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a well wisher  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Topic: Science and Islam:The Empire of Reason
    Posted: 11 December 2009 at 7:15pm
Professor Jim Al-Khalili presents Science and Islam
 
He travels to North Syria to discover how, a thousand years ago, the great astronomer and mathematician Al-Biruni estimated the size of the earth to within a few hundred miles of the correct figure.
He discovers how medieval Islamic scholars helped turn the magical and occult practice of alchemy into modern chemistry.
In Cairo, he tells the story of the extraordinary physicist Ibn al-Haytham, who helped establish the modern science of optics and proved one of the most fundamental principles in physics - that light travels in straight lines.

Prof Al-Khalili argues that these scholars are among the first people to insist that all scientific theories are backed up by careful experimental observation, bringing a rigour to science that didn't really exist before.
 
An interesting documentary
 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 12 December 2009 at 12:45am
Very interesting
 
Did you see The Nileometer in episode 2 to measure the level of water in the Nile?
 
 
 
 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 12 December 2009 at 1:02am
I just watched Al-Biruni's calculations at the start of episode 3 to calculate the circumference of the earth with a degree of accuracy of 99% (his estimation was only off by 1%) 1,000 years ago:
 
 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 12 December 2009 at 1:44pm
Yes isn't this all amazing esp the astrolabe of Al Biruni and his ingenuous calculations...The rudimentary classification of the basis of chemistry ie the periodic table  for the first time by Ar Razi who refuted Aristotle's theory of four classical elements..very interesting...
 
The nilometer looks so cool...
 
Did you see  Ibn al-Haitham's optics experiment....the way he was able to arrive at the principle of vision by considering  the existing theory in a radicle way which merged the principles of mathematics and physics.... some people call him the first real scientist since he is said to be the pioneer of the scientific method....simply amazing
 
 
I read somewhere that Ibn al-Haitham believed that human beings are flawed and only God is perfect. To discover the truth about nature, Ibn a-Haitham reasoned, one had to eliminate human opinion and allow the universe to speak for itself through physical experiments. "The seeker after truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them," the first scientist wrote, "but rather the one who suspects his faith in them and questions what he gathers from them, the one who submits to argument and demonstration."
 
The power of critical thinking and deep faith...Subhan Allah
 
I think there is a documentary on astronomy and Islam as well called the Power of Doubt... I am looking forward to it....have you seen it?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 12 December 2009 at 1:53pm
Originally posted by a well wisher

 
I think there is a documentary on astronomy and Islam as well called the Power of Doubt... I am looking forward to it....have you seen it?
 
 
Yes, it's also an excellent documentary excellent

Islam and Science: The Power of Doubt

In this BBC episode, Prof. Jim Al-Khalily travels to Italy to find where Copernicous got the basis of the astronomical works he presented to the world

He discovers links going back to Al-Tusi, Ibn Al-Shatir and Al-Battany, three renowned Islamic astronomers from the 12th, 13th & 14th centuries

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JP7smRd6-c&feature=related

(8 minutes)

A very interesting program - Highly recommended
 
We actually have a gold mine of similar cases in the Muslim scientific heritage, maybe we could shed more light In-Shaa-Allah ....
 
I followed a 25-lecture course a few months ago on this topic, and these videos are very useful to recall the information and further appreciate the effort done by these pioneer Muslim scientists
 
The last video from the above series goes into the details of why Islamic sciences eventually declined but ended with a look to the increasing interest in scientific research in the Muslim world today, including advanced genetic research in a country like Iran
 
There is hope .....
 


Edited by Al-Cordoby - 12 December 2009 at 1:53pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 13 December 2009 at 7:55pm

Brilliant...such a fine documentary...it was so interesting and well presented...I think even to know the limitations of science one must be a part of living science....I couldnt agree more that science is the universal language of the human race.... and nothing is of higher value than Truth itself..

They reconciled religion with reason and questioned the Greek tradition with courage and realized the fundamental contradiction...heliocentrism was a possibility in an age of geocentric beliefs starting with ibn al Haitham and perfected by al Tusi without the use of a telescope...phenomenal...
 
