Science. When we think of it we envisage progress, and we all appreciate it for it's capacity to enrich our lives and make our lives better. "The only thing that is constant is change" - this is a phrase we can relate to science because of it's nature of always advancing. It reflects our nature as humans of continually striving to make things better than before. From the early man, advances in science has always made our lives better to solve the problems we encounter in our everyday lives. Nowadays, we are astonished to see the progress of science reach an exponential rate.
Today, the West, America in particular, seemingly is scientifically more advanced than anyone else. However, this was not always the case. Science itself is something we see today that is sometimes lacking in the respect it deserves. We see many examples of the mis-application of science, or science being used for bad instead of good. We also see some cases where the progression of science has been held back due to the interests of an entity. A good example of this is Hollywood, who in the 1980s delayed the release of CDs and DVDs for about 10 years while it sought a solution to the problem of film piracy. On a more serious note, we see examples of science being held back with the consequences being life or death.
In the West's history books there is no mention of Islam's scientific contribution to the world, and they deliberately refer to this time period as "The Dark Ages". Dark for who? Themselves only.
The progress of science in any field is going to depend on the problem at hand and the necessity or yearning to solve that problem. This itself will be encompassed by the financial support afforded to the situation. We do not see enough resources for science being used for the problem of saving peoples lives where it's really needed, e.g.. in the Third World countries. However, the problems of the Third World tend to be more of an economic nature, often accompanied by a corrupt political regime. This itself is a topic for another time.
As mentioned earlier, it was not always the case that the West were the most scientifically advanced in the world, despite what they want to portray in their history books, films and the media. There was a civilisation that was so far advanced that scientifically they were at one time almost a millennia ahead of the West (i.e. this being just Europe at the time). That civilisation was Islam and the time period we are referring to here is about 650ce to 1500ce and beyond. In the West's history books there is no mention of Islam's scientific contribution to the world, and they deliberately refer to this time period as "The Dark Ages". Dark for who? Themselves only.
How could he have discovered the Americas if there were already people there?
Coinciding with this time period, the Muslims ruled Spain and made it by far the most advanced country in Europe. It earned many accolades and was far superior scientifically, socially, culturally and even culinary, compared to the rest of Europe. The Muslims in Spain, referred to as the Moors, were originally from North Africa. The culinary delights they brought to Europe resulted in the phrase "Moorish" to describe something tasty. In 1492 Columbus "discovered" the Americas. Just a thought: How could he have discovered the Americas if there were already people there? This again is a topic for another time.
Also in 1492, in the shadow of Columbus, the implementation of the Spanish Inquisition by The Christians saw the forcible conversion of both Muslims and Jews. Those that refused conversion to Christianity were killed, and those that managed to escape made the exodus to Istanbul, the capital of The Islamic State at the time. The Jews refer to their habitation in Istanbul at that time as their "golden era", because they were able to live in peace as citizens amongst the majority Muslim population, and were able to thrive in their businesses. This again is mentioned in very few history books, and barely taught in schools in the western world. We wonder why?
So we've observed in history, as a fact, that Muslims and Jews can live together in peace. It's also true from historical records that Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in the same place at the same time in peace. Why is it so hard for them to do so now? What's the difference? Well here's a clue: look at who's in charge. No, not the president, prime minister or dictator - we mean the ideological system. And yes, Islam is an ideology and a complete way of life.
...we consider it a bare faced cheek that their predecessors, at the time of the West's renaissance, claimed most of the Muslim scientists' discoveries for themselves.
Western scientists today are generally admired for their efforts, and even revered by those that seek to disprove the existence of The Creator. However, we consider it a bare faced cheek that their predecessors, at the time of the West's renaissance, claimed most of the Muslim scientists' discoveries for themselves. Few people in the West acknowledge or mention Islam as being the catalyst and single point of reference for the West's sudden advancement in all spheres of life. Why? Quite simply, most don't know because of the West's ultra biased education system, and most of those that do know deliberately remain silent, and instead poor scorn on Islam. The scorners can find absolutely nothing good to say about Islam. Jealousy is one word that comes to mind.
