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Economic System of Islam 7 – Muslim Contribution To Astronomy Chemistry
Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Economic System of Islam
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Name is God the Merciful
universe Peace and blessings upon a seventh and messenger Muhammad forever mean? I greet you with a greeting that is common in Islam, a feeling of peace. Assalamu Aleikum, I'm your host Tamar Rashid. Today we have our seventh program in our series getting the economic system of Islam. And we'll be continuing with our third the program and discussing the topic of production and productivity. Joining me as usual on the program is Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University, Jamal asked me
could I have done very quickly summarize the main points that we touched on in a second problem dealing with the topic of production productivity should be a major part of the discussion was on the positioning of Islam, Visa v science, and how it encouraged the use of the senses reason and experimentation, we indicated that the experimental approach or scientific approach was nothing to introduce to the west by Roger bacon has usually held that that approach was known to Muslim essentials before that, and use it effectively indicated also that the scientific progress that was achievement started all the way from the revelation of the Quran itself. During the first four
caymus after Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him company of Allah Foundation, or before likely they did. Kelis continued to be a manga dynasty, but had its golden age, if you will, during the episode dynasty, and also the anime dynasty in Spain.
It was also indicated that there were several centers for education and scientific progress on different levels all the way from schools attached to local mosques or places of worship, to certain libraries to big academies, like the famous House of learning in Baghdad established in the 19th century. So the main problem here, the issue is that the
Renaissance was not really based as some people believed in simply a revival of the Greek classic. But it was very much influenced by the Muslim science and development at this time, and that the connection is really very, very close.
I'd like to pick up on that point, the connection between the European Renaissance and Muslim or Islamic designs and I want to perhaps I could ask you to, we just have time last week to touch on that I'm going to break it out and perhaps expand on a little bit
further, certainly, in fact, one of the very astounding and very useful references on this subject is
a book by George satin, it's called
intellectual or history of intellectual development. So introduction to the history of sciences, so very comprehensive work, composed of several volumes.
And here indicates that one of the main reasons why universities strong in group was the fact that there was so much mystery in sciences and information coming from the Muslim warriors, that it came to a point where the most of this information requires some kind of systematic study.
So that's why universities were established in Europe. And so that goes back as far as the 12th century, even before because the 20th century universities became the emerging middle. So the contact and the adoption of Muslim learning took place. Before that time also, let me give you a couple of petitions also from another writer, we quoted last time, Robert before his book, The Making of humanity. And when he says that it is highly probable, that that for the Arabs, Muslims, Northern European civilization would never have arisen at all. And I'm going to close to say that there's no single aspect of European growth, in which decisive influence of a standard culture is
not possible. Also,
what we call scenes arose in work as a result of a newspaper.
First of inquiry, and your method of investigation of the methods of experimentation, observation, measurement of the development of mathematics, in a form unknown to the Greeks, that spirit and those methods were introduced into the European world by the Arabs, I just have a comment here on the use of the term Arabs, you know, I don't think it's quite correct to interpret that in ethnic sense at all. And many of the writers when they refer to the Arabs, actually they use it synonymous with Muslims, which is not a very accurate term, unless we take a course in the spirit expressed by the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, that every person who speaks is an Arabic student, just
ethnic lines. And of course, in the epoch of Muslim civilization, every Muslim regardless of his or her mother tongue, also, between the language of civilization, the language of Scripture, the news of science, so it can be only accepting letters, but I prefer the word mystery.
But I'd like to perhaps turn to some discussion on the Crusades
that day or play any role in the
European Renaissance? Well, while of course, the tragic part of the Crusades is well known, the kind of devastation is brought to the to the Muslim world, it still appears that there are
some side effects just like any other war, sometimes you get unintended results from it.
That will contribute also a great deal, at least in conveying or providing an opportunity for getting the Muslim sciences and knowledge to the west. Let me give you a couple of quotations which have been compiled in a little booklet, just a very small pamphlet, under the title Islam and the origin of modern science by Elijah Abdullah,
who compiled a number of verse references, so you can just save time by referring to some of them.
