Category: Opinion Written by agboola Hits: 1075
Still celebrating our Islamic Muslim Heritage Month – Ramadhan- I present to you yet another testimony to how Muslim scholars shaped the Modern World.
‘The main task of mankind was accomplished by Muslims. The greatest philosopher, Al-Farabi was a Muslim, the greatest Mathematicians Abul Kamil and Ibrahim Ibn Sinan were Muslims, the greatest geographer and encyclopeadist, Al Mas’udi was a Muslim; the greatest historian Al-Tabari was still a Muslim.‘ These were the words of George Sarton, a trained chemist and science historian. In another tribute to Muslim Scientists in his book “Introduction to the History of Science,” he added.
”It will suffice here to evoke a few glorious names without contemporary equivalents in the West: Jabir ibn Haiyan, al-Kindi, al-Khwarizmi, al-Fargani, al-Razi, Thabit ibn Qurra, al-Battani, Hunain ibn Ishaq, al-Farabi, Ibrahim ibn Sinan, al-Masudi, al-Tabari, Abul Wafa, ‘Ali ibn Abbas, Abul Qasim, Ibn al-Jazzar, al-Biruni, Ibn Sina, Ibn Yunus, al-Kashi, Ibn al-Haitham, ‘Ali Ibn ‘Isa al-Ghazali, al-zarqab, and Omar Khayyam. A magnificent array of names which it would not be difficult to extend. If anyone tells you that the Middle Ages were scientifically sterile, just quote these men to him, all of whom flourished within a short period, 750 to 1100 A.D.”
George Sarton (1884–1956) was a Belgian chemist and historian who is considered the founder of the discipline of history of science. He left Belgium because of the First World War and settled in the United States where he spent the rest of his life researching and writing about the history of science. His daughter is the American writer May Sarton.
Sarton’s life and work
George Alfred Leon Sarton was born in Ghent, Belgium on August 31, 1884. He graduated from the University of Ghent in 1906 and two years later won a gold medal for one of his papers on chemistry. He received his PhD in mathematics at the University of Ghent in 1911. He married Mabel Eleanor Elwes, an English artist, in 1911 and their daughter Eleanore Marie (known as: May) was born the following year. Although he emigrated to England after World War I broke out, he came to the United States in 1915, where he would live for the rest of his life. He worked for the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace and lectured at Harvard University, 1916-18,  where he became a lecturer in 1920 and then professor of the history of science from 1940 until his retirement in 1951. He was also a research associate of the Carnegie Institution of Washington from 1919 until 1948.
Sarton intended to complete an exhaustive nine volume history of science — which, during the preparation of the second volume, induced him to learn Arabic and travel around the Middle East inspecting original manuscripts of Islamic scientists — but at the time of his death only the first three volumes had been completed. (I. From Homer to Omar Khayyam. — II. From Rabbi Ben Ezra to Roger Bacon, pt. 1-2. — III. Science and learning in the fourteenth -century, pt. 1-2. 1927-48.) –Courtesy- Wikipedia.