 
The emphasis on learning was placed in the time of our Prophet Muhammad pbuh only when he taught in the mosque;these mosques later evolved into the first universities as we can see from the Damascus sundial example...The Quranic command  for observation, reason and contemplation "see", "think" and "contemplate led Muslims to develop an early scientific method based on these principles....They percieved intellectual pursuit and knowledge as imperative religious duty and thus worship...  Islam lays great stress on self improvement of the individual and betterment of society and makes the pursuit of knowledge a social as well as personal obligation and thats why they turned to the practical sciences like mathematics, chemistry, astronomy and medicine first.....Arithmetic was desirable because it enabled them to calculate inheritances, count days and years... geometry helped in finding the direction of qiblah, and pilgrimage routes and astronomy was needed to fix the time of years, calcute the beginning of months esp ramadan....The demand by faith for order and perfection led to their meticulous quest for the right answers...it is so inspiring...In theory, and to some extent practice, while religion and science are two different epistemic categories in the Western mind, they are, in the Muslim eye, parts of a continuum complementing each other....The fertile scholarship with the rational ,emperical method and their relentless single minded dedication to absolute accuracy because they took pursuit of knowledge as ibadah or worship...
 
Did you see this amazing Maragha Observatory and Al Tusi's ingenuous armillary arc...amazing how he was led by circumstances to be at the right place at the right time...grandson of Ghengiz Khan Halagu founded the observatory in Maragha where Nasir ud din Tusi worked...one can only imagine what  it would had been like at that time...simply amazing
 
 
This "Maragha Revolution or "Scientific Revolution before the Renaissance"overthrew the geocentric view of universe and led to the birth of modern scientific age... the Tusi-couple showed that linear motion could also be produced by applying circular motions...
 
Only Islamic astronomers insisted on the need to match the mathematics with the real world surrounding them which gradually evolved from a reality based on Aristotelian physics to one based on an empirical and mathematical physics after the work of Ibn al-Shatir. ...It was the rejection of the Ptolemaic model on empirical rather than philosophical grounds by Ibn al-Shatir and the development of a non-Ptolemaic model by Ibn al-Shatir that was mathematically identical to the heliocentric Copernical model.. but in this documentary they did not mention the Andalusian Revolt... Ibn Rushd also rejected the eccentric deferents introduced by Ptolemy... He rejected the Ptolemaic model and instead argued for a strictly concentric model of the universe...
 
Western science no doubt owes a deep debt to Greco-Islamic legacy but it is alleged that Islamic science was the derived science which followed the greek tradition blindly and added nothing to the scientific method...however in all periods of intense scientific work , one first builds on what one inherets which is followed by the age of maturity when doubts are raised on the teachings of old masters followed by a break....such a break came with the rise of observation and experiment, early in the sciences of islam with ibn al Haitham and al Biruni which was so clearly demostrated in this documentary...Ibn al Haitham also described the  early version of Occam's razor which is so popular in today's science....he had such a fierce brilliance...Subhan Allah...leaves one in utter awe 
 
It is a fact how Europe built up on this rich legacy and translated arabic books to reach their objectives...its sad how so many Islamic  libraries were destroyed...its tragic how we lost communication and financial constraints led to isolation of our scientific enterprise and thus its decay...Science sadly does follow the money...I think we are to blame as well...we somehow have lost the zeal and faith our ancestors had...yes its true that most of us including me are unaware of their rich ISLAMIC HERITAGE...I just came across this a few years ago as well but I would blame myself because there was no excuse for me to not know my roots....I simply failed to prioritize my life which i think is the current dilemma of the majority of muslims....Although there is this role of colonialism which shaped the mind of societies to rewrite history on their terms but I think it was our own lackadaisical attitude towards truth as well to accept their version...our heritage gives us this vivid sense of self identity and power of reason...we should have exercised those capacities rather than being dormant doormats...I am sorry if I sound a little harsh but this documentary was like soul food that reminded me about our rich legacy and our struggling present....but like you said there is still hope....Insha Allah...
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 15 December 2009 at 11:53am
Originally posted by a well wisher

Did you see this amazing Maragha Observatory and Al Tusi's ingenuous armillary arc...amazing how he was led by circumstances to be at the right place at the right time...grandson of Ghengiz Khan Halagu founded the observatory in Maragha where Nasir ud din Tusi worked...one can only imagine what  it would had been like at that time...simply amazing
 
 
This "Maragha Revolution or "Scientific Revolution before the Renaissance"overthrew the geocentric view of universe and led to the birth of modern scientific age... the Tusi-couple showed that linear motion could also be produced by applying circular motions...
 
 
Yes, a very interesting program
 
This is another good BBC documentary:
 
Bringing to Life the Islamic History of Europe: A Video Documentary Testimony

The video documentary produced by the BBC in 2005 An Islamic History of Europe, by the famous TV presenter Rageh Omaar, reveals the surprising hidden story of Europe's Islamic past

http://muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=891

A trip to Spain, Sicily & France to discover the impact of Islam on Science, Art and Philosophy

 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 16 December 2009 at 1:01pm

Yes this documentary is very interesting as well...one cannot stop looking at the beautiful and breathtaking mosque of Cardoba and the Alhambra palace ...simply exquisite...

