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Sharm

How Islamic inventors changed the world

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Sharm

Sorry if this is in wrong section or been posted :)

How Islamic inventors changed the world

From coffee to cheques and the three-course meal, the Muslim world has

given us many innovations that we take for granted in daily life. As a new

exhibition opens, Paul Vallely nominates 20 of the most influential- and

identifies the men of genius behind them

Published: 11 March 2006 (Independent UK)

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/scienc...ticle350594.ece

1 The story goes that an Arab named Khalid was tending his goats in the

Kaffa region of southern Ethiopia, when he noticed his animals became

livelier after eating a certain berry. He boiled the berries to make the

first coffee. Certainly the first record of the drink is of beans exported

from Ethiopia to Yemen where Sufis drank it to stay awake all night to pray

on special occasions. By the late 15th century it had arrived in Mecca and

Turkey from where it made its way to Venice in 1645. It was brought to

England in 1650 by a Turk named Pasqua Rosee who opened the first coffee

house in Lombard Street in the City of London. The Arabic qahwa became the

Turkish kahve then the Italian caffé and then English coffee.

2 The ancient Greeks thought our eyes emitted rays, like a laser, which

enabled us to see. The first person to realise that light enters the eye,

rather than leaving it, was the 10th-century Muslim mathematician,

astronomer and physicist Ibn al-Haitham. He invented the first pin-hole

camera after noticing the way light came through a hole in window shutters.

The smaller the hole, the better the picture, he worked out, and set up the

first Camera Obscura (from the Arab word qamara for a dark or private room).

He is also credited with being the first man to shift physics from a

philosophical activity to an experimental one.

3 A form of chess was played in ancient India but the game was developed

into the form we know it today in Persia. From there it spread westward to

Europe - where it was introduced by the Moors in Spain in the 10th century -

and eastward as far as Japan. The word rook comes from the Persian rukh,

which means chariot.

4 A thousand years before the Wright brothers a Muslim poet, astronomer,

musician and engineer named Abbas ibn Firnas made several attempts to

construct a flying machine. In 852 he jumped from the minaret of the Grand

Mosque in Cordoba using a loose cloak stiffened with wooden struts. He hoped

to glide like a bird. He didn't. But the cloak slowed his fall, creating

what is thought to be the first parachute, and leaving him with only minor

injuries. In 875, aged 70, having perfected a machine of silk and eagles'

feathers he tried again, jumping from a mountain. He flew to a significant

height and stayed aloft for ten minutes but crashed on landing - concluding,

correctly, that it was because he had not given his device a tail so it

would stall on landing. Baghdad international airport and a crater on the

Moon are named after him.

5 Washing and bathing are religious requirements for Muslims, which is

perhaps why they perfected the recipe for soap which we still use today. The

ancient Egyptians had soap of a kind, as did the Romans who used it more as

a pomade. But it was the Arabs who combined vegetable oils with sodium

hydroxide and aromatics such as thyme oil. One of the Crusaders' most

striking characteristics, to Arab nostrils, was that they did not wash.

Shampoo was introduced to England by a Muslim who opened Mahomed's Indian

Vapour Baths on Brighton seafront in 1759 and was appointed Shampooing

Surgeon to Kings George IV and William IV.

6 Distillation, the means of separating liquids through differences in

their boiling points, was invented around the year 800 by Islam's foremost

scientist, Jabir ibn Hayyan, who transformed alchemy into chemistry,

inventing many of the basic processes and apparatus still in use today -

liquefaction, crystallisation, distillation, purification, oxidisation,

evaporation and filtration. As well as discovering sulphuric and nitric

acid, he invented the alembic still, giving the world intense rosewater and

other perfumes and alcoholic spirits (although drinking them is haram, or

forbidden, in Islam). Ibn Hayyan emphasised systematic experimentation and

was the founder of modern chemistry.

