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a well wisher  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 16 June 2010 at 8:59am
Islamic Medical Manuscript

Islamic cultures are among the most interesting, complex, and dynamic in the world. At the same time, they are among the least known in the West. From its dramatic rise in the seventh century A. D. to the present, Islamic civilization has covered a large part of the globe, incorporating many subcultures and languages into its orbit, and vigorously engaging the peoples around it.

Medicine was a central part of medieval Islamic culture. Disease and health were of importance to rich and poor alike, as indeed they are in every civilization. Responding to circumstances of time and place, Islamic physicians and scholars developed a large and complex medical literature exploring and synthesizing the theory and practice of medicine. This extensive literature was not specialized in the sense that modern medical literature is. Rather, it was integrated with learned traditions in philosophy, natural science, mathematics, astrology, alchemy, and religion.

Islamic medicine was built on tradition, chiefly the theoretical and practical knowledge developed in Greece and Rome. For Islamic scholars, Galen (d. ca. 210 AD) and Hippocrates (5th century BC) were pre-eminent authorities, followed by Hellenic scholars in Alexandria. Islamic scholars translated their voluminous writings from Greek into Arabic and then produced new medical knowledge based on those texts. In order to make the Greek tradition more accessible, understandable, and teachable, Islamic scholars ordered and made more systematic the vast and sometimes inconsistent Greco-Roman medical knowledge by writing encyclopedias and summaries.

Islamic medicine drew upon Hellenic medical tradition to form its own. Likewise, medieval and early modern scholars in Europe drew upon Islamic traditions and translations as the foundation for their medical enterprise. It was through Arabic translations that the West learned of Hellenic medicine, including the works of Galen and Hippocrates. Of equal if not of greater influence in Western Europe were systematic and comprehensive works such as Avicenna's Canon of Medicine, which were translated into Latin and then disseminated in manuscript and printed form throughout Europe. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries alone, the Canon of Medicine was published more than thirty-five times.

As noted earlier, medieval Islamic medicine was not an appendage of Islamic culture but rather immersed in it. This means, among other things, that Islamic medicine participated fully in the Islamic traditions of book-making, including calligraphy, illustration, paper making, and binding.

Because copying the Qur'an was an act of piety, calligraphy for even non-religious subjects came to be more than the mere reproduction of texts--it was and is a form of applied and even fine art, engrossing readers and writers alike.

Islamic illustration practices tended to be adopted from the Byzantine and Persian cultures and to have an ambivalent and particularly complex history within Islamic culture.

Islam learned paper making from China but made the fateful decision to use linen as the raw material for paper, rather than mulberry bark, or other organic matter. The transfer of Chinese technology and the innovation in the use of linen provided a writing material more economical than parchment and more durable than papyrus. It was from Islam that the rest of the world learned to make paper from linen.

Except for the paper manufacturing, binding is the Islamic book craft least studied historically. Until more research on it is done, we can say that Islamic craftsmen and artists developed characteristic book-binding forms, most of which were functional--providing protection to paper and ink--with some being decorative, at times of a very high order.

 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 18 June 2010 at 12:41pm

The pleasure of learning is one of the essential pleasures of the human race ..

The rise of Muslims to the zenith of civilization in a period of four decades was based on lslam's emphasis on learning. This is obvious when one takes a look at the Qur'an and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad which are filled with references to learning, education, observation, and the use of reason. The very first verse of the Qur'an revealed to the Prophet of Islam on the night of 27th of Ramadan in 611 AD reads:

"Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created man from a clot. Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous Who taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not." (Quran, 96:1-5)

"And they shall say had we but listened or used reason, we would not be among the inmates of the burning fire." (Quran, 67:10)

"Are those who have knowledge and those who have no knowledge alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful. " (Quran, 39:9)

The Qur'an encourages people towards scientific research:.

"And whoso brings the truth and believes therein such are the dutiful." (Quran, 39:33)

Every Muslim man's and every Muslim woman's prayer should be:

"My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge.." (Quran, 20:114)

The pursuit of knowledge and the use of reason, based on sense and observation is made obligatory on all believers.

The following traditions of the Prophet supplement the foregoing teachings of the Qur'an in the following way:

  • Seek knowledge "even though it be in China." 