The Muslim scientists paid tributes and made references to their predecessors of scientists of the Greeks, Persians, Chinese, Indians and more. They took what the scientific predecessors had done and built upon it, making advancements in many areas, and making discoveries that at the time can only be described as the "cutting edge of science". A good example of this is the scientist Abbas Ibn Firnas, who had built a glider and successfully tested it by flying off a hill or cliff. This was in the 9th century, about almost 1000 years before successful attempts of such were made in Europe. So much for Leonardo Da Vinci, and we now see that his ideas were not indeed original in any sense, but were more than likely from the achievements of Muslim scientists hundreds of years before.
There were many areas in which Muslim scientists engaged and excelled. To name but a few, we have mathematics, chemistry, biology, gynecology, physics, astronomy, optics, navigation, military, architecture, cryptology, hygiene, sociology, culinary, etc. Most of the Muslim scientists were experts in many different scientific disciplines at the same time. In 10th century CE, another example of brilliance was scientist Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi, dubbed "the father of modern surgery". He was an excellent doctor and surgeon, and he actually invented more than 200 surgical instruments (e.g. syringe, forceps, scalpels, etc., which are still being used in surgical procedures up until now. At the same time in the 10th century CE in parts of Europe, it was actually against the law for doctors to practice surgery, as it was considered to be butchery.
In mathematics, the Muslim scientists really excelled and we cannot pass by without mentioning Muḥammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmī. He was the pioneer of algebra. The Latin word for his name is Algoritmi, and the words Algorism and algorithm stem from this. The word "algebra" is derived from "al-jabr", which is part of the two operations used to solve quadratic equations. We'll study a whole range of Muslim scientists and their achievements in more detail in the future.
Muslims scientists were experts in navigation as well. This was the result of their advancement in astronomy. Few people know that Columbus had Muslim navigators for his voyage to the Americas. It's also well known that the Europeans used to think that the Earth was flat, and if you sailed too far out to sea you'd sail off the end of the Earth. Muslims never thought this, because they were informed in The Qur'an that the Earth was round. Another astonishing fact is that Muslim voyagers were in America 500 years before Columbus. This fact has been well hidden to say the least. We'll also cover this in more detail in the future.
One major influence was The Qur'an itself, which has so many scientific "clues" embedded in it's content.
In the Qur'an it mentions that the Earth revolves around the Sun, but in Europe it is well known that pre-renaissance they thought the Sun revolved around the Earth. You were considered to be a heretic by the Church if you dared to think otherwise. Maybe the Church simply just wanted to oppose anything Islam said. Who knows? This clearly shows how religion held back science, but no way can the same be said about Islam. In fact, Islam had quite the opposite effect in it's relationship with science. The majority of the scientists were practicing Muslims, and considered the practice of science as an act of worship. This makes Islam truly dynamic from a scientific point of view.
What was it that made the Muslim scientists so advanced as compared to everyone else at that time? One major influence was The Qur'an itself, which has so many scientific "clues" embedded in it's content. Being Muslims gave the scientists the yearning to push science by finding solutions to man's basic problems - thus truly serving mankind, instead of the motivation being monetary.
Muslims often get jibed about "wanting to go back to the time of the camel", if they desire to want to implement Shariah. The people opposing Islam are either incredibly ignorant, because they do not know history at all, or incredibly insincere, whereby they do know history but choose to conceal it. The real victim here is the truth itself. The former group is implying that from the time of the camel (i.e. from the time of Prophet Muhammad (phuh)) there was no advancement in science, and Islam never contributed anything useful to the world. If only they knew. The truth, quite simply, is at the opposite end of that spectrum. As for the latter group - well they simply cannot handle the truth. In comparison, how old is Shariah compared to democracy? In other words, 1400 years in comparison to ancient Greece? Just a thought.