Muslim's Achievements in Science & Technology (700-1300)


8th century 

700s - [petroleum; civil engineering] The streets of the newly constructed Baghdad are paved with tar, coming from the petroleum that oozes in natural oil fields in the region. 

700s - 800s [cosmetics] Ziryab (Blackbird) starts a beauty institute in Spain. 

740 - 828 - Al-Ama'i, Zoology, Botany, Animal husbandry. 

770 - 840 - [mathematics] Kharazmi , developed the "Calculus of resolution and juxtaposition" (hisab al-jabr w'al-muqabala), more briefly referred to as al-jabr, or algebra, gives an idea on the utility of this development: "Algebra was a unifying theory which allowed rational numbers, irrational numbers, geometrical magnitudes, etc., to all be treated as "algebraic objects". It gave mathematics a whole new development path so much broader in concept to that which had existed before, and provided a vehicle for future development of the subject. Another important aspect of the introduction of algebraic ideas was that it allowed mathematics to be applied to itself in a way which had not happened before. 

Al-Khwarizmi's successors undertook a systematic application of arithmetic to algebra, algebra to arithmetic, both to trigonometry, algebra to the Euclidean theory of numbers, algebra to geometry, and geometry to algebra. This was how the creation of polynomial algebra, combinatorial analysis, numerical analysis, the numerical solution of equations, the new elementary theory of numbers, and the geometric construction of equations arose." 

Late 700s - 800 - [musical science] Mansour Zalzal of Kufa. Musician (luth) and composer of the Abbasid era. Contributed musical scales that were later named after him (the Mansouri scale) and introduced positions (intervals) within scales such as the wasati-zalzal that was equidistant from the alwasati alqadima and wasati al-fors. Made improvements on the design of the luth instrument and designed the Luth. Teacher of Is-haq al-Mawsili. 




715 - 800 [chemistry] Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyan), a Muslim chemist, is considered the father of chemistry, for introducing the experimental scientific method for chemistry, as well as the alembic, still, retort, pure distillation, liquefaction, crystallisation, purification, oxidisation, evaporation, and filtration.He was also the first chemist known to produce sulfuric acid, as well as many other chemical substances and laboratory instruments. His works include The elaboration of the Grand Elixir, The chest of wisdom in which he writes on nitric acid, Kitab al-Istitmam (translated to Latin later as Summa Perfectionis), and many others. 

715 - 800 [alchemy] Geber, also a Muslim alchemist, introduces the first theories on the transmutation of metals, the philosopher's stone, and the artificial creation of life in the laboratory. 

715 - 800 [glass] Geber wrote on adding colour to glass by adding small quantities of metallic oxides to the glass, such as manganese dioxide (magnesia). This was a new advancement in the glass industry unknown in antiquity. 

Jabir bin Hayan

9th century
800 - 868 - [biology, language, linguistics, zoology] 'Amr ibn Bahr al-Jahiz wrote a number of works on zoology, Arabic grammar, rhetoric, and lexicography. His most famous work is the Book of Animals, in which he was the first to discuss food chains,and was an early adherent of environmental determinism, arguing that the environment can determine the physical characteristics of the inhabitants of a certain community and that the origins of different human skin colors is the result of the environment. He was also the first to describe the struggle for existence and an early theory on evolution by natural selection.

800 - 873 -Ibn Ishaq Al-Kindi (Latinized, Alkindus.) Philosophy, Physics, Optics, Medicine, Mathematics, Cryptography, Metallurgy. Worked at the House of Wisdom which was set up in 810. He introduces quantification into medicine in his De Gradibus. 

810 Bayt al-Hikma (House of Wisdom) set up in Baghdad. There Greek and Indian mathematical and astronomy works are translated into Arabic. 

820 - [mathematics] Mahani (full name Abu Abdollah Muhammad ibn Isa Mahani - in Arabic Al-Mahani). Conceived the idea of reducing geometrical problems such as duplicating the cube to problems in algebra. 

836 - 901 [anatomy; astronomy; mathematics; mechanics] Born Thabit Ibn Qurra (Latinized, Thebit.) Studied at Baghdad's House of Wisdom under the Banu Musa brothers. Made many contributions to mathematics, particularly in geometry and number theory. He discovered the theorem by which pairs of amicable numbers can be found; i.e., two numbers such that each is the sum of the proper divisors of the other. Later, al-Baghdadi (b. 980) and al-Haytham (born 965) developed variants of the theorem. 

838 - 870 - Tabari (full name: Ali ibn Sahl Rabban Al-Tabari). Medicine, Mathematics, Calligraphy, Literature. 

mid 800s - [chemistry] Al-Kindi writes on the distillation of wine as that of rose water and gives 107 recipes for perfumes, in his book Kitab Kimia al-`otoor wa al-tas`eedat (book of the chemistry of perfumes and distillations.) 

850 - 930 [mathematics] born Abu Kamil of Egypt (full name, Abu Kamil Shuja ibn Aslam ibn Muhammad ibn Shuja) Forms an important link in the development of algebra between al-Khwarizmi and al-Karaji. Despite not using symbols, but writing powers of x in words, he had begun to understand what we would write in symbols as .















