Islam and science

Islam and science
Science and Islam are closely related Indeed, Muslims view science as an essential element of human survival.

This sounds strange. We often think of religion as the opposite of science. Was there not a long and endless war between science and Christianity? Did not the Church persecute Galileo? But this ‘war’ between ‘science’ and ‘religion’ was only western. There is no partner for such hostility in Islam.

In contrast, Muslims encourage the pursuit of scientific knowledge right from the start. The Prophet Muhammad – who himself was illiterate – emphasized that the material world can only be understood by scientific research.. He valued science rather than intensive worship and declared: ‘Studying the hour by nature is better than the prayer of the year’. That is why he instructed his followers to ‘listen to the words of a scientist and concentrate on the study of science’ and ‘go as far as China in search of knowledge’.

Islam and science
Islam and science

The Quran, which Muslims believe to be the very Word of God and which clearly distinguishes it from the words of Prophet Muhammad, places great emphasis on scientific knowledge. The first word of the Quran revealed to Muhammad is ‘Read’. It refers to, among other things, the study of ‘the signs of God’ or a systematic study of nature. It is a fundamental belief of Islam that the material world is full of divine attributes; and these symptoms can only be identified by rational and purposeful questioning. Gain knowledge of all things’, the Quran advises its readers; and pray: ‘God raise me up in my knowledge’. One of the most quoted verses in the Quran reads: “Indeed in the heavens and in the earth are the signs of the believers; and in your creation, and in the moving things that you scatter, there are signs for people who have certain faith, and in the change of night and day, and the goods that God sends from heaven, and raises up the earth when it is dead. , and by the turning of the spirits, there are signs for those who understand ”(45: 3-5).

So science and Islam, and should be, are the natural relatives of the beds. It was a religious motivation that inspired science in Islamic civilization in ancient times, from the eighth to the fifteenth century. Ignorance of science has plunged the modern-day Islamic world into poverty and inadequacy. The revival of Islam and the subsequent emergence of modern Islamic culture require a serious absorption of the spirit of science in Muslim societies.

We can see a clear demonstration of the close relationship between Islam and science in early Islamic history. The original basis for scientific knowledge was based on religious needs. The need to determine the precise timing of daily prayers and the direction of Mecca from anywhere in the Islamic world, establishing a proper date for the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan and the requirements of the Islamic lunar calendar (which requires observation of the new moon) circular trigonometry. Islamic legacy laws led to the establishment of algebra. The religious need for the annual trip to Mecca produced a great deal of interest in geography, mapping, and travel tools.

Given the special emphasis placed on Muslims by reading and questioning, as well as the great responsibility taken by Muslims to assist themselves in this work, it was natural for Muslims to be well versed in ancient knowledge. Encouraged by the authorities, the translation teams lovingly translated Greek thinking and learning into Arabic. But Muslims were not satisfied with copying the Greek knowledge; they try to apply their teachings and apply their principles to their problems, discovering new goals and approaches. Scholars such as al-Kindi, al-Farabi, ibn Sina, ibn Tufayl, and ibn Rushd put Greek philosophy into detailed study.

At the same time, much attention has been paid to the study of nature. The science of exploration, as we understand it today, originated in Islamic civilization. The ‘scientific method’ came from the work of scientists such as Jabir ibn Hayan, who laid the foundations for chemistry in the late eighth century, and ibn al-Haytham, who invented optics as the experimental science of the tenth century. From astrology to animal studies, there was no study area for Muslim scientists who did not pursue it or make the first contribution. The nature and extent of this scientific business can be demonstrated by the four so-called ‘Golden Age Islamic’ institutions: scientific libraries, universities, hospitals and scientific observatories (especially, space instruments such as celestial bodies, astrolabes, sundials and observatories).

The most famous library is the ‘House of Wisdom’, founded in Baghdad by Abbasid Caliph al-Mamun, which played a major role in capturing scientific knowledge throughout the Islamic empire. In Spain, Cordoba’s Caliph Hakam II library contained a staggering 400,000 volumes. Similar libraries existed from Cairo and Damascus to Samarkand and Bukhara. The world’s first university was founded at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo in 1970. It was followed by dozens of other urban universities such as Fez and Timbuktu. Like universities, hospitals – where treatment was provided free of charge – were also centers of training and theoretical and artistic research.

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