaldun: A Fourteenth-Century Economist", "The Journal of Political Economy" 79 (5): 1105-1118.] He is best known for his "Muqaddimah" (Latinized as "Prolegomenon"). Some of the ideas he introduced in the "Muqaddimah" include social philosophy, social conflict theories, social cohesion, social capital, social networks, dialectics, the Laffer curve, the historical method, systemic bias, the rise and fall of civilizations, feedback loops, systems theory, and corporate social responsibility. He also introduced the scientific method into the social sciences.Ibn Khaldun, Franz Rosenthal, N. J. Dawood (1967), "The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History", p. x, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0691017549.]

Franz Rosenthal wrote in the "History of Muslim Historiography":


"Islamic psychology" [citation|title=Health and Illness from an Islamic Perspective|first=Majed A.|last=Ashy|journal=Journal of Religion and Health|volume=38|issue=3|date=Fall 1999|pages=241–57|doi=10.1023/A:1022984718794] or "Ilm-al Nafsiat" refers to the study of the "Nafs" ("self" or "psyche") in the Islamic world and encompassed a "broad range of topics including the "qalb" (heart), the "ruh" (spirit), the "aql" (intellect) and "irada" (will)."Amber Haque (2004), "Psychology from Islamic Perspective: Contributions of Early Muslim Scholars and Challenges to Contemporary Muslim Psychologists", "Journal of Religion and Health" 43 (4): 357-377 [358] ] Al-Kindi (Alkindus) was the first to experiment with music therapy,cite web |url= |title=The Arab Contribution to the Music of the Western World |accessdate=2007-01-12 |format=PDF |author=Saoud, R] and Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari was the first to practice al-‘ilaj al-nafs" ("psychotherapy").Amber Haque (2004), "Psychology from Islamic Perspective: Contributions of Early Muslim Scholars and Challenges to Contemporary Muslim Psychologists", "Journal of Religion and Health" 43 (4): 357-377 [361-363] ] The concepts of "al-tibb al-ruhani" ("spiritual health") and "mental hygiene" were introduced by Ahmed ibn Sahl al-Balkhi,Nurdeen Deuraseh and Mansor Abu Talib (2005), "Mental health in Islamic medical tradition", "The International Medical Journal" 4"' (2), p. 76-79.] who was "probably the first cognitive and medical psychologist to clearly differentiate between neuroses and psychoses, to classify neurotic disorders, and to show in detail how rational and spiritual cognitive therapies can be used to treat each one of his classified disorders." Al-Razi (Rhazes) made significant advances in psychiatry in his landmark texts "El-Mansuri" and "Al-Hawi", which presented definitions, symptoms and treatments for mental illnesses and problems related to mental health. He also ran the psychiatric ward of a Baghdad hospital. Such institutions could not exist in Europe at the time because of fear of demonic possessions.Ibrahim B. Syed PhD, "Islamic Medicine: 1000 years ahead of its times", "Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine", 2002 (2), p. 2-9 [7] .]

Al-Farabi wrote the first treatises on social psychology and dealt with consciousness studies. In al-Andalus, Abulcasis pioneered neurosurgery, while Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) gave the first accurate descriptions on neurological disorders and contributed to modern neuropharmacology, and Averroes suggested the existence of Parkinson's disease. [Martin-Araguz, A.; Bustamante-Martinez, C.; Fernandez-Armayor, Ajo V.; Moreno-Martinez, J. M. (2002). "Neuroscience in al-Andalus and its influence on medieval scholastic medicine", "Revista de neurología" 34 (9), p. 877-892.] Ali ibn Abbas al-Majusi discussed "the relationship between certain psychological events to the physiological changes in the body", while Avicenna anticipated the word association test, discussed neuropsychiatry in "The Canon of Medicine", [S Safavi-Abbasi, LBC Brasiliense, RK Workman (2007), "The fate of medical knowledge and the neurosciences during the time of Genghis Khan and the Mongolian Empire", "Neurosurgical Focus" 23 (1), E13, p. 3.] and described the first thought experiments on self-awareness and self-consciousness. [cite book|last=Nasr|first=Seyyed Hossein|authorlink=Seyyed Hossein Nasr|coauthors=Oliver Leaman|title=History of Islamic Philosophy|pages=315 & 1022-1023|publisher=Routledge|year=1996|isbn=0415131596]

Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) is considered by some a forerunner of experimental psychology,Omar Khaleefa (Summer 1999). "Who Is the Founder of Psychophysics and Experimental Psychology?", "American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences" 16 (2).] for his experimental work on the psychology of visual perception in the "Book of Optics", where he was the first scientist to argue that vision occurs in the brain, rather than the eyes. He pointed out that personal experience has an effect on what people see and how they see, and that vision and perception are subjective.Bradley Steffens (2006). "Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist", Chapter 5. Morgan Reynolds Publishing. ISBN 1599350246.] He was also the first to combine physics and psychology to form psychophysics, and his investigations and experiments on psychology and visual perception included sensation, variations in sensitivity, sensation of touch, perception of colours, perception of darkness, the psychological explanation of the moon illusion, and binocular vision. Biruni was also a pioneer of experimental psychology, as he was the first to empirically describe the concept of reaction time. [Muhammad Iqbal, "The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam", "The Spirit of Muslim Culture" (cf. [] and [] )]

Historiography of Islamic science

The history of science in the Islamic world, like all history, is filled with questions of interpretation. Historians of science generally consider that the study of Islamic science, like all history, must be seen within the particular circumstances of time and place. A. I. Sabra opened a recent overview of Arabic science by noting, "I trust no one would wish to contest the proposition that all of history is local history ... and the history of science is no exception." [A. I. Sabra, Situating Arab Science: Locality versus Essence," "Isis", 87(1996):654-70; reprinted in Michael H. Shank, ed., The Scientific Enterprise in Antiquity and the Middle Ages," (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Pr., 2000), pp. 215-231.]

Some scholars avoid such local historical approaches and seek to identify essential relations between Islam and science that apply at all times and places. The Pakistani physicist, Pervez Hoodbhoy, portrayed "religious fanaticism to be the dominant relation of religion and science in Islam". Sociologist Toby Huff claimed that Islam lacked the "rationalist view of man and nature" that became dominant in Europe. The Persian philosopher and historian of science, Seyyed Hossein Nasr saw a more positive connection in "an Islamic science that was spiritual and antisecular" which "point [ed] the way to a new 'Islamic science' that would avoid the dehumanizing and despiritualizing mistakes of Western science." [F. Jamil Ragep, "Freeing Astronomy from Philosophy: An Aspect of Islamic Influence on Science," "Osiris", topical issue on "Science in Theistic Contexts: Cognitive Dimensions", n.s. 16(2001):49-50, note 3] [citation|last=Nasr|first=Seyyed Hossein|author-link=Hossein Nasr|chapter=The Principles of Islam|title=Science and Civilization in Islam|year=1968|publisher=Harvard University Press|url=|accessdate=2008-02-03]

Nasr identified a distinctly Muslim approach to science, flowing from Islamic monotheism and the related theological prohibition against portraying graven images. In science, this is reflected in a philosophical disinterest in describing individual material objects, their properties and characteristics and instead a concern with the ideal, the Platonic form, which exists in matter as an expression of the will of the Creator. Thus one can "see why mathematics was to make such a strong appeal to the Muslim: its abstract nature furnished the bridge that Muslims were seeking between multiplicity and unity." [ [ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, "Science and Civilization in Islam".] ]

