The Qur’an,Islam,Knowledge and Science

22 07 2007

Very interesting link for everyone to check out discussing Islam, Knowledge and Science. Though, it makes me want to ask……Why are the majority of Muslims so far behind today? Very sad indeed. I have even heard some Muslims go so far as to declare technology “haram”.  It’s really weird to hear any Muslim say that when Science and Discovery were so prominent in Islam’s history.  In fact, most of the western world studied under Muslim scientists and doctors. 

Well anyway, hope you check out and enjoy the link. May it be benefitial.

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/scislam.html

More Info on Islam and Science from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_science#Influence_on_European_science


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11 responses

22 07 2007
pumpladder16

I have an idea why. Maybe it’s because in religion every little action or phenomena is attributed to god. Although this might inspire some people to explore the intricacies of the world, this way is limiting. To most people who strive to understand the natural world, god is an unnecessary hypothesis. In fact, invoking god requires more explanation. Basically, it just slows down scientific work.

Anyways, I’m glad there are more Muslims who realize the importance of science in today’s world.

Peace be upon you.

22 07 2007
ummabdurrahman

As Salaamu Alaikum:

Mash’Allah sis, a good point of reference to have. I read through it and everything and anything that anyone wants to know more about is supported on reasonable sound evidence. There are no doubts in my mind that the Quran lacks any clarity. It is the people who have limited their time in seeking knowledge for the sake of seeking it. I love the following hadith that was stated: “A person who follows a path for acquiring knowledge, Allah will make easy the passage to Paradise for him.” – from the collection of Muslim.

Jazak Allahu Khair sis for another beneficial entry.

May Allah guide us all in the pursuit of knowledge, understanding and application.

22 07 2007
Umm Yusuf

Thanks for stopping by my blog Pumpladder16,

While everything is Islam is attributed to God,we are not discouraged from trying to find out and research the exact process in which things happend. Even though God does bring about everything, there is a certain course in which it happens. Even though God made the cures for all diseases, He gives us the intellect and ability to think and research to find the exact properties and combinations of healing.

If anyone researches the scientific history of Islam, one could never come to the conclusion that Muslims are disuaded from researching earch sciences, health sciences, technology, etc. In fact, one would see the entire opposite. God gave us the ability to seek knowledge and the command to seek knowledge. Generations of Muslims during the Prophet Muhammad’s time and afterward have given an excellent example of this idea. It wasn’t until about 200 years ago that Muslims started slipping from technology and health advances. Most of it, I would say, comes from their ideas that everything needs to stay the same, their unwillingness to embrace techology.

Why do they do this? I have no idea. Since it is clear as I have mentioned in Islamic texts that Muslims are encouraged to excel and seek knowledge of all things.

23 07 2007
pumpladder16

According to historians, there were many causes for the decline of the Islamic Golden Age. The Mongol invasion and political management by the early Caliphs were some of the reasons. One other factor was the decline in reason and creativity.

Aristotelian logic, which was the precursor of modern science, was deemed lowly. Experience and reason that came out from it was considered untrustworthy. The main proponent of this was Imam al-Ghazali, a famous Persian philosopher, who wrote Tahafut al-Falasifa, The Incoherence of Philosophers. It criticized the works of the Islamic scientists who favoured reason over divine explanations as irreligious. This became widely accepted by the majority of the Muslims as religious differences and skepticism at that time were considered to be undermining Islamic beliefs. Although Ibn Rushd rebutted with his Tahafut al-Tahafut, The Incoherence of the Incoherence, the damage was done and the Islamic Golden Age never recovered from there on.

Having said that, some parts in the Quran do encourage the pursuit of knowledge and the embrace of technology by Muslims never really ceased. The key factors that allowed the Europeans to reach their Renaissance was their adoption of natural philosophy, pure research and discovery. The ingredients that would have allowed the Islamic Golden Age to have continued but was deemed spiritually bankrupt, and thus rejected altogether.