Abbas Ibn Firnas



852 - [aviation, flight] Abbas Ibn Firnas (Armen Firman) made the first successful parachute fall using a huge wing-like cloak to break his fall, near Córdoba, Spain. 

858 - 929 - [astronomy - mathematics] Al-Battani (Albategnius) Works on astronomy, trigonometry etc. 

860 - Al-Farghani (Al-Fraganus) Astronomy, Civil engineering. 

864 - 930 - [chemistry; medicine] Razi (Rhazes) Medicine, Ophthalmology, Smallpox, Chemistry, Astronomy. Al-Razi wrote on Naft (naphta or petroleum) and its distillates in his book "Kitab sirr al-asrar" (book of the secret of secrets.) When choosing a site to build Baghdad's hospital, he hung pieces of fresh meat in different parts of the city. The location where the meat took the longest to rot was the one he chose for building the hospital. Advocated that patients not be told their real condition so that fear or despair do not affect the healing process. Wrote on alkali, caustic soda, soap and glycerine. Gave descriptions of equipment processes and methods in his book Kitab al-Asrar (book of secrets) in 925. 

870 - 950 - Farabi (Al-Pharabius): early Islamic philosophy, early Muslim sociology, logic in Islamic philosophy, political science, and musical science. 

875 - [aviation, flight] Abbas Ibn Firnas made the first flight in a hang glider with artificial wings, but his landing was unsuccessful. 

888 - [various] Abbas Ibn Firnas died. Mechanics of Flight, Planetarium, Artificial Crystals. Ibn Firnas investigated means of flight and was apparently injured due to a trial in which he attempted to fly off of a cliff using wings. One of the earliest records of attempts at flight. 

800s - [chemistry; petroleum] Oilfields in Baku, Azerbaijan, generate commercial activities and industry. These oilfields, were wells are dug to get the Naft (or naphta, or crude petroleum) are described by geographer Masudi in the 10th century and by Marco Polo in the 13th century, who described the output of those wells as hundreds of shiploads. 

Great Astronomer of his times



Al-Farabi (Al-Pharabius)

10th century
900s [mathematics; accounting] By this century, three systems of counting are used in the Arab world. Finger-reckoning arithmetic, with numerals written entirely in words, used by the business community; the sexagesimal system, a remnant originating with the Babylonians, with numerals denoted by letters of the arabic alphabet and used by Arab mathematicians in astronomical work; and the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, which was used with various sets of symbols . Its arithmetic at first required the use of a dust board (a sort of handheld blackboard) because "the methods required moving the numbers around in the calculation and rubbing some out as the calculation proceeded." Al-Uqlidisi (born 920) modified these methods for pen and paper use [1]. Eventually the advances enabled by the decimal system led to its standard use throughout the region and the world. 

903 - 986 [astronomy] Al-Sufi (Latinized name, Azophi). 

920 [mathematics] Born al-Uqlidisi. Modified arithmetic methods for the Indian numeral system to make it possible for pen and paper use. Hitherto, doing calculations with the Indian numerals necessitated the use of a dust board as noted earlier. 

936 - 1013 [medicine] Al-Zahrawi (Latinized name, Albucasis) Surgery, Medicine. Called the "Father of Modern Surgery." 

940 - 997 [astronomy; mathematics] Muhammad Al-Buzjani. Mathematics, Astronomy, Geometry, Trigonometry. 

940 [mathematics] Born Abu'l-Wafa al-Buzjani. Wrote several treatises using the finger-counting system of arithmetic, and was also an expert on the Indian numerals system. About the Indian system he wrote: "[it] did not find application in business circles and among the population of the Eastern Caliphate for a long time."  Using the Indian numeral system, abu'l Wafa was able to extract roots. 

953 [mathematics] Born al-Karaji of Karaj and Baghdad (full name, Abu Bekr ibn Muhammad ibn al-Husayn Al-Karaji or al-Karkhi). Believed to be the "first person to completely free algebra from geometrical operations and to replace them with the arithmetical type of operations which are at the core of algebra today. He was first to define the monomials x, x2, x3, ... and 1 / x, 1 / x2, 1 / x3, ... and to give rules for products of any two of these. He started a school of algebra which flourished for several hundreds of years" . Discovered the binomial theorem for integer exponents. [1] states that this "was a major factor in the development of numerical analysis based on the decimal system." 

957 [geography; cartography; exploration; chemistry] died Abul Hasan Ali Al-Masudi, best known as a cartographer, was also a traveler historian, etc. Al-mas`oudi described his visit to the oilfields of Baku. Wrote on the reaction of alkali water with zaj (vitriol) water giving sulphuric acid. 




Al-Zahrawi (Albucasis)
Father of Modern Surgery




Abul Hasan Ali Al-Masudi


965 - 1040 [mathematics; optics; physics] Born ibn al-Haitham (full name, ; Latinized name, Alhazen). Possibly the first to classify all even perfect numbers (i.e., numbers equal to the sum of their proper divisors) as those of the form 2k - 1(2k - 1) where 2k - 1 is prime number . 

