Outline the emergence of Arabs from the Ottoman Empire to independent nation states. In your last paragraph, how positive or negative was this development and why? (there are boxes in the reading, please do not include them in the paper)
During C9-C13, Muslim contributions to secular and religious sciences were several. First, The House of Wisdom was established in Baghdad during Al- Mamun’s reign; which was to bring together all the scientific knowledge that existed in the empire in one location to learn from each other. This House was once a university, library, translation organization and a research lab. It was said that if a book was translated into Arabic, the translator would be given that book’s weight gold – so people from all over the world rush for this! So, Arabic united people from different backgrounds.
Muslims impact on mathematics was enormous. By understanding mathematics they could discover principals that control the natural rules and with that there will be more appreciation for God. Al- Khwarizmi was a great mathematician who was the first to lay the groundwork for future math advances and adopted the Indian numerical system and he developed algebra. Another mathematician who found methods for solving cubic equations was Omar Khayyam. The studies from mathematics laid the basis for the study of the stars (astronomy) and the Muslims were the first to develop this. It was easy by then to determine a certain location by navigation. Later, geography grew out of astronomy. Geographers now were able to calculate the earth’s diameter and circumference without modern technology! Those geographers have also mapped the world.
Muslim developments in medicine picked up where the ancient Greek stopped. Al- Razi, was the first to challenge the ideas of a Greek physician. He developed accurate cures to coughs, headaches, and constipation; he also has a medical encyclopedia. He concluded that diseases can be spread through air, water, or soil and that each disease is unique and must be treated in a special way. IbnSina also wrote about the connection between mental and physical health and that negative thoughts can cause diseases. Talking about physics, Ibn Al- Haytham focused on the studies of light and conducted many experiments concluding that light was composed on rays that travel in straight lines. Without his studies in optics, cameras would not be possible now! Also, he established the scientific method which all scientists use today.
During this period, the Islamic studies were developed. Fiqh applies to everything from criminal law, how to conduct hadith from Abu Baker and his followers is not to be trusted. According to them the line of imamas ended with Al- Mahadi who is hidden. Their ideology became a danger to Islam and the Abbasid government rushed to refute this ideology.
Finally, I see that all contributions were important and in one way or another they all interconnected. The most important to me was the Medicine. With Al- Razi’s work to cure certain health problems and helping the poor for free, and with IbnSina’s descriptions for breast cancers, ulcers, kidney diseases, and his medical encyclopedia and discoveries that later lead to the building of several hospitals all in all created the foundations that many physicians – Muslims they are not – work on today. Health is something important and curing severe diseases could help reduce pain and in many causes stop death. We should always give credit then to the “Muslim” physicians who based the foundations for a human’s health.
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