23 07 2007
Umm Yusuf

Influence on European science
Contributing to the growth of European science was the major search by European scholars for new learning which they could only find among Muslims, especially in Spain and Sicily. These scholars translated new scientific and philosophical texts from Arabic into Latin.

One of the most productive translators in Spain was Gerard of Cremona, who translated 87 books from Arabic to Latin,[5] including al-Khwarizmi’s On Algebra and Almucabala, Jabir ibn Aflah’s Elementa astronomica,[6] al-Kindi’s On Optics, al-Farghani’s On Elements of Astronomy on the Celestial Motions, al-Farabi’s On the Classification of the Sciences,[7] the chemical and medical works of al-Razi (Rhazes),[8] the works of Thabit ibn Qurra (Thebit) and Hunayn ibn Ishaq,[9] and the works of al-Zarqali (Arzachel), Jabir ibn Aflah, the Banu Musa, Abu Kamil, Abu al-Qasim (Abulcasis), and Ibn al-Haytham (including the Book of Optics).[5]

The works of al-Battani (Albategni) were translated by Plato of Tivoli and John of Seville. The works of al-Khwarizmi (including The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing) were translated by Robert of Chester, Gerard of Cremona, and Adelard of Bath.[6] The works of Abu al-Qasim (Abulcasis) were translated by Abraham of Tortosa,[10] Gerard of Cremona,[5] and Berengarius of Valentia. Muhammad al-Fazari’s Great Sindhind (based on the Surya Siddhanta and the works of Brahmagupta) was translated in Spain in 1126.[11] The works of Al-Razi (Rhazes) were translated by David the Jew (c. 1228-1245), Gerard of Cremona, Gerard de Sabloneta, and Farragut (Faradj ben Salam). The works of Avicenna (including The Book of Healing and The Canon of Medicine) were translated by Arnaldus de Villa Nova, Avendauth (who some have identified with Abraham ibn Daud), Domingo Gundisalvo,[12] Gerard de Sabloneta, Antonius Frachentius Vicentinus, Armenguad, and Andreas Alphagus Bellnensis. The works of Ibn Rushd (Averroes) were translated by Alfonso of Toledo,[10] Michael Scot, Armenguad, and Andreas Alphagus Bellnensis. The works of Thabit ibn Qurra (Thebit), al-Farabi and al-Farghani were translated by John of Seville and Gerard of Cremona. The works of Hunayn ibn Ishaq and his nephew Hubaysh ibn al-Hasan were translated by Gerard of Cremona, Constantine the African,[13] Alfred of Sareshel, Armenguad, and Farragut (Faradj ben Salam). The works of al-Kindi were translated by Gerard of Cremona and Drogon (Azagont).

Abraham bar Hiyya’s Liber embadorum was translated by Plato of Tivoli. Ibn Sarabi’s (Serapion Junior) De Simplicibus was translated by Abraham of Tortosa.[10] The works of Qusta ibn Luqa (Costa ben Luca) were translated by Arnaldus de Villa Nova.[14] The works of Maslamah Ibn Ahmad al-Majriti, Abu Ma’shar and al-Ghazali were translated by John of Seville.[5] The works of al-Betrugi (Alpetragius), including On the Motions of the Heavens,[15] were translated by Michael Scot in 1217.[8] Fibonacci presented the first complete European account of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system from Arabic sources in his Liber Abaci (1202).[8] Ali ibn Abbas al-Majusi’s medical encyclopedia, The Complete Book of the Medical Art, was translated by Constantine the African.[8] Abū Ma’shar’s Introduction to Astrology was translated by Adelard of Bath.[16] The works of Maimonides were translated by Armenguad. The works of Ibn Zezla (Byngezla) and Masawaiyh (Mesue) were translated by Farragut (Faradj ben Salam). The works of Serapion, al-Qifti and Albe’thar were translated by Andreas Alphagus Bellnensis.[17] Abu Kamil’s Algebra was also translated into Latin during this period, but the translator of the work is unknown.[6] Other texts translated during this period include the chemical works of Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber), and the De Proprietatibus Elementorum, an Arabic work on geology written by a pseudo-Aristotle.[8] At the close of the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth centuries, Mark of Toledo translated the Qur’an (once again) and various medical works.[18]

