SCIENCE AND ISLAM
The concept of _ilm, “science,” has been an important one in the history of Islamicate civilization and has gone a long way to giving this civilization, and all those who participated in it regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliation, a distinctive shape. Mention is frequently made of several sayings (hadith) of the Prophet that state “seek _ilm, even in China.” The Arabic term _ilm (pl. _ulum) refers more broadly to “knowledge” and its antonym is considered to be “ignorance” (jahl). In its various verbal forms, _ilm is found frequently in the Qur_an. At a fairly early date, however, the concept of _ilm was differentiated from that of ma_rifa. The latter refers to a form of knowledge derived from personal experience or intuition, whereas the former is contingent upon the observation and discovery of first principles. This is not to say, however, that all of the primary sources make a sharp distinction between these two modes of knowledge.
The concept of science in Islam is a vast subject. Historically, Arabs and Persians who were interested in explaining the natural world around them first introduced Greek scientific treatises to the Arabic-speaking world during the eighth century. From the ninth century on, scholars traveled from one end of the empire to the other, carrying books and ideas, there by insuring what some have called the cultural and intellectual unity of the Islamic world. Since this time, countless Muslims from all over the world throughout the course of many centuries have been involved in scientific developments. Yet, almost immediately there is a conceptual and taxonomical difficulty. How exactly is the term “Islamic science” defined? Ostensibly, “science” is a universal term that knows no linguistic or ethnic bounds; yet, the adjective “Islamic” implies a particular language by a definable group of people. Does “Islamic science,” then, refer to a particular “Islamic” take on science? Or, does it refer to science done by individuals who identify themselves as Muslims? This entry assumes the latter assertion. An equally difficult hermeneutical problem presents itself: When Arabic speakers use the term _ilm did they mean by it something similar to what today is called science? Because the Arabic term is not identical to the Western concept of hard science, it is often used in a number of theological and mystical contexts. For instance, early Muslim hadith criticism was known as _ilm al-rijal (lit., “the science of the men” who made up the chain of transmitters, or isnad).
Despite the employment of the term _ilm there was nothing particularly scientific about it. Likewise, even theology (_ilm al-kalam) was regarded as a science with its own demonstrative method derived from first principles. These principles, however, were not derived from syllogistic reasoning, but the Qur_an. A more recent trend has fundamentalists arguing that the Qur_an predicts many important scientific discoveries, thereby validating the Qur_anic miracle for the believers.
Premodern Scientific Developments
A momentous impetus was given to the development of science in the Islamic world with the accession of the Abbasid caliphate to power and the subsequent foundation of Baghdad as its capital in 762. This resulted in a translation movement that saw, by the end of the tenth century, virtually all of the scientific and philosophical secular Greek works that were available in the Late Antique period (fourth to seventh centuries C.E.) translated into Arabic. These works included many diverse topics such as astrology, alchemy, physics, mathematics, medicine, and the various branches of philosophy. The great majority of these texts were translated from Greek into Arabic by way of Syriac. Furthermore, many of the earliest translators were Christians, many of whom were employed in the renowned bayt al-hikma (“House of Wisdom”). This functioned as the official institute and library for translation and research. The caliph al-Ma_mun (d. 833) sent emissaries throughout the Mediterranean world to seek out and purchase books on “ancient learning,” which were subsequently brought back to Baghdad and translated into Arabic by a panel of scholars. The result was an impressive official library that included many of the most important scientific and philosophical works produced in the ancient world. These works would form the foundation for medieval science, not only in the Islamic world, but also subsequently in the Christian world.
The earliest Greek works translated into Arabic were often made for purely pragmatic reasons. This is why treatises devoted to astrology, mathematics, and alchemy represent some of the earliest scientific works in Arabic. A useful list of the treatises translated into Arabic and when and by whom can be found in the account given by the biographer of Islamic writings, Ibn al-Nadim (d. 995). A common, though incorrect, assumption has it that the Greeks invented the sciences, the Arabs rescued them from disappearing in the “Dark Ages,” and subsequently passed them untouched and uncommented upon to the Renaissance period. This ignores the fact that many people living in the Islamic world wrote commentaries to the works of important individuals such as Aristotle, Galen, and Ptolemy. The genre of the commentary was not a slavish recapitulation of a text, but often a creative way of writing about science and philosophy in the medieval period. Rather than regard commentaries as uncreative, they often allowed scholars to think about scientific matters in such a way that they could validate their claims by putting them in the mouths of ancient sages. In fact, many commentators often used ancient authors to argue the very opposite of what these ancient authors had intended in the first place. So although the Arabs worked within the parameters of science as established by the Greeks, they made many important developments in the Western scientific tradition.
