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Ayesha Khadija Nabeela

on 30 April 2014

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Islamic Golden Age
One of these important fields was Islamic medicine, which saw medical practice begin to resemble our modern systems. Certainly, this period of the history of medicine was centuries ahead of Europe, still embedded in the Dark Ages.
Travel back to the Golden Age of the Islamic World (700-1700 CE), a time where ingenious Muslim scholars made scientific and technological breakthroughs that have influenced modern society. You'll be amazed at how many notable discoveries and inventions currently attributed to Western scientists were, in fact, first made by Muslim scholars. Engage with the interactive exhibition and be inspired by the amazing ancient Islamic inventions, brought to life with cutting edge technology.
During the medieval period, scientists in the Islamic world made many contributions to the field of astronomy. While their work was based on ancient sources from Greece, Iran, and India, they updated methods for measuring and calculating the movement of heavenly bodies, and continued to develop models of the universe and the movements of the planets within it.
Astronomy was important to Muslims for very practical and religious reasons:
Astronomy aided navigation for purposes of trade and travel, and it was
important in determining an accurate lunar calendar, prayer times and the
direction of Mecca.

The most commonly accepted theory of heart performance prior to Al-Nafis was that of Galen. Galen taught that the blood reaching the right side of the heart went through invisible pores in the cardiac septum, to the left side of the heart, where it mixed with air to create spirit, and was then distributed to the body. According to Galen's views, the venous system was quite separate from the arterial system, except when they came in contact through the unseen pores.
Islamic mathematical achievements were many as here outlined by Sabra [1]. Islamic scholars devised and successfully applied new and elaborate techniques of computations; they constructed sophisticated mechanical computers; devised methods for calculating with decimal fractions; took significant steps toward extending the concept of number inherited from the Greeks, so as to include irrational magnitudes as well natural numbers and common fractions
• Islamic mathematicians built on the work of Greek, Indian, Persian and
Chinese mathematicians
• Islamic mathematicians were interested in different number systems
• Developed algebra and geometry which was important in architecture
and other technologies

Al-Khwārizmī's contributions to mathematics, geography, astronomy, and cartography established the basis for innovation in algebra and trigonometry.
Perhaps one of the most significant advances made by Arabic mathematics began at this time with the work of al-Khwarizmi, namely the beginnings of algebra. It is important to understand just how significant this new idea was. It was a revolutionary move away from the Greek concept of mathematics which was essentially geometry. Algebra was a unifying theory which allowed rational numbers, irrational numbers, geometrical magnitudes, etc., to all be treated as "algebraic objects". It gave mathematics a whole new development path so much broader in concept to that which had existed before, and provided a vehicle for future development of the subject. Another important aspect of the introduction of algebraic ideas was that it allowed mathematics to be applied to itself in a way which had not happened before.
Muslim traders travelled extensively during the seventh and the ninth centuries .The most popular and outstanding travels are those of Ibn battutah. He was born in morocco in 1304 . Over a period of thirty years, Ibn Battuta visited most of the known Islamic world as well as many non-Muslim lands. His journeys included trips to North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa and Eastern Europe in the West, and to the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China. Ibn Battuta is generally considered one of the greatest travellers of all time

While there are numerous works on the role of Muslim women in jurisprudence (fiqh) and literature and there are also studies on Muslim women in education and in medicine- although on a much smaller scale-, few sources mention the role of Muslim women in the development of science and technology. There are isolated references that mention some of the famous women who had a role in advancing science and who established charitable, educational and religious institutions
Some examples are: Zubayda who pioneered a most ambitious project of digging wells and building service stations all along the pilgrimage route from Baghdad to Mecca, Sutayta who was a mathematician and an expert witness in courts, Dhayfa Khatun who excelled in management and statesmanship, Fatima al-Fehri who founded the Qarawiyin mosque and university in Fez, and the astrolabe maker Al-'Astrulabi, the rulers and queens Sitt al-Mulk, Shajarat al-Durr, Raziya of Delhi, and Amina of Zaria. In view of the growing importance of the subject of gender and women in society, this report presents what is currently known about some famous Muslim women, in the hope of initiating debate and starting the process of unearthing what could be a most significant find.
Aisha bint Abu Bakr who was the first female scholar with great eminence and a voice of authority in Islamic jurisprudence almost 1500 years ago. She was a university in herself.Prophet Muhammad fostered Aisha’s education and nurtured her intellectual pursuits. She was considered more knowledgeable than most of her male contemporaries in matters related to Qur’anic interpretation, poetry, medicine and history and men and women alike studied under her instruction. Aisha also rendered legal decisions (fatwa) and delivered speeches publically, powerfully and eloquently.
In point of fact, Aisha’s life represents a powerful model for Muslim women’s excellence in scholarship, political engagement and even military leadership. She excelled in public speaking, commanded an army on the battlefield and instructed both men and women in Islamic jurisprudence.
The name Fatima Al-Fihri crowns the annals of history with the distinction of having established the world’s very first university. Yes, it was a Muslim woman who pioneered a model of higher learning coupled with the issuance of degrees of various levels.
We are often taught about the wright brothers and how they invented the airplane . But we never knew that it was actually a muslim who first attempted to fly.
Abbas Al Firnas is known for the earliest attempt at aviation.He designed a water clock called Al-Maqata. He also devised means of manufacturing colorless glass by additions to the frit from which it was produced, and he developed a chain of rings that could be used to display the motions of the planets and stars. In 852, a daredevil named Armen Firman decided to fly off a tower in Córdoba using a huge winglike cloak to break his fall. He survived with minor injuries, and the young Ibn Firnas was there to see it. This was considered to be the first parachute.

There is an ingrained value in every Muslim, man and woman alike, to pursue knowledge and to learn about God's truth by studying the surrounding world. Prophet Mohammad (saws), advised his followers to seek knowledge wherever it can be found. In keeping with this value, Muslim women are continuing to make headway in the field of science
The quest for knowledge has always applied to women in Islam. God has made no difference between genders in this area. The Prophet (saws) once said: "Seeking knowledge is a mandate for every Muslim (male and female)." (Sahih Bukhari)

Prepared by-
Ayesha Fatima
Nabeela Safa
Khadija Anam

International Indian School, Riyadh
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