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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Islamic Renaissance | Muslim scientists, doctors, academics of medieval Islamic world

"and say:  'My Rabb!  Increase me in knowledge.' "  (20:114) Noble Quran.

No  one thinks of this era of history any longer.  Many don't even know it  ever existed.  The truth is, without the contributions provided by these  great men which later served as an indispensable foundation with plenty of guidelines in the  field of scientific knowledge, modern science and medicine as we see it today would have been at least a century behind.

Enjoy just a small portion of our vast and glorious history. 

A thousand years of Avicenna (Ibn sina), Portugal issued this stamp recently. He was a  Muslim philosopher, scientist and physician who was born in Afshana  near Bukhara.  Ibn Sina was the father of modern medicine. Full name of Ibn Sina is Abū Alī al-Ḥusayn ibn Abd Allāh ibn Sīnā. The contribution of Muslim scientists in the modern civilization is very impressive and Ibn Sina was the scientist who is one of the best of all the Muslim scientists.

Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī c. 780, (Khwārizm – c. 850)  was a Persian mathematician, astronomer and geographer during the  Abbasid Empire, a scholar in the House of Wisdom in Baghdad. The word  al-Khwarizmi is pronounced in classical Arabic as Al-Khwarithmi hence  the Latin transliteration.

 Medical History cover image: Portrait of the Muslim physician Mohammad  Zakariya al-Razi (250-313 Hijra) /ca. 864-925. (Image No. 50001954,  Wellcome Library, London)

 Al-Biruni is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of the medieval  Islamic era and was well versed in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and  natural sciences, and also distinguished himself as a historian,  chronologist and linguist.

Abū al-Wafāʾ, Muḥammad ibn  Muḥammad ibn Yaḥyā ibn Ismāʿīl ibn al-ʿAbbās al-Būzjānī (10 June 940 –  15 July 998) was a Persian mathematician and astronomer who worked in  Baghdad. He made important innovations in spherical trigonometry, and  his work on arithmetics for businessmen.

Ibn Rushd (Averroës) (April 14,  1126 – December 10, 1198), was a Andalusian Muslim polymath, a master of  Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki  law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics and Arabic music  theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy, geography, mathematics,  physics and celestial mechanics.

Abu Mūsā Jābir ibn Hayyān was a prominent Persian or Arab  polymath: a chemist and alchemist, astronomer, engineer,  geographer, philosopher, physicist, and pharmacist and physician. Born  and educated in Tus, he later traveled to Kufa.

Ismail Al-Jazari was an Islamic polymath.  Inventor, mechanical engineer, mathematician and artist.  He is famous for writing the Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices.  More on al-Jazari after the next few pieces of information.

Abu Al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi was an Arabic  surgeon, physician, and scientist from Spain. He is considered to be the  father of modern surgery because of his medical text, Kitab Al Tasrif.  This text profoundly influenced Islamic and European medicine. He  specialized in cauterization and amputation and invented or improved  over two hundred surgical instruments.

 Fatima al-Fihri, founder of the world's first university at Fez, Morocco.  Twelve hundred years ago, a young, wealthy and  well educated woman named Fatima al-Fihri (also known as Al-Fihriyya) inherited a big fortune from  her businessman father. Her interest was neither in shoes or handbags,  nor in the lifestyle of the rich and famous.  Fatima  lived to make life for her community better and was a woman of  vision.  Her vision did not remain a dream but was accomplished and the  results can be seen until today. In 859 CE, Fatima Al-Fihri founded the  oldest academic degree-granting university existing today, the  University of Al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco.  Fatima  Al-Fihri is an example of the empowerment and encouragement Islam gives  to women.   The Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque is one of the largest mosques in  North Africa and the oldest university in the world. Al-Qarawiyyin  is the perfect example of how Islam combines the spiritual with  education and that Islam is not separate from life's affairs.

Kitab al-ghina wa-almuna al-fi ilm al-tibb (Book of Wealth and Wishes).  The Islamic Medical Manuscripts at the National Library of Medicine by Abu Manūr al-asan ibn Nū al-Qumrī who was the teacher of Ibn Sina.

Badi'al-Zaman Abū al-'Izz ibn Ismā'īl ibn al-Razāz al-Jazarī was a  Muslim polymath: a scholar, inventor, mechanical engineer, craftsman,  artist, and mathematician from Jazirat ibn Umar, who lived during the  Islamic Golden Age.  Born in Turkey 1136, and died 1206.

The famous Ibn Khaldoun - Arab historiographer and historian  who developed one of the earliest philosophies of history.  Often considered as one of the forerunners of modern historiography,  sociology and economics.

