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Muslim’s Contribution to Science. Presented by M.A.Lateef Atear. Topics. 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.

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Muslim’s Contribution to Science

Presented byM.A.LateefAtear

  • 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
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 Allah
  • 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
Pre-Islamic Science

Greek Philosophy

  • Hippocates ( 460-377 BC) Socrates (469-399 BC), Plato (427-347 BC), Aristotle (384-322 BC)
  • Hypothetical, speculative and imaginary
  • No evidence of experimentation
islamic era of science
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
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
Importance of observation in Quran

Say : “Behold all that is In the heavens and on earth”

(Sura Yunus 10:101)


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
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
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

major books written by him
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
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, non-metals and volatile substances and the law of constant proportions
  • 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

field of contributions
Field of Contributions
  • Hafiz
  • Physician
  • Islamic Philosopher
  • Astronomer
  • Chemist
  • Logician
  • Mathematician
  • Poet
  • Psychologist
  • Sheikh
  • Soldier
  • Statesman
  • Theologian
books written by him
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 Medicinewhich 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 quality.“
  • "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 effect
  • 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 west.

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”


abbas ibn firnas armen firman 810 887 ce izn rand onda al andalus today s ronda spain
Abbas Ibn Firnas ( Armen Firman) 810-887 CE Izn-Rand Onda, al-Andalus (today's Ronda, Spain)

First Man to Fly

his achievements contributions1
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 c rdoba spain
El Zahrawi (Albucasis) 936 – 1013 CE Córdoba, Spain

Father of Surgery

Surgical Instruments by

Al Zahrawi

books written by him1
Books Written by him
  • At-Tasrif - a medical Encyclopedia spanning 30 volumes which included sections on Surgery, Medicine, Orthopaedics, 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 contributions2
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 Pare
  • 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 Surgeons”
mohammad bin musa al khawarizmi

Greatest Mathematician that Ever Lived / Astronomer / Geographer

books written by him2
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 contributions3
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 contributions4
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
books written by him3
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 contributions5
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 neuropharmacology
books written by him4
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 health)
  • Elaborated the function of the coronary arteries as feeding the cardiac muscle
  • Donated his house, library and clinic to the Mansuriya Hospital in Cairo, where he also served
his achievements contributions6
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 contributions
nasir al din al tusi 1201 1274 ce kadhimain near baghdad iraq
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 him5
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 contributions7
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 time
  • 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 contributions8
His Achievements & Contributions
  • Instrumental in establishment and progress of Maragha observatory
  • 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 meta-physics, 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
Ibn Zakariya Al-Razi (Rhazes) 864 - 930 CE Ray, Iran

One of the Greatest Physicians of all times


major books written by him1
Major Books Written by him
  • Kitab al- Mansoori
  • Al-Hawi 22 Volumes(The Comprehensive Book) A Medical EncyclopediaTranslated 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
  • Jami-fi-al-Tib
  • 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 Optics
his achievements contributions9
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 investigations

“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, France
  • 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
Picture of Al-Razi, Stained Glass Window Cambridge University Medical School, LONDON
al haitham alhazen 965 1040 ce basra in iraq mesopotamia
Al - Haitham (Alhazen) 965 – 1040 CEBasra in Iraq (Mesopotamia)

Father of Optics

Eye Diagram in 11th Century

Diagram of the Eyes and Related Nerves From “Kitab Al Manazir” in 11th Century

books written by him6
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 translation
his achievements contributions10
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

ibn ahmad al biruni 973 1048 ce kheva present day uzbekistan
Ibn Ahmad Al-Biruni 973 - 1048 CEKheva, (present day Uzbekistan)

One of the Greatest Scientists of all times

Lunar Eclipse

An eight-geared lunisolar calendar illustrated in Al-Biruni'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 topics
his achievements contributions11
His Achievements & Contributions
  • The first to undertake experiments related to astronomical phenomena
  • 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-i-Akbari, 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 ceuta spain

First Man To Draw World Map

Map of the World in 1154 by Idrissi

books written by him7
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 al-Mushtaq 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 contributions12
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
Al - Battani (Albategnius) 858 – 929 CEHarran, Turkey

One of the Greatest Astronomers of his times

books written by him8
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 contributions13
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
lbn Al Baitar 1248 CEMalaqa, Spain

The Greatest Scientists of Muslim Spain & the Greatest Botanist and Pharmacist of the Middle Ages

books written by him9
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 contributions14
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 classification
  • Provided names in Greek and Latin, paving way for transfer of Knowledge
  • Exerted a profound influence on Eastern as well as Western Botany and Medicine
contact details
Contact Details

H.No. 10-2-544,

MCH Colony, Asif Nagar,


Mobile :- 9247578583



“Knowledge without action is like a tree without fruit.”