Classification of the Sciences
Many of the medieval philosophers compiled various “lists of the sciences” (ihsa_ _ulum) and “classifications of the sciences” (maratib al-_ulum). One of the most famous examples of this is the Enumeration of the Sciences, by al-Farabi (870–950). In the preface to this work, al-Farabi states that his intention is to give an enumeration of all the sciences of his day and provide descriptions of their themes and subject matter. He divides the sciences into those dealing with (1) language, (2) logic, (3) mathematics, (4) physics and metaphysics, and (5) political science, jurisprudence, and dialectical theology. Other lists were compiled by the Brethren of Purity (Ikhwan al-Safa_), Ibn al-Nadim, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), al-Ghazali, and Ibn Khaldun. Ghazali’s list is interesting in that he divides all of the sciences into those that are either praiseworthy (mahmuda) or blameworthy (madhmuma).
Such lists, however, are by no means a medieval phenomenon. In 1980 at the Second World Conference on Muslim Education, sponsored by the King _Abd al-_Aziz University in Jiddah and the Quaid-i Azam University in Islamabad, delegates adopted a similar list. The main difference between their enumeration and that of someone like al-Farabi was that theirs begins with the memorization of the Qur_an and ends with the practical sciences.
Two caveats must be made at the beginning. First, the Muslims did not invent any of the sciences. Rather, as mentioned, they received texts from the Greeks (especially those of Aristotle, Ptolemy, and Euclid) and, in the process, adopted and adapted their theories as they saw fit (e.g., in order to reconcile them with monotheistic sensibilities or with new advances made in observation). Second, the term Arabic science might be better than Islamic science, because there was nothing particular religious about science, and many of the scientists spoke Arabic, even though religiously they might have been Christian or Jewish. Muslims made many important innovations in a great majority of the sciences. In astronomy (_ilm al-hay_a; lit. “the science of the figure”), for example, Muslim thinkers made important advancements, following on the heels of Ptolemy, in discerning the laws governing the periodic motions of the celestial bodies. One of the most famous of the Islamic astronomers was al-Battani (Albategnius). He compiled a catalog of the stars for the year 880, in which he determined the various astronomical coefficients with renowned accuracy. He was also responsible for discovering the motion of the solar apsides. In addition, he also wrote an important introductory treatise that was used in European universities until the sixteenth century. Gradually, in order to reconcile perceived observation of the universe, Muslim thinkers, disagreeing with Aristotle, posited the existence of epicycles that revolved not around the earth, but around the various celestial spheres. This movement away from Aristotle greatly bothered the Andalusi thinkers, especially Ibn Bajja and Ibn Rushd (Averroes), who decided to remove the epicycles. This created almost as many problems as it solved. In the thirteenth century, however, at the observatory in Maragha, scientists explained the motions of the heavenly spheres as the combination of uniform circular motions. This is the model that was eventually adopted by European astronomers, such as Copernicus. Mathematics (_ilm al-hisab; lit. “the science of reckoning”) was, according to al-Farabi’s classification, divided into seven branches. Furthermore, he divided mathematics into two types: practical (amali) and theoretical (nazari). The former is concerned with numbers as they pertain to numbered things such as tables or humans. The latter, in contrast, is concerned with numbers in the abstract, including the properties that numbers acquire when related to one another or when combined with or separated from one another. In the tenth century, Nichomachus’s Introduction was translated from Greek into Arabic. This resulted in the acquaintance of mathematics with other subjects, such as geometry, astronomy, and music.
Another important mathematician, and probably the most important Arab physicist, was Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen; d. 1039). Among other things, he attempted, without success, to regulate the flow of the Nile. He also composed over a hundred different scientific treatises, most devoted to medicine, mathematics, and physics. Furthermore, he was responsible for establishing the theorem of the cotangent, in addition to resolving the problem of optics (the intersection of an equilateral hyperbole with a circle) that still bears his name. In the field of medicine, probably the most important name is Ibn Sina (Avicenna; d. 1037). In his autobiography he informs us that medicine (tibb) was not one of the difficult sciences and he claims to have mastered it by the age of sixteen. Throughout his life he engaged in medical experiments and wrote various treatises on specific topics. He also composed a medical encyclopedia, Qanun fi ’l-Tibb (The canon of medicine), that became the standard textbook on the subject not only in the Islamic world, but also in the West for over five hundred years.