At one point,
that will be students in history and Herat.
chapters one and four, on the universal history of the world.
He says, the learning of art,
the science of the Muslim world, its public services and methods of government. Its highly developed industries. And the super luxury and comfort of the domestic life in its upper classes exerted a powerful and far reaching influence upon Europe, in the crusading period, so there's definitely some points of contact there. Another historian, Henry Barnes,
and discussing the consequences of the Crusades that's in Volume One of the history of Western civilization. It says the Westerners learned many Muslim and Oriental ways, and developed a taste for the luxury the luxuries of the region. And this promoted a demand for Eastern goods an accelerated the growth of commerce. The Italians, who had acted as transporting agents for the Crusaders took full advantage of the opportunities to build up trading relations with the east.
And another place he adds the scenes and cultures of the Muslims were brought back to Europe and helped to create a remarkable intellectual revival, or the remarkable revival of the 12th and 13th. century.
One more, again, left hand side,
alone alluded to before judge Sutton, the introduction to the history of science.
And that also says one of the results of the Crusades was the introduction of public building places in Europe. And he goes on discussing this notion of stillbirth, which was introduced by Muslims and the Crusaders brought the idea of them back to Europe. I think it would be useful to remember that the period of crusades were not all two centuries, let's say a fighting and Battlefield. The privilege also of choose of relative peace period where there was some kind of intermingling and mixing between Muslims and Christians, even the interval between the workers and the conquered. There were incidents also where human relations could have established been established between
the two people.
In fact, many historians for example,
Refer to places like Sicily and Serbia where there were a great deal of cross interpersonal intermingling between Muslim scientists and learned scholars and the invading Crusaders. And,
in fact, even in places like Spain, we find that the intermingling included both Muslim Christians as well as Jews in a way that some historian described as unrestricted understanding type of,
Definitely, the result of that was a good bit of exchange of information, mostly reading adaptation of Muslim sciences and bringing it to the west. And in the case of Spain, the result was untold prosperity, which was never
presented before no set test ever since.
Now, some of our viewers make this out to be quite strong statement to make, can you give us perhaps some illustrations to reinforce or illustrate that point?
The issue of Muslims killing a civilization of nearly a century is something that
is a big topic by itself. I could perhaps to satisfy curiosity of some of the
viewers, I refer to one interesting, one has two references, and that there's a book called The Falcon of spin, working by a Canadian, Mr. Thomas every. And there is also another famous book on the subject. It's called the stone
study of the Moors in Spain, written by Stanley named Kuhn, P or NP.
And in this references, as well as others, will find so many fascinating things that it's very difficult to believe that at one point of time this has taken place. Let me read you a couple of petitions from composed standard things.
Yes, it says First, it cinches under Harish Mohammed and to be actually Muslim, this is not the proper term. But anyway, let's pretend he was Mohammed bin was rollers spin, set to all work, a shining example of a civilized an enlightened state. Her first I provinces rendered doubly prolific by the industry engineering skill of her conquers both groups and whose fault
and another party says art, literature and science prospect as the prospect nowhere else in your students, flat from France and Germany. That's the point again, we discussed in the previous program where the only place to get learning about science, or European at that time was to go to Muslim universities more particularly in under Muslim, Spain
and England to drink from the fountain of learning which flowed only in the cities of the more. The surgeons and doctors of Andalusia were in the vein of science, women were encouraged to devote themselves to serious study. And the Navy doctors was not unknown among the people of Cordoba, Spain, mathematics, astronomy, botany, history, philosophy and jurisprudence, work to be mastered in Spain and Spain alone.