  • "The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, whether male or female." 

  • "The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr." 

  • "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave." 

  • "God has revealed to me, 'Whoever walks in the pursuit of knowledge I facilitate for him the way to heaven.' 

  • "The best form of worship is the pursuit of knowledge." 

  • "Scholars should endeavor to spread knowledge and provide education to people who have been deprived of it. For, where knowledge is hidden it disappears." 

  • Some one asked the Prophet : "Who is the biggest scholar?" He replied: "He who is constantly trying to learn from others, for a scholar is ever hungry for more knowledge." 

  • "Seek knowledge and wisdom, or whatever the vessel from which it flows, you will never be the loser." 

  • "Contemplating deeply for one hour (with sincerity) is better than 70 years of (mechanical) worship." 

  • "To listen to the words of the learned and to instill unto others the lessons of science is better than religious exercises." 

  • "Acquire knowledge: it enables its possessor to distinguish right from the wrong, it lights the way to heaven; it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless - it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is an ornament among friends and an armor against enemies." 

The Islamic Empire for more than 1,000 years remained the most advanced civilization in the world. The main reasons for this was that Islam stressed the importance and respect of learning, forbade destruction, cultivated a respect for authority, discipline, and tolerance for other religions. The teachings of Qur'an and Sunnah inspired many Muslims to their accomplishments in science and medicine.

By the tenth century their zeal and enthusiasms for learning resulted in all essential Greek medical and scientific writings being translated into Arabic in Damascus, Cairo, and Baghdad. Arabic became the international language of learning and diplomacy. The center of scientific knowledge and activity shifted eastward, and Baghdad emerged as the capitol of the scientific world. The Muslims became scientific innovators with originality and productivity ...

http://www.islamicity.com/articles/Articles.asp?ref=IC0601-2883

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 24 June 2010 at 1:32pm
Muslims And Medical History
 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Resigned Replybullet Posted: 24 June 2010 at 10:25pm
Originally posted by Al-Cordoby

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:
 
 
 

I think you will find that Alís calculation is really nothing more than his copying of an experiment performed long before Al or islam existed.

If you take the time to research islamist ďscienceĒ, you will find that most of it was stolen from earlier Greek philosophers and mathematicians.  The Greek philosopher Pythagoras was among the first to propose a spheroid Earth in the 6th century BC, using among his proofs how the sail of a ship could be observed to disappear over the curvature of the Earth.

Eratosthenese of Cyrene not only knew that the Earth was spherical, but managed to measure its circumference with astounding accuracy in the 3rd century BC.

 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote talkislam Replybullet Posted: 25 June 2010 at 3:47pm
Islamic civilization did a commendable job of collecting
and compiling knowledge from around the world, but it
produced very little that is original. Quran is
probably the only piece of literature that is uniquely
Islamic. Even there large parts of Quran are basically
compilation of earlier jewish customs and traditions.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 26 June 2010 at 12:29am
Listen to this talk:

Contributions of Islam to History By Shaikh Hamza Yusuf 1/4
 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 03 July 2010 at 7:16am

Islamic Perspectives on Sustainable Development

Mohammed I. Ansari

Economic progress in the twentieth century has been spectacular by common Statistical standards. Along with this enviable record have come two important realizations: the immense material wealth has not made people happier than they were before, and it has resulted in a gradual depletion and, in some cases, an outright destruction of scarce ecological and other resources. This has forced many social scientists to rethink the necessity - even the desirability - of indiscriminate economic progress. No other single topic of discussion seems to manifest these concerns more than that of sustainable development.

This paper looks at sustainable development from an Islamic perspective. Its theoretical arguments proceed as follows: Islam means peace and harmony and, therefore, the Islamic way of life entails living in peace and harmony. An active promotion of the harmonization of individual, social, and ecological interests would ensure sustainable development. The discussion is then framed in the context of the ordained role of human beings as God's trustees. Under this arrangement, God is the real owner of all resources, and humanity is allowed to use them to its advantage as long as this trust is not violated. The paper concludes that in a truly Islamic society, sustainable development is a logical outcome of a normal life and that there is thus no need for a separate strategy of sustainable development. The rest of the paper deals with the concept of sustainable development and highlights its multifaceted nature, explains the endogeneity of sustainable development in Islam, examines the Islamic characterization of the role of human beings and shows how such a role conform to the requirements of sustainable development, and ends with some concluding remarks.