Mention should also be made of two disciplines that medieval scholars considered to be sciences, but which are not thought of in that way today: astrology and alchemy. Both of these sciences provided important sources for an empirical and experimental approach to nature. Whereas Aristotelianism offered an explanatory framework for understanding the physical world, astrology and astral magic supplemented this by providing explanations (and prognostications) for the phenomena of this world in the heavens. Both astrology and astral magic presupposed a thorough knowledge of mathematics and astronomy. In like manner, alchemy (al-kimiya_) was concerned with the transmutation of base metals into precious ones. Although most often associated with the attempt to “create” gold, many regarded it as an important part of natural philosophy.
Science, as is to be expected, was a very malleable term. It referred not only to those disciplines (e.g., physics, mathematics) that today are considered to be the purview of science, but also to other disciplines whose scientific veracity is rather difficult to ascertain. The Muslims had a tendency to consider every potential discipline as a science, and as a result tried to articulate first principles for them. Important in this regard is the science of law or fiqh. For the practitioners of fiqh, known as the fuquha_, the law was a science and consisted of the proper knowledge of the Qur_an and the sunna. In its developed form, the science of Islamic legal theory recognized a variety of sources and methods (usul al-fiqh) by which to derive the law. The first principle was the Qur_an, followed by the sunna which, though second in importance, provided the overwhelming majority of material from which the law was derived. The third principle is consensus (ijma_) of the legal scholars in the name of the entire community.
The fourth principle is known as human reasoning (qiyas). These four principles became the means whereby legal scholars could, in their opinion, scientifically determine the legal effects of the textual sources of Islam. The supreme Muslim science was considered to be religious law as opposed to theology as it was in the scholastic world. This had important repercussions: Because scholastic theologians also did work on logic and medicine, they contended that God could not do what was logically impossible. Islamic fuquha_, in contrast, were not interested in deducing religious principles from reason or explaining them rationally. Having surveyed some of the major features and trajectories of science within the orbit of Islam, the question arises: Why did Islam not carry out a scientific revolution in the same manner that the Europeans did? After all, Islam practiced the various sciences long before Europe and remained ahead of the Europeans until the thirteenth century.
The primary difference resides in the fact that, whereas European scholastics succeeded in developing the modern physical sciences, Islam created a metaphysics that was more interested in mysticism. According to the analysis suggested by John Walbridge in The Leaven of the Ancients (2000), this was the result of several features. First, the Muslim philosophers consistently held the position that the world existed without a temporal beginning and were thus more interested in ontological hierarchies than temporal chains of causality. As a result, they tended to speculate about metaphysics and ontology as opposed to the natural sciences. Second, Muslim theologians (mutakallimun) developed an extreme occasionalism that refused to bind God in any way to the
natural order. At its most extreme, even a philosopher such as Ghazali, who believed in the truth of mathematics, argued that God destroyed and created the universe in every instant in accordance with His arbitrary Will. God’s law, in other words, was regarded as totally arbitrary and, thus, the notion of natural law was for the most part foreign to Islam. Third, the discovery of mysticism by the Islamic philosophers (beginning with Ibn al-_Arabi in the thirteenth century) coincided with the almost complete lack of interest in natural philosophy, especially physics and mathematics.
The end result was that by the thirteenth century, philosophy increasingly was reduced to metaphysics with the primary tools of its discovery being intuition and mystical experience as opposed to deduction and scientific observation. And so it remained until the modern period when Muslims who engage in scientific discovery use, for the most part, models and paradigms developed by Europeans.
For sake of convenience, there are essentially three main trajectories. The first trajectory is that of the “fundamentalists.” Many think that the Qur_an predicts modern science. This approach is based on the assumption that the Qur_an in its nontechnical language actually refers to modern scientific data (e.g., embryology, geology). This is impossible to verify, yet it is taken by the faithful as proof of the authenticity of their religion. A second attempt to bring science and Islam together is based on, for lack of a better term, apologetics. According to this approach, “Western” science has failed to formulate a vision of truth based on revelation; rather, it relies on the rational and secular principles as handed down by the pagan Greeks. The result is the desacralization of knowledge (cf., Nasr, Qadir).
