Top Scientists from the Golden Age of Islam

Book by Haitham

Book of Optics

When we are school studying science and other subjects you never hear of a Muslim or Arab scientists. Then fast forward 2 decades . Then you find out that Father of Algebra is Al-Khwarizmi!

What? They never told us that in the American Science books: Scot Foresman books or British GCE O level Books.

You sure get educated in school.

I am going to discuss some of the Muslim Scientists of the Golden Age of Islam.

1.Hassan Ibn Haitham(956 CE-1040 CE)

Founder of Modern optics. Wow ,never knew this in school. We did study the eye in Ordinary Level Biology. They don’t teach that in A levels either.

Discoveries: He suggested light travels to the eyes from various points in an object. Little different to what Aristotle or Ptolemy suggested.

Bio: He was a Muslim born in Basra,Iraq.

Alias : Known in the West as AlHazen.

2.Al-Khwarizmi        (780 CE-850)

Mohammed ibn Musa al -Khwarizmi was a Muslim Persian  born in Khwarazm ,Central Asia.

He was a director in House of Wisdom or Bayt Al Hikmah.

The Most important contributions was Algebra.

He introduced Algebraic methods and techniques for solving equations.

The name was derived from his book:

“Al-Kitab al-mukhtasar fi hisab al-jabr wa’l-muqabala

Al Jabr to modern Algebra. Al Khwarizmi wanted to give unique focus of solving mathematical problems by an abstract language which we use today.

He provided formula for solving quadratic equations. He is also credited in development of lattice(sieve) multiplication.(which was later used by Fibonacci. 

In short he contributed in the following areas:

  • Algebra
  • Arithmetic
  • Astronomy
  • Trigonometry
  • Geography
  • Jewish Calendar

The word Algorithm is derived from his name ,when translated in Latin. 

How the Italians do that, don’t know.


Born in Al Khawrazm, Central Asia.

Persian Muslim

Period:780-850 CE.



He introduced Alchemy or Al Kemey.

He is credited with the invention of several chemical instruments.

Jabir discovered Hydrochloric acid and Nitric Acid.

He is called as Father of Chemistry by English historian Eric Holmyard.

There about 1300 books 7 articles attributed to Jabir from alchemy to Cosmology.

His contributions:

  • created scales up to precision of 1/6th gram.
  • simple way to distill.
  • Jabir created image of chemicals bonds 10 centuries before John Dalton.
  • Laid groundwork for Mendelev’s Periodic Table.

He was born in Tus, Persia in 761 CE.


  • The One Hundred and Twelve Books
  • The Books of the Balances
  • The Books on the Seven Metals

4.IBN al Nafis

Born: Damascus, Syria:1213 CE.


He is first one to describe pulmonary circulation.

His discoveries in the Medical world :

  • Pulmonary Circulation
  • Coronary    Circulation
  • Capillary     Circulation
  • Pulsation- He disagreed with Galen‘s theory.
  • Brain.

Other medical contributions are:

  • Practice of dissection
  • Urology
  • Surgery
  • Metabolism

Ibn Al Nafis is known for his book:Al-Shamil fi al-Tib.

The Comprehensive Book of Medicine.


5.Ibn Sina

Ibn Sina is a famous name in the Muslim world associated with Medicine. He is known in the west as Avicenna. Known as “The Preeminent Master” (al-shaykh al-raʾīs) in the Arab world.



6.Al Jazari

His real name was Badīʿ az-Zaman Abū l-ʿIzz Ismāʿīl ibn ar-Razāz al-Jazarī.

Born:in 1136 CE ,somewhere in Turkey.


Mechanical Engineering.

His skills in mechanical engineering led to follow his father to the Artukulu Palace. His father worked in the Palace and Al  Jazari later became chief engineer. Al Jazari came to work for General Saluddin Al Ayubbi.

His most important contributions include:









Al Jazari

"A handsome boat from which can be told the passage of an hour: In the boat is a man . . .in his right hand is a pipe, its end in his mouth . . . The boat fills and submerges in the space of one constant hour [and] the sailor plays the pipe . . . I made this device so that [a sleeper] will know from the pipe that the boat has sunk, and will wake from his doze at the sound."

-Al Jazari,Book Of Knowledge.




Leonardo Da Vinci is supposed to have been inspired by automation’ of Al Jazari.

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A well travelled writer from Indian sub continent.

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