7 The crank-shaft is a device which translates rotary into linear motion

and is central to much of the machinery in the modern world, not least the

internal combustion engine. One of the most important mechanical inventions

in the history of humankind, it was created by an ingenious Muslim engineer

called al-Jazari to raise water for irrigation. His 1206 Book of Knowledge

of Ingenious Mechanical Devices shows he also invented or refined the use of

valves and pistons, devised some of the first mechanical clocks driven by

water and weights, and was the father of robotics. Among his 50 other

inventions was the combination lock.

8 Quilting is a method of sewing or tying two layers of cloth with a layer

of insulating material in between. It is not clear whether it was invented

in the Muslim world or whether it was imported there from India or China.

But it certainly came to the West via the Crusaders. They saw it used by

Saracen warriors, who wore straw-filled quilted canvas shirts instead of

armour. As well as a form of protection, it proved an effective guard

against the chafing of the Crusaders' metal armour and was an effective form

of insulation - so much so that it became a cottage industry back home in

colder climates such as Britain and Holland.

9 The pointed arch so characteristic of Europe's Gothic cathedrals was an

invention borrowed from Islamic architecture. It was much stronger than the

rounded arch used by the Romans and Normans, thus allowing the building of

bigger, higher, more complex and grander buildings. Other borrowings from

Muslim genius included ribbed vaulting, rose windows and dome-building

techniques. Europe's castles were also adapted to copy the Islamic world's -

with arrow slits, battlements, a barbican and parapets. Square towers and

keeps gave way to more easily defended round ones. Henry V's castle

architect was a Muslim.

10 Many modern surgical instruments are of exactly the same design as

those devised in the 10th century by a Muslim surgeon called al-Zahrawi. His

scalpels, bone saws, forceps, fine scissors for eye surgery and many of the

200 instruments he devised are recognisable to a modern surgeon. It was he

who discovered that catgut used for internal stitches dissolves away

naturally (a discovery he made when his monkey ate his lute strings) and

that it can be also used to make medicine capsules. In the 13th century,

another Muslim medic named Ibn Nafis described the circulation of the blood,

300 years before William Harvey discovered it. Muslims doctors also invented

anaesthetics of opium and alcohol mixes and developed hollow needles to suck

cataracts from eyes in a technique still used today.

11 The windmill was invented in 634 for a Persian caliph and was used to

grind corn and draw up water for irrigation. In the vast deserts of Arabia,

when the seasonal streams ran dry, the only source of power was the wind

which blew steadily from one direction for months. Mills had six or 12 sails

covered in fabric or palm leaves. It was 500 years before the first windmill

was seen in Europe.

12 The technique of inoculation was not invented by Jenner and Pasteur but

was devised in the Muslim world and brought to Europe from Turkey by the

wife of the English ambassador to Istanbul in 1724. Children in Turkey were

vaccinated with cowpox to fight the deadly smallpox at least 50 years before

the West discovered it.

13 The fountain pen was invented for the Sultan of Egypt in 953 after he

demanded a pen which would not stain his hands or clothes. It held ink in a

reservoir and, as with modern pens, fed ink to the nib by a combination of

gravity and capillary action.

14 The system of numbering in use all round the world is probably Indian

in origin but the style of the numerals is Arabic and first appears in print

in the work of the Muslim mathematicians al-Khwarizmi and al-Kindi around

825. Algebra was named after al-Khwarizmi's book, Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah,

much of whose contents are still in use. The work of Muslim maths scholars

was imported into Europe 300 years later by the Italian mathematician

Fibonacci. Algorithms and much of the theory of trigonometry came from the

Muslim world. And Al-Kindi's discovery of frequency analysis rendered all

the codes of the ancient world soluble and created the basis of modern

cryptology.

15 Ali ibn Nafi, known by his nickname of Ziryab (Blackbird) came from

Iraq to Cordoba in the 9th century and brought with him the concept of the

three-course meal - soup, followed by fish or meat, then fruit and nuts. He

also introduced crystal glasses (which had been invented after experiments

with rock crystal by Abbas ibn Firnas - see No 4).

