Muslim’s Contribution to Science
Presented by
M.A.Lateef Atear
Defining Science and Hikmah
Science before Islam
Contribution of Quran to science
Contribution to modern science by
Muslim scientists
• Down fall of Islamic era of science
• Action plan to revert the present situation
Science or Hikma
• Study of nature
• Islam stresses to explore nature (Tahqeeq
and Tasqeer)
• Expect us to know the force behind nature
• Once this is realized the concept of
Creation (Maqlooq) and Creator (Qaleq)
become obvious
• Knowledge of nature brings you closure to
• After the birth of Mohammad (SAS)
science took a different course
• Revelation of Al-Quran-ul-Hakeem
changed the thinking process of mankind
• Islam brought science from imaginary
philosophical concept to modern
experimental and practical stage, so call
Modern Science
• Al-Quran initiated a different thinking
process in Muslim Scholars (Hukma or
Muslim Scientists)
• Reaching precision and accuracy was
their measurement
• They developed the method of
investigation (Scientific Method)
I would like to caution the audience that science is
constantly evolving from uncertainty to certainty, from
imperfection to perfection, from trial and error to precision
and accuracy. Therefore a knowledge, which is constantly
evolving, and at any given time has not attained its
perfection can not judge the absolute truth. In other words,
Allah’s words are absolute Hikma and can not be judged by
scientific measures that are imperfect and are constantly
evolving in search of absolute truth. Vice versa, if science is
under the guidance of Hikma, then it is certain that truth
will be revealed to us.
Pre-Islamic Science
Greek Philosophy
• Hippocates ( 460-377 BC)
Socrates (469-399 BC), Plato
(427-347 BC), Aristotle (384-322
• Hypothetical, speculative and
• No evidence of experimentation
Islamic era of Science
• Birth of Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH)
(570 AD – 632 AD)
• Begins with
revelation of Quran
(610 AD)
Islam and Modern Scientific Methods
• The Challenge of Quran
Soon we will show them our signs in the (furthest)
regions (of the earth), and in their own souls until
it manifests truth on them.
(Sura Fussilat 41:53)
Importance of observation in Quran
Say : “Behold all that is In the heavens and on earth”
(Sura Yunus 10:101)
Do they not look At the Camels, How they are made
(Sura Gashiya 88:17)
Say: “Travel through the earth And see how God did
Originate creation; so will God produce a later creation:
For God has Power over all Things
(Sura Ankabut 29:20)
And He has subjected to you as from Him,
All that is in heavens And on earth:
Behold, In that are signs
Indeed For those who reflect
(Sura Jathiya 45:13)
Quran gives many Scientific facts
Do not the Unbelievers see That the heavens
And the earth Were joined together (as one Unit
Of Creation),
(Sura Anbiyaa 21:30)
Expansion of the Universe
And the heaven, we have built it with power.
Verily, we are expanding it.
(Sura Al Zariyat 51:47)
“From 8th century to 12th century, Arabic was the
scientific language”.
- British Research 4:1
“Muslim scholars introduced precise observation,
controlled experiment and careful records”.
-Will Durant
Jabir Ibn Hayyan (Geber) 721 – 815 CE
Khorasan, Iran
Father of Chemistry
Major Books Written by him
Kitab Al-Kimya : Book of Balances
Kitab Al- Sab’een: Book of the Kingdom
Book of Eastern Mercury
100 Monumental Treatises, 22 on Chemistry and Alchemy
His Achievements & Contributions
• Invented alembic Systematized the process of distillation
• Break through includes :- Nitric, Hydrochloric, Citric, and
Tartaric Acids Preparation
• Paved the way for classification of substances into metals, nonmetals and volatile substances and the law of constant
• He perfected scientific techniques such as Crystallization,
Distillation, Calcinations, Sublimation, Evaporation and
development of Several Instruments for the Same
• Pioneer of Applied Chemistry :- Preparation of Various
Metals, development of steel, dyeing of cloth and tanning of
leather, varnishing of water-proof cloth, use of manganese
dioxide in glass-making, prevention of rusting, lettering in
gold, identification of paints, greases, etc
‘Who so ever treats people without
knowledge of Medicine, become liable’.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim
‘He who studies medicine without books
sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies
medicine without patients does not go the
sea at all’
Dr. William Osler
Ibn Sina (Avicenna) 980-1037 CE
of Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Field of Contributions
Islamic Philosopher
Books Written by him
• Ibn Sina wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of
which around 240 have survived.
