Muslim scientists and inventors, including Arabs, Persians and Turks, were probably hundreds of years ahead of their counterparts in the European Middle Ages. They drew influence from Aristotelian philosophy and Neo-platonists, as well as Euclid, Archimedes, Ptolemy and others. The muslims made innumerable discoveries and wrote countless books about medicine, surgery, physics, chemistry, philosophy, astrology, geometry and various other fields.
This article discusses the most famous muslim scientists and inventors and their wonderful inventions.
Abu Nasr Al-Farabi (872 – 950)
Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi, also known as the Mu’alim Thani (Second Teacher) of the East, was born in 870 AD in Farab, a city now almost non-existent, in mid Turkey. Al-Farabi wrote more than one hundred books in Arabic on philosophy, science, medicine, music, etc. His observations on Aristotle and Plato were remarkable. It is due to him that all other philosophers after him were able to recognise them. He is the first Muslim writer of encyclopedic knowledge and the father of mantiq (Islamic logic). He is the man who gave correct and practical demonstration of syllogism with examples, and he is the one who introduced several modes of deductive method.Al-Farabi was the first to study society, and he is, in this respect the forerunner of Ibn Khaldun, another great historian and social scientist.
Al-Battani (858 – 929)
Al-Battani is sometimes known by a latinised version of his name, variants being Albategnius, Albategni or Albatenius.Al-Battani’s great astronomical work Kitab al-Zij (De motu stellarum) exercised a great influence on European astronomy. in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. He determined the most accurate length of the year – 365 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes and 24 second. He calculated the annual precession of the equinoxes, and for the inclination of the ecliptic. First to replace the use of Greek chords by sines & developed the concept of cotangent. He recognized the possibility of an annular eclipse of the sun and obtained the very accurate value of 23°35′ for the obliquity of the ecliptic.
Ibn Sina (980 – 1037)
Ibn Sina was the most famous of the philosopher-scientists of Islam.
Ibn Sina, or Avicenna, was born in Bukhara then a leading city in Persia. His youth was spent in the company of the most learned men of his time and he became accomplished in all the sciences and arts. Ibn Sina collected in over 100 books the entire scientific knowledege of his time and is called the “Prince of Science”. He spent the last years of his life in Hamadan, where he composed the ‘Canon of Medicine’, which is among the most famous books in the history of medicine.
Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi (780 – 850)
Al-Khwārizmī in full Muḥammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi lived in Baghdad, where he worked at the “House of Wisdom” (Dar al-Ḥikma) under the caliphate of al-Maʾmun. al-Khwarizmi was a great Muslim mathematician and astronomer whose major works introduced Hindu-Arabic numerals and the concepts of algebra into European mathematics. Latinized versions of his name and of his most famous book title live on in the terms algorithm and algebra.