16 Carpets were regarded as part of Paradise by medieval Muslims, thanks

to their advanced weaving techniques, new tinctures from Islamic chemistry

and highly developed sense of pattern and arabesque which were the basis of

Islam's non-representational art. In contrast, Europe's floors were

distinctly earthly, not to say earthy, until Arabian and Persian carpets

were introduced. In England, as Erasmus recorded, floors were "covered in

rushes, occasionally renewed, but so imperfectly that the bottom layer is

left undisturbed, sometimes for 20 years, harbouring expectoration,

vomiting, the leakage of dogs and men, ale droppings, scraps of fish, and

other abominations not fit to be mentioned". Carpets, unsurprisingly, caught

on quickly.

17 The modern cheque comes from the Arabic saqq, a written vow to pay for

goods when they were delivered, to avoid money having to be transported

across dangerous terrain. In the 9th century, a Muslim businessman could

cash a cheque in China drawn on his bank in Baghdad.

18 By the 9th century, many Muslim scholars took it for granted that the

Earth was a sphere. The proof, said astronomer Ibn Hazm, "is that the Sun is

always vertical to a particular spot on Earth". It was 500 years before that

realisation dawned on Galileo. The calculations of Muslim astronomers were

so accurate that in the 9th century they reckoned the Earth's circumference

to be 40,253.4km - less than 200km out. The scholar al-Idrisi took a globe

depicting the world to the court of King Roger of Sicily in 1139.

19 Though the Chinese invented saltpetre gunpowder, and used it in their

fireworks, it was the Arabs who worked out that it could be purified using

potassium nitrate for military use. Muslim incendiary devices terrified the

Crusaders. By the 15th century they had invented both a rocket, which they

called a "self-moving and combusting egg", and a torpedo - a self-propelled

pear-shaped bomb with a spear at the front which impaled itself in enemy

ships and then blew up.

20 Medieval Europe had kitchen and herb gardens, but it was the Arabs who

developed the idea of the garden as a place of beauty and meditation. The

first royal pleasure gardens in Europe were opened in 11th-century Muslim

Spain. Flowers which originated in Muslim gardens include the carnation and

the tulip.

"1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World" is a new

exhibition which began a nationwide tour this week. It is currently at the

Science Museum in Manchester. For more information, go to

www.1001inventions.com

Edit- article pasted twice, deleted second.

Edited by UniversalAbsurdity

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Zeeshan - (Twisted!)

Very Right Sharm.

Please Take care of Posting in right area

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angrycrustacean

Nice find. The Muslims of the Middle Ages were extremely advanced for their time.

However, I think that list/article is biased, i.e. wrtten by a Muslim. I sincerely doubt that any man could stay aloft for 10 minutes with a glider made from silk and eagle feathers. Even the Wright brothers, who were geniuses in their own right, only stayed in flight for around 30 seconds on their first flight, and they had motors to help them. Since that part of the article is flawed, I quesiton the validity of the rest.

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Pax Unum

1 The story goes that an Arab named Khalid was tending his goats in the

Kaffa region of southern Ethiopia, when he noticed his animals became

livelier after eating a certain berry. He boiled the berries to make the

first coffee. Certainly the first record of the drink is of beans exported

from Ethiopia to Yemen where Sufis drank it to stay awake all night to pray

on special occasions. By the late 15th century it had arrived in Mecca and

Turkey from where it made its way to Venice in 1645. It was brought to

England in 1650 by a Turk named Pasqua Rosee who opened the first coffee

house in Lombard Street in the City of London. The Arabic qahwa became the

Turkish kahve then the Italian caffé and then English coffee.

Coffee was first discovered in Eastern Africa in an area we know today as Ethiopia. A popular legend refers to a goat herder by the name of Kaldi, who observed his goats acting unusually frisky after eating berries from a bush. Curious about this phenomena, Kaldi tried eating the berries himself. He found that these berries gave him a renewed energy. The news of this energy laden fruit quickly spread throughout the region.