• In particular, 150 of his surviving treatises concentrate on
Philosophy and 40 of them concentrate on Medicine
• His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a Vast
philosophical and scientific encyclopaedia, and The Canon of
Medicine which was a standard Medical text at Many Islamic and
European universities up Until the early 19thcentury.
• The Canon of Medicine was used as a text-book in the universities
of Montpellier and Louvain as late as1650.
The Canon of Medicine was the first book dealing with
Experimental Medicine, evidence-based medicine, randomized
controlled trials and efficacy test sand it laid out the following
rules and principles for testing the effectiveness of new drugs
and medications, which still form the basis of clinical
pharmacology and modern clinical trails
"The drug must be free from any extraneous accidental
"It must be used on a simple, not a composite, disease.“
"The drug must be tested with two contrary types of diseases,
because sometimes a drug cures one disease by Its essential
qualities and another by its accidental ones.“
• The quality of the drug must correspond to the strength of
the disease. For example, there are some drugs whose heat is
less than the coldness of certain diseases, so that they would
have no effect on them
• The time of action must be observed, so that essence and
accident are not confused
• The effect of the drug must be seen to occur constantly or in
many cases, for if this did not happen, it was an accidental
• The experimentation must be done with the human body, for
testing a drug on a lion or a horse might not prove anything
about its effect on man
“The single most famous book in the history of medicine, in east or
Encyclopedia Britannica
“The canon has remained a medical bible for a longer time than any
other work".
Dr. William Osler
“The author of most famous book ever written”
Dr.William Osler
“Better to be mistaken following Avicenna, than to be correct
following others”
Ibn Sina Featured on Tajikistan’s Currency
Abbas Ibn Firnas ( Armen Firman) 810-887 CE
Izn-Rand Onda, al-Andalus (today's Ronda, Spain)
First Man to Fly
His Achievements & Contributions
• First to make glass from stones (quartz)
• Designed a water clock called Al-Maqata
• "Ibn Firnas was the first man in history to make a scientific attempt
at flying."
—Philip Khuri Hitti, in his book “History of the Arabs”
• He also devised means of manufacturing glass from sand to produce
quartz glass, and he developed a chain of rings that could be used to
display the motions of the planets and stars
• Invented an artificial weather simulation room, in which spectators
saw stars and clouds, and were astonished by artificial thunder and
lightning. These were due to mechanisms hidden in the basement
• In 852, under the new Caliph 'Abd al-Rahman II, Ibn Firnas
flew off from the minaret of the Mezquita mosque in Córdoba,
using a huge wing-like cloak to break his fall, he sustain minor
injuries. This was the first example of an early parachute
• In 875, at the age of 65 years, Ibn Firnas made the first attempt
at controlled flight when he invented a hang glider with artifical
wings, and launched himself from the Mount of the Bride (Jabal
al-'arus) in the Rusafa Area, near Córdoba. The flight was
largely successful, and was widely observed by a crowd that he
had invited. However, the landing was not perfect
El Zahrawi (Albucasis) 936 – 1013 CE
Córdoba, Spain
Father of Surgery
Surgical Instruments by
Al Zahrawi
Books Written by him
At-Tasrif - a medical Encyclopedia spanning 30 volumes which
Ophthalmology, Pharmacology, Nutrition etc
Liber servitoris de preeparatione medicinarum simplicium, describes
chemical preparations, tablet making, filtering of extracts and related
pharmaceutical techniques
Discussed cauterisation, bloodletting, midwifery and obstetrics and
the treatment of wounds; exposure and division of the temporal artery
to relieve certain types of headaches; diversion of urine into the
rectum; reduction mammoplasty for excessively large breasts and the
extraction of cataracts; injuries to bones and joints; even mentioning
fractures of the nasal bones and of the vertebrae
His Achievements & Contributions
Outlined use of caustics in surgery, fully described tonsillectomy,
tracheotomy and craniotomy- operations performed on a dead foetus;
used a hook to extract a polyp in the nose; used a bulb syringe he
invented for giving enemas to children and used a metallic bladder
syringe and speculum to extract bladder stones
The first to describe the so-called “Walcher position” in obstetrics; the
first to depict dental arches, tongue depressors and lead catheters & the
first to describe clearly the hereditary circumstances surrounding
haemophilia; described ligaturing of blood vessels long before Ambroise
The French surgeon Guy de Chauliac in his ‘Great Surgery’, completed
in about 1363, quoted Al-Tasrif over 200 times. El Zahrawi was described
by Pietro Argallata (1423 A.D.) as “without doubt the Chief of all
Greatest Mathematician that Ever Lived /
Astronomer / Geographer
Books Written by him
Kitab al-Jam’a wal- Tafreeq bil Hisab al-Hindi on Arithmatic
On Algebra, Al-Maqala fi Hisab-al Jabr wa-al- Muqabilah –translated into
Latin in the 12th century, and it was this translation, which introduced this
new science to the West “completely unknown till then.”
