Islam: Where did the science come from?
October 5, 2008 11:10pm CST
So many times I see the claim of all the wonderful scientific principles stated in the Qur'an. Where did they come from? There is a simple answer. Those that are not pure fantasy were brought back from the thriving Hindu civilization in South India by Arab traders. These ideas were then incorporated into Islam. Islamic scholars must be given credit, they recognize a good idea when they saw it. The zero and the decimal system they claim all came from South India and the Hindu civilization thriving there at the time. Islam has done a good job of selling the world that these ideas originated with it. The misnamed Arabic number system that we all use today had its origins in the Hindu culture of South India. There's nothing wrong with using a good idea gleaned from another civilization. What is wrong is ignoring the origin of these ideas and claiming them as your own. In our modern world we call this plagiarism.
6 Oct 08
so you are 1000 years old to know that islam took the ideas from hindous?! you were with them at this time to know?! could you plz give me the source of your information?! the true thing is that islam came with the truth and all the wonderful science principles are true because simply god who mentioned it in the quraan! do you got it?!
6 Oct 08
The source of my information is history. I do not have to be one thousand years old to read and understand it. I do have to have a mind that is open to ideas that go beyond religious fantasies and embrace reality. Do you get it?
6 Oct 08
I have to admit I was a little suss of your source until I did a bit of googling. But even before that I preferred yours to the concept that the Koran provided the Muslims with their maths - more the other way round, the Arab culture provided the Koran with the concepts. Perhaps you are correct about Eurocentric history, but I was unaware that Europeans ever considered the Arabs part of Europe. The First set of anti-Muslim Crusades (11th - 13th centuries) might be a clue to that. But certainly all that modern sources say about Islam's place in the development of mathematics is to mention the Islamic mathematician Al-Kwarizmi's synthesis of Greek and Hindu maths with some of his own original ideas. It is sobering to know that it took several more centuries before the West caught on. But it would also seem that the Chinese developed much the same ideas as the Hindus in this area at about the same time, 4thC BCE, and there is evidence that the pre-Mayan civilisations in South America predated even that. Lash
6 Oct 08
The Sumerians of Mesopotamia used a place holder in calculations but never had a true zero. While the word zero is from the Arabic language the concept has it's origins in India. You need to read a less eurocentric version of history. It is possible for valuable ideas to originate in non-western civilizations.
• United States
6 Oct 08
I don't consider where Arabs come from to be a part of "Western" Civilization. Lots of awesome things came form the east - mainly of Chinese and Japanese design. I don't trust your source. It seems to conflict with other reliable data. This site offers a brief history of the decimal system. Invented in the 4th century BC by the Sumerians of Mesopotamia. 1202 - Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa (Fibonacci), explained the decimal system in his Book of the Abacus. 1253 - English mathematician, John Halifax tried to promote the system. 1585 - Simon Stevin, a quartermaster in the Dutch Army, published The Tenth Way, a book showing how to convert decimal fractions. 1670 - Gabriel Mouton, a theologian and mathematician from Lyon in France proposed the use of the decimal system, suggesting a standard linear measurement of a meter (1/10,000,000 of the http://www.didyouknow.cd/decimal.htm
• United States
6 Oct 08
Nobody here is closed minded. Its just the fact that you provide an extremely unreliable source. If you give multiple sources then you "kind of" proved your point, but other than that you havent. There are so many things in The Quran that were never mentioned before or known before. There is no religous book you can show today that provides the same science from. Or can you? Naa i doubt it, youll probably just show another k12 site. XD
8 Oct 08
I think that if the maths in the Koran is interpreted correctly, it will be right. I think rather than taking the pure fractions literally one must proportionate a whole to arrive at a figure, which I am sure will not be wrong. I haven't actually tried to work out any of the numbers as some of the other responders have, but I feel that they are going wrong somewhere. I am not a Muslim, but have always managed to score well in Maths as well as manage to solve mathematical puzzles easily. Please bear in mind that a short period of time such as a millennia or two have not really changed human intelligence to that great an extent. Our ancestors were equally smart, they just didn't have the wherewithal to the understanding and access to knowledge as we do in this day and age. As far as the science or math is concerned, I think that it is humanity that has benefited greatly by it, why quagble over who invented each particular speciality or took it forward. If I remember correctly what I have read a few years ago, the Arabs did have a good record of stellar positions, but these Arabs quite antiquated Mohammed, they were born long before Mohammed and were not even Muslims then, because Muslims didn't exist until Mohammed created that religion. Probably Mohammed himself used these records while marching to conquer and convert. Whether the systems were Arab or Hindu discoveries/deductions/inventions is immaterial today. What is a fact that in the modern world, we can't do without most of these discoveries/deductions/inventions.