European Scientists and Scholars Influenced by Muslim Scientists
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
The Italian scientist Galileo Galilei and the Muslim Scholars
On February 15, 1564 AD, the Italian scientist, astronomer, and physicist, Galileo Galilei, was born in the city of Pisa where he studied literature until the age of 19 and thereafter mastered physics and mathematics. With the usage of lens, invented by the famous Muslim astronomer, Ibn al-Haytham, he developed a telescope for observing stars. With this instrument, and with the aid of the writings of Islamic scientists, he wrote that the surface of moon has plains and altitudes and each galaxy is made of small and large stars. He also recorded as his own discoveries of Islamic scientist that the sun is at the centre of the Solar System and other planets, including Earth, revolve round it. These discoveries were already made several centuries earlier in the Islamic world by the renowned Iranian astronomer, Abu-Rayhan Birouni, who had proved the circular movement of earth around the sun. Following the publication of Galileo’s theory about the movement of earth and other planets of the solar system round the sun, the Roman Church charged him with blasphemy, forcing him to renounce his views or risk execution. He died in 1642.
Polish astronomer and mathematician, Nicolas Copernicus indebted to Musli Scientists
On February 19, 1473 AD, Polish astronomer and mathematician, Nicolas Copernicus, was born in Toruri. During his studies in Rome, he came across the Latin translations of Arabic works of Muslim scientists, including those of the Iranian-Islamic genius Abu Rayhan Berouni, who had written about the spherical shape of the earth. Copernicus heavily borrowed from Muslim scientists and is indebted to them for stating for the first time in Europe the orbit of the Earth around the Sun while rotating on its axis. The Christian frowned upon his writings and tried to stamp out his theories. He died in 1543.
Giordano Bruno, the Italian philosopher
On February 17, 1600 AD, Giordano Bruno, the Italian philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer, was burned at the stake on charges of heresy by the Christian church for suggesting the Sun was essentially a star, and moreover, that the universe contained an infinite number of worlds. Bruno was deeply influenced by the astronomical facts of the universe which he learned from Latin translations of Arabic works written by Islamic scholars and scientists several centuries before. He refused to renounce his scientific and was brutally killed by the Catholic sect of Christianity.