Some historians of science, however, question the value of drawing boundaries that label the sciences, and the scientists who practice them, in specific cultural, civilizational, or linguistic terms. Consider the case of Nasir al-Din Tusi (1201–1274), who invented his mathematical theorem, the Tusi Couple, while he was director of Maragheh observatory. Tusi's patron and founder of the observatory was the non-Muslim Mongol conqueror of Baghdad, Hulagu Khan. The Tusi-couple "was first encountered in an Arabic text, written by a man who spoke Persian at home, and used that theorem, like many other astronomers who followed him and were all working in the "Arabic/Islamic" world, in order to reform classical Greek astronomy, and then have his theorem in turn be translated into Byzantine Greek towards the beginning of the fourteenth century, only to be used later by Copernicus and others in Latin texts of Renaissance Europe." [George Saliba (1999). [ Whose Science is Arabic Science in Renaissance Europe?] ]

See also

*Timeline of Islamic science and technology
*List of Muslim scientists
**List of Arab scientists and scholars
**List of Iranian scientists and scholars
**List of Turkish Philosophers and scientists
*Islamic Golden Age
**Early Islamic philosophy
**Inventions in the Muslim world
**Muslim Agricultural Revolution
**Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain
*Islamic studies
*Latin translations of the 12th century
*Qur'an and science



* Campbell, Donald (2001). "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages". Routledge. (Reprint of the London, 1926 edition). ISBN 0415231884.
* d'Alverny, Marie-Thérèse. "Translations and Translators", in Robert L. Benson and Giles Constable, eds., "Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century", p. 421-462. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Pr., 1982.
*Harvard reference |last=Eglash |first=Ron |year=1999 |title=African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design |publisher=Rutgers University Press |isbn=0-8135-2614-0
*Harvard reference
first=Monica M.
title=The Influence of the Islamic Law of Waqf on the Development of the Trust in England: The Case of Merton College
journal=University of Pennsylvania Law Review
date=April 1988

*cite book |last=Graham |first=Mark |title=How Islam Created the Modern World |publisher=Amana Publication |year=2006 |id=ISBN 1-59008-043-2
*cite book |last=Hobson |first=John M. |authorlink=John Hobson |title=The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation |publisher=Cambridge University Press |year=2004 |id=ISBN 0521547245
*Harvard reference
title=Equity and Trusts
publisher=Cavendish Publishing

*Harvard reference |last=Huff |first=Toby E. |title=The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China, and the West |year=2003 |publisher=Cambridge University Press |id=ISBN 0521529948
* Joseph, George G. (2000). "The Crest of the Peacock". Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691006598.
* Katz, Victor J. (1998). "A History of Mathematics: An Introduction". Addison Wesley. ISBN 0321016181.
*cite book |last=Levere |first=Trevor Harvey |title=Transforming Matter: A History of Chemistry from Alchemy to the Buckyball |publisher=Johns Hopkins University Press |year=2001 |id=ISBN 0-8018-6610-3
*cite book |last=Mintz |first=Sidney W. |title=Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History |year=1986 |publisher=Penguin (Non-Classics) | edition=Reprint |id=ISBN 978-0140092332
*Harvard reference |last1=Morelon |first1=Régis |last2=Rashed |first2=Roshdi |year=1996 |title=Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science |volume=3 |publisher=Routledge |isbn=0415124107
*cite book |last=Phillips |first=William D. |authorlink=William D. Phillips |coauthors=Carla Rahn Phillips, Jr. Phillips |title=The Worlds of Christopher Columbus |publisher=Cambridge University Press |year=1992|id=ISBN 052144652X
*Harvard reference
authorlink=George Saliba
title=A History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories During the Golden Age of Islam
publisher=New York University Press

*Harvard reference |last=Turner |first=Howard R. |title=Science in Medieval Islam: An Illustrated Introduction | publisher=University of Texas Press |year=1997 |isbn=0292781490