Islam, in contrast, presents a sacred worldview and it is the job of “Islamic science” to ascertain this. Proponents of this approach argue that there is such a thing as Islamic science and that it does not subscribe to the theory of evolution. Accordingly, whenever science threatens religion (e.g., evolution), the former must ultimately give way to the latter. Such a dichotomy between “Western” and “Islamic” science is, as should be clear from this entry, based on essentialism and ignores the fact that for much of its history Islamic science was, for all intents and purposes, Western science. The third and final trajectory seems to be the most mainstream; namely, the thousands of Muslim scientists throughout the globe who engage in the ongoing discovery of scientific principles by means of careful and controlled observation.
Posted by Rendy Adam Fitriadi on Sunday, April 4, 2010 , under Islam Around The World, Science In Islam | comments (0)
“Have you seen in all the length and breadth of the earth A city such as Baghdad? Indeed it is paradise on earth.” (al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, in Lassner, Topography, p. 47)
Thus begins a poem attributed variously to _Umara b. _Aqil al-Khatafi and Mansur al-Namari in praise of Baghdad, the illustrious capital of the Abbasid caliphate in Iraq for close to A bust of Muslim caliph Abu Ja_far al-Mansur, in Baghdad, which he founded. AP/WIDE WORLD PHOTOS five centuries. The city was founded by the second Abbasid caliph, Abu Ja_far al-Mansur, on the banks of the Tigris River where it most closely approaches the Euphrates. While officially called Dar al-Salam, or the Abode of Peace, which recalls Qur_anic descriptions of Paradise (6:127; 10:25), the name Baghdad itself is reminiscent of a pre-Islamic settlement in the vicinity.
However, this metropolis is not to be confused erroneously with the ancient towns of Babylon, Seleucia, and Ctesiphon. Following the turbulence and social upheavals of the Abbasid assumption of power from the Umayyads, al-Mansur sought to move his capital to a more secure location in the East. The proclamation of Abu l-_Abbas as the first Abbasid caliph in 749 C.E. had irrevocably shifted the locus of imperial power away from Damascus, the Umayyad capital, to a series of successive sites in Iraq. Al-Mansur himself was initially based in al-Hashimiyyah, adjacent to Qasr Ibn Hubayra and close to Kufa. The Rawandiyya uprising of 758 C.E., however, soon exposed the location’s vulnerability, and al-Mansur began a thorough investigation of sites from which he could consolidate his rule.
In accordance with the information gathered from scouts, local inhabitants, and personal observation, the minor village of Baghdad was selected as an ideal location for the future Abbasid capital. The area had much to recommend itself in terms of its central location, fertile lands, temperate climate, ease of receiving provisions via the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the convening of caravan routes nearby, and the natural defenses provided by the surrounding canals. Construction of the imperial capital began in the year 762 C.E., though work was halted temporarily that same year while al- Mansur suppressed further uprisings emanating from Medina and Basra.
Over one hundred thousand architects, artisans, and laborers from across the empire were employed in the creation of this city, at tremendous financial expense, over a period of four years. An alternative name for Baghdad, al-Madina al- Mudawwara, or the Round City, reflects the circular layout of al-Mansur’s initial foundation. Baghdad was designed as a series of concentric rings, with the caliphal palace, known as Bab al-Dhahab, or the Golden Gate, and the attached grand congregational mosque located in the center, along with separate structures for the commander of the guard and the chief of police. The caliph was thereby equidistant from all points within the city, as well as surrounded by its considerable fortifications. Only the residences of his younger children, those of his servants and slaves, and various government offices shared access onto this inner circle. Four walkways radiated outward from the central courtyard in the directions of northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest, passing through the inner circle of surrounding structures; then an enclosure wall followed by an interval of space; then a residential area followed by another interval; then a large wall of outer defense, a third interval, a second smaller wall; and finally a deep, wide moat surrounding the entire complex.
The Round City initially retained an austere administrative and military character. On the city’s outskirts, large land grants at varying distances from the capital were given to members of the Abbasid family, the army, and chiefs of the government agencies. In addition to the initial settlers, comprised of those loyal to the caliph and his new regime, large numbers of laborers, artisans, and merchants migrated to Baghdad in pursuit of the largesse showered upon those necessary to sustain the new imperial capital. What quickly grew to be a thriving market within the walls of the Round City was ultimately perceived to be a security threat and, in 773 C.E., was transferred southwest of Baghdad, to al-Karkh. There, the commercial activities of the Abbasid capital flourished, and Baghdad rapidly developed into an economically vibrant metropolis. The main markets of Baghdad were subdivided according to their various specialties which included food, fruit, flowers, textiles, clothes, booksellers, goldsmiths, cobblers, reedweavers, soapmakers, and moneychangers that served the populace and government officials. Baghdad exported textiles and items made of cotton and silk, glazed-ware, oils, swords, leather, and paper, to mention only a few, through both local and international trade. The muhtasib, a government-appointed regulator, ensured the fair practices of the marketplace as well as supervised the public works of proliferating mosques and bathhouses. The opulence and luxury of court life in Baghdad were legendary, and reflected the vast political and economic power of the Abbasid Empire.