Al-Haytham is also the first person to state Wilson's theorem. if p is prime than 1 + (p - 1)! is divisible by p.says "It is called Wilson's theorem because of a comment by Waring in 1770 that John Wilson had noticed the result.
There is no evidence that Wilson knew how to prove it. It was over 750 years later that Lagrange gave the first known proof to the statement in 1771.

972 - 1058 [humanities] Al-Mawardi (Alboacen) Political science, Sociology, Jurisprudence, Ethics. 

973 - 1048 [mathematics; physics] Abu Raihan Al-Biruni; Astronomy, Mathematics. Determined Earth's circumference. 
980 [mathematics] Born al-Baghdadi (full name, ). Studied a slight variant of Thabit ibn Qurra's theorem on amicable numbers. Al-Baghdadi also wrote texts comparing the three systems of counting and arithmetic used in the region during this period. Made improvements on the decimal system. 

981 - 1037 [astronomy; mathematics; medicine; philosophy] Ibn Sina (Avicenna); Medicine, Philosophy, Mathematics, Astronomy. Is considered to be the father of modern medicine 

994 - [astronomy, engineering] Abu-Mahmud al-Khujandi constructs the first astronomical sextant in Ray, Iran. 

1000 - [physics, engineering] Ibn Yunus publishes his astronomical treatise Al-Zij al-Hakimi al-Kabir in Egypt.

1000 - [physics, mathematics] Abu Sahl al-Quhi (Kuhi), discovers that the heaviness of bodies vary with their distance from the center of the Earth, and solves equations higher than the second degree. 

1000 - [mathematics] Abu-Mahmud al-Khujandi first states a special case of Fermat's last theorem. 

Ibn-Al-Haitham (Alhacen)


Mawardi (Alboacen)






1000 - [mathematics] Law of sines is discovered by Muslim mathematicians, but it is uncertain who discovers it first between Abu-Mahmud al-Khujandi, Abu Nasr Mansur, and Abu al-Wafa. 
1000 - [mathematics] Al-Karaji writes a book containing the first known proofs by mathematical induction. He who used it to prove the binomial theorem, Pascal's triangle, and the sum of integral cubes. He was "the first who introduced the theory of algebraic calculus."

1000 - [medicine, surgery, engineering] Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis), the father of modern surgery, publishes his 30-volume medical encyclopedia, the Kitab al-Tasrif, which remains a standard textbook in Muslim and European universities until the 16th century. The book first introduced the plaster, inhalant anesthesia, and many surgical instruments, including the first instruments unique to women,as well as the surgical uses of catgut and forceps, the ligature, surgical needle, scalpel, curette, retractor, surgical spoon, sound, surgical hook, surgical rod, specula and bone saw.

11th century
1000s - [astronomy, engineering] Ibn Samh invents the mechanical astrolabe in al-Andalus.

1000s - The glass mirror is invented in al-Andalus.

1000 - 1030 - [arithmetic, astronomy, earth sciences, geology, geometry, logic, mathematics, music, natural sciences, philosophy, psychology] Avicenna (Ibn Sina) writes one of the first scientific encyclopedias, The Book of Healing. Its contributions include nine volumes on Avicennian logic; eight on the natural sciences; four on the quadrivium of arithmetic, astronomy, geometry and music; a number of volumes on early Islamic philosophy, Islamic mathematics, metaphysics and psychology; the astronomical theory that Venus is closer to Earth than the Sun; and a geological hypothesis on two causes of mountains.

1000 - 1030 - [biology] - Ibn Miskawayh discusses ideas on evolution. 

1000 - 1031 - [astronomy] Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni was the first to conduct elaborate experiments related to astronomical phenomena. He discovered the Milky Way galaxy to be a collection of numerous nebulous stars.

1000 - 1037 - [mechanics, physics] Ibn al-Haytham discusses the theory of attraction between masses, and it seems that he was aware of the magnitude of acceleration due to gravity. Ibn al-Haytham also discovered the law of inertia, known as Newton's first law of motion, when he stated that a body moves perpetually unless an external force stops it or changes its direction of motion.

1000 - 1037 - [alchemy, chemistry, engineering] Avicenna criticizes the theory of the transmutation of metals.He also invents the chemical process of steam distillation and produces the first essential oils as a result. He also invents the air thermometer for use in his laboratory experiments.

1000 - 1037 - [mechanics, physics] Avicenna, the father of the fundamental concept of momentum in physics, discovered the concept of momentum, when he referred to impetus as being proportional to weight times velocity, a precursor to the concept of momentum in Newton's second law of motion. His theory of motion was also consistent with the concept of inertia in Newton's first law of motion. 

1000 - 1038 - [astronomy, physics] Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen), in his Epitome of Astronomy, was the first to insist that the heavenly bodies "were accountable to the laws of physics".

1000 - 1038 - [biology] Ibn al-Haytham writes a book in which he argues for evolutionism. 

1000 - 1048 - [alchemy, chemistry] Abu Rayhan al-Biruni criticizes the theory of the transmutation of metals.


Abu Nasr Mansur

Al-Zahrawi (Albucasis)
Father of Modern Surgery

Ibn-Sina (Avicenna)

Ibn-Al-Haitham (Alhacen)

1000 - 1048 - [anthropology, Indology, history] Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni, considered "the first anthropologist" and the father of Indology,wrote detailed comparative studies on the anthropology of peoples, religions and cultures in the Middle East, Mediterranean and South Asia. Biruni's anthropology of religion was only possible for a scholar deeply immersed in the lore of other nations. Biruni has also been praised for his Islamic anthropology.