The astronomical corrections to the Ptolemaic model made by Al-Battani, Averroes, Mo’ayyeduddin Urdi (Urdi lemma), Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (Tusi-couple) and Ibn al-Shatir were later adapted into the Copernican heliocentric model. Al-Kindi’s (Alkindus) law of terrestrial gravity influenced Robert Hooke’s law of celestial gravity, which in turn inspired Newton’s law of universal gravitation. Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī’s Ta’rikh al-Hind and Kitab al-qanun al-Mas’udi were translated into Latin as Indica and Canon Mas’udicus respectively. Omar Khayyám’s works on algebra and geometry were later influential in Europe from the 18th century.[19]

From:wikipedia

23 07 2007
Umm Yusuf

Rise
Further information: Islamic Golden Age
During the early Muslim conquests, the Muslim Arabs led by Khalid ibn al-Walid conquered the Sassanid Persian Empire and much of the Byzantine Roman Empire, establishing the Arab Empire across the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa, followed by further expansions across Pakistan, southern Italy and the Iberian Peninsula. As a result, the Islamic governments inherited “the knowledge and skills of the ancient Middle East, of Greece, of Persia and of India. They added new and important innovations from outside, such as positional numbering from Ancient India,” as Bernard Lewis wrote in What Went Wrong?

Another innovation was paper – originally a secret tightly guarded by the Chinese. The art of papermaking was obtained from two prisoners at the Battle of Talas (751), resulting in paper mills being built in Samarkand and Baghdad. The Arabs improved upon the Chinese techniques using linen rags instead of mulberry bark.

Much of this learning and development can be linked to geography. Even prior to Islam’s presence, the city of Mecca served as a center of trade in Arabia and the Islamic prophet Muhammad was a merchant. The tradition of the pilgrimage to Mecca became a center for exchanging ideas and goods. The influence held by Muslim merchants over African-Arabian and Arabian-Asian trade routes was tremendous. As a result, Islamic civilization grew and expanded on the basis of its merchant economy, in contrast to their Christian, Indian and Chinese peers who built societies from an agricultural landholding nobility.

Wikipedia

23 07 2007
Umm Yusuf

[edit] Decline
Further information: Islamic Golden Age
From the 12th century onwards, Islamic science and the numbers of Islamic scientists began declining. After the 13th century, the Islamic civilization would still produce occasional scientists but they became the exception, rather than the rule (see List of Islamic scholars). Some historians have recently come to question the traditional picture of decline, pointing to continued astronomical activity as a sign of a continuing and creative scientific tradition through to the 15th century, of which the work of Ibn al-Shatir (1304–1375) in Damascus is considered the most noteworthy example.[2][3]

One reason for the scientific decline can be traced back to the 10th century when the orthodox school of Ash’ari challenged the more rational school of Mu’tazili theology, or even earlier when caliph Al-Mutawakkil (847-861) attempted to suppress the Mu’tazili theology. The orthodox Sunni Muslims fought the Shia Muslims and other Muslim branches, as well as several invaders, such as the Crusaders and Mongols, on Islamic lands between the 11th and 13th centuries.

Another important reason for the rapid decline of Islamic science was the Mongol invasions of the 13th century. As they made their way across Central Asia, the Mongols destroyed Muslim libraries, observatories, hospitals, and universities, culminating in the sack of Baghdad, the Abbasid capital and intellectual centre, in 1258. The destruction of Baghdad marked the end of the Islamic Golden Age.[4]

In the end, the more strict Ash’ari school replaced Mu’tazili thoughts in the Islamic lands. That replacement and numerous wars and conflicts created a climate which made Islamic science less successful than before.

