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Ibn Sina – Medieval Islamic medicine

By | 2017-07-27T09:21:41+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Uzbekistan Ibn Sina (known to Europeans as Avicenna) was a scientist. He was born about 980 AD in the north-eastern part of the Abbasid Empire. That was in the kingdom of the Samanids. (It's modern Uzbekistan.) The Samanids supported science and art, so many scientists and artists lived there. Ibn Sina's father was the Iranian governor of a local [...]

Ibn Rushd – Medieval Islamic Science

By | 2017-07-27T09:07:56+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Islam, Philosophy, Science|

Cordoba mosque Since the time of Socrates, many people have tried to figure out how science and religion can both be true at the same time. Ibn Rushd, like the earlier ibn Sina and al-Ghazali, was part of an important movement to try to combine Aristotle's scientific description of the world with religious views to create a unified [...]

Ibn al-Haytham – Medieval Islamic science

By | 2017-07-27T09:02:18+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Diagram of an eye, by Ibn al-Haytham (ca. 1000 AD) Ibn al-Haytham was born about 965 AD in Basra, near the Persian Gulf (modern Iraq), and when he grew up he went to Cairo, then a rich university center under Fatimid rule, and became a scientist. Al-Haytham first worked on a plan to build a dam across the Nile [...]

Medieval Islamic astronomy

By | 2017-07-27T08:58:38+00:00 July 27th, 2017|History, Islam, Science|

Islamic astronomers taking observations West Asian astronomers had been world leaders in astronomy for thousands of years before the Islamic conquests in the 600s AD. In the last centuries BC, West Asian astronomers had already figured out that the earth was a ball, and that the earth went around the sun, and how big the earth was, and that the moon went [...]

al Tusi – Discoveries of Islamic astronomy

By | 2017-07-27T08:30:46+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Al Tusi in his observatory (ca. 1259 AD) Nasir al Tusi was born in Iran in 1201 AD, as the Seljuk Empire was falling apart. The Seljuks were Turkic people. But al Tusi, like most of the people living near him, was of Iranian descent. He spoke Persian at home. He was from a Shiite, Sufi family. Al Tusi's father died when he [...]

al Tabari – Medieval Islamic medicine

By | 2017-07-27T08:11:05+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Al Tabari's homeland in Tabiristan Al Tabari was from a Christian family in the Abbasid Empire, near the Caspian Sea (modern Iran). His father, Sahl, was himself a doctor who proposed a new treatment for epilepsy. Al Tabari was born about 838 AD. When he grew up, he moved to Baghdad, where there were other scholars to talk [...]

Al Razi – Medieval Islamic science

By | 2017-07-27T08:06:18+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

A manuscript copy of Al Razi's writing (from 1094 AD) Al Razi was born in Iran, in the Samanid kingdom, in 865 AD, when Iran was part of the Abbasid Empire. The Samanids were traders who encouraged education and the arts, and many scientists and artists lived in their kingdom. Al Razi seems to have started out as [...]

al Nafis – Discoveries of Islamic scientists

By | 2017-07-27T08:02:08+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Illustration in Ibn al Nafis Ibn al Nafis was born in Syria in the early 1200s AD, just as the power of the Seljuks was collapsing. He studied medicine in Damascus (in Syria) at first, but then moved to Cairo, in Mamluk Egypt, to work with the best doctors of his time (and maybe to escape the Mongol [...]

Al Ghazali – Medieval Islamic science

By | 2017-07-27T07:47:47+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Tomb of the scholar Qabus, Gurgan, Iran (built about 1010 AD) Al Ghazali was born in northern Persia in 1058 AD, under the rule of the Seljuks. His father followed Sufism. But he died when Al Ghazali was still a boy. One of his father's friends took al Ghazali and his brother in. When Al Ghazali [...]

What is Sufism? History of Islam

By | 2017-07-26T23:49:20+00:00 July 26th, 2017|Islam, Religion|

Sufi dancers Not long after the foundation of Islam and the life of Mohammed, about 650 AD, there were people who became known as Sufis (SOO-fees). Sufis can be Sunni or Shiite. These people wanted a more direct relationship with God. Instead of just doing things like praying or good deeds, or the Hajj to Mecca, Sufis wanted to experience the greatness of [...]