THE GOLDEN AGE OF ISLAM

The Scientific Spirit of Islam is a direct result of the teachings of Imams ( SA)

The best example is that of Jabir ibn Hayyan ( 721 – 813 AD) known as the Father of Chemistry all around Europe.

Jabir was a follower of Imam Sadiq ( SA) and here I quote his own words – ‘ I am nothing but the spokesperson of my master’ s ( Imam Jafar as Sadiq) doctrines and teachings…’

Jabir’s entire scientific pursuit was based on the esoteric knowledge derived from Imam ( SA)

Islam teaches that in order to understand each aspect of Creation, there is a specific methodology of putting nine simple questions to understand rationally. This is the first step in scientific enquiry. If you are fortunate to attend ‘ sabaks’ you will surely get a complete understanding.

Il’m ul Adad ( Numericals ) is an important teaching of Islam.
Jabir based his scientific research on this knowledge gained from attending sabaks of Imam ( SA)

Just one example. La Ilah il lal Lah has in all 28 alphabets. Now based on this there is whole corpus of research on the properties of different metals by Jabir.

According to him each metal has two exteriors and two interior qualities. ( For the sake of brevity I am not elaborating or the write up will be too long )

Each quality has four degrees and and seven sub divisions, thus all adding to 28 !!

Contribution of Jabir ibn Hayyan – a summary.

He devised and perfected sublimation, liquefaction, crystallization, distillation, purification, amalgamation, oxidation, evaporation, and filtration. He also wrote about how chemicals combined, without loss of character, to form a union of elements together that were too small for the naked eye to see.

Jabir vastly increased the possibilities of chemical experiments by discovering sulfuric, nitric, and nitro-muriatic acids, all now vitally important in the chemical industry.

He also built a precise scale, which weighed items 6,480 times smaller than the ratl (ratl=1 kilogram or 2.20 pounds), and noticed in certain conditions of oxidation, the weight of metal was lessened. Some of Jabir ibn Hayyan’s writings include the Great Book of Chemical Properties, The Weights and Measures, The Chemical Combination, and The Dyes. Among his greatest contributions to the theory of chemistry were his views on the constitution of metals, and these survived with slight alterations and additions until the beginning of modern chemistry in the 18th century.

What is important to understand is – it all was the direct result of the teachings of Imam Jafar as Sadiq ( SA )

Hope this ‘ write up’ will motivate youngsters to pursue ‘Scientific Reserch’ based on Fatemi Uloom.

Al-Biruni ( 973 – 1050 AD )was well versed in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and natural sciences, and also distinguished himself as a historian, chronologist and linguist. He studied almost all fields of science. He travelled to India and in all wrote 161 books !!

Al -Khāzini flourished during 1115–1130 AD) and was an Iranian astronomer of repute.

Both of them flourished during the Golden Age of Islam. Here I would like to amaze you with the fact that, both of them, eight centuries ago were so close in their calculation of specific weight of metals, Emeralds and Quartz.

 

Why share ?

To understand and appreciate , to feel proud of the Scientific Spirit of Islam resulting from Teachings of Quran and Sayings of Nabi ( SA) Moulana Ali ( SA) and our Glorious Imams ( SA) who encouraged and nurtured Scientific and rational thinking at a time, centuries before Renaissance in Europe.

I read somewhere that Einstein had to wait for more than a year to solve a problem, and he finally found the answer after a friend of his sent a Theory propounded by another Scientist, a century ago.

Now with Internet, our searches are a ‘click’ away.

This gives us an idea of the great devotion to Islamic Teachings and hard work done by Muslim Scientists and Philosopher.

Healing and Hospitals during the Golden Age of Islam

In Medieval Islam Medical care was free and sophisticated. In them was the best medical knowledge, dispensed for free !!
Why so ?
In Islam there was generally a moral imperative to treat all the ill regardless of their financial status.
This gives us an idea of how teaching of Islam helped the society in general, specially the marginalized.

Were they better off ? Reflect

Open the link to read a letter of a French citizen taking treatment at a Muslim Hospital in Cordoba ( Spain) and be amazed.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11WghH3oiuTBr7SVrmoP6mHaIszFRIHZcfeTS4qy1YYU/edit?usp=drivesdk

The facilities they used were custom designed and surgical instruments were outstanding. Forceps are just one of the instruments still in use.
Cataract operations, regular vaccination, internal stitching and bone setting were practised and taught in teaching hospitals.
Islamic Hospitals  ( known as ‘bimaristan’  ) began in 8th Century Baghdad.
The first proper hospital was The Ahmad ibn Tulun built between 872 – 874 AD  in Cairo where medicine and treatment were free ! 

It boasted a rich library. Here the in coming patients deposited their worn clothes, and valuables  cleansed themselves in bath, both separate for males and females, and were made to wear their ward clothes.

