Science Owes its Existence to Muslims

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By: Umm Ibrahim

Heroism is a noble act. Heroes are praised and people take inspiration from them. Every nation has heroes who lighten up the spirit of doing something outstanding and noble within others. The Muslim nation also has many heroes but unfortunately they are not very well known. Our heroes are Soldiers, Kings, Doctors, Engineers, Astronomers, Geologists, Mathematicians, Physicist, Philosophers, Sociologists, Geographer, Chemists, Zoologists and Surgeons. We do know some of our rulers and soldiers from the past who were great people, but not many of us are aware of the wonders done by our scientists in numerous fields. Name any area and we have a Muslim scholar who has given amazing contributions to that subject, in fact some Muslim scientists are known to be the Father of their respective field.

They have laid the foundation of many fields of science. They are the ones without their efforts, all the discoveries and inventions, all the facilities of our lives would have been delayed for centuries. An American writer Briffaults admits in his book “Making of Humanity” that

 “The debt of our science to that of Arabs does not consist in startling discoveries or revolutionary theories; science owes a great deal more to Arab culture. It owes its existence” 

Muslims actually started to study and discover new things through experiments and observation. Before them, Greeks used to speculate to acquire scientific knowledge. They were Muslims who actually taught Europeans to attain correct knowledge through correct method, the Experimental Method. Roger Bacon, who in the West is known as the originator of experimental method, had himself received his training from the pupils of Spanish Moors and had learnt everything from Muslim sources.

Do you know Jaber Bin Hayan written in many books as Geber was a great chemist? He prepared many compounds by mixing different elements and explained their properties. Another scientist Zakariya Razi known as Rhazas described methods of experiments in chemistry as well as their apparatus. Another chemist Al-Jabiz classified the minerals. Arabs also manufactured ink, lacquers, solder, cement and artificial pearls.

A Muslim scientist Al Beruni discovered that speed of light is faster than the speed of sound. He has discussed the rotation of the earth and has given correct values of latitudes and longitudes of various places. He has also made considerable contribution to several aspects of physical and economic geography in his book. 

Muslims also studied a lot about plants and wrote many books on them along with their pictures. They also worked in the field of zoology and wrote many books on horses.

Some scientists also worked in the field of, can you believe it? Astronomy. Muslims are the ones who actually invented the telescope. It is thought that Galileo (D. 1442) is the inventor of the telescope. But the truth is that long before his time, Abu Ishaq Ibn Jundub (D.767) had already made observations of the heavens. He had devised certain rules for observing distant objects and, in accordance with those rules; he had invented a telescopic instrument. It was this initial telescope, which Galileo further developed, and which was the actual forerunner of the now highly perfected electric telescope of modern time. Furthermore some Muslim Scientists also studied the movement of moon, lunar and solar eclipse and wrote books based on their observations.

So you see, Muslims have got their own heroes. They are the ones who started from scratch, and the building of science stands on the foundation laid by the Muslim scientists and scholars. We must be proud of them and must take inspiration from them. Al Hamdulillah we belong to a nation, which has contributed so much to this world, the nation to which the whole world owes a lot. It is time that we learn from our heroes and try to bring back the era in which the Muslims were blooming, ruling the world, following the Teachings of Allah, advancing more in the field of science and thus prove to the world that we are true followers of Mohammad (sallallahu 'alaihi waSallam) and this what our religion teaches us. Let’s join together to make Muslims a proud nation.