The magnanimity of the Abbasid caliphs and the wellplaced inhabitants of Baghdad also extended into encouraging intellectual pursuits, thereby establishing the Abbasid capital as one of the world’s most sophisticated and prestigious centers of learning. Renowned Islamic scholars of diverse geographical and ethnic origins held sessions in the mosques and colleges of cosmopolitan Baghdad, attracting innumerable seekers of legal, philological, and spiritual knowledge. Bookshops and the private homes of individual scholars and high government officials, such as the wazir, also served as venues for intellectual discussion and debate. Inns located near the mosques provided lodging to those who had devoted themselves to scholarly pursuits, and accommodations were later made available within the institutions of the madrasa (legal college) and ribat (Sufi establishment), both of which also offered stipends to affiliated students.
Scientific research in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, medicine, optics, engineering, botany, and pharmacology also prospered within the Abbasid capital. Alongside experimentationand exploration, translation of Hellenic, Indic, and Persian texts received patronage from dignitaries, physicians, and scientists in response to the professional and intellectual demands of an expanding Islamic society. Public libraries, both attached to mosques and as separate institutions, contributed further to the dissemination of knowledge among the populace, while the establishment of hospitals as charitable endowments throughout the city ensured the provision of free medical care to anyone who so required it. Mobile clinics were even dispatched to remote villages on a regular basis, with the aims of offering comprehensive health coverage.
The political fragmentation of the sprawling Abbasid Empire ultimately contributed to a decline in the revenues and hence in the general fortunes of the capital in Baghdad. Increasing civil disturbances in the face of weakened central authority, as well as rife Sunni-Shi_ite conflicts, resulted in the deterioration and destruction of vast segments of the waning metropolis. Nevertheless, Baghdad retained its prestige as the center of the Islamic caliphate and a symbol of Muslim cultural, material, and scholarly achievement. It was therefore with great consternation that news was received of the Mongols’s savage invasion and ravaging of the city in 1258 C.E. Hundreds of thousands of Baghdad’s inhabitants, including the caliph and his family, leading personalities, and scholars were mercilessly put to death, and the great scientific and literary treasures of Baghdad were burned or drowned in the waters of the Tigris.
Thereafter, Baghdad was transformed into a provincial center within the Mongol Empire, under the control of the Ilkhanids until 1339 C.E. and then the Jalayrids until 1410 C.E. The Karakoyunlu Turkomans and the Akkoyunlu Turkomans ruled Baghdad successively, until the city was conquered by Shah Ismail in 1508 C.E. and incorporated into the Safavid Empire. A subsequent Perso-Ottoman struggle for Baghdad and its symbolic sites resulted in Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent’s conquest of the city in 1534 C.E., only to be lost again to the Safavids, and then regained by the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV in 1638 C.E. Baghdad remained the capital of the region’s Ottoman province for nearly three centuries, and was occupied by the British in March 1917, during the course of World War I. In 1921, it became the seat of Faysal b. Husayn’s kingdom under British Mandate and remained the capital of Iraq throughout its successive developments into an independent constitutional monarchy (1930), federated Hashimite monarchy (1958), and then republic (1958).
Posted by Rendy Adam Fitriadi on Saturday, April 3, 2010 , under Art In Islam, Music In Islam, Science In Islam | comments (0)
All this time, we only know that the reliable composer is like Mozart, Bach, or any other composers. Besides, before that Islam has given a genius musicians: Al-Farabi, the real name is Abu Nasr Muhammad Ibnu Muhammad Ibnu Tarkhan Ibnu Uzlaq Al Farabi. He was born in 874 A.D (260H) in Transoxia Wasij located in the Region of Turkey. His father was poor army, but all that did not prevent him to study in Baghdad. Why in Baghdad, this is because in those days all the sciences are gathered in Syria or Iraq.
After living in Iraq, Al Farabi decided to move to Damascus, before continuing his trip to Halab. While there, he was humble in the palace of Saif al-Daulah with four dirhams a day's salary. This led him to live in a state that completely lacked. Although Al-Farabi was an ascetic, but he was not an expert of Sufism. He is a scientist who was quite famous in that day. He is capable of the various languages.