1000 - 1048 - [earth sciences, Indology, geodesy, geology] Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, who is considered the father of Indology, the father of geodesy, one of the first geologists, and an influential geographer, hypothesized that India was once covered by the Indian Ocean while observing rock formations at the mouths of rivers,introduced techniques to measure the Earth and distances on it using triangulation, and measured the radius of the Earth as 6339.6 km, the most accurate up until the 16th century.

1000 - 1048 - [engineering, mechanics, physics] Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, was the first to realize that acceleration is connected with non-uniform motion. He also invents the laboratory flask, Pycnometer, and conical measure.

1019 - [astronomy] In Afghanistan, Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni observed and described the solar eclipse on April 8, 1019, and the lunar eclipse on September 17, 1019, in detail, and gave the exact latitudes of the stars during the lunar eclipse.




1021 - [optics, physics, engineering, mathematics, ophthalmology, psychology, scientific method, surgery] Ibn al-Haytham, who is considered the father of optics, the pioneer of the scientific method, the "first scientist", and the founder of psychophysics and experimental psychology, completes his Book of Optics, which has been ranked alongside Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica as one of the most influential books ever written in the history of physics. The book drastically transformed the understanding of light and vision, and introduced the experimental scientific method, hence the book is considered the root of experimental physics. It correctly explained and proved the modern intromission theory of vision, and described experiments on lenses, mirrors, refraction, reflection, and the dispersion of light into its constituent colours.It also explained binocular vision and the moon illusion, speculated on the finite speed, rectilinear propagation and electromagnetic aspects of light,first stated Fermat's principle of least time, described an early version of Snell's law, and argued that rays of light are streams of energy particles travelling in straight lines.The book also contains the earliest discussions and descriptions on psychophysics and experimental psychology,the psychology of visual perception, phenomenology, and the inventions of the pinhole camera, camera obscura, and parabolic mirror. In mathematics, the book formulated and solved "Alhazen's problem" geometrically, and developed and proved the earliest general formula for infinitesimal and integral calculus using mathematical induction. In medicine and ophthalmology, the book also made important advances in eye surgery, as it correctly explained the process of sight and visual perception for the first time. The work also had an influence on the use of optical aids in Renaissance art and the development of the telescope and microscope.

1020s - [medicine, pathology, physiology] Avicenna, who is considered the father of modern medicine and one of the greatest thinkers and medical scholars in history, publishes his 14-volume medical encyclopedia, The Canon of Medicine, which remains a standard textbook in Muslim and European universities until the 17th century. The book's contributions to medicine includes the introduction of experimental medicine and clinical trials, the introduction of systematic experimentation and quantification into the study of physiology, the discovery of contagious diseases, the distinction of mediastinitis from pleurisy, the contagious nature of phthisis, the distribution of diseases by water and soil, and the first careful descriptions of skin troubles, sexually transmitted diseases, perversions, and nervous ailments, as well the use of ice to treat fevers, and the separation of medicine from pharmacology, which was important to the development of the pharmaceutical sciences.

1021 - 1037 - [optics, physics] Avicenna "observed that if the perception of light is due to the emission of some sort of particles by a luminous source, the speed of light must be finite."He also provided a sophisticated explanation for the rainbow phenomenon.

1021 - 1048 - Abu Rayhan al-Biruni stated that light has a finite speed, and he was the first to discover that the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound.

1025 - 1028 - [astronomy] Ibn al-Haytham, in his Doubts on Ptolemy, criticizes Ptolemy's astronomical system for relating actual physical motions to imaginary mathematical points, lines, and circles. 

1028 - 1087 - [astronomy, engineering] Arzachel (al-Zarqali) invents the "Saphaea", the first astrolabe that did not depend on the latitude of the observer and could be used anywhere. He also invents the equatorium,and discovers that the orbits of the planets are ellipses and not circles. 

1030 - [astronomy] Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni discussed the Indian planetary theories of Aryabhata, Brahmagupta and Varahamihira in his Ta'rikh al-Hind (Latinized as Indica). Biruni stated that Brahmagupta and others consider that the earth rotates on its axis and Biruni noted that this does not create any mathematical problems.



Ibn-Al-Haitham (Alhacen)









Ibn-Sina ( Avicenna)










1030 - 1048 - [astronomy] Abu Said Sinjari suggested the possible heliocentric movement of the Earth around the Sun, which Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni did not reject. Al-Biruni agreed with the Earth's rotation about its own axis, and while he was initially neutral regarding the heliocentric and geocentric models, he considered heliocentrism to be a philosophical problem.He remarked that if the Earth rotates on its axis and moves around the Sun, it would remain consistent with his astronomical parameters.

