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Muslims Contribution to Science

6 years ago427 views

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What is the contribution of the Islamic civilization to science? In the Western world's account of history, the contribution of the Muslim civilization is usually ignored. Even when it is recognized, the contribution is seen as mere keepers of ancient Greek texts, which were later passed on to Europe. However, historians of science have given an honorable place to the contributions of the Muslim civilization with regards to science. " The debt of our science to that of the Arabs does not consist in startling discoveries or revolutionary theories; science owes a great deal more to Arab culture, it owes its existence." (Robert Briffault, 1919) Diane Boulanger argues in her paper that including information about the Islamic contribution to science in science classes both in private and public schools will motivate Muslim children to become scientifically literate. The Islamic civilization has made an enormous contribution in the fields of astronomy, paper industry, chemistry, medicine, mathematics and optics. Muslims have always had a special interest in astronomy. The moon and the sun are of vital importance in the daily life of every Muslim.By the moon, Muslims determine the beginning and the end of the months in their lunar calendar. By the sun the Muslims calculate the times for prayer and fasting. It is also by means of astronomy that Muslims can determine the precise direction of the Qiblah, to face the Ka'bah in Makkah, during prayer. The most precise solar calendar, superior to the Julian, is the Jilali, devised under the supervision of Umar Khayyam. Muslim mathematicians excelled in geometry, as can be seen in their graphic arts, and it was the great Al-Biruni (who excelled also in the fields of natural history, even geology and mineralogy) who established trigonometry as a distinct branch of mathematics. Other Muslim mathematicians made significant progress in number theory. Shabir Ally holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, with a specialization in Biblical Literature, and an M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Quranic Exegesis. He is now in his third year of PhD studies in Quranic Exegesis at the University of Toronto. Shabir is the president of the Islamic Information & Dawah Centre International in Toronto where he functions as Imam. He travels internationally to represent Islam in public lectures and interfaith dialogues. He explains Islam on a weekly television program called 'Let the Quran Speak'. The Topic: Muslims Contribution to Science A talk by Shabir Ally 

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