If we talk about his expertise in music, his songs leave an impression so directly to the listener, Besides having the ability to play music, he also has created an art that later became the identity of the Arabs, that is a lute music.
But the ability of Al-Farabi's not just that. He also have a deep knowledge in medicine, science, mathematics, and history. And he is a scientist of philosophy. Moreover, his prowess in Islamic philosophy can overcome other experts such as Al-Kindi and Ibn Rushd.
In the field of music, his largest donation in history is a book containing the teaching and Islamic music theory : Al-Musiqa. Just so you know, this book is still considered to be the most important music books in the field of music worldwide. You see, Al-Farabi is said that first put the basics of musical notes and everything which associated with modern music today.
As a bona fide scientist, Al-Farabi also shows the trend resulted in several studies in the medical field. Although he is studies in this field does not make it famous, but his views had a substantial contribution to the development of medical science in his day.
Al-Farabi have a very Qanaah (simply) character, not greedy of wealth and the world. He is prefer to concentrating in knowledge than worldly wealth. That is why Al-Farabi living in poverty, and he was died in 950 A.D (339H).
Muslims have always deemed calligraphy, the art of beautiful writing, the noblest of the arts. The first chapters of the Qur_an revealed to the prophet Muhammad in the early seventh century (suras 96 and 68) mention the pen and writing. Writing in Arabic script soon became a hallmark of Islamic civilization, found on everything from buildings and coins to textiles and ceramics, and scribes and calligraphers became the most honored type of artist. We know the names, and even the biographies, of more calligraphers than any other type of artist. Probably because of the intrinsic link between writing and the revelation, Islamic calligraphy is meant to convey an aura of effortlessness and immutability,and the individual hand and personality are sublimated to the overall impression of stateliness and grandeur. In this way Islamic calligraphy differs markedly from other great calligraphic traditions, notably the Chinese, in which the written text is meant to impart the personality of the calligrapher and recall the moment of its creation. Islamic calligraphy, by contrast, is timeless.
The reed pen (qalam) was the writing implement par excellence in Islamic civilization. The brush, used for calligraphy in China and Japan, was reserved for painting in the Islamic lands. In earliest times Muslim calligraphers penned their works on parchment, generally made from the skins of sheep and goats, but from the eighth century parchment was gradually replaced by the cheaper and more flexible support of paper. From the fourteenth century virtually all calligraphy in the Muslim lands was written on paper. Papermakers developed elaborately decorated papers to complement the fine calligraphy, and the colored, marbled, and gold-sprinkled papers used by calligraphers in later periods are some of the finest ever made.
The Arabic alphabet. Arabic calligraphy is done with a qalam, a type of reed pen, rather than with a brush as in East Asia. Islam’s reverence for the written word contributes to calligraphy’s status as the religion’s most honorable art form. © HISTORICAL PICTURE ARCHIVE/CORBIS
Almost all Islamic calligraphy is written in Arabic script. The Qur_an was revealed in that language, and the sanctity of the revelation meant that the script was adopted for many other languages, such as new Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and Urdu. Unlike many other scripts that have at least twodistinct forms of writing—a monumental or printed form in which the letters are written separately and a cursive or handwritten form in which they are connected—Arabic has only the cursive form, in which some, but not all, letters are connected and assume different forms depending on their position in the word (initial, medial, final, and independent).
The cursive nature of Arabic script allowed calligraphers to develop many different styles of writing, which are usually grouped under two main headings: rectilinear and rounded. Since the eighteenth century, scholars have often called the rectilinear styles “Kufic,” after the city of Kufa in southern Iraq, which was an intellectual center in early Islamic times. This name is something of a misnomer, for as yet we have no idea which particular rectilinear style this name denoted. Scholars have proposed various other names to replace kufic, including Old or Early Abbasid style, but these names are not universally accepted, in part because they carry implicit political meanings, and many scholars continue to use the term kufic.
Similarly, scholars often called the rounded styles naskh, from the verb nasakha (to copy). The naskh script is indeed the most common hand used for transcription and the one upon which modern styles of typography are based, but the name is also something of a misnomer, for it refers to only one of a group of six rounded hands that became prominent in later Islamic times. As with kufic, scholars have proposed several other names to replace naskh, such as new style (often abbreviated N.S.), or new Abbasid style, but these names, too, are
not universally accepted. Medieval sources mention the names of many other calligraphic hands, but so far it has been difficult, even impossible, to match many of these names with distinct styles of script. Very few sources describe the characteristics of a particular style or give illustrations of particular scripts.