1031 - [astronomy] Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni completes his extensive astronomical encyclopaedia Canon Mas’udicus, in which he records his astronomical findings and formulates astronomical tables. It presents a geocentric model, tabulating the distance of all the celestial spheres from the central Earth.The book introduces the mathematical technique of analysing the acceleration of the planets, and first states that the motions of the solar apogee and the precession are not identical. Al-Biruni also discovered that the distance between the Earth and the Sun is larger than Ptolemy's estimate, on the basis that Ptolemy disregarded the annual solar eclipses. Al-Biruni also described the Earth's gravitation as "the attraction of all things towards the centre of the earth."

1038 - [astronomy] Ibn al-Haytham described the first non-Ptolemaic configuration in The Model of the Motions. His reform excluded cosmology, as he developed a systematic study of celestial kinematics that was completely geometric. This in turn led to innovative developments in infinitesimal geometry. His reformed model was the first to reject the equant and eccentrics,free celestial kinematics from cosmology, and reduce physical entities to geometrical entities. The model also propounded the Earth's rotation about its axis, and the centres of motion were geometrical points without any physical significance, like Johannes Kepler's model centuries later.












Ibn-Al-Haitham (Alhacen)

1038 - 1075 - [engineering] Ibn Bassal invents a Noria with a flywheel in al-Andalus.
1044 or 1048 - 1123 [mathematics, literature] Omar Khayyam, a mathematician and poet, "gave a complete classification of cubic equations with geometric solutions found by means of intersecting conic sections. Khayyam also wrote that he hoped to give a full description of the algebraic solution of cubic equations in a later work: 'If the opportunity arises and I can succeed, I shall give all these fourteen forms with all their branches and cases, and how to distinguish whatever is possible or impossible so that a paper, containing elements which are greatly useful in this art will be prepared.' "  He later became the first to find general geometric solutions of cubic equations and laid the foundations for the development of analytic geometry and non-Euclidean geometry. He extracted roots using the decimal system (Hindu-Arabic numeral system). He is well-known for his poetic work Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, but there is dispute whether the Maqamat, a famous diwan of poetry translated to English are actually his work. 

1058 - 1111 [law; theology] Al-Ghazali (Algazel), judge and prolific thinker and writer on topics such as sociology, theology and philosophy. He critiqued the philosophers Avicenna and al-Farabi in The Incoherence of the Philosophers. Wrote extensive expositions on Islamic tenets and foundations of jurisprudence. Also critiqued the Muslim scholastics (al-mutakallimun.) Was associated with sufism but he later critiqued it as well. 

1070 - [astronomy] Abu Ubayd al-Juzjani proposed a non-Ptolemaic configuration in his Tarik al-Aflak. In his work, he indicated the so-called "equant" problem of the Ptolemic model, and proposed a solution for the problem. 

1085 - 1099 - [related] First wave of devastation of Muslim resources, lives, properties, institutions, and infrastructure over a period of one hundred years: Fall of Muslim Toledo (1085), Malta (1090), Sicily (1091) and Jerusalem (1099). This was followed by several Crusades from 1095 to 1291. 

Omar Khayyám





12th century
1100 - 1138 - [astronomy] Ibn Bajjah (Avempace) develops the first planetary model without any epicycles, as an alternative to Ptolemy's model. 

1100 - 1138 - [mechanics, physics] Ibn Bajjah (Avempace) is the first to state that there is always a reaction force for every force exerted, a precursor to Gottfried Leibniz's idea of force which underlies Newton's third law of motion.[70] His theory of motion later has an important influence on later physicists like Galileo Galilei.

1100 - 1161 - [anatomy, anesthesiology, biology, medicine, physiology, surgery] Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) invents the surgical procedure of tracheotomy in al-Andalus. During his biomedical research, Ibn Zuhr is also the first physician known to have carried out human dissections and postmortem autopsy. He proves that the skin disease scabies is caused by a parasite, which contradicted the erroneous theory of humorism supported by Hippocrates, Galen and Avicenna. The removal of the parasite from the patient's body did not involve purging, bleeding or any other traditional treatments associated with the four humours. His works show that he was often highly critical of previous medical authorities, including Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine.He was one of the first physicians to reject the erroneous theory of four humours, which dates back to Hippocrates and Galen. Avenzoar also confirmed the presence of blood in the body. He was also the first to give a correct description of the tracheotomy operation for suffocating patients, and the first to provide a real scientific etiology for the inflammatory diseases of the ear, and the first to clearly discuss the causes of stridor. Modern anesthesia was also developed in al-Andalus by the Muslim anesthesiologists Ibn Zuhr and Abulcasis. They were the first to utilize oral as well as inhalant anesthetics, and they performed hundreds of surgeries under inhalant anesthesia with the use of narcotic-soaked sponges which were placed over the face.

1100 - 1161 - [medicine, pharmacopoeia] Ibn Zuhr writes The Method of Preparing Medicines and Diet, in which he performed the first parenteral nutrition of humans with a silver needle. He also wrote an early pharmacopoeia, which later became the first Arabic book to be printed with a movable type in 1491.Ibn Zuhr (and other Muslim physicians such as al-Kindi, Ibn Sahl, Abulcasis, al-Biruni, Avicenna, Averroes, Ibn al-Baitar, Ibn Al-Jazzar and Ibn al-Nafis) also developed drug therapy and medicinal drugs for the treatment of specific symptoms and diseases. His use of practical experience and careful observation was extensive.