Further reading

*cite book |last=Deen |first=S M |year=2007 |title=Science Under Islam: Rise, Decline, Revival |publisher=LULU|id=ISBN 978-1-84799-942-9 More information at []
*cite book |last=Hogendijk |first=Jan P. |coauthors=Abdelhamid I. Sabra |year=2003 |title=The Enterprise of Science in Islam: New Perspectives|publisher=MIT Press|id=ISBN 0-262-19482-1 Reviewed by Robert G. Morrison at []
* Hill, Donald Routledge, "Islamic Science And Engineering", Edinburgh University Press (1993), ISBN 0-7486-0455-3
* Huff, Toby E. (1993, 2nd edition 2003), "The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China and the West". New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52994-8. Reviewed by George Saliba at [ Seeking the Origins of Modern Science?]
* Huff, Toby E. (2000), "Science and Metaphysics in the Three Religions of the Books", "Intellectual Discourse" 8 (2): 173-198.
*cite journal|last=Kennedy|first=Edward S.|title=The Arabic Heritage in the Exact Sciences|journal=Al-Abhath|volume=23|year=1970|pages=327–344
*cite book|first=Edward S.|last=Kennedy|title=Studies in the Islamic Exact Sciences|year=1983|publisher=Syracuse University Press|id=ISBN 0815660677
*Harvard reference
title=Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science

*cite book|first=George|last=Saliba|authorlink=George Saliba|title=Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance|publisher=The MIT Press|year=2007|id=ISBN 0262195577
*cite book|last=Seyyed Hossein Nasr|title=Islamic Science: An Illustrated Study|year=1976|publisher=Kazi Publications|id=ISBN 1567443125
*cite book|last=Seyyed Hossein Nasr|title=Science & Civilization in Islam|year=2003|edition=2nd|publisher=Islamic Texts Society|id=ISBN 1903682401
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums 1: Quranwissenschaften, Hadit, Geschichte, Fiqh, Dogmatik, Mystik|year=1997|language=German|publisher=Brill|id=ISBN 9004041532
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums 2: Poesie. Bis CA. 430 H|year=1997|language=German|publisher=Brill|id=ISBN 9004031316
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums 3: Medizin-Pharmazie Zoologie-Tierheilkunde|year=1997|language=German|publisher=Brill|id=ISBN 9004031316
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums 4: Alchimie-Chemie Botanik-Agrikultur|year=1997|language=German|publisher=Brill|id=ISBN 9004020098
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums 5: Mathematik|year=1997|language=German|publisher=Brill|id=ISBN 9004041532
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums 6: Astronomie|year=1997|language=German|publisher=Brill|id=ISBN 9004058788
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums 7: Astrologie-Meteorologie Und Verwandtes|year=1997|language=German|publisher=Brill|id=ISBN 9004061592
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums 8: Lexikographie. Bis CA. 430 H|year=1997|language=German|publisher=Brill|id=ISBN 9004068678
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums 9: Grammatik. Bis CA. 430 H|year=1997|language=German|publisher=Brill|id=ISBN 9004072616
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums X: Mathematische Geographie und Kartographie im Islam und ihr Fortleben im Abendland. Historische Darstellung. Teil 1|year=2000|language=German|location=Frankfurt am Main
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums XI: Mathematische Geographie und Kartographie im Islam und ihr Fortleben im Abendland. Historische Darstellung. Teil 2|year=2000|language=German|location=Frankfurt am Main
*cite book|last=Sezgin|first=Fuat|title=Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums XII: Mathematische Geographie und Kartographie im Islam und ihr Fortleben im Abendland. Historische Darstellung. Teil 3|year=2000|language=German|location=Frankfurt am Main

External links

* Richard Covington, [ Rediscovering Arabic Science] , "Saudi Aramco World", May-June 2007
*cite web|url=|title=Whose Science is Arabic Science in Renaissance Europe?|first=George|last=Saliba|authorlink=George Saliba
*Habibi, Golareh. [ Review article] , "Science Creative Quarterly".
* [ An interactive guide to Muslim scientists whose multi-disciplinary contributions sparked the flame of learning and productivity]
* [ Islam, Knowledge, and Science]
* [ History of Science and Technology in Islam]
* [ Islamic Civilization]
* [ The Islamization of science or the marginalization of Islam]
* [ Muslimheritage]
* [ 1001inventions]
* [ Science and religion in Islam]
*Keith L. Moore, YouTube|id=Rb0uZefwQnc|title=The Developing Human

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