 
This is an older documentary made on the same theme on Islam in Europe....when the East met West and the legacy they left behind...the LA CONVEVENCIA or peaceful coexistence of the Muslims, Christian and Jews and their interculture and interfaith co-operation left such a rich,powerful and exceptional influence...It is so inspiring to see this golden era of religious tolerance and beauty....
 
 
The Muslim contribution to Medicine is tremendous...did you see the surgical tools they invented and Ibn Nafis 's detailed outline of the pulmonary circulation is so ahead of its time although its a fact that they still credit Sir William Harvey for discovering it in the medical textbooks...
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by a well wisher - 16 December 2009 at 1:34pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 19 December 2009 at 8:21am
I found another interesting documentary which is part of the series  presented by Professor Jim Al-Khalili on Science and Islam called
 
SCIENCE & ISLAM | The language of science
 
This is the first part of a set of six which explains how medieval Islamic scholars initiated the Translation Movement in the House of Wisdom in Baghdad which translated many older classics into the Arabic language and led to the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries...Professor Al-Khalili  travels to Eqypt, Syria, Iran and North Africa to discover the Golden Age of Arabic science and great figures like Al Khwarizmi , Al Zahrawi and Ibn Sina [Avicenna]...Professor Al-Khalili even mentions Ibn Washiyah who cracked the code for the Eqyptian Heiroglyphics and was able to partly decipher them eight centuries earlier than Champillion deciphered Rosetta Stone...
 
 
Truly amazing...
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 21 December 2009 at 12:31am
Yes, that was also a good program

Science Conflicting with Religion?

Not for Muslims!

http://muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=247

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 23 December 2009 at 9:11am

The Influence of Islamic Philosophy and Ethics on The Development of Medicine During the Islamic Renaissance

Although Islamic philosophy is of great diversity and richness, it is characterized by certain features that are of special significance for both an understanding of it and for an appraisal of its impact on the world at large.

One must remember that this philosophy existed at a time in which strict obedience to the Islamic religion was customary.

Islamic philosophy was also concerned with the basic issue of the relation between human reasoning and the revelations provided to the Muslims in the holy Qur’an. As a result, all sorts of sciences were studied in order to determine that relation between the universe and the human being on one hand, and the creator of that universe, Allah Most High, on the other hand.

The impact of Islamic philosophy on the Renaissance was enormous. First and foremost, Islamic philosophy originates from a time when Islam had a great influence on everyday life. The mere fact that Islamic philosophy was able to operate in such a fundamentalist environment greatly affected the Renaissance.

Secondly, in general, Islamic philosophy always leads to one main conclusion, that the power of Allah Most High is supreme and that His words are the absolute truth (although through different understandings).

Thirdly, many of the ideas of Renaissance philosophy are based on ancient Greek, Persian, and Indian texts—which the Muslims translated—as well as the philosophy of the Muslims themselves. The Muslims were responsible for creating the foundation for the “building” of philosophy that the Renaissance thinkers would later “construct.”

Finally, Islamic philosophy greatly encouraged science, particularly mathematics and medicine. Without philosophy’s constant encouraging of scientific development, the large number of discoveries made by the Muslims may never have taken place.

I will take medicine as an example and I will highlight the reasons for the excellent success of those Muslims in the field of medicine. Medical ethics is one of the hottest issues in medicine these days. Ethics can be described as a sub-branch of applied philosophy, where one seeks the right and the wrong (the good and the bad) set of behaviors in any given circumstance. I will try to shed light on the influence of Islamic medical ethics on the advancement of medicine during that Islamic golden era...

Therefore, what were the factors behind the success of the Muslim scientists? How did Islamic philosophy encourage them to be leaders in many branches of science, especially in the medical sciences?

I. Islam and the Promotion of Science

II. The Attitude and Contribution of the State

III. Islamic Physicians

IV. Medical Ethics in Islam

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 10 January 2010 at 10:08am
How Islamic inventors changed the world
 
From coffee to cheques and the three-course meal, the Muslim world has given us many innovations that we in the West take for granted. Here are 20 of their most influential innovations:

(1) The story goes that an Arab named Khalid was tending his goats in the Kaffa region of southern Ethiopia, when he noticed his animals became livelier after eating a certain berry.

He boiled the berries to make the first coffee. Certainly the first record of the drink is of beans exported from Ethiopia to Yemen where Sufis drank it to stay awake all night to pray on special occasions. By the late 15th century it had arrived in Makkah and Turkey from where it made its way to Venice in 1645.

