The Forgotten History of Muslim Scientists [Slide Show]

Without the flourishing of science in Muslim lands in the past, the modern world might not have algorithms or algebra
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Fatima al-Fihri:

It wasn't just Muslim men. The oldest continuously operating university in the world—Al-Qarawiyyin founded in Fès, Morocco, in 859—was founded by a merchant's daughter: Fatima al-Fihri.....[ More ]


Considered by some the inventor of algebra, Abu Abdallah Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was a Persian mathematician working at the House of Wisdom in Baghdad in the ninth century. In fact, the very name of this form of math is derived from the Arabic al-jabr , meaning "restoring," which is how al-Khwarizmi referred to the operation of removing roots and squares from a quadratic equation by adding the same quantity to each side of the equation.....[ More ]


An Iraqi genius—Abu al-Iz Ibn Ismail ibn al-Razaz al-Jazari, or al-Jazari—laid out construction plans in A.D. 1206 for some 50 mechanical devices, such as the "Elephant Clock" recreated here in this computer-rendered image.....[ More ]


An early proponent of evolutionary biology, Abu Uthman Amr ibn Bahr al-Kinani al-Fuqaimi al-Basri, wrote of food chains and environmental determinism in his seven-volume Book of Animals in the ninth century.....[ More ]

Abbas ibn-Firnas:

Born in the Al-Andalus region of medieval Muslim Spain in A.D. 810, ibn Firnas may have been the first inventor to attempt flight using a glider, as pictured here. The flight may be apocryphal, however, as its primary historical reference is from a court poem—although it appears in a wide variety of Arabic histories.....[ More ]


An Arab or Persian physicist born in A.D. 965 in what is now the port city of Basra in modern-day Iraq, Alhazen pioneered experimental physics and founded the modern scientific understanding of optics—the study of the behavior and properties of light.....[ More ]

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