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7 Significant Muslim Contributions To The Modern World

7 Significant Muslim Contributions To The Modern World

Think of the origins of that staple of modern life, the cup of coffee, and Italy often springs to mind.

But in fact, Yemen is where the ubiquitous brew has its true origins.

Along with the first university, and even the toothbrush, it is among great Muslim inventions that have shaped the world we live in today.

Islamic history is replete with pioneering discoveries,  such as:

1. Coffee

7 Significant Muslim Contributions To The Modern World

– Around the world around, people consume more than 1,600,000,000 cups of various kinds of coffee. It has become the part of daily routine of many households. But very few people are aware that their favorite cup of coffee is of Muslim origin.

History says that, during the 15th century coffee had become one of the most popular drinks for the Muslim folks in Yemen. According to the legend, a poor shepherd observed that all his goats gained a lot of energy when they consumed certain beans from a specific tree. He then gathering all his confidence consumed the beans himself and noticed that it boosted his energy levels. With time, roasting these beans and drinking the water in which they were soaked become a tradition, thus coffee was born.

2. Algebra

7 Significant Muslim Contributions To The Modern WorldKamal al-Din Farisi's autograph manuscript, Tanqih al-Manazir, Adilnor Collection.

– Though most of the students of secondary school who are not particularly good in mathematics do not appreciate the importance of algebra, it is the most valued contribution by the Muslims to the world of science. Algebra was created by Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khawarizmi who was a great Muslim mathematician and scientist.

He described the basic principles of algebra in his book Al-Kitāb al-mukhtaṣar fī ḥisāb al-jabr wa-l-muqābal. Al-Khawarizmi also provided a valid explanation regarding how to use algebra to solve real world problems in his book.

3. Degree-Granting Universities

7 Significant Muslim Contributions To The Modern WorldCourtyard of the Al-Azhar Mosque and University in Cairo, Egypt

For those who have completed their higher education in Western countries, marching band is very familiar sight. Consisting of a large number of musicians, the band moves onto the field of play during any sporting event for the sole purpose of entertaining the crowd as well as the players. These many schools are a modernized version of the military marching bands which were used in Europe during the Gunpowder Age to motivate the soldiers when the battle was on. This tradition begun during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, when mehter bands were instrumental in making the Ottoman army the most powerful in the world.

4. Military Marching Bands

7 Significant Muslim Contributions To The Modern WorldMehterhane, Military Band, Painted by Arif Pasha, Official Costumes of the Ottoman Empire (at the Beginnings of the 19th Century)

For those who have completed their higher education in Western countries, marching band is very familiar sight. Consisting of a large number of musicians, the band moves onto the field of play during any sporting event for the sole purpose of entertaining the crowd as well as the players. These many schools are a modernized version of the military marching bands which were used in Europe during the Gunpowder Age to motivate the soldiers when the battle was on. This tradition begun during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, when mehter bands were instrumental in making the Ottoman army the most powerful in the world.

5. Cameras

7 Significant Muslim Contributions To The Modern WorldIbn al-Haytham's Camera Obscura. The concept of the Camera Obscuraas perceived a thousand years ago by Ibn al-Haytham, who coined the Arabic term. Note the formation of the inverted image through a ray diagram. Illustration of theCamera Obscura in 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World

Photography is one of the most popular hobbies as well as profession in the world. This form of art is only possible due to the efforts of a Muslim scientist during the 11th century named as Ibn al-Haytham, who initially described the working of a camera successfully.

Located in Cairo during the 11th century, Ibn al-Haytham was regarded as one of the best scientists of the world. His research explained successfully the working of a pinhole camera. He was also the first scientist who examined that when a tiny hole is put onto the side of a lightproof box, rays of light from the outside are projected through that pinhole into the box and onto the back wall of it.

6. Surgical Tools

7 Significant Muslim Contributions To The Modern WorldAlbucasis blistering a patient in the hospital at Cordova.

The great 10th-century Muslim surgeon Qasim al Zahrawi, described as the father of surgery, invented many surgical tools still used in modern medicine, including the scalpel, the surgical needle and surgical scissors. He also discovered catgut as a reliable material to administer internal stitches as it can be absorbed by the body, preventing the need for a second surgery to remove them.

7. Public Libraries

7 Significant Muslim Contributions To The Modern World
During the early decades of Islam, mosques acted as hubs for intellectual discourse across the Muslim lands. They were not only places of worship, but also housed libraries full of books on religion, philosophy and science. These libraries were open to the masses and not just the ruling and intellectual elite, as was the common practice then.

7 Significant Muslim Contributions To The Modern World
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