Our Fatemi Imams ( SA) were also  great patrons of learning and here sharing information on one Hospital, there  were several others, established  with generous endowments.  
 
Al-Bimaristan Al-‘Atiq, at Fustat also known as the ‘Upper’ as compared to a later one, located downtown, called the ‘Lower’. It had adequate equipment and abundant supplies to fulfil its mission in serving the needs of poor and rich alike. With a well furnished library and two bath-halls for men and women, this hospital continued its services to the community’s health and educational needs for almost four centuries, up to the Mamluk period in the fourteenth century.
 
The ‘Lower’ hospital was built in 957 CE. Its wards and kitchen were well stocked with plenty of food and drug supplies besides equipment needed for the apothecary shop. It also had spacious rooms for a library and lecture halls to promote teaching and useful medical knowledge. In these hospitals, while the sick were treated and healed, the health professionals received training.

Just to name a few.
Baghdadi Bimaristan built-in 982 AD having a staff of twenty four doctors.
Nuri Bimaristan in Damascus.
The 9th Century al- Qyrawan was a state of the art institute.
Cairo boasted of three hospitals. The most famous Mansuri Hospital was built in 1284 AD.

It is worth reading the Constitution of Mansuri Hospital 

‘ It’s ( the Hospital) duty is to give care to the ill, poor men and women until they recover. It is at the service of the powerful and the weak, the poor and rich, subject and Prince… ‘

During this Golden Age many renowned Hospitals came up across the Muslim World.
Attached to the larger hospitals—then as now—were medical schools and libraries where senior physicians taught students how to apply their growing knowledge directly with patients. Hospitals set examinations for the students and issued diplomas. The institutional bimaristans were devoted to the promotion of health, the curing of diseases and the expansion and dissemination of medical knowledge.
The modern West’s approach to health and medicine owes countless debts to the Muslim practise and approach to Healing, resulting from the Teachings of Islam.

Medical Instruments.
 
In Tenth Century Spain was a cutting the edge surgeon named Abdul Qasim al Zahrawi  (known  Abdulcasis in Europe)
He is credited with developing over two hundred surgical tools.
 
Using instruments for surgery was a revolutionary concept because it enabled science to change from speculative to experimental. 
 
In his book al – Tasrif a section is devoted to designing of surgery instruments and the surprising fact is that the designs are so accurate that they had only a few changes in following thousand years !!
 
 
 Al – Zahrawi has a list of many first in Surgery. To name just one, he introduced catgut for internal stitching, which was in use till recently when synthetic absorbed  polymers were developed recently. 
 
Other noteworthy in this specialized fields were Al Razi and Ibn Sina.
 

Up & Close with Bu Ali Sina

Bu Ali Sina known as Avicenna in the West is known as ‘ Galen of Islam’ and for his contribution in Philosophical and Medical Science all member countries of UNESCO celebrated his thousand Birth Day in 1980. !!

Generally all Medivial Muslim thinkers were polymaths.
Polymath is a person who excels across a diverse range of areas. Bu Ali Sina was one of the towering great.

His contribution to Philosophy and other sciences were no less than that in medicine.

List of his Works.
43 in medicine
24 in Philosophy  – I have had an opportunity to read a few of his works and there are mind boggling.
26 in Physics
31 in Theology
23 in Psychology
15 in Mathematics
22 in Logic
5 in Quran Commentary.

His Canon ( Al Qanun fi al Tibb) is his most important work  The fourth book in Canon deals with Bone Fractures. It also lists142 properties of Herbal Medicines. In the Canon he lists 700 medical preparations, their properties and results.  

The Theory of Delayed Splintage and what is known as  Bennet Fracture were discussed by him first. 

The ‘Canon’ remained in medical teachings as late as 17th Century. In Brussels it was taught till 1909.

Another important contribution by Medieval Muslim Scientists was in the field of Ophthalmology.  

The Muslim eye surgeons between 10th & 13 th Centuries were performing operations and writing about their findings. In all 30 books were written out of them 14 are still exists today.

” During the total darkness in Medieval Europe the Muslims lighted and fed the lamps of Ophthalmology ” Proffesor  J. Hirschberg addressing American Medical Association in 1905.

Noted contribution in this field of Science was done my al – Mawsili – Ali ibn Isa – Al Razi  – Muhammad ibn Qasim.

ALLAH never inflicts a disease unless He makes a cure for it. ‘

‘ ALLAH has sent down the disease and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically,”

The above and sayings and similar injunctions became the guiding light of medical treatment and studies.

This post is dedicated to my son -in- law Dr. Aliasgar who has been treating Covid patients since the start of the Pandemic. Request readers to remember him in your Dua. Shukran 

http://www.hikmaah.com 

 

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