Astronomical Tables were also translated into European languages and, later,
into Chinese
Kitab Surat-al-Ard on Geography, together with its maps
Two books on the Astrolabe
Kitab al-Tarikh
On sun-dials - Kitab al-Rukhmat
His Achievements & Contributions
• Founder of several branches and basic concepts of Mathematics
• Influenced mathematical thought to a greater extent than any
other medieval writer - Phillip Hitti
• Work on Algebra was outstanding, as he not only initiated the
subject in a systematic form but he also developed it to the
extent of giving analytical solutions of linear and quadratic
equations, which established him as the founder of Algebra
• The very name Algebra has been derived from his famous book
Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah
His Achievements & Contributions
• His arithmetic synthesised Greek and Hindu knowledge and
contained his own contribution of fundamental importance
to Mathematics and Science
• Developed decimal system so that the overall system of
numerals, ‘Algorithm’ or ‘Algorizm’ is named after him
Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) 1091 -1161 CE
Seville, Spain
The First Parasitologist
Books Written by him
Kitab Al-Taisir fi Al-Mudawat Wa Al-Tadbir (Book of Simplification
concerning Therapeutics and Diet) gives in detail pathological
conditions, followed by therapy
Kitab Al-Iqtisad fi Islah Al-Anfus Wa Al-Ajsad (Book of the Middle
Course concerning the Reformation of Souls and the Bodies) gives a
summary of diseases, therapeutics and hygiene written specially for
the benefit of the layman - A valuable discourse on Psychology
Kitab Al-Aghthiya (Book on Foodstuffs) describes different types of
food and drugs and their effects on health
His Achievements & Contributions
• Described correctly, for the first time, Scabies, the Itch mite and
may thus be regarded as the first Parasitologist
• Prescribed Tracheotomy and direct feeding through the gullet
and rectum in the cases where normal feeding was not possible
• Gave clinical descriptions of mediastinal tumorous, intestinal
phthisis, inflammation of the middle ear, pericarditis, etc
• He gave the first accurate descriptions on neurological disorders,
including meningitis, intracranial thrombophlebitis,
and mediastinal tumours, and made contributions to modern
Ibn Al - Nafis 1213 - 1288 CE
Damascus (Syriya)
Great Physician
Books Written by him
The most voluminous of his books is Al-Shamil fi al-Tibb, which was
designed to be an encyclopedia comprising 300 volumes. The
manuscript is available at Damascus
Mujaz Al-Qanun Kitab Al-Mukhtar fi Al-Aghdhiya (the effects of diet on
Elaborated the function of the coronary arteries as feeding the cardiac
Donated his house, library and clinic to the Mansuriya Hospital in
Cairo, where he also served
His Achievements & Contributions
• His major contribution of great significance was his discovery of
the blood’s circulatory system, which was rediscovered by
modern science after a lapse of three centuries
• He was the first to correctly describe the constitution of the lungs
and gave a description of the bronchi and the interaction
between air and blood in the human blood vessels
• Elaborated the function of the coronary arteries feeding the
cardiac muscle. Wrote detailed commentaries on early works,
critically evaluating them and adding his own original
Nasir Al-Din Al Tusi 1201- 1274 CE
Kadhimain near Baghdad, Iraq
Mathematics, Astronomy, Philosophy and Religion
Tusi couple from Vat.