In another place, he says that whatsoever makes a kingdom great and prosperous, whatsoever
to recruitment and civilization was found in western Spain. And don't find any mentions about the sun. And set of all of these civilizations in in 1492, the last bulwark of the Moors good way, before the crusade of Ferdinand and Isabella,
and with Granada, on space witness, this is one. In fact, some of the very fascinating aspects of it is
provided by women. So john women Draper and the book the intellectual history of the intellectual development of Europe in the second volume of that book, pages 30 and 31, just
Japan describes a city like Coca
Cola under their administration that's under Muslim administration at its highest point of prosperity.
boasted of more than 200,000 houses and more than a million of inhabitants after sunset, and then might walk through through it in a straight line for 10 miles by the light of the public lands. 700 years after this time, there was not
there was not so much as one public lamp in London.
It states that the streets of Cordova were suddenly paved in Paris, Central. Subsequently, whoever stepped over his threshold, on a rainy day, stepped up to his ankles in mud.
And indicates also that it was not simply just one exception, and certainly that was so prosperous. Now, Cordova indicates that so many other cities in Spain, like Granada, Seville and Toledo, which consider themselves as relevance even to the Cordova,
development and prosperity of Canada is just untold. In fact, some historians add to this figures, 1 million inhabitants and the nearly 260,000 buildings, homes and shops
700 public building classes
500 mosques, and as we mentioned earlier, it was customary to attach a school public square to the mosque, you can also tell about the number of schools
28 suburbs, we think that it is something that's relatively new if it wasn't the case of
in addition to this, there were countless in the history of countless libraries, both public as well as private. So the the story of the
standard civilization and prosperity in stone is just beyond description. We're talking now about population of Cordova, probably not even 120
of the population that at one time had with all this civilization and progress. extremely interesting case study. But we've been discussing the contribution of Islamic scientists and Muslim scientists. And in a general kind of way, I wonder if perhaps we might be able to now turn to some discussion of some specific contributions in various fields. Perhaps we could do that by going through an alphabetical order. I wonder if I could ask you first of all, to give some illustrations of some specific contributions in the field of astronomy? Well, astronomy, by its nature was one of the earliest fields in which Muslims took interest and contributed a great deal.
among the most prominent
scholars, if you will, are people like Abu rasa and botany and Bahraini Arabic, and they'll come in a minute ago to indicate more specifically some of those particular contributions.
But suffice to say that Muslim astronomers were the first to discover the sun's aperture, which is you know, the point five just from the earth, yes.
In the orbit of the moon,
the catalogues of the stars, not only catalogs, but in fact, some of them even made
Maps of visible stars, and bigger that, especially the big ones, the Philippines, Arabic humans, which are still with us, until today.
The corrected the the Sun Moon tables,
and they also fixed the length of the years. In fact, as early as the 11th century,
again, known interest as Korean, connected mainly with poetry, but in fact, he was also a
prominent astronomer. In the days of the humaid calendars, which many historians regard as more accurate than the Gregorian calendar.
The Muslim astronomers were the first to use the pendulum in measuring times and some of those who traveled to the Muslim world came back with a great deal of fascination describing you know, how the clocks operate using this concept of the pendulum. The sun dial was again invented by Muslim astronomers if you will.
In fact, as one writer puts it,
He says perhaps the most valuable of all chronometric improvements were made, in fact by Muslim astronomers
as early as the eighth century, during the benefit of unanswered, we find that interest has been shown in astronomy in different parts of the Muslim world, which was quite
vast at this time, we find also many observatories
Muslim astronomers were able to use the knowledge to predict or forecast the sunspots, eclipses and the appearance of comets in the sky.
One of the things I mentioned earlier, like apasa,
discover something which is very important in astronomy. astronomers call it the third lunar inequality, which is basically dealing with the concept of the irregularity of the moon's highest latitude.
Astronomers definitely appreciate that more than, you know,
common person, it is interesting to notice that this very important discovery
was attributed by mistake 1000 years laters, almost 10 centuries later. Yes, the same kind of discovery was attributed to a Danish scholar by the name of Tycho brow.
