Saturday, 14 May 2011

Physics in Islamic Civilization

Physics in Islamic Civilization


Physics is mainly an experimental science based on observation and accurate measurements to deduce laws and theories which help us understand the natural phenomena and, by extension, harness them for the benefit of humans.  Therefore, physics helps us understand much of our world and all that which surrounds us, besides physics is considered the foundation of all technological and technical sciences. Engineers, for example, design vehicles and planes in accordance with specific rules in physics. The laws and theories of physics have also enabled engineers and scientists to put spacecrafts on their right orbits and to receive information by satellites which spin around remote spots of the solar group. The physics researches also led to the use of radioactive materials for diagnosing and treatment of specific diseases, in addition that some rules in physics caused the designing of many household gadgets such as vacuum cleaners and video recorders.

Holy Koran and Laws of physics


As usual the Holy Koran has been, and still is, an important source in the eye of Muslim scientists aspired by physics and its laws which exist within its verses and which research is under way to explore them. Of the miracles of physics which the Koran said is the following:

- Allah, be He exalted, told us in the Koran that the higher we go above the earth, the less the air pressure is. He, be He exalted, said" and those whom He will to leave straying, He makes their breasts close and constricted as if they had to climb up to the skies" (An'am, verse 125). What we have learned now that oxygen, which is vital for breathing, as well as the air in general, gets less as we rise above the surface of the earth. Therefore, the higher we get above the earth, the more choked we feel; we even can even develop asphyxia. This verse of the Koran is one of the miracles which prove the reliability of the prophet's Divine Call, and a testimony that the Koran was revealed from the Lord of Heavens and Earth, since this kind of science was not known to any of Adam's children at the era of Mohammed, PBUH, be a scientist or a layman. Such a science was not known except after man went up space in the modern age. Allah speaks the truth when He says" Say, it was sent by Him who knows the mystery in the Heavens and the Earth, verily He is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful", al Furqan, verse 6.

  - Allah, be He exalted, said in the Koran that both night and daytime seek each other in rapid succession. He, be He exalted, said " He draws the night as a veil over the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession", Al Aaraf, verse 54, which means that both of them follow each other back to back. This verse includes a implicitly shows that the Earth spins around itself, which causes the phenomenon of night and daytime according to our modern knowledge, as Allah said" He makes the night overlap the Day, and the Day overlap the night", Al Zumar verse 5. He also said" He merges night into day and merges day into night" Al Hadeed, verse 6.

After he had orbited around the earth in space, Russian Spaceman Gagarin said that he saw speedy succession of darkness and light on the surface of Earth due to its central spin around the Sun.


Muslims' starting point in physics

The start was when Muslim Arabs quoted principles of physics science from the Greek, when they translated Aristotle's book " Physics" and" Spiritual Tricks and Weight Lifting" written by Earn( spelling not sure), as well as the " Resonating machines at 60 miles away" for Mortis. They also took interest of literature of Archimedes and Hayron, and developed their theories and ideas in mechanics.

While the Greek entirely relied on the abstract philosophical ideal and deduction of minds, we find the Arab Muslim scientists relied on experimentation and  induction and adopted the scientific method in search and survey, and developed what they inherited from the Greek. They relied on scientific, applied experimentation,  a method which enabled them to extract clearly scientific works, thus moving headway and marking their works with creativity in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine and pharmacy and other areas of science.                                                                          


Muslims and evolution of physics

The Muslims 'contributions in physics developed steadily. Due to their distinction in several sciences relevant to this field, such as astronomy and mechanical engineering and others, these inventions became intertwined in these areas of science. In the area of machinery, or what was called the science of tricks, the Muslims made a remarkable progress and developed the sciences which they inherited in that field. Concerning Astrolab which is used for measuring the locations of the planets and their orbits, as well as weather forecast and navigation affairs, al Khawarismy stated about 45 ways for using it.

The Astrolab was also the main topic of Abu Isaac el Zorkali al Tolaitly in his book" Al Safeeha el Zeejeya",  a book which appeared in Europe in the tenth century and continued to be a reference until the seventeenth century. The Muslims gave the Asturlab several names, including al Tomary, al Hilaly, al Kawsy, al Ganoobi, Al Mosarkat, al Mobattah , Hok el Kamar, etc; several books and research works were written to get readers acquainted with these names.

The Muslims have known several machines which scientists can use to know the longitude and latitude as well as movements of stars. Most prominent of those who contributed to that was Takeye el Din Bin Mohammed bin Zain el Abedeen, who used about ten kinds of machines for this purpose( names not available in translation)


Then the Muslims created more significant and more advanced machines when they invented the Mural Quadrant , another machine for measurement which looked like a big board on a wall that read" 90 stepped degrees, i.e. quarter of 360 degrees the total degrees of the circle. There appeared also other kinds of measuring machines and quarters , including the summit quarter or the pinched quarter which was invented by Ibn Younus el Masry( 370 Ah, 981 AD). Then there came Ibn el Shatter and proved that there some astronomical machines which needed to be developed to give better results, introducing notable modifications, then al Bairoony succeeded in using the Mural Quadrant with a hemispheric shape, besides six and eight side shapes.

