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Inventions by Muslim Scientists that changed the World – Part 1

Muslim Scientists

WRITTEN BY

Yumna Mahmood
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Allah has granted Muslims with miraculous powers. Since the beginning of time, Muslims not only ruled the world, but Muslim Scientists also came up with bazillions of inventions. From their various scientific experiments which contributed in field of medicine to their vast knowledge about astronomy i.e. sun, moon, stars; they introduced the world with numerous hidden powers of the Universe. Furthermore, they also contributed in various other field of science i.e. chemistry, biology, mathematics, chemistry, geography and much more. Few of the big names of Islamic History, like Jabir Bin Hayan, Khwarizmi and Ibn Battuta enlightened the world by their endless knowledge and made their Mark, their inventions not only contributed in the days of yore, even in present day their remarkable work is considered as worth its weight in gold. This is the first part of the series covering few of the most praiseworthy contributions by Muslim scientists in various scientific fields.

Algebra

Algebra

Q: Who invented algebra? A: A Clever X-pert

We use algebra in our daily life without even realizing its importance, Algebra was first invented by a Muslim Persian Mathematician Al-Khwarizmi. He was one of the Renowned Muslim Mathematician who came up with the first idea of raising number into power; many other Muslim mathematicians like Al-Khayyam and Sharaf al-Dīn al-Ṭūsīi introduced the world to algebraic geometry and solved cubic equations. Moreover, Al-Khwarizmi and Al-Kindi were the first to introduce Numerical Numbering which became popular worldwide.

Mechanism of Breathing

Human Heart

Hey Greek, You broke my heart the wrong way.

Although the circulation of blood was first studied by Greek physicians, who said that blood moves from the right to left ventricle of heart through invisible passages of septum, however Ibn al-Nafis an Islamic Syrian Physician proved that theory wrong and accurately predicted that blood travels from right to left ventricle through the lungs, where lungs purify the blood making it able for human body to survive. His work didn’t get much attention till 20th century.

Cryptography

Cryptography

They made it possible to hide your secrets.

Cryptography is an art of writing or solving codes, this technique might look modern but in actual fact, it is a thousand years old technique. The first explanation of cryptanalysis was given by an Arab Mathematician Al-Kindi in his treatise “ A manuscript on deciphering cryptographic messages”. He was the first one to suggest that Quran discovered the letter frequency and every Arabic letter has a certain frequency, in his treatise, he also described the first frequency analysis method.

Refinement

Refinement of Water

Water purifier? You read that right!

Jabir ibn Hayyan, a prominent Muslim chemist and also known as father of chemistry, was the primary one who came up with the process of distillation for separating different liquids. He also introduced many of the other processes of Refinement in Alchemy i.e. Evaporation, filtration, purification, oxidation and crystallization. These processes are even frequently used in today’s chemistry.

Surgery

Ancient Surgery

We should all be thankful to Al Zahrawi, In one way or another

A Muslim surgeon Named Al Zahrawi brought the world into contact with surgery, therefore also known as father of surgery , he invented hundreds of surgical instruments in which few of them are even used widely in present day i.e. precision scissors, needles, bone saws etc. He is also the author of one of the most influential books of medicine Kitab Al Tasrif, which includes the treatment of over hundred deceases and various methods of surgeries.

Length of the solar year

astronomy

Fun with starts

A Muslim Astronomer named Al-Battani was the first one to calculate the length of the solar year, he came up with the astronomic and numeric tables which were used to find the direction of Qibla as it was important to Muslims. Moreover, he also predicted the movement of sun, moons and other planets in the solar system.

Quadratic equations

Quadratic Equations

The equation we all loved in our maths class

From some of the major contributions of Muslims in mathematics, Quadratic equations is one of their inventions. A Persian Muslim Mathematician Abul Wafa Buzjani and Poet developed many quadratic equations numerous of them are still in use. He also solved thirteen forms of cubic equations.

Law of Refraction

Making Lenses

Yes he made you get rid of those nerdy glasses!

Law of refraction which is used to find the relationship between angle of incidence and refraction, also known as Snell’s law was invented by a Persian Muslim Physician Ibn Sahl. In his manuscript “On Burning Mirrors and Lenses” He presented different shapes of lenses that focus light with no geometric aberrations and produced first Aspheric lenses.

Shape of earth

Earth

Alas! Some people can’t jump off the end of the world.

Muslim astronomers were very quick on the uptake, they precisely calculated the shape of earth as sphere, and five hundred years later of their inventiom, Galileo said that Muslims calculations about the shape of earth were very accurate. Many of the leading Muslim mathematicians also invented spherical trigonometry.

Vaccinations and Drugs

Edward Jenner vaccinating a boy

Edward Jenner vaccinating a boy. Oil painting by E.-E. Hillemacher, 1884.
1884 By: Eugène-Ernest

Muslims Contributed Widely in Medicine, the process of vaccination was also first introduced by Muslim scientists for the treatment of small pox in Turkey, Later it was introduced to Europe by Turkish. The initial process of using plants as medicine to cure deceases was also introduced by Muslims. A very Notable scientist Ibn Sina author of book “Al Qanun Fil tibb” contributed hugely in the field of medicine, which described several Pharmacological Methods and hundreds of drugs. Moreover, Mercuric chloride which is used to heal wounds was also invented by Muslims.

No Great Invention was made without Enthusiasm – Ralph Emerson

Other Parts of the Series

Inventions by Muslim Scientists that changed the World – Part 2

Inventions by Muslim Scientists that changed the World – Part 3

Inventions by Muslim Scientists that changed the World – Part 4

9 Responses

  1. No doubt Muslim scientists provided the base through experiments ,observations and calculations on which the buildings of today’s inventions are made.

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