Monks hearing about this amazing fruit, dried the berries so that they could be transported to distant monasteries.They reconstituted these berries in water, ate the fruit, and drank the liquid to provide stimulation for a more awakened time for prayer.

Coffee berries were transported from Ethiopia to the Arabian peninsula, and were first cultivated in what today is the country of Yemen.

History of Coffee

Ethiopians invented coffee... I have doubt's about the camera obscura as well....

The Camera Obscura is a device that is used to project an image without the aid of a lens. The idea of the Camera Obscura is said to date back to Aristotle though the camera was not invented until 1267 AD. A tinker named Bacon was the first to bring to life Aristoles ideas.

The Camera Obscura

Edited by Pax Unum

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Zeeshan - (Twisted!)

Ok Wait.

Camera Obscura a.k.a Pinhole Camera was invented by Abu Ali Hassan Ibn-al-Haitham (965-1039 A.D) He Worked Mostly in Optics and wrote a book called "Kitab-ul-Manazir" (Book of Vision).He Figured out the Phenomenon of Sun Ecilipse.

Another Scientist called Al-Beruni (973 A.D) worked in Mathematics, Cosmology,Geography,History,Culture, Civilizations,Achaeology,Comparative Religions,Geology , Chemistry and Biology.He Worked in finding out Densities of Metals.

Dr. Abdus Salam (Pakistani Scientist)

(1926)

He was one of the Greatest Scientists of Pakistan. He Presented Grand Unification Theoryand won a Noble Prize for it is 1979.

Claws and Peace.....

Zeeshan

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Raducu

I wonder how coffee can be assimilated with a scientific invention!?! The most important “invention” of Arabic culture was the 0 to 9 numbers. The math was infernal in the times of Roman numbering.

drug and alcoholic treatment center

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Revolvr

The claim of inventing Chess is interesting. Chess is Haraam in Islam - forbidden. Chess destroys the mind; intelligence suffers derangement with this game. It creates hatred among people.

Backgammon is also Haraam.

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Incorrigible1

Explosives belts.

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Condescending

LOL!

Yeah I guess this proves lying is not a sin in islam atleast

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Revolvr

I believe about 160 Nobel Prizes in science have been given to Jews. Two have been given to Muslims. (Not sure about Christians).

It's NOT that Muslims are dumb. And of course Islam is not a race anyway. So why would so few Muslims be involved in science? It has to do with the Islamic worldview. Muslims are taught that anything that happens is Allah's will. Don't understand it? Allah did it. This philosophy tends to depress scientific thought.

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1.618

A lot of the OP's post doesn't ring true. For anyone who can be arsed to search, there was a similar thread several months ago which was thoroughly enjoyable.

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Mademoiselle

Some people should really do some research before they attack an OP . Just the word "muslim" ...just this word .. turns on the attack mode .

Pathetic .

Interesting post . Thanx Sharm.

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chrisfreak

I wipe my bum with water, and I believe it came from Arab tradition. I think it is mentioned the Al Quran as well.

I prefer this method than others

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Cristian

Guess who invented the drug rehab.... I don't want to spoil the mistery and I will let you find out...

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1.618
Some people should really do some research before they attack an OP . Just the word "muslim" ...just this word .. turns on the attack mode .

Pathetic .

Interesting post . Thanx Sharm.

Sama, the word muslim does not affect what i have said. My previous post still stands.

As salaam

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ships-cat

The OPA is an old one, and includes half-truths, guesses, and outright deception. (although some of them MAY have a basis in fact).

There was an Islamic tradition of scholarship, but the Caliphate mainly focused on codifying and exploiting the "inventions" of the nations that it conquered. The Caliphates great triumph was that - as it expanded - it acted to disseminate ideas and inventions. This was either through trade, direct invasion, or by causing populations to flee from the advancing armies into new territories, taking their idea's and customs with them. (as happened in the case of Constantinople).