Ibn Bajjah (Avempace)







              Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) 

1100 - 1165 - [mechanics, physics] Hibat Allah Abu'l-Barakat al-Baghdaadi writes a critique of Aristotelian philosophy and Aristotelian physics entitled al-Mu'tabar. He is the first to negate Aristotle's idea that a constant force produces uniform motion, as he realizes that a force applied continuously produces acceleration, which is considered "the fundamental law of classical mechanics" and an early foreshadowing of Newton's second law of motion. Like Newton, he described acceleration as the rate of change of velocity.

1100 - 1166 [cartography, geography] Muhammad al-Idrisi, aka Idris al-Saqalli aka al-sharif al-idrissi of Andalusia and Sicily, also known as Dreses in Latin. Among his works are a world map and the first known globe. He is said to draw the first correct map of the world "lawh al-tarsim" (plank of draught). His maps were used extensively during the explorations of the era of European renaissance. Roger II of Sicily commemorated his world map on a circle of silver weighing about 400 pounds. Works include Nozhat al-mushtaq fi ikhtiraq al-&agrav;faq dedicated to Roger II of Sicily, which is a compendium of the geographic and sociologic knowledge of his time as well as descriptions of his own travels illustrated with over seventy maps; Kharitat al-`alam al-ma`mour min al-ard (Map of the inhabited regions of the earth) wherein he divided the world into 7 regions, the first extending from the equator to 23 degrees latitude, and the seventh being from 54 to 63 degrees followed by a region uninhabitable due to cold and snow. 

1105 - 1200 [astronomy] Ibn Tufail (Abubacer) and al-Betrugi (Alpetragius) are the first to propose planetary models without any equant, epicycles or eccentrics. Al-Betrugi was also the first to discover that the planets are self-luminous.

1106 - 1138 [polymath] Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Yahya (Ibn Bajjah or Avempace) writes books on philosophy, medicine, mathematics, poetry, and music. 

1110 - 1185 [literature, philosophy] Abdubacer Ibn Tufayl of Spain. Philosophy, medicine, poetry, fiction. His most famous work is Hayy ibn Yaqzan, which is a spiritual investigation into the reality of the world narrated by a man who was raised from infancy by a roe or gazelle on a desert island. This work later had a strong influence on early Islamic philosophy, Arabic literature, European literature, the Scientific Revolution, and modern philosophy. 

1115 - 1116 [astronomy, engineering] Al-Khazini wrote the Sinjaric Tables, in which he gave a description of his construction of a 24 hour water clock designed for astronomical purposes, an early example of an astronomical clock, and the positions of 46 stars computed for the year 500 AH (1115-1116 CE). He also computed tables for the observation of celestial bodies at the latitude of Merv.The Sinjaric Tables was later translated into Greek by Gregory Choniades in the 13th century and was studied in the Byzantine Empire.

1115 - 1130 [astronomy, biology, chemistry, evolution] Al-Khazini's Treatise on Instruments has seven parts describing different scientific instruments: the triquetrum, dioptra, a triangular instrument he invented, the quadrant and sextant, the astrolabe, and original instruments involving reflection. He also wrote another work on evolution in chemistry and biology, and how they were perceived by natural philosophers and common people in the Islamic world at the time. He wrote that there were many Muslims who believed that humans evolved from apes.

1121 - [astronomy, astrophysics, engineering, mechanics, physics] Al-Khazini publishes The Book of the Balance of Wisdom, in which he is the first to propose that the gravity and gravitational potential energy of a body varies depending on its distance from the centre of the Earth. This phenomenon is not proven until Newton's law of universal gravitation centuries later. Al-Khazini is also one of the first to clearly differentiate between force, mass, and weight, and he shows awareness of the weight of the air and of its decrease in density with altitude, and discovers that there is greater density of water when nearer to the Earth's centre. He also invents several scientific instruments, including the steelyard and hydrostatic balance. Al-Biruni and al-Khazini were also the first to apply experimental scientific methods to the fields of statics and dynamics, particularly for determining specific weights, such as those based on the theory of balances and weighing. He and his Muslim predecessors unified statics and dynamics into the science of mechanics, and they combined the fields of hydrostatics with dynamics to give birth to hydrodynamics. They applied the mathematical theories of ratios and infinitesimal techniques, and introduced algebraic and fine calculation techniques into the field of statics. They were also the first to generalize the theory of the centre of gravity and the first to apply it to three-dimensional bodies. They also founded the theory of the ponderable lever and created the "science of gravity" which was later further developed in medieval Europe. The contributions of al-Khazini and his Muslim predecessors to mechanics laid the foundations for the later development of classical mechanics in Renaissance Europe.

1126 - 1198 - [mechanics, physics] Averroes (Ibn Rushd) is the first to define and measure force as "the rate at which work is done in changing the kinetic condition of a material body" and the first to correctly argue "that the effect and measure of force is change in the kinetic condition of a materially resistant mass."

1126 - 1198 - [astronomy] Ibn Rushd (Averroes) rejects the eccentric deferments introduced by Ptolemy. He rejects the Ptolemaic model and instead argues for a strictly concentric model of the universe.

1128 - 1198 - [philosophy, law, medicine, astronomy, theology] Averroes writes books on philosophy, law, medicine, astronomy, and theology. 