Furthermore, the same names may have been applied to different styles in different places and at different times. Hence it may never be possible to link the names of specific scripts given in the sources with the many, often fragmentary, manuscripts at hand, especially from the early period. Both the rectilinear and the rounded styles were used for writing from early Islamic times, but in the early period the rounded style seems to have been a book hand used for ordinary correspondence, while the rectilinear style was reserved for calligraphy. Although no examples of early calligraphy on parchment can be definitively dated before the late ninth century, the importance of the rectilinear style in early Islamic times is clear from other media with inscriptions, such as coins, architecture, and monumental epigraphy. The Fihrist by Ibn al-Nadim (d. 995) records the names of calligraphers who worked in the Umayyad and Abbasid periods, and both coins and the inscriptions on the first example of Islamic architecture, the Dome of the Rock erected in Jerusalem by the Umayyad caliph _Abd al-Malik in 692, show that from earliest times Umayyad calligraphers applied such aesthetic principles as balance, symmetry, elongation, and stylization to transform ordinary writing into calligraphy.
Calligraphers in early Islamic times regularly used the rectilinear styles to transcribe manuscripts of the Qur_an. Indeed, the rectilinear styles might be deemed Qur_anic hands, for we know only one other manuscript—an unidentified genealogical text in Berlin (Staatsbibliotheque no. 379)— written in a rectilinear script. None of these early manuscripts of the Qur_an is signed or dated, and most survive only in fragmentary form, and so scholars are still refining other methods, both paleographic and codicological, to group and localize the scripts used in these early parchment manuscripts of the Qur_an. The major change in later Islamic times was the gradual adoption and adaptation of round hands for calligraphy. From the ninth century calligraphers transformed the round hands into artistic scripts suitable for transcribing the Qur_an and other prestigious texts. The earliest surviving copy of the Qur_an written in a rounded hand is a small manuscript, nowdispersed but with the largest section preserved in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin (ms. 1417). It bears a note in Persian saying that the manuscript was corrected by a certain Ahmad ibn _Ali ibn Abu ’l-Qasm al-Khayqani in June 905,and it is tacitly accepted that the rounded hand was developed in Iran or nearby Iraq, heartland of the Abbasid caliphate. In the ensuing centuries calligraphers continued to develop and elaborate the rounded style, and from the fourteenth century virtually all manuscripts of the Qur_an were written in one of the six round scripts known as the Six Pens (Arabic, al-aqlam al-sitta; Persian, shish qalam). These comprise three pairs of majuscule-miniscule hands, thuluth-naskh, muhaqqaq-rayhan, and tawqi_-riqa_, and calligraphers delighted in juxtaposing the different scripts, particularly the larger and smaller variants of the same pair.
Various explanations have been proposed for this transformation of rounded book hands into proportioned scripts suitable for calligraphing fine manuscripts. These explanations range from the political (e.g., the spread of orthodox Sunni Islam) to the sociohistorical (e.g., the new role of the chancery scribe as copyist and calligrapher), but perhaps the most convincing are the practical. The change from rectilinear to rounded script coincided with the change from parchment to paper, and the new style of writing might well be connected with a new type of reed pen, a new method of sharpening the nib, or a new way that the pen was held, placed on the page, or moved across it. In the same way, the adoption of paper engendered the adoption of a new type of black soot ink (midad) that replaced the dark brown, tannin-based ink (hibr) used on parchment.
From the fourteenth century calligraphers, especially thosein the eastern Islamic lands, developed more stylized forms of rounded script. The most distinctive is the hanging script known as nasta_liq, which was particularly suitable for transcribing Persian, in which many words end in letters with large bowls, such as ya_ or ta_. Persian calligraphers commonly used nasta_liq to pen poetic texts, in which the rounded bowls at the end of each hemistich form a visual chain down the right side of the columns on a page. They also used nasta_liq to pen poetic specimens (qit_a). These elaborately planned calligraphic compositions typically contain a Persian quatrain written in colored and gold-dusted inks on fine, brightly colored and highly polished paper and set in elaborately decorated borders. The swooping strokes of the letters and bowls provide internal rhythm and give structure to the composition. In contrast to the anonymous works of the early period, these calligraphic specimens are frequently signed and dated, and connoisseurs vied to assemble fine collections, which were often mounted in splendid albums.
