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The House of Wisdom

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AAL KINDI

(Abu Yusuf Yakub ibn Ishak al-Kindi) , 9th cent. Arab philosopher, b. Basra, Iraq.

 He studied at Basra and at Baghdad and is noted as one of the earliest scholars in the Middle East to become thoroughly versed in the writings of Aristotle.

 In his own teachings al-Kindi undertook to demonstrate the essential harmony between the views of Plato and those of Aristotle.

 He is regarded as one of the Peripatetics in Islam, and, as one of the earliest of the Muslim philosophers of Arabic descent, he has been called “the philosopher of the Arabs.”

 He emphasized the righteousness as well as the unity of God and considered that the Creator revealing Himself in prophecy was a reasonable truth and the highest form of knowledge.

  Besides his translations and commentaries on Aristotle's works, he produced over 250 treatises on a great variety of subjects; although only a few on medicine and astrology are extant, in the 1940s 24 of his hitherto unknown philosophical works were found.

 Al-Kindi was well known to the Christian scholars of the Middle Ages. He wrote strongly in opposition to alchemy and some kinds of belief in miracles.

 

 

 

IBN SINA

 AVICENNA

Abū ‘Alī al-Husayn ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn Sīnā', known as Abu Ali Sina (Persian: ابوعلی سینا) or Ibn Sina (Arabic: ابن سینا‎), and commonly known in English by his Latinized name Avicenna

 Muslim Persian polymath and the foremost physician and philosopher of his time.

His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a vast philosophical and scientific encyclopaedia, and The Canon of Medicine, which was a standard medical text at many medieval universities.

The Canon of Medicine was used as a text-book in the universities of Montpellier and Louvain as late as 1650.

bn Sīnā is regarded as a father of early modern medicine, and clinical pharmacology, particularly for his introduction of systematic experimentation and quantification into the study of physiology, his discovery of the contagious nature of infectious diseases, the introduction of quarantine to limit the spread of contagious diseases, the introduction of experimental medicine, evidence-based medicine, clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, efficacy tests, clinical pharmacology, neuropsychiatry, risk factor analysis, and the idea of a syndrome, and the importance of dietetics and the influence of climate and environment on health.

 

IBN AL-HAITHAM

ALHAZEN

The eleventh-century scholar offered a new solution to the problem of vision, combining experimental investigations of the behavior of light with inventive geometrical proofs and constant forays into the psychology of visual perception—all systematically tied together to form a coherent alternative to the Euclidean and Ptolemaic theories of "visual rays" issuing from the eye.

"Thus the duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and, applying his mind to the core and margins of its content, attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency."

Geometry was Ibn al-Haytham’s forte: the subject in which most of his writings have survived and for which he was most appreciated.

In these writings he was drawn to tackle problems in Greek mathematics, both elementary (Euclidean) and advanced (Apollonian and Archimedean), some of which he was the first to solve.

 The word "doubt" (aporia in Greek), indicating the critical bent of his mind, occurs in the titles of several of his geometrical essays, even when presented as commentaries. Other works concern the philosophy and methodology of mathematics.

a

AAl-Farabi

 

 (c.870-950)

Al-Farabi was known to the Arabs as the 'Second Master' (after Aristotle), and with good reason.

It is unfortunate that his name has been overshadowed by those of later philosophers such as Ibn Sina, for al-Farabi was one of the world's great philosophers and much more original than many of his Islamic successors.

 A philosopher, logician and musician, he was also a major political scientist.

Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Tarkhan ibn Awzalagh al-Farabi was born in approximately ah 257/ad 870. He may rightly be acclaimed as one of the greatest of Islamic philosophers of all time.

While his name tends to be overshadowed by that of Ibn Sina, it is worth bearing in mind that the latter was less original than the former.

   Al-Farabi had a great desire to understand the universe and humankind, and to knowthe latter’s place within the former, so as to reach a comprehensive intellectual picture of theworld and of society.

 

 

 

Al-Razi,

 The Clinician

One of the greatest names in medieval medicine is that of Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya' al-Razi, who was born in the Persian City of Rayy in 865 (251 H) and died in the same town about 925 (312 H).

 A physician learned in philosophy as well as music and alchemy, he served at the Samanid court in Central Asia and headed hospitals in Rayy and Baghdad.

Europe knew al-Razi by the Latinized form of his name, Rhazes.

His Comprehensive Book on Medicine, the Hawi, was translated into Latin in 1279 under the title Continens by Faraj ben Salim, a physician of Sicilian-Jewish origin employed by Charles of Anjou to translate medical works.

As a chemist, he was the first to produce sulfuric acid together with some other acids, and he also prepared alcohol by fermenting sweet products.

 He also tried proposed remedies first on animals in order to evaluate in their effects and side effects. He was also an expert surgeon and was the first to use opium for anaesthesia.

 

 

 

Al-Khwārizmī

 

Mohammad Ibn Mūsā Al Khwārazmī Persian: محمد بن موسی خوارزمی) , was a mathematician, astronomer and geographer of Persian origin. He was born around 780 in Khwārizm, in contemporary Khiva, Uzbekistan, which was then part of the native Iranian-Khwarizmian Afrigid dynasty, and died around 850. He worked most of his life as a scholar in the House of Wisdom in Baghdad.

His Algebra, written around 820, was the first book on the systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations.

Consequently he is considered by many to be the father of algebra, a title some scholars assign to Diophantus.

 In the twelfth century, Latin translations of his Arithmetic, which explained Arabic numerals, introduced decimal positional number system to the Western world.

 He was among the first to use zero as a place holder in positional base notation.

The word algorithm derives from his name.

He revised and updated Ptolemy's Geography as well as writing several works on astronomy and astrology.

His contributions not only made a great impact on mathematics, but on language as well. The word algebra is derived from the Arabic word, al-jabr, one of the two operations used to solve quadratic equations, as described in his book.

 

 

Islamic Scholars -  علماء و مفكرون إسلاميون

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