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CONTRIBUTION OF MUSLIMS TO THE WORLD'S CIVILIZATION


Some of those who have written about the history of civilization define civilization as “a social system which helps man to increase his cultural output.” Civilization consists of four main elements: economical resources, political systems, moral traditions and science and arts. The development and progress of a civilization requires many factors such as geographical and economic factors, and psychological factors such as religion, language and education. The collapse of a civilization stems from factors which are the opposite of those which lead to its rise and development; the most important of these destructive factors include moral and intellectual decadence, lawlessness and breakdown of social systems, the spread of oppression and poverty, the spread of pessimism and apathy and the lack of competent and sincere leaders.

 

The more universal a civilization is in its message, the more humane it is in its inclination, the more moral it is in its direction and the more realistic it is in its principles, the more lasting will be its impact on history, the longer it will endure and the more it will deserve to be honored.

 

Table of Contents

 

Trigonometry, Sine, Tangent, Co-Tangent

The Arabs developed these functions in trigonometry and Ibn Moosaa's work Hisaab-Al Jab-Wal Muqaabala (The Calculation of Integration and Equation) presented 800 examples in the 8th century CE. His work was translated from Arabic into Latin and until the 16th century CE, it was Europe's main textbook on the subject.

 

Algebra and Geometry

Muhammad bin Moosaa Al-Khawaarizmi is considered to be one of the founders of Algebra. The word ‘Algorithm’ or 'Algorizm' is a corruption of his name or the name of the town Khwaarizm (Kheva), in what is now Uzbekistan, where he was born. He adopted the use of ‘cipher’ (zero), that was devised in India some centuries earlier, a numeral of fundamental importance, leading up to the so-called arithmetic of positions and the decimal system. The very word ‘zero’ is a derivative of the Arabic ‘sifr’ or ‘cipher’. His pioneering work on the system of numerals is well known as "Algorithm," or "Algorizm." In addition to introducing the Arabic numerals, he developed several arithmetical procedures, including operations on fractions.

 

Another great mathematician was Omar Khayyaam, who offered to the world geometric and algebraic solutions of the second degree. Naseeruddeen wrote the treatise on quadrilateral trigonometry, as well as plain and spherical geometry.

 

Physics and Chemistry

Kamaaluddeen examined the refraction of sunlight in raindrops and offered an explanation of the genesis of primary and secondary rainbows. The story of the invention of the pendulum and the presentation of a water clock to Emperor Charlemagne by Haaroon Ar-Rasheed is well known.

 

The great historian Gibbons wrote in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Volume 5) that the science of chemistry owes its origin and improvements to the Muslims.

 

Science of Mechanics

The development of the science of mechanics in Islam is an act of genius. Moosaa bin Shaakir described one hundred pieces of mechanical equipment in his book of artifices. Other outstanding Muslim treatises included Al Kitaab Fi Ma`rifat Al-Hiya Al-Handasiyyah (The Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Geometrical Contrivances) by Abul Fiaz bin Al Raz and Al Kitaab Meezanal-Hikmah (The Book of Balance and Wisdom) by Al-Khazini. He also did work on accurate weighing, and determination of the specific gravity of substances.

 

Camera Obscura

In the field of optics, Camera Obscura was invented by Ibn Haytham in 1038 CE.

 

Theory of Relativity

Qaadhi Abu Bakr had developed the theory of relativity in the 8th century CE in terms of time and space by means of mathematical equations and astrophysics. Imagine, Einstein was not even born in the Western world, who propounded the same theory of relativity much later in the 20th century CE.

 

Geography

As far as geography was concerned, Muslim scientists established that the world was round in the 9th century CE, and the first map of the globe was made during the Caliphate of Ma’moon.

 

Paper Making

This was one of the earliest skills attained by the Muslims. As early as the 8th century CE, high quality paper was being manufactured in Samarqand. Egypt was known to have its first paper mill in the year 900 CE. The earliest Arabic manuscript written on paper that has been discovered is the Ghareeb Al Hadeeth by Abu ‘Ubayed, dated 837 CE. It can be seen in Holland preserved in the library at the University of Leyden.

 

Advances in Industry

Under Islamic rule, Spain was an industrial center. It was one of the wealthiest and most thickly populated of the European countries. Muslims were leading in weaving wool, producing silk, pottery, jewelry, leather and perfume industry. In the Middle Ages, world trade was commanded by Muslims and Baghdad Bukhaara and Samarqand remained centers for world fairs until the 16th century CE. The Bayt Al-Hikmah at Cairo contained two million books, the library at Tripoli contained some three million, but this library was burned down by the Christians during the first Crusade.


Miracles of the Quran

Let us consider the hundreds of scientific facts mentioned in the Quran. For example, the fact that the earth was previously a part of the sun and after its separation, it became a habitable place for humankind, as mentioned in Qur’an 21: 30. That matter is made up of sub-atomic particles (Qur’an 10:61). That the embryo in the mother's womb in enclosed by three epithelial coverings (Qur’an 39:6). That each human being has a unique fingerprint (Qur’an 75:4) etc. There are thousands of other scientific facts in the Quran.

 

References

http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?id=134284&page=articles

 

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