Then the Muslims excelled in making  sand clocks which were the only means to know time. The world's best invention in this area was made by the Muslims with their great efforts made by their unique engineer Abul Hassan Ali who wrote an unprecedented, detailed study on the Arabs' clock. We see for the first time in this study the straight lines of the clock which were not known among the Greek. It seems that, thanks to Abu el Hassan, this invention was developed to

Therefore , we find that Muslims are the first to invent the sun clocks which were effective tools in identifying time and astronomical calendars. The Muslims didn’t stop at putting these clocks

Then the Muslims made a big jump at the hand of one who was described by orientalists Sakhu as " man of supernatural genius ", mainly al Bairony who took the Islamic civilization up to a breakthrough in both physics and geology, a big stride which history will not forget.

In the beginning, the superiority of the Muslims in this area was remarkable and undeniable, and they were so accurate in estimating some objects comparable to that of the modern studies or very close to it; they laid out accurate tables for some minerals and precious stones.

The beginning was at the hand of Abu Sahl el Koohy who modified and put right many of the premises –related  theories in this area of science. Then came Ibn el Haitham in his book" scale of wisdom" in his article titled " centres of weights", when he studied the relation of the weight of the air to the density of the air itself. He explained several theories:  the theory that objects change according to the change of the air itself, the floating objects in liquids and the ratio of the amounts sinking thereof, studying in the latter theory the fall of objects and how they are attracted to the earth, identifying the force of their slope and change according to the distance from Earth..

In a message he sent to Ibu Isaac el Saby, he said" concerning the weight centers, they need successive …….

Bairony followed the steps of Abu Sahl, surprising the world of specific scales with his new findings which were nearly as accurate as that of the modern scales. Jack Vissler said: al Bairony measured the specific scales by using the destiny measuring way invented by him, which he called" natural scales), and accordingly, he laid down the rule which proved that the specific weight of an object is proportional to the volume of water which it removes.

It is he also who further proved the movement of the water of the artesian wells through the theory of (communicating vessels) . Al Bairony is undoubtedly considered one of the pioneers in the area of identifying the specific weight of many minerals and precious stones in a way that does not differ much from the modern ways in terms of as far as accuracy is concerned. Al Bairony knew the specific weight of 18 of the precious stones and minerals, among which are gold, mercury, brass, iron, tin, lead and blue sapphire.

Then there came the efforts of al Khazeny Abul Fateh Abdurrahman in his book the Scales of Wisdom. He went ahead of Torricelli in investigating the weight of air, its density and the pressure which it brings about as a result. He even pointed out that the air has a weight and a lifting force like liquids, and that the weight of the submerged object in the air is less than its real weight, and that the relation between the loss of weight and density of  the air. Al Khazeny's interest in studying density led him to know the way as to how density brings about solid and liquid objects. He also invented a pair of scales for weighing objects in the air and water, and these scales had two  scaling sides one of which moved on a stepped line.

Then there came Thebet bin Korra and spoke of gravity , saying: a stone (if thrown ) goes down, because there is a similarity between it and the entire earth in  terms of coldness and density, given that objects are attracted to bigger ones".

Mohammed Ibn Omar el Razy this sentence late in the sixth century AH, saying " if we throw a stone up, it goes down, which shows us that there is a force attracting things down. That is why the stone was returned down when we threw it up".

These statements show that Muslims looked thoroughly into the phenomenon of gravity and deducted, through their readings and experiments, important findings,  showing that they are pioneers in this issue.

Concluding this leads us to talk about the great achievements of Muslims in the area of physics , and this will be the center of the next article , God willing , asking God to bring back pride and glory to Islam and Muslims.

Now days we as Muslims have to spread the voice to learn quran online and so we could gain the true knowledge and the quran teaching that is give to us by our beloved prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and do quran reading. Do we as Muslim ask our self that why we are at the peak of destruction? The answer will be simple that we have left our roots the holy quran we should guide promote Islam from in our homes first and let learn our kids quran  and encourage them in doing quran memorization this should be our first goal for it we can do different stuff like let then participate in different online quran recitation competition to let them read quran from different online quran reciters and along with it we elders should learn quran also and improve our knowledge of quran and Islam and learn holy quran tafseer because to understand and learn quran Arabic and for this now a days there are many online quran tutor available who teach tajweed quran and its translation and tafseer so let us join our hands to be the voice of Islam and let improve the image of it as well and full fill our duty


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