CSSIslamic History

Q.8 Write notes on the following: (10 each) (i) Scientific achievements during Abbasids rule. (ii) Dissemination of Muslim learning in the West. 2017

(i) Scientific achievements during Abbasids rule:

The Abbasid period, which lasted from 750 to 1258 CE, was a time of great scientific advancement in the Islamic world. During this period, Muslim scholars made significant contributions to fields such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, chemistry, and optics. Some of the notable scientific achievements during Abbasids rule are:

  1. Algebra: The word “algebra” comes from the Arabic word “al-jabr,” which means “reunion of broken parts.” The Muslim mathematician Al-Khwarizmi is credited with developing algebra as a distinct mathematical discipline.
  2. Astronomy: Muslim astronomers made significant contributions to the study of the heavens. They improved upon the Ptolemaic model of the solar system and developed instruments such as the astrolabe to measure the positions of the stars.
  3. Medicine: Muslim physicians such as Al-Razi and Ibn Sina (also known as Avicenna) made significant contributions to the field of medicine. They wrote influential medical texts that were studied in Europe for centuries.
  4. Optics: Muslim scholars made important discoveries in the field of optics, including the principles of reflection and refraction of light.
  5. Chemistry: Muslim chemists such as Jabir ibn Hayyan (also known as Geber) made significant contributions to the field of chemistry. They developed new chemical processes and experimented with different materials to create new substances.

(ii) Dissemination of Muslim learning in the West:

Muslim learning spread to the West in a number of ways. One of the most important channels of dissemination was through the translation of Arabic texts into Latin. During the High Middle Ages, European scholars translated many Arabic works into Latin, which helped to introduce Muslim learning to the West.

Some of the most influential works that were translated from Arabic into Latin include:

  1. The works of Al-Razi and Ibn Sina (also known as Avicenna) on medicine.
  2. The works of Al-Khwarizmi and Al-Kindi on mathematics.
  3. The works of Alhazen (also known as Ibn al-Haytham) on optics.
  4. The works of Jabir ibn Hayyan (also known as Geber) on chemistry.

In addition to translations, Muslim learning also spread to the West through the travels of European scholars to the Islamic world. For example, the famous scholar Gerbert of Aurillac, who later became Pope Sylvester II, studied in Muslim Spain and brought back many Arabic texts to Europe.

Finally, Muslim learning also had an indirect influence on the West through the works of Jewish and Christian scholars who lived in the Islamic world. These scholars, such as Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas, were influenced by Muslim learning and incorporated it into their own works.

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