Development is above all a question of values. It involves human attitudes and preferences, self-defined goals, and criteria for determining what ate tolerable costs to be borne in the course of change. These are far more important than better resource allocation, upgraded skills, or the rationalization of administrative procedures.

Second, it is being recognized that development is a multifaceted concept. Goulet (ibid.) expresses it the best when he says:

  • This total concept of development can perhaps best be expressed as the "human ascent" - the ascent of all men in their integral humanity, including the economic, biological, psychological, social, cultural, ideological, spiritual, mystical, and transcendental dimensions.
Finally, our actions both as consumers and producers have ecological implications. The overarching emphasis on attaining efficiency in resource allocation within the positivist framework has led to unprecedented levels of pollution and ecological disaster. Such externalities are usually treated as peripheral in mainstream economics. And yet our well-being, even our existence, is inextricably embedded in the quality of the ecological conditions within which we live. The second law of thermodynamics, commonly known as the law of entropy, presents a compelling argument for the need to include ecological considerations in any meaningful development (Georgescu-Roegen 1975, 1977).
 

http://i-epistemology.net/science-a-technology/509-islamic-perspectives-on-sustainable-development.html

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 07 July 2010 at 12:43am

The Muslim Influence on Europe and the West

Part of a talk by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad

In his final address to the non-Muslim participants of the New Mexico educational retreat, Abdal Hakim looks at the other aspects of the long-standing historical interaction of the three Abrahamic faiths, such as the transmission of science, technology, and philosophical ideas from the Islamic world to the Western world.

Islam in the middle ages was a very successful commercial and material civilization and this fact combined with the Muslim's strategic geographic positions allowed for such a profound influence and contribution. The speaker looks at the economic/cultural/scientific contributions in the areas of maritine navigation and exploration, agriculture, music, poetry, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, chemistry, and much more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbZyIFq8E1s

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 21 July 2010 at 4:49pm
Islamic Civilization

A BBC documentary on scientific discoveries of Muslim scientists 1,000 years ago, starting with astronomy and the precise calculation of the earth's tilt angle by one of the early Muslim astronomers:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqZiWqblKY0

(Part 1 - 8 minutes)



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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 30 July 2010 at 10:32am
Islamic Science: The Making of a Formal Intellectual Discipline       
 
The term "Islamic science" can be defined as the scientific way of defining and corroborating the uniquely monotheistic concept of tawhid (unity), a concept that can serve as an epistemological manifold for intellectual inquiry and development. In this context, science is taken as a systematic way of looking at things or, in other words, as both a philosophy of knowledge as well as an empirical methodology. When taken in its entirety, science includes the whole spectrum of human inquiry ranging from ontology to epistemology, from causality to cosmology, and from the natural  and social sciences to technology.
 
 
Science proceeds only through ontological insights and epistemological rigor. This is exemplified by Einstein's reconstruction of Newtonian physics by freeing it from the inertial frame of reference based on Euclidean geometry, and the notions of absolute space and absolute time (Einstein 1955). Since science is the only mode in which the human mind functions meaningfully vis-a-vis the understanding of reality, any religion not characterized by a theology that is amenable to scientific study cannot be taken seriously. Islam meets this requirement, as the Qur'an continually exhorts Muslims to think, ponder, and avoid speculation.
 
It is important to note that the stand of the modern scientists is itself opposed to the scientific methodology. Science admits and thrives on purely abstract notions (i.e., entropy and infinity), in the absence of which the entire edifice of science would collapse instantly. Although most of these intangible and highly abstract notions cannot be subjected to any empirical proof, except indirectly or only theoretically as some mathematical function, no scientist would dare disown "belief" in them. In fact, science proceeds only through theoretical constructs of both tangible and intangible phenomena. Perhaps the best argument why a scientist cannot reject the concept of a supernatural, unseen Creator is provided by the observations of the famous scientist Wilhelm Roentgen.
 