It is worth noting that the most recent 'innovation' listed was the introduction of shampoo into Britain in 1759. This begs the question; what have the Islamic nations been doing in the 250 years since that ? Of the 779-odd Nobel Prize winners (as of 2007), only 11 came from "Islamic" countries, and of these, only 2 where for science; the rest where for "peace". Egypt accounted for 5 of these prizes, the others where Pakistan, Turkey, Bangladesh, Algeria, Albania, and "Palestine" (Yasser Arrafat). Belgium has had as many Laureates as the entire Islamic World. Even Israel, with a population of only 7 million, managed 8.

(source = Wikipedia )

Meow Purr.

Edited by ships-cat

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starfish89
I believe about 160 Nobel Prizes in science have been given to Jews. Two have been given to Muslims. (Not sure about Christians).

It's NOT that Muslims are dumb. And of course Islam is not a race anyway. So why would so few Muslims be involved in science? It has to do with the Islamic worldview. Muslims are taught that anything that happens is Allah's will. Don't understand it? Allah did it. This philosophy tends to depress scientific thought.

MANY muslims are involved in science.

It is not an Islamic belief or custom to disregard science. In fact, Islam is one of the only religions that perfectly COINCIDES with science. Learning about the world is encouraged in Islam and is considered a very important quality.

You've touched upon the point though, not as many have been given to muslims, because well, you just said it, they're devout, they have beards, they believe in Allah. So why would the west even consider it?

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hetrodoxly

People post these lists from time to time and most are just lies, crankshaft and flying can be dismissed without even checking.

Muslims didn't invent anything, persians, iranians, etc. might have, the real question is why did it stop? i'll answer that, the spread of Islam it stifled progress and as kept these countries in the middle-ages.

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MID
MANY muslims are involved in science.

It is not an Islamic belief or custom to disregard science. In fact, Islam is one of the only religions that perfectly COINCIDES with science. Learning about the world is encouraged in Islam and is considered a very important quality.

You've touched upon the point though, not as many have been given to muslims, because well, you just said it, they're devout, they have beards, they believe in Allah. So why would the west even consider it?

Perfectly, huh?

What religion, no matter what, "perfectly" coincides with science?

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Splodgenessabounds

I think there are some people here who arn't giving Islam enough credit. We wouldn't have rock 'n' roll as we know it today without Muslim culture. Elvis, The Beatles, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, none of them would have existed if it hadn't been for the Moors bringing the oud with them in the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the 8th century. The oud gave way for the lute and latin guitar and the latin guitar over time turned into the guitars (qitar in Arabic) we know today.

That for me (sadly enough) is more important than anything anyone has done in history.

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little_dreamer

The Muslim world was more advanced than Europe in the Dark Ages, but Islamic inventors have been resting on their laurels for a few hundred years.

Other than the United Arab Emirates, there aren't too many centers of innovation in the Muslim world lately.

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MID
I think there are some people here who arn't giving Islam enough credit. We wouldn't have rock 'n' roll as we know it today without Muslim culture. Elvis, The Beatles, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, none of them would have existed if it hadn't been for the Moors bringing the oud with them in the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the 8th century. The oud gave way for the lute and latin guitar and the latin guitar over time turned into the guitars (qitar in Arabic) we know today.

You have got to be kidding...

What an incredible association!

The oud ? It was a step along the way of the modern guitar's many hundreds of years of evolution, which can be traced back into Asia and India millenia ago.

The oud is a step along the path of that evolution, occurring with other innovations in different areas at the same time.

Comparing the oud to a modern Martin is like comnparing a rhesus monkey with a human being.

Declaring that rock and roll wouldn't have existed without Islamic oud influence is nonsense. Rock and Roll had nothing to do with ouds...

It had to do with Rickenbacher and Fender...a couple electric 6 string guitars, a boogie woogie blues rhythm, and a heavy backbeat on snare drum. Elvis, the Doors, the Beatles, and Led Zepplin had no relation, nor inheritance from ouds...

The Beatles (George Harrison, specifically) of course picked up on the sitar, which is a much more direct anscestor of the modern guitar...

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