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 How Islam Inspired Scientific Advance

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Nombre de messages : 526
Date d'inscription : 04/10/2006

MessageSujet: How Islam Inspired Scientific Advance   Mar 15 Mai - 16:09

Salâm `aleykoum,

Un long article en anglais qui vaux vraiment le detour:
How Islam Inspired Scientific Advance

Citation :
The centuries of Islamic supremacy are best caught in the words of Scott:

"The genius of the Arabian people advanced rapidly in the path of civilisation, while the dense and sluggish intellect of the northern barbarians, who, in their origin, were not less ignorant, remained stationary. It took Spain, under the Moslems, less than half a century to reach a point in human progress, which was not attained by Italy under the popes in a thousand years. The capacity of the Muslim mind to absorb, to appropriate, to invent, to develop, to improve, has no parallel in the annals of any race. [8]"

Pedersen notes "The rooting of intellectual life in religion, the basis of Muslim society," He continues "created a respect for it such that rulers and rich men opened their doors to the representatives of the intellectual life and frequently lavished large sums of money on them. [9]"

Islam is said to be responsible for the fantastic tales of bags of jewels and gold paid for a few pages of a rare pharmacological or astronomical manuscript and also of travel of thousands of miles in search of a person who might provide an insight into a mathematical problem [10]. Thousands upon thousands became seekers of knowledge, criss-crossing the vast Muslim land mass of the Asian, African and European continents in order to acquire and disseminate knowledge among Muslims and non Muslims alike [11]. This is not surprising considering the numerous sayings of Prophet Muhammad praising learning.

Citation :
he practice of Islam, as a faith, itself, spurred scientific growth in its very fundamentals, and fundamentally. Arithmetic was desirable because it enabled Muslims to calculate inheritances and to count days and years; geometry helped find the direction of the Qiblah and the pilgrimage routes, and from astronomy Muslims could determine the beginning of Ramadan and the great feasts, and fix the time for prayers [32]. The Muslims considerably improved techniques of astronomical observation and cartography because they needed accurate determination of positions for the correct orientation of the mosques [33]. During the period of installation and consolidation of Muslim power in Spain and of the Maghrib, Djebbar explains, medicine and calculation were the first scientific disciplines to have benefited from teaching, followed by the publication of works, and this to respond to the needs of certain well-to-do ranks of society of the cities, or to the solicitations of lawyers for the solution of certain problems such as those involved in land measurement or in the partitioning of inheritance [34]. Djebbar dwells on the Moroccan mathematician, Ibn al-Banna, whose Tanbih al-albab contains precise mathematical answers to the calculation of the drop of irrigation canals, the arithmetical explanation of a verse of the Qur'an concerning inheritance, the determination of the hour of the third daily prayer, the enumeration of delayed prayers which have to be said in a precise order, the exact calculation of legal tax in the case of a delayed payment, etc [35].

Citation :
The Muslim predecessors, the Greeks, above all, excelled at speculation; under the Muslims, knowledge through istidlal (calling for evidence), seeking through evidence to make the unknown known, became fundamental. Istidlal, Al-Faruqi noted, implies "observation of the data and their examination through experimentation, measurement and more observation...[39]". In following such a precept, Ibn al-Nafis declared that dissection had proven both Galen and Ibn Sina wrong; whilst al-Biruni refused to accept any statement without testing it in experience and confirming it by examination [40]. They developed instruments to correct and expand the sensory evidence, and would repeat experiments as a means to test results and avoid error. Jabir ibn Hayyan had a special name for scientific experiment, al- tadrib; and ibn al-Haytham called it al-itibar [41].' It is this search of absolute accuracy, as demanded by the faith, which imposed itself upon Islamic sciences, and this is why Muslim science embraced the knowledge of the sky and stars (astronomy) as well as surgery and ophthalmology in so precise and meticulous attention for detail that amazes us today [42]. This is also why the Muslims were the first to devise accurate sea charts, and their maps guided navigators precisely in the then big unknowns and mysteries of the seas and oceans. This is why the Muslims were never happy with the ineptitude and inaccuracies of Greek science. This is also why the Muslims carried precise observations and devised extremely accurate instruments [43]. The Muslims achieved a great deal such as making measurements of weights and densities that modern day science agrees with, designing mechanical gears that revolutionised engineering; designing and constructing dams that still function in Spain today, and wrote pharmaceutical formula still current [44], and so on and so forth.

Wa salâm.
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