It was brought to England in 1650 by a Turk named Pasqua Rosee who opened the first coffee house in Lombard Street in the City of London. The Arabic “qahwa” became the Turkish “kahve” then the Italian “caffé” and then English “coffee”.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/how-islamic-inventors-changed-the-world-469452.html


 



Edited by a well wisher - 10 January 2010 at 11:45am
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 12 January 2010 at 3:03am
Hospitals in the Islamic Civilization

During the Islamic civilization, hospitals had much developed and attained specific characteristics:

1. Secular: Hospitals served all peoples irrespective of color, religion, or background. They were run by the government rather than by the church, and their Directors were commonly physicians assisted by persons who had no religious color. In hospitals, physicians of all faiths worked together with one aim in common: the well-being of patients.

2. Separate wards: Patients of different sexes occupied separate wards. Also different diseases especially infectious ones, were allocated different wards.

3. Separate nurses: Male nurses were to take care of male patients, and vice versa.

4. Baths and water supplies: Praying five times a day is an important pillar of Islam. Sick or healthy, it is an Islamic obligation; of course physical performance depends on one's health, even he can pray while laying in bed. Before praying, washing of face, head, hands, and feet must be done, if possible. For certain conditions, a bath is obligatory. Therefore, these hospitals had to provide the patients and employees with plentiful water supply and with bathing facilities.

5. Practicing physicians: Only qualified physicians were allowed by law to practice medicine. In 931 A.D., the Caliph Al-Mugtadir from the Abbasid dynasty, ordered the Chief Court-Physician Sinan Ibn-Thabit to screen the 860 physicians-of Baghdad, and only those qualified were granted license to practice (Hamarneh 1962). The counterpart of Ibn- Tbabit, Abu-Osman Sai'd Ibn-Yaqub was ordered to do the same in Damascus, Mecca, and Medina. The latter two cities were in need for such an act because of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visiting them every year. This was to prevent taking advantage of these pilgrims and to curb the spread of diseases among them.

6. Medical schools: The hospital was not only a place for treating patients, but also for educating medical students, interchanging medical knowledge, and developing medicine as a whole. To the main hospitals, there were attached expensive libraries containing the most up-to-date books, auditoria for meetings and lectures, and housing for students and house-staff.

7. Proper records of patients: For the first time in history, these hospitals kept records of patients and their medical care.

8. Pharmacy: During the Islamic era, the science and the profession of pharmacy had developed to an outstanding degree. The Arabic materia medica became so rich and new drugs and compounds were introduced because the Muslims had contact with almost all the known world at that time, either through control or trade. Their ships sailed to China and the Philippines, and their convoys made trades with black Africa, Europe and Asia. Chemistry became an advanced science, and there were means and need for a specialization called pharmacy.

Thus, the main Arabian hospitals were models for medieval hospitals built later in Europe. They were rather medical schools to which those seeking advanced medical knowledge, from the East or West, attended.


Contributions Of Islam To Medicine - Ezzat Abouleish

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 12 January 2010 at 1:07pm
Ingenious Devices
 
 I was fervently attached to the pursuit of this subtle science [of machines] and persisted in the endeavor to arrive at the truth. 'The eyes of opinion looked to me to distinguish myself in this beloved science. Types of machines of great importance came to my notice, offering possibilities for types of marvelous control.  Bath al-Zaman al-Jazari, Turkey, 1206.
 
Using water to tell the time

The idea of using water pressure to achieve automation reached its pinnacle in the development of clocks. The need to know what time to pray was a crucial spur in Islam to the development of water clocks which could keep the time through day and night. Water clocks such as that of al-Zarqali in Toledo (11th century) became the wonders of the age.

One extraordinary device is a water clock in the shape of an elephant, designed by an engineer called Badi al-Zaman al-Jazarj and illustrated and described in his Book of Ingenious Devices (1206). The elephant clock combined water principles' from Archimedes with an Indian elephant and water timer, Chinese dragons, an Egyptian phoenix, a Persian carpet and Arabian figures.

Al-Jazari was born in the region of al-Jazira between the Tigris and Euphrates in the 12th century. This was a-time when the Turkic-speaking peoples were already beginning to make this part of the world their own, and in 1174 he went to work for the Banu Artuq, the rulers of Amid (now known as Diyar Bakir in southern Turkey). There may have been many engineers as talented and as innovative as al-Jazari, but he was also a skilled communicator who could write and draw too. He must have been an old man, though, when the Prince of Amid, Nasir al-Din Mahmud, ordered him to write his book, for within a few months of completing it he was dead.

Researchers are just beginning to go through this book, which seems to be the culmination of Islamic mechanical technology, to try out some of these machines - either on computers or by building models according to al-Jazari's designs. What they are finding is beginning to cause quite a stir.

Excerpted from the book "Science & Islam" by Ehsan Masood.

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