With the fall of Islamic Spain in 1492, scientific and technological initiative generally passed to Christian Europe and led to what we now call the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment.

wikipedia

23 07 2007
26 07 2007
Whispering Soul

Assalamu Alaicum.

May be , the answer to your question can be found in the following text.

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Having said all that, there are many other circumstances that led to material or scientific decline or stagnation in the Muslim world and its ultimate lagging behind the West in many matters scientific or material in particular since the advent of the Industrial Revolution. This requires a long and detailed discussion for which this is not the place and we simply refer you to objective and thorough historical analysis which requires research on your part. There are Islamic web sites that may deal with the subject to some degree.

Muslims have also “lagged behind” if you will, because of an identity crisis, “brain-drain” and lack of confidence stemming from weak Islamic education, mis-education and re-education by colonial and other influences foreign to the Islamic world. Also you are not at all correct in your assumption that the matters referred to in the hadeeth or the Qur’aan could have been ascertained through the opening of the womb of a woman.

Firstly, there are no known such scientific investigations reported or known from that time, and this was dealt with by Dr. Keith Moore in his detailed analysis and research.

Secondly most of the details about the periods of development in the uterus and so forth occur at a microscopic level that was not possible to see and certainly no one had the ability to categorize the stages of development at the time unless another miracle occurred!

One chief point we must make to you however is that regardless of the outward circumstances that led to or contributed to the lagging behind of Muslim societies, Muslim and non-Muslim alike must realize that ultimately it was lack of adherence to Islamic teachings that led to that decline along with lack of dependence upon the principles and teachings of Islam and their improper application among Muslims on a personal and a societal level.

Corruption, greed, over-indulgence, laziness, intimidation are all reasons which helped to undermine and weaken the Islamic polity as well as retard scientific progress and most of these things are “internal” matters that may have external causes. Matters of the heart such as weakness of faith as well as a lack of proper understanding and implementation of true religion and deviation from its clear path may be the greater causes of any so-called “backwardness” or stagnation than anything that comes from “outside” forces, and from this we ask Allah ‘s forgiveness, guidance, and protection, ameen.

It should be also pointed out that it is not as though there are no Muslim pioneers or advanced innovative scientists or thinkers present to this day, but this is not our main focus. We urge everyone, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, who are beguiled and deceived that material wealth and scientific progress are necessary signposts of correctness and success, to look to the principles and practices of Islam in their true light from pure sources and we pray they would discover clearly the wealth, fullness and viability of Islam for today and tomorrow that in no way impedes the progress of man.

Indeed along with the scientific advances that have occurred, environmental and fundamental human problems still persist and remain unsolved by science and have indeed been sometimes created and exacerbated by it!

If our focus is upon material gain and advancement as is much of the secularism and those who admire it, then we may be granted that if we educate ourselves and work hard enough for it. But if we forget that it is Allah Almighty, the Creator and Provider of all things who enabled any of us at all to attain any achievements and heights in this life, no amount of worldly accomplishment will compensate for our spiritual loss and its consequences in the Hereafter.

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31 07 2007
Surfer

In the following link you will find much more amazing information.

The Quran on Human Embryonic Development:

http://www.islam-guide.com/frm-ch1-1-a.htm

14 12 2008
Sarah Younis

Wow this cite is lovely and i think i have an answer to your question umm yusuf.
Maybe the reason for why the majority of Muslims are so far behind now is probably because they didnt expect the sudden advancements of other civilizations. They started to see whats better in others and forgot that the truth behind the advancements of other civilizations lies in their hands. Muslims, as you have mentioned earlier, were the ones who taking by what the prophet, PBUH, said, explored and came up with their vast knowledge and education in medical fields and much more since medieval times. If us Muslims realised what we had and worked on it, we can return to our highly civilized and educated ways.

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