1130 - [mathematics] Born al-Samawal. An important member of al-Karaji's school of algebra. Gave this definition of algebra: "[it is concerned] with operating on unknowns using all the arithmetical tools, in the same way as the arithmetician operates on the known." 

1135 - [mathematics] Born Sharafeddin Tusi. Follows al-Khayyam's application of algebra of geometry, rather than follow the general development that came through al-Karaji's school of algebra. Wrote a treatise on cubic equations which describes thus: "[the treatise] represents an essential contribution to another algebra which aimed to study curves by means of equations, thus inaugurating the beginning of algebraic geometry." 

1135 - 1200 - [astronomy, engineering] Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi invents the linear astrolabe (staff of al-Tusi).

1154 - [engineering] Al-Kaysarani invents the striking clock in Syria.


Al-jazari elephant clock


































Ibn-Rushd (Averroes)











Muslim Scholars during Research


13th century
1200s - [chemistry] Al-Jawbari describes the preparation of rose water in the Book of Selected Disclosure of Secrets (Kitab kashf al-Asrar). 

1200s - [chemistry; materials, glassmaking] Arabic manuscript on the manufacture of false gemstones and diamonds. Also describes spirits of alum, spirits of saltpetre and spirits of salts (hydrochloric acid). 

1200s - [chemistry] An Arabic manuscript written in Syriac script gives description of various chemical materials and their properties such as sulfuric acid, sal-ammoniac, saltpetre and zaj (vitriol). 

1201 - 1274 - [astronomy; mathematics] Nasir Al-Din Al-Tusi; Astronomy, Non-Euclidean geometry. 

1204 - [astronomy] Died, Al-Bitruji (Alpetragius.) 

1206 - [engineering, mechanics, technology] Al-Jazari, the father of modern-day engineering and the father of robotics, publishes The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices, in which he authors fifty inventions, including the crank mechanism, connecting rod, programmable automaton, humanoid robot, reciprocating piston engine, suction pipe, suction pump, double-acting pump, valve, combination lock, cam, camshaft, segmental gear, the first mechanical clocks driven by water and weights, and especially the crankshaft, which is considered the most important mechanical invention in history after the wheel. Other devices he invented include a hand washing device, machines for raising water, accurate calibration of orifices, lamination of timber to reduce warping, static balancing of wheels, use of paper models to establish a design, casting of metals in closed mould boxes with green sand, and the most sophisticated water clocks of his time. 

1207 - 1273 [sociology; poetry; spirituality] Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, one of the best known Persian passion poets, famous for poignant poetry on the theme of spiritual enlightenment and passion. 

1217 - 1329 [related] "Second wave of devastation of Muslim resources, lives, properties, institutions, and infrastructure over a period of one hundred and twelve years. Crusader invasions (1217-1291) and Mongol invasions (1219-1329). Crusaders active throughout the Mediterranean from Jerusalem and west to Muslim Spain. Fall of Muslim Córdoba (1236), Valencia (1238) and Seville (1248). Mongols devastation from the eastern most Muslim frontier, Central and Western Asia, India, Persia to Arab heartland. Fall of Baghdad (1258) and the end of Abbasid Caliphate. Two million Muslims massacred in Baghdad. Major scientific institutions, laboratories, and infrastructure destroyed in leading Muslim centers of civilization." 

1213 - 1242 [anatomy, biology, medicine, pharmacology, pharmacopoeia, physiology] Ibn al-Nafis publishes his Commentary on Compound Drugs, a commentary on Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine concerning pharmacopoeia. It contains criticisms of Galen's doctrines on the heart and the blood vessels and dealt with the circulatory system to some extent. This work was later translated into Latin by Andrea Alpago of Belluno (d. 1520), who had lived in Syria for about 30 years before returning to Italy with a collection of medical Arabic books. A printed version of his translation was available in Venice from 1547.

1213 - 1288 [biology, cosmology, epistemology, futurology, geology, literature, physiology, psychology, science fiction, sociology] Ibn al-Nafis publishes his Theologus Autodidactus, the first science fiction novel, where he uses the plot to express many of his own themes on a wide variety of subjects, including biology, physiology, cosmology, epistemology, futurology, geology, natural philosophy, psychology, and sociology. The narrative is used to present religious, philosophical and scientific arguments on spontaneous generation and bodily resurrection, and the book also contains the earliest medical description on metabolism: "Both the body and its parts are in a continuous state of dissolution and nourishment, so they are inevitably undergoing permanent change."

1213 - 1288 [anatomy, biology, medicine, ophthalmology, physiology] Ibn al-Nafis publishes his ophthalmologic work, The Polished Book on Experimental Ophthalmology, where he discovers that the muscle behind the eyeball does not support the ophthalmic nerve, that they do not get in contact with it, that the optic nerves transect but do not get in touch with each other, and many new treatments for glaucoma and the weakness of vision in one eye when the other eye is affected by disease. 

