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Saturday, September 17, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Coffee,cheques and the crack-shaft are some of the Muslim innovations that we take for granted in daily life. Read some of innovations below :
- Coffee - the first record of the drink is of beans exported from Ethopia to Yemen when Sufi Muslims brew the beans. They would drink coffee to stay awake all night to pray on special occations.
- Chess - While a version of chess was played in ancient India, the game was developed into the form we know today, in Persia. From there, it spread westward to Europe where it was introduced by the Moors in Spain in the 10th Century.
- Soap - Washing and bathing are religious requirements for Muslims. It is no wonder the perfected the recipe of soap.
- Pin-hole Camera - Tenth-Century Muslim mathematician Ibnu Al-Haitham invented the first pin-hole camera after noticing the way light came through a hole in window shutters.
- Distillation - The means of separating liquids through differences in their boiling points was invented around the year 800 by alchemist Jabir Ibnu Hayyan.
- Crank-shaft - The device that is central too much of the machinery in the modern world, such as the internal combustion engine, was created by engineer Al-Jazari to raise water for irrigation.
- The modern Cheque - This comes from Arabic saqq, a written vow to pay for goods when they were delivered, to avoid having to transport money across dangerous terrain.
- Windwill - This was invented in 634 for a Persian caliph, and was used to grind maize and drawa up water for irrigation.
- Fountain Pen - This writing instrument was invented for the sultan of Egypt in 953, after he demanded a pen which would not stain his hands or clothes.
- Surgery - Many modern surgical instruments are of exactly the same design as those devised in the 10th century by a Muslim surgeon called al-Zahrawi. His scalpels, bone saws, forceps, fine scissors for eye surgery and many of the 200 instruments he devised are recognisable to a modern surgeon. It was he who discovered that catgut used for internal stitches dissolves away naturally (a discovery he made when his monkey ate his lute strings) and that it can be also used to make medicine capsules. In the 13th century, another Muslim medic named Ibn Nafis described the circulation of the blood, 300 years before William Harvey discovered it. Muslims doctors also invented anaesthetics of opium and alcohol mixes and developed hollow needles to suck cataracts from eyes in a technique still used today.
- Metal Armor - Quilting is a method of sewing or tying two layers of cloth with a layer of insulating material in between. It is not clear whether it was invented in the Muslim world or whether it was imported there from India or China. But it certainly came to the West via the Crusaders. They saw it used by Saracen warriors, who wore straw-filled quilted canvas shirts instead of armor. As well as a form of protection, it proved an effective guard against the chafing of the Crusaders' metal armor and was an effective form of insulation - so much so that it became a cottage industry back home in colder climates such as Britain and Holland.
- Shampoo - Washing and bathing are religious requirements for Muslims, which is perhaps why they perfected the recipe for soap which we still use today. The ancient Egyptians had soap of a kind, as did the Romans who used it more as a pomade. But it was the Arabs who combined vegetable oils with sodium hydroxide and aromatics such as thyme oil. One of the Crusaders' most striking characteristics, to Arab nostrils, was that they did not wash. Shampoo was introduced to England by a Muslim who opened Mahomed's Indian Vapour Baths on Brighton seafront in 1759 and was appointed Shampooing Surgeon to Kings George IV and William IV.
- Rocket and Turpedo - Though the Chinese invented saltpetre gunpowder, and used it in their fireworks, it was the Arabs who worked out that it could be purified using potassium nitrate for military use. Muslim incendiary devices terrified the Crusaders. By the 15th century they had invented both a rocket, which they called a "self-moving and combusting egg", and a torpedo - a self-propelled pear-shaped bomb with a spear at the front which impaled itself in enemy ships and then blew up.
- Parachute - A thousand years before the Wright brothers a Muslim poet, astronomer, musician and engineer named Abbas ibn Firnas made several attempts to construct a flying machine. In 852 he jumped from the minaret of the Grand Mosque in Cordoba using a loose cloak stiffened with wooden struts. He hoped to glide like a bird. He didn't. But the cloak slowed his fall, creating what is thought to be the first parachute, and leaving him with only minor injuries. In 875, aged 70, having perfected a machine of silk and eagles' feathers he tried again, jumping from a mountain. He flew to a significant height and stayed aloft for ten minutes but crashed on landing - concluding, correctly, that it was because he had not given his device a tail so it would stall on landing. Baghdad international airport and a crater on the Moon are named after him.
source : Islamic Finance, WHY IT MAKES SENSE. Daud Vicary Abdullah & Keon Chee, Marshall Cavindish, Singapore. 2010 & english.pravda.ru/science/tech/ website.