Research Paper: Islamic Contributions to the West

Pages: 5 (1612 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion  ·  Buy for $19.77

Islamic Contributions to the West

This study has focused on the major contributions brought by the civilization of Islam to the west. It shows the origins of Islamic modern civilization, science, and predominance of Islamic science and education for more than hundred years in the world. Therefore, the study begins with the origins of civilization of the Islam from the west, gracious living art, material life, commerce, sciences, experimental methods, rationalism, and the Muslim influence on western philosophy (Wallace 45).

The introduction of Islam to the west started during the renaissance regime. This period was marked by main advancements in the field of health; in terms of cleanliness in the common Islam bathing custom; astronomy, education and many other sciences including mathematics. Islam made quite recommendable contributions in the medieval Europe, which affected key areas such as technology, language, music, agriculture, medicine, architecture, and art. Europe gained knowledge from the civilization of Islam from 11th up to the 13th century. One of which they absorbed was the rekindling of classic texts of ancient times; the most common one was by the natural philosopher of Greek Aristotle from Arabic retranslations (Bat and David, 49).

Islam preserved, nurtured, and quenched the thirst for learning in the wet. In the 10th century, Cordoba was the most civilized city of Europe. Lending libraries that existed in Spain during King Alfred Era were common and created problems with the art of cookery in this country. History has it that 400,000 volumes in the library of the ruler totaled to more books than all the books combined from all the libraries in the rest of Europe. This was possible because the world of Muslims acquired the skill of paper making from China. This was 400 years when the rest of Europe was non-Muslims. Most of the characters in which modern Europe is proud of, are being sourced from Muslim Spain. Hospitals, variety of medicines, fashion etiquette, anthropology techniques, academic research techniques, open, boarders, free trade, and diplomacy originate from this great city (Yaran, 57).

The medieval times Islam was much tolerant to its era allowing Christians and the Jews the freedom to practice the beliefs they had inherited and acted as role models who were never emulated in the west for many centuries. The most surprising fact is that Islamic has existed in Europe for a long time. It started in Spain, then the Balkans, and the intensity of its contribution towards civilization. These in many cases, were often thought of as western, which is wrong. Islam has always been there and so it is part of the past and the present in all the arenas of human endeavor. It is a pillar in the development of modern Europe (Abdel, 94).

The world of Islam made significant scientific advances such as trigonometry, spherical, geology, chemistry, algebra and so on. These advances were later on transmitted to the West. Stephan of Pise translated a medical theory in Arab manual to Latin around 1127. Persian al-Khwarizmi was the man behind the development of the algorism method for using the Indian Arabic numerals in arithmetic. This took place in the 9th century where Fibonacci Leonardo introduced it in Europe. The translation of the algebra that was done by Robert from Chester was discovered as early as 1445. Ibn al-Haytham gathered optical sciences treatises. Later on Descartes and Newton used them. Citing evidence from testimonies of crusaders, the development of medical sciences was also high. In most occasions, the mentioned crusaders (Yaran, 46) depended upon the doctors.

In the same century, following the civilization of Islam, the Muslim medicine became one of the significant and most common facets. Muslims were very good at one of this science branches. Most of the Muslim physicians did their studies in the west. This was due until the 19th century. Although the west led in medical education, Islamic medicine has been adopted, practiced, and studied on a minor scale (Christopher, 23). The Islamic school of medicine got established as early as the Islamic history, thus very important. The reason for this significance is the intrinsic value it has, and the close links it has maintained with other sciences more so philosophy. Hakim the Wiseman has been in existence for as long as the history of Islam started writing itself. He was a physician and a core figure in the transmission and propagation of sciences. Hakim is a name for both the physician and the sage, which shows the link the two have and their relation. According to Islamic history, many popular scientists and philosophers were physicians. Some of these philosophers include Averroes and Avicenna. Same was the case with philosophers of the Jewish community in the Islam world. Maimonides was a very great thinker and a physician for the Saladin (Abdel, 98).

The initial Muslim generation depended on simple medicine. This medicine was based on what later came to be termed as prophet medicine. Islam had most of their concerns focused on hygiene and medicine as a guide for human life aspects. Many verses can be quoted from the Quran that are concerned with medical questions. On another note are saying quoted from prophets that relate to hygiene, sickness, health and issues to do with medicine. Guidance from the prophets has become a determination for the diet and hygiene habits of many Muslims. After the translations of medical texts from Sanskrit, Pahlavi, and Greek into Arabic, there had been created a platform for the world's greatest physicians (Bat and David, 88). Their work enjoyed dominance in the field of Islam medicine. Some of these physicians include Mesue junior, Mesue senior, Averroes, Avicenna, Al Abbas Al Ibn, Rhazes, and Al Tabari just to mention but a few. These physicians shared the knowledge they had on science, in schools, hospitals, and mosques. The teaching included theories and practical. The patients in the hospitals were well-treated and taken care. The patients were given dietary foods, clean clothes and enough money to fend them until they resumed their normal status. It would take a lot of time to put down all the developments done in science by the Muslims: arts, engineering, architecture, city planning, science of man, cosmology and cosmography, geography, history and so on. In Islam, sciences and arts are founded based on the idea of Devine Unity. This Devine unity is the Centre of Islamic revelation (Christopher, 65).

Throughout the middle ages, Europe has always highly valued the decorative arts of Islam. This was the case because the art products were durable and good examples are those that were positioned in the church. During this period, textiles were very significant as the church used them for making their garments, clothing, hangings, and shrouds. Many used to term the Islamic pottery as European wares. The reason for decoration was not well understood: Islamic objects were not a problem to the sensibilities of Christians. Most of the decorations were ornamental or small hunting scenes (Wallace, 91). The art in Sicily of medieval time is interesting in terms of style due to the blending of Byzantine, Arab and Norman influences in the fields of bronze working, sculpture, metal inlays, and mosaic. Quite a good number of technologies that originated from the Islam world were taken up by the medieval technology of European. The technologies included the automata, various crops, and many astronomical instruments.

The Arabs who were in medieval Europe discovered distillation even though it was well-known to the Romans, and Greeks. The term "alcohol" was coined from al-Kuh of the Arabs (alcohol is a word describing a liquid that is arrived at through distillation). Alembic is a word originating from al-anbiq of Arabic origin (Ambix through the Greeks). Examples of automata and complex water clocks that are Islamic are the believed motive behind the European artisans inventing the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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