Calligraphy continues to be an important art form in modern times, despite the adoption of the Latin alphabet in some countries such as Turkey. Some calligraphers are trying to revive the traditional styles, notably the Six Pens, and investigate and rediscover traditional techniques and materials.Societies teaching calligraphy flourish. The Anjuman-e Khushnvisan-e Iran (Society of Iranian Calligraphers), for example, has branches in all the main cities of the country, with thousands of students. Other artists are extending the calligraphic tradition to new media, adopting calligraphy in new forms, ranging from three-dimensional sculpture to oil painting on canvas. More than any other civilization, Islam values the written word.
If we talk about Islamic science and their development, that can not be seperated with the caliph Rashidun concern. They give a big contribution for a science, including Phylosophy and Religion. Below, before we talk about one Muslim scholar who contributed in development of the science, we’ll see a flashback of leadership from the start time of Caliph Abu until the times of Bani Umayyad and leadership Abasiyah.
The First Four Caliph History
1. Caliph Abu Bakr (11-13H/632-634 AD)
2. Caliph Umar Bin Khattab (13-23 H / 634-644 AD)
3. Caliph Utsman Bin Affan (23 -35 H/644-656 AD)
4. Caliph Ali Bin Abu Thalib (35-40 H/ 656-661 AD)
Bani Umayyad AGE (40 H - 132 H)
1. Caliph MUA'WIYAH Ibn Abi Sufyan (40-60 H/661-681 AD)
2. Caliph Yazid Ibn Muawiyah (60 to 63 H/681M-684 AD)
3. Caliph Yazid Ibn Mu'awiyah (63 to 64 H/684-685 AD)
4. Caliph Marwan ibn HAKAM (64 to 65 H/685-686 AD)
5. Caliph Abdul Malik Ibn Marwan (65 to 86 H/686-707 AD)
6. Caliph Al-Walid Ibn 'Abd malik (from 86 to 96 H/707-717 AD)
7. Caliph Sulaiman Ibn 'Abd Malik (96 -99 H/717-720 AD)
8. Caliph Umar Ibn 'Abd AZIZ (99 - 101H/720 -722 AD)
9. Caliph Yazid Ibn 'Abd Malik (101 to 105 H/722-726 AD)
10. Caliph Hisham Ibn 'Abd Malik (105-125 H / 726-746 AD)
11. Caliph Walid ibn Yazid (125 - 127H/746-748 AD)
12. Caliph Walid ibn Yazid (127 to 127 H/748 – 748 AD)
13. Caliph al-Walid ibn IBRAHIM (127 to 127 H)
14. Caliph Marwan ibn Muhammad (127 to 132 H/748-753 AD)
Bani Abbasid Age
1. ABU ABBAS AS-SAFFAH (132-136 H/753 -757 AD)
2. ABU JA’FAR AL-MANSHUR (136 – 158 H/757 – 779 AD)
3. AL-MAHDI (158 – 169 H/779-790 AD)
4. MUSA AN-NADI (169 – 170 H/790 – 791 AD)
5. HARUN AR-RASYID (170 – 193 H/791 – 814 AD)
6. MUHAMMAD AL-AMIN (193 – 198 H/ 814 -819 AD)
7. ABDULLAH AL-MAKMUN (198 – 218 H/819 – 839 AD)
8. AL-MU’TASHIM (218 – 227 H/839 – 848 AD)
9. HARUN AL-WATSIQ (227 – 232 H/848 – 853 AD)
1. Ibn Musa Al-Kaharizmi (149H/770 -219/840 F) discovering Algorithm And Algebra, living in the
days of Bani Al-Ma'mun Abassid (813-833 AD)
days of Bani Al-Ma'mun Abassid (813-833 AD)
2.Muhammad Zakariya al-Razi (225H/846-304/925 AD) Pioneers Modern medicine, the time of Caliph al-Mansur (754 to 775 AD, and Aaron Ar-Rashid (w.809 AD) to the Caliph al-Ma'mun (813-833 AD)
3. Al-Mawardi (386 H/975 ad- 1037 AD) ISLAMIC POLITICAL SCIENTISTS originator. Famous as
reviewers Syafii school,
4. Ibn Haitsam (354 H/965 AD-431/1038 AD) Optical Science inventors.
5. Jabir Ibn Hayyan (721 to 815 H), Chemical Science inventors
6. Ibn Sina (360 H/981 AD), father of modern medicine.
7. Imam AT-Tabari (225H/839 AD-310H/923 AD) Father of Islamic Modern History.
8. Abu AL-Bakri Ubay, greatest geographers XI century.
9. Al-Battani (858 AD) Astronomy, inventor of the earth around the center of the solar system in 365 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes and 24 seconds.