One day, Roentgen was conducting experiments on the behavior of an electric current passing through a vacuum tube. At the end of this experiment, he discovered that a set of unused photographic films that had been enclosed in a black envelope and placed in the drawer of a wooden table located in a corner of his laboratory, were all exposed. Let us analyze his reaction to this incident.
 
Being a scientist, Roentgen did not dismiss the incident as a matter of chance or negligence on his part. On the contrary, he became curious and repeated the entire experiment under identical conditions. To his great surprise, these photographic films were also exposed. His scientific spirit did not regard the recurrence of the rather "supernatural" incident as something mystical and therefore not subject to examination by science just because there was no "tangible" means to explain the situation. On the contrary, he hypothesized that some kind of rays were emerging from his experiment which, although intangible and imperceptible to human senses, could penetrate his desk and the envelope and thereby affect the concealed photographic films. Since nothing more could be known about those unseen rays, Roentgen called them "X-Rays," meaning some unknown rays.
 
It is important to note here that the ontological insight demonstrated by Roentgen in accepting the existence of an unseen phenomenon, as well as his equally sharp epistemological rigor in formulating the hypothesis of X-Rays, constitutes pure science according to the principles and norms  of modern science. If he had heedlessly suppressed his scientific curiosity, along with his ontological urge and epistemological acumen, dismissing the incident as something beyond empirical corroboration, humanity and science would have missed a highly significant discovery.
 
In the above example, Roentgen was engaged in experimental or applied science. His use of logical and inductive rigor to devise a hypothesis concerning the observed phenomenon and constructing a concept constituted science in the real sense. It is this epistemological acumen to hypothesize, as well as the role of cognitive capability to form a concept, that have been studied in our recent research into neuropsychology, or what we call "cognitive kinematics" (Husain 1989).
 
Sirajul Husain
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 01 August 2010 at 12:00am
Muslimahs leading the Science Revolution

Despite the recent barrage of news on the ridiculous niqab/hijab/burqa bans restricting womenís entry into education, it turns out that Muslim women are some of the best educated women in the world. Even in the most unlikely place of Saudi Arabia, Muslim women are graduating and becoming some of the most accomplished and successful scientists in the world.

According to the latest report by UNESCO, women in Saudi Arabia now outnumber western women in worldwide university enrollment and graduation rates. Furthermore, 13 Muslim countries produce a higher percentage of women science graduates than the US and upto 40% of Saudi doctors are women.  And itís not only students and doctors that are pushing the boundaries, notables promoting science to women include Sheikha Mozah of Qatar and Princess Sumaya of Jordan. The science revolution of the Islamic world is here, and clearly itís being led by women...


http://www.elanthemag.com/index.php/site/featured_articles_detail/muslimahs_leading_the_science_revolution-nid913348720/

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote searching Replybullet Posted: 01 August 2010 at 12:27am
I'm very happy to hear this.  I am always concerned about women's rights and education in any country.  I was amazed that this is the case in Saudi Arabia, though.  I just wish that women would have even more rights there in regards to their personal freedom.  But I guess change happens slowly.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 12 August 2010 at 3:01pm
Manuscripts and printing in the spread of Muslim science

Dr Geoffrey Roper

[Proceedings of the conference 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World organised by FSTC, London, 25-26 May 2010].

The following article presents a brief status about the transmission of Muslim scientific texts, and how the physical means by which it was done may have affected their reception and influence in both the Muslim world and Europe. The article documents in particular the traces of existence of printing in early Islam, several centuries before the invention of printing by Gutenberg in the 15th century

http://muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=1262


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 14 August 2010 at 12:17am
The Transfer of Science Between India, Europe and China via Muslim Heritage

Professor Charles Burnett

[Proceedings of the conference 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World organised by FSTC, London, 25-26 May 2010].

The Islamic realms served as a crucible for scientific learning from the ancient Greek world in the West and from China, India and Iran, in the East.

Western Europe in turn benefited from the transmission of Arabic science into Latin, just as Chinese culture was indebted to Arabic texts travelling eastwards.

There was a vast network of transmission over centuries and over continents. This short article presents three stories telling related to the transfer of science between India, Europe and China via Muslim Heritage.

http://muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=1261

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