Among the other bright names, I mentioned, the 10. And sometimes this means in English,
quite adulterated in English, it's Satan, attacking us, which is very difficult to detect and alert, was regarded by astronomers. As one of the most interesting 20 astronomers in the world sucking pests. We present at least up to the time, and biruni acted as a link between astronomy school and Baghdad, which is now in in Iraq and in India. And he lives in the curse of Matthew that has now
towards the end of the 10th century and the beginning of the 11th century. Actually, he compiled an interesting table showing the longitudes and latitudes of the principal cities in the world of
work was published in the early 15th century, and provided a very comprehensive survey of the state of knowledge of astronomy in his time, and that was 100 years before Kepler's child to relate the knowledge of astronomy in the past to the his time and Muslim spin. As we mentioned earlier, this is not just a general perspective, perspective also was hand in hand with the scientific development, we'll find many bright examples like don't ignore us interest in English, others. But unfortunately, many of those deeds many of the works are lost in the pursuit of re conquest and the ensuing religious persecution. So much valuable work
was also lost the history
perhaps move into the field of chemistry. Next, what
role did the Muslim science play in developing this particular science? One, as well when john Woolman dripper included,
he said that the originators
now the Arabs or Muslims should be regarded as the originators of scientific chemistry. That's not my word. That's his term. And he said they discovered the most important reasons you can say, like sulphuric acid, nitric acid, alcohol,
they were the first to publish pharmacopoeia or dispenser tells.
One of the
good figures and chemistry goes back to the eighth century
known in English algebra,
who loved at the time where the strongest acid known at this time was concentrated vinegars.
And it was during this time, and through his efforts that he discovered the nitric acid.
The Muslim chemists were able to describe and prepare
or understood the operations of distillation, sublimation, filtration, coagulation crystallization, something that we think that is relatively more modern, this was already known quite early Muslims.
another great speaker in chemistry by the name of Abacus addressee again in English, it's different quite differently. It's just an
HP z. He is.
He used to be the physician in chief of the hospital in Baghdad in the ninth century. And who was said to be the first one who
described the properties of the sulfuric acid.
The contribution in his town by Muslims to the study of chemistry was described by William Draper as as important and magnitude as those of lavoisier. implicitly.
In addition to this, we find that these things were the first to use the gunpowder in defense as early as 1742. And that that's quite a period of time before Roger bacon,
another great chemists Muslim chemist headed towards the end of the eighth century. His name is Abu Musa, and Kofi,
who wrote so many works in chemistry, some of which were translated into Latin. And one important work of his called the English the some of the fiction was translated into French as late as 1672.
And that is almost 800 years
after his, his death.
This kind of contributions reflect the practical spirit of inquiry that Muslims have learned through the motivation provided in the Quran.
They understood not only theoretical chemistry, that they were quite prominent also, in the applied side of chemistry.
Indeed, suffice to work upon that they have already known that early
distillation of distilled water,
they knew of plasters.
They love syrups. And of course, for physicians and pharmacists, they appreciate the more important role played by syrups in the preparation of countless drugs, especially like cough medicines, and so on.
That we're able to use also the varieties of ointments for cure of certain diseases,
dying, clothing and textile,
tampons, steam curing, leathers, and these are definitely some aspects of Applied Chemistry in a way that would be useful and beneficial to the to the populace.
Don't just include to add here also that many of the terms in English or other European languages have many chemical material.
substances actually have the news originally from Arabic.
This might not sound familiar to many of the viewers, but it's true. Take for example,
the camp for English camp for oil in Arabic, it's
alcohol was, as we indicated earlier, a Muslim invention. And the English is simply sentence alcohol.
exists. Yes, in Arabic and exists. Yes, so the same name came from it.
come from Colombia, in Arabic. And this is only a few examples of numerous
chemical substances that were discovered and prepared by the Muslim Council.
But we'll have to stop there for today because our time is gone. We want to invite you back next week we will continue our discussion, looking at the contribution of Muslim science to the fields of mathematics, medicine and physics. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you