The impact of Muslim Scientists in Europe
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On June 11, 1292 AD, English philosopher and Franciscan friar, Roger Bacon, died. His access to the Latin translations of the Arabic works of Islamic scholars enlightened his mind, and he was greatly influenced in the field of optics by the monumental “Kitab al-Manazer” of Abul-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen).
The impact of al-Kindi (Alkindus) is also evident in his writings. Moreover, Bacon's investigations of the properties of the magnifying glass show the clear influence of Ibn Sahl's research in dioptrics. His works also indicate his familiarity with the books "Kitab ad‐Dalalaat ala'l‐Ittesalaat wa‐Qiranaat al‐Kawakeb" (Book of Indications of the Planetary Conjunctions), written by the Iranian Islamic astronomer, Abu-Ma'shar Ja'far ibn Mohammad al-Balkhi.
On June 11, 1855 AD, the Sun’s light rays were classified based on scientific approaches and the colors of its spectrum were identified by two German scientists, Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen. The radiation of light beams during rainfall, and formation of rainbows, is one of the beautiful phenomena that have attracted the attention of mankind since eternity.
The Theory of Aristotle is the oldest theory which other scientists became familiar with. Later the Islamic scientists, Abu Ali ibn Sina (Avicenna), Abul-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), and Qotb od-Din Shirazi developed this field. Finally, Kirchhoff and Bunsen proved it via an experimental method.
On June 22, 1633 AD, Italian astronomer, mathematician, and physicist, Galileo Galilei, was forced to renounce his scientific remarks and beliefs before the Church officials. Influenced by the Latin translations of the Arabic works of Islamic scientists, such as Iran’s Abu Rayhan Berouni, he wrote a book in the year 1632 in rejection of Ptolemy’s beliefs on solar system, supporting the fact that the Earth orbits round the Sun. A year later, Pope summoned him to Rome and termed his writings as blasphemous, and gave him the option of denying what he said or death.