1242 - [anatomy, biology, medicine, physiology, scientific method] Ibn al-Nafis, an Arab physician and anatomist publishes another commentary on Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine called the Commentary on Anatomy in Avicenna's Canon, in which Ibn al-Nafis discovers the pulmonary circulation (the cycle involving the ventricles of the heart and the lungs) and coronary circulation, and describes the mechanism of breathing and its relation to the blood and how it nourishes on air in the lungs, for which he is considered the father of circulation theory and one of the greatest physiologists in history.He followed a "constructivist" path of the smaller circulatory system: "blood is purified in the lungs for the continuance of life and providing the body with the ability to work." During his time, the common view was that blood originates in the liver then travels to the right ventricle, then on to the organs of the body; another contemporary view was that blood is filtered through the diaphragm where it mixes with the air coming from the lungs. Ibn al-Nafis discredited all these views including ones by Galen and Avicenna, and at least an illustration of his manuscript is still extant. William Harvey later explained the circulatory system without reference to Ibn al-Nafis in 1628. Ibn al-Nafis also extolled the study of comparative anatomy in his Explaining the dissection of [Avicenna's] Canon which includes prefaces and citations of sources. He emphasized the rigours of verification by measurement, observation and experiment. He subjected conventional wisdom of his time to a critical review and verified it with experiment and observation, discarding errors. He was also an early proponent of experimental medicine, postmortem autopsy, and human dissection, and he also discredited many other erroneous Avicennian and Galenic doctrines on the humorism, pulse bones, muscles, intestines, sensory organs, bilious canals, esophagus, stomach, and the anatomy of almost every other part of the human body. Ibn al-Nafis also drew diagrams to illustrate different body parts in his new physiological system.

1242 - 1244 [biology, medicine, surgery, urology, scientific method] Ibn al-Nafis publishes the first 43 volumes of his medical encyclopedia, The Comprehensive Book on Medicine. One volume is dedicated to surgery, where he describes the "general and absolute principles of surgery", a variety of surgical instruments, and the examination of every type of surgical operation known to him. He states that in order for a surgical operation to be successful, full attention needs to be given to three stages of the operation: the "time of presentation" when the surgeon carries out a diagnosis on the affected area, the "time of operative treatment" when the surgeon repairs the affected organs, and the "time of preservation" when the patient needs to be taken care of by nurses. The Comprehensive Book on Medicine was also the earliest book dealing with the decubitus of a patient. The Comprehensive Book on Medicine is also the earliest book dealing with the decubitus of a patient. Another section is dedicated to urology, including the issues of sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction, where Ibn al-Nafis is one of the first to prescribe clinically tested drugs as medication for the treatment of these problems. His treatments are mainly oral drugs, though early topical and transurethral treatments are also mentioned in a few cases. 

1242 - 1288 [medicine] Ibn al-Nafis publishes more commentaries on Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine. All of his commentaries on The Canon of Medicine add up to 20 volumes in length. 

1244 - 1288 [medicine] Ibn al-Nafis writes down notes for upcoming volumes of his medical encyclopedia, The Comprehensive Book on Medicine. His notes add up to a total of 300 volumes in length, though he is only able to publish 80 volumes before he dies in 1288.Even in its incomplete state, however, The Comprehensive Book on Medicine is one of the largest known medical encyclopedias in history, and was much larger than the more famous The Canon of Medicine by Avicenna. However, only several volumes of The Comprehensive Book on Medicine have survived into modern times.

1244 - 1288 [anatomy, medicine, science of hadith] Ibn al-Nafis publishes many other works, including The Choice of Foodstuffs which places a greater emphasis on diet and nutrition rather than the prescriptions of drugs; Commentary on Hippocrates' Aphorisms where he expresses his rebellious nature against established authorities as he states that he has decided to "throw light on and stand by true opinions, and forsake those which are false and erase their traces"; A Short Account of the Methodology of Hadith on the science of hadith; Epitome of the Canon; Synopsis of Medicine; An Essay on Organs; Reference Book for Physicians; among many others. 

1248 - [anatomy, botany, pharmacy, veterinary medicine] Ibn al-Baitar dies. He studied and wrote on botany, pharmacy and is best known for studying animal anatomy and medicine. The Arabic term for veterinary medicine is named after him. 

1260 [mathematics] Born al-Farisi. Gave a new proof of Thabit ibn Qurra's theorem, introducing important new ideas concerning factorization and combinatorial methods. He also gave the pair of amicable numbers 17296, 18416 which have also been joint attributed to Fermat as well as Thabit ibn Qurra 

1273 - 1331 [astronomy; geography; history] Abu al-Fida (Abulfeda). 

1275 - [engineering, rocketry, weaponry] Hasan al-Rammah invents the torpedo in Syria.

1277 - [materials; glass and ceramics] A treaty for the transfer of glassmaking technology signed between the crusader Bohemond VII, titular prince of Antioch and the Doge of Venice leads to the transfer of Syrian glassworkers and their trade secrets and the subsequent rise of Venetian glass industry, the most prominent in Europe for centuries. The techniques henceforth, closely guarded by Venitians only become known in France in the 1600s.




Al-jazari elephant clock





Al-Jazari Pump






Al-Jazari Water device






Camera obscure box


















Muslim's Research Period

















Time Line of Muslim's Achievements in Arts, Science & Technology

Compiled by:

MetaExistence Organization
Geo-Political Think Tank of Islamic World


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