 Also known as Alhazen. Arab  astronomer and mathematician known for his important contributions to  the principles of optics and the use of scientific experiments.  Ibn Haytham al-Hazen wrote about GRAVITY in some of his 200 published books in the 1000s. 

A piece of art depicting one of the workplaces of Haytham al-Hazen.

                                                         Ibn Al-Haytham

Also known as Rhazes. Persian alchemist and philosopher, who was one of the greatest physicians in history.

Also known as Thebit. Arab mathematician, physician and astronomer; who  was the first reformer of the Ptolemaic system and the founder of  statics.

Also known as Shams ad–Din. Arab traveler and scholar who wrote one of the most famous travel books in history, the Rihlah.

Ibn Sina, also known as Avicenna (980 - 1037).  Persian philosopher and scientist known for his contributions to Aristotelian philosophy and medicine.

Stamps in Muslims countries during the medieval era mostly contained images of scholars at work.  This stamp, as seen, was issued in Syria - part of the cradle of civilization and one of the seats of Islamic learning.

       Learners and intellects of the Golden Islamic era at work.

Ibn al-Haytham "Alhazen" outlined many of the principles of optics and  visual perception. In his "Book of Optics", written between 1011 and  1021, argued that vision occurred in the brain, rather than the eyes,  and contained his description of the camera obscura, a device for  projecting images.

Arround the year 1000 Ibn al- haytham proved that humans see objects  by light reflecting off of them and entering the eyes, dismissing Euclid  and ptolemy’s theories that light was emitted from the eyes itself. This  great Muslim physicist also discovered the camera obscura and  phenomenon,which explains how the eyes sees images upright due to the  connection between the optics nerve and the brain .

 The earliest known medical description of the eye from 9th century work by Hunayn Ibn Ishaq is shown in this copy of 12th century manuscript at the Institute of the History of Arab-Islamic Science in Frankfurt.

13th century surgical instruments from 'Kitab al-Tasrif' by  the 10th century Andalucian doctor Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi.   The Method of Medicine was an influential Arabic medical encyclopedia on medicine and surgery, written near the year 1000 CE by Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis) the "father of modern surgery." The 30-volume work includes anatomical descriptions, classifications of diseases information on nutrition and surgery, and sections on medicine, orthopaedics, opthalmology, pharmacology, nutrition and especially surgery.

 13th century medical instruments from 'Kitab al-Tasrif' by the 10th century Andalucian doctor Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi.

An instrument formerly used to make astronomical measurements,  typically of the altitudes of celestial bodies, and in navigation for  calculating latitude, before the development of the sextant.

Ibn Ishaq al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion of Greek and Hellenistic philosophy in the Muslim world.

Nasir al-Din Tusi (نصیر الدین طوسی) was a Persian polymath.  Born 1201 in Tus (Khorasan) and died 1274 in Baghdad.  He was an architect, a mathematician, a biologist and a physicist.  The Muslim academic, Ibn Khalidun (1332–1406), considered Nasir al-Din Tusi as one of the best Persian scientists.

                 Bait al-Hikmah had a beautiful interior too.

For everyone's information:  Bait al-Hikmah (House of Wisdom) with its priceless collection of books was ransacked thrice in history and thus today just a trickle of its prize possessions are left for the world to see.  I was first ravaged during the invasion of the brutal heathenic Mongols (Chengez & Halaku Khan).  Second time, during the U.S. feral-men invasion of Iraq in 2003.   Soon after, few of those rare books which fortunately remained undamaged were transferred to other libraries within Iraq considered safer at the time; most were transferred to the library in Mosul.  But on July 2014  those great books, the works of our great medieval scholars, once again came under attack by another set of heathens, AlQaeda's Daesh and the ally of the U.S. ferals. 


  1. Given that the early Muslims adopted and further developed and enriched the philosophies and sciences of earlier cultures, they cannot be called intolerant of other ways of thinking. The fact that there are many Muslim doctors and professors currently involved in areas such a medical, genetic and astrophysical research also belies this ignorant view of Islamic culture.

    It's always too easy, and the way of the coward, to take a viewpoint based upon the actions of a few cranks and extremists, and we know what Islam thinks of cranks and extremists.

  2. Superb! Loved going through this. Must send it around.

  3. Because during these wonderful days there were no mother fuker Wahabi influence, no ass shit Israel, no fucking America, so Muslim world was progressive and peaceful.

    1. Yeah, and so there were no breeding grounds and no temptations for the insider traitors either. They were deprived of bad company and stayed with the good guys.


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