Arabic ms 319
A Treatise on Astrolabe
by al-Tusi, Isfahan
Books Written by him
Al-Zij-Ilkhani Tajrid-Al-’Aqaid (Islamic Scholastic Philosophy
Akhlaqi-Nasri book on ethics entitled Al-Risalah Al-Asturlabiyah – A
Treatise on astrolabe
Wrote 64 treatises; one-fourth concern Mathematics, another fourth
Astronomy, another fourth Philosophy and Religion, and the
remainder other subjects
Invented an instrument ‘torqued’ that contained two planes
His Achievements & Contributions
• In Trigonometry, his major contribution in Spherical Trigonometry
which was compiled as a new subject in its own right for the first
• Produced new astronomical tables called Al-Zij-Ilkhani. Which
became the most popular tables among astronomers and remained
so till the 15th century
• Pointed out several serious shortcomings in Ptolemy’s astronomy
and foreshadowed latter’s dissatisfaction with the system that
culminated in the Copernican reforms
• Invented an instrument ‘torqued’ that contained two planes
His Achievements & Contributions
• Instrumental in establishment and progress of Maragha
• Wrote several treatises on different sciences and subjects including
on Geometry, Algebra, Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Medicine,
Metaphysics, Logic, Ethics and Theology
• In Philosophy, apart from his contribution in logic and metaphysics, his work on ethics entitled Akhlaqi-Nasri became the most
important book on the subject & remained popular for centuries
• Tajrid-al-’Aqaid was a major work on Al-Kalam (Islamic Scholastic
Philosophy) and enjoyed widespread popularity
Ibn Zakariya Al-Razi (Rhazes) 864 - 930 CE
Ray, Iran
One of the Greatest Physicians of all times
Major Books Written by him
Kitab al- Mansoori
Al-Hawi 22 Volumes (The Comprehensive Book) A Medical Encyclopedia
Translated in Latin and printed 40 times between 1498-1866. It was
translated in English in 1848
Kitab al-Mulooki and Kitab al-Judari wa al – Hasabah
Maqalah fi al- Hasat fi Kuli wa al-Mathana
Kitab al-Qalb
Kitab al-Mafasil
Kitab-al- ‘Ilaj al-Ghoraba
200 outstanding scientific contributions; 100 deal with Medicine and 21
concern Alchemy. He also wrote on Physics, Mathematics, Astronomy and
His Achievements & Contributions
• First to draw clear comparisons between smallpox and chickenpox
• The first to use opium for anesthesia
• Pioneer of Neurosurgery & Ophthalmology
• Author of the 1st book of Pediatric
• The largest Medical Encyclopedia composed by then
Distinguished between Inorganic and Organic Chemistry
His Achievements & Contributions
• The first to produce Sulfuric Acid together with some other acids
• Prepared Alcohol by fermenting sweet products
• Introduced concepts of space & time as constituting a continuum
• Greatly influenced development of Science, in general, &
Medicine, in particular
• Designed about twenty instruments used in chemical
• “Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Zakariya Al-Razi (Rhazes), The
Greatest Physician of Islam and the Medieval Ages”
– George Sarton
• In May 1970 World Health Organization recognized Al-Razi’s
work on small pox and measels (Al-Judari-Wal-Hasbah)
• In 1930, thousand years of Al-Razi was celebrated in Paris,
• His picture hangs in the Hall of the Faculty of Medicine in the
University of Paris
Picture of Al-Razi, Stained Glass Window
Cambridge University Medical School, LONDON
Al - Haitham (Alhazen) 965 – 1040 CE
Basra in Iraq (Mesopotamia)
Father of Optics
Eye Diagram in 11th
Diagram of the Eyes and
Related Nerves From “Kitab
Al Manazir” in 11th Century
Books Written by him
• Mizan -Al-Hikmah - discusses the density of the atmosphere and
developed a relation between it and the height
• Kitab-Al-Manadhir - Exerted a great influence upon western
science e.g. on the work of Roger Bacon and Kepler - brought
about great progress in experimental methods
• His Monumental treatise on Optics survived through its Latin
His Achievements & Contributions
• Known for the earliest use of the camera obscura
• Carried out the first experiments on the dispersion of light
into its constituent colours
• The first to describe accurately various parts of the eye and
give a scientific explanation of the process of vision
• Made a thorough examination of the passage of light through
various media and discovered the laws of refraction
• Dealt at length with the theory of various physical
phenomena like shadows, eclipses, rainbow, and speculated
on physical nature of light
Ibn al-Haytham, physicist, mathematician, and engineer made
tremendous contributions to the scientific community; above
all, his theories on color and vision, refraction, and reflection
are by far his most significant.
-Damon J. Kopala
Devised first law of motion that body will move perpetually
until stopped by an outside force
– Danielle Hess
He disproved the “Emission” theory of vision by Euclid and
Ptolemy by using scientific method
– Encyclopedia Britannica
Harold Anderson – Bosch & Lomb
Ibn Ahmad Al-Biruni 973 - 1048 CE
Kheva, (present day Uzbekistan)
One of the Greatest Scientists of all times
Lunar Eclipse
An eight-geared lunisolar
calendar illustrated in AlBiruni's treatise on the
astrolabe, written in AD 996.
The design is much simpler
than that of the Antikythera
Mechanism, but is very
probably descended from it.
Books Written by him
Katib Al-Saidana (Indian Medicine): Kitab-al-Jamahir deals with the
properties of various precious stones
Kitab-Al-Hind (History and Geography of India): Al-Tafhim-li-Awail
Sina’at Al-Tanjim - a summary of Mathematics and Astronomy
Al-Athar Al-Baqia - connected account of ancient history of nations with
related geographical knowledge - Discussed rotation of the earth
Qanun-i Masoodi (Al-Qanun Al-Masudi, fi Al-Hai’a wa Al-Nujum) - on
Astronomy, Trigonometry, solar, lunar, and planetary motions and relative
His Achievements & Contributions
The first to undertake experiments related to astronomical
Scientific contributions include the accurate determination of the
densities of 18 different stones
Developed a method for trisection of angle and other problems which
cannot be solved with a ruler and a compass alone
His descriptions of India were so complete that even the Aein-iAkbari, 600 years later, owes a great deal to al-Biruni’s book
Al-Biruni knew that the Earth Rotates about its own axis, some 600
years prior to Galileo, and determined the Earth's Circumference
some 700 years prior to Newton
AL- IDRISI (DRESES) 1099 – 1166 CE
First Man To Draw World Map
Map of the World in
1154 by Idrissi
Books Written by him
• Rawd-Unnas wa-Nuzhat al-Nafs (Pleasure of men and delight of
souls) also known as Kitab al-Mamalik wa al-Masalik Another
Geographical Encyclopedia, larger than the former
• Al-Kitab al-Rujari (Roger’s Book), also entitled Nuzhat alMushtaq fi Ikhtiraq al-Afaq (The delight of him who desires to
journey through the climates) - a Geographical Encyclopedia of
the time, containing information not only on Asia and Africa, but
also Western countries.
His Achievements & Contributions
• Made available a large number of new drugs and plants together
with their evaluation to the medical practitioners.
• Gave the names of the drugs in six languages: Syriac, Greek,
Persian, Hindi, Latin and Berber.
• Made a planisher in silver for King Roger II
• Travelled far and wide in connection with his studies and then
flourished at the Norman court in Palermo. His major contribution
lies in Medicinal Plants (Botany) as presented in his several books,
especially Kitab al-Jami-li-Sifat Ashtat al-Nabatat.
His Achievements & Contributions
• Studied and reviewed all the literature on the subject of
medicinal plants till that time
• Contributed to Geography, especially as related to
Economics, Physical Factors and Cultural Aspects.
• Also wrote on Fauna, Zoology, and Therapeutical Aspects
• Geography books remained popular both in the East and the
West for several centuries
Al - Battani (Albategnius) 858 – 929 CE
Harran, Turkey
One of the Greatest Astronomers of his times
Books Written by him
• Zij - which is known to be more accurate than all
others written before that time
• His Most famous book an De scienta stellerum on
astronomical treatise with tables - De numeris
stellerum et motibus
His Achievements & Contributions
• Accurately determined solar year as being 365 days, 5 hours, 46
minutes and 24 seconds
• Provided very neat solutions by means of orthographic
projection for problems of spherical trigonometry
• Original discoveries both in Astronomy and Trigonometry of
great consequence in the development of these sciences
• Determined with remarkable accuracy the obliquity of the
ecliptic, the length of the seasons and the true and mean orbit of
the sun
• Rectified several orbits of the moon and planets and propounded
a new and very ingenious theory to determine the conditions of
visibility of the new moon
lbn Al Baitar 1248 CE
Malaqa, Spain
The Greatest Scientists of Muslim Spain &
the Greatest Botanist and Pharmacist of
the Middle Ages
Books Written by him
• His second monumental treatise Kitab al-Mlughni fi al-Adwiya
al-Mufrada is an Encyclopedia of Medicine. The drugs are listed
in accordance with their therapeutical value
• Kitab al-Jami fi al-Adwiya al- Mufrada, is one of the greatest
botanical compilations dealing with Medicinal Plants in Arabic enjoyed a high status among botanists up to the 16th century
His Achievements & Contributions
• Kitab al Jami – a systematic work that embodies earlier works, with
due criticism, and adds a great part of original contribution. The
encyclopedia comprises 1,400 different medicinal plants and
vegetables, of which about 200 plants were not known earlier
• Contributions characterised by observation, analysis and
• Provided names in Greek and Latin, paving way for transfer of
• Exerted a profound influence on Eastern as well as Western Botany
and Medicine
Contact Details
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MCH Colony, Asif Nagar,
Mobile :- 9247578583
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