Science & Islam: A History

  • ISBN13: 9781848310810
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description

History’s least-known yet most fertile period in science was the extraordinary Islamic scientific revolution between 700 and 1400. The story of the scientists and inventors is woven into a journey through the Islamic empires of the middle ages that enabled this revolution, and its contribution to science in Western culture.

Science & Islam: A History

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2 thoughts on “Science & Islam: A History

  1. Ehsan on page 71 of Science & Islam compares al-Andalus with pseudo-multi-cultural society of his times. During his comparison he recalls several not so important structural similarities and differences between the present pseudo-multi-cultural society and al-Andalus, but somehow the structural core of the real-multi-cultural society; the right to practice their own laws, with their own legal institutions of Christians, Jews and Muslims which was a historic fact in al-Andalus, slips from Ehsan’s intellectual mind. Based on that I don’t think I can recommend this book to you, for I am not sure how many other ommissions of important historic facts are filled up with gossips and legends to save the secular-pseudo-multi-cultural, mono-law society.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. The synopsis of the book provided by the “Product Description” is fairly accurate. Therefore, I will only point out that it is difficult nowadays to get an objective, nuanced opinion on Islam, neither flattering nor biased against it (if I were to recommend a way to try and achieve this, I would suggest reading several good books on the matter, including this one among them).

    So when I found this book I decide it to give it a chance, in despite of not finding previous comments on it. I was surprised that no one else had made a comment before to this interesting work, which, in my opinion, is an eminently readable survey of science in Islam. So I add my review (I would also suggest to find and read in google Ziauddin Sardar’s review of this book; he reviewed it together with “The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization” by Jonathan Lyons).

    The book is short, less than 240 pages (plus bibliography), and is divided in the following way: Prologue.//1. The dark age myth. PART I: THE ISLAMIC QUEST. 2. The coming of the Prophet. 3. Building Islam. 4. Baghdad’s splendour. 5. The Caliph of science. 6. The flowering of Andalusia. 7. Beyond the Abbasids. PART II: BRANCHES OF LEARNING. 8. The Best Gift from God. 9. Astronomy: the structured heaven. 10. Number: the living universe of Islam. 11. At home in the elements. 12. Ingenious devices. PART III: SECOND THOUGHTS. 13. An endless frontier. 14. One chapter closes, another begins. 15. Science and Islam: lessons from history.//Timeline. Acknowledgments. Bibliography. Index.

    I was somehow worried it would be boring. However, the author manages to narrate the social and political context in which Islamic discoveries took place in such a way that I could not put it down, and read it in as couple of days’ time. In any event I think that the professional historian and the educated layperson alike can savour it. So I add my review, my rate being between 4 (content) and 5 (pleasure).

    Other interesting books dealing with the history of science that I would recommend would be “A People’s History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and Low Mechanicks” by Clifford D. Conner, and “Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction” by James E. McClellan and Harold Dorn.

    For a better understanding of Islam, I would suggest reading the following works, it is worth it:

    A) ASSESSMENTS OF ISLAM: 1) The best, impartial, wise: “Islam. History, present, future” by Hans Küng. 2) The political point of view of 1.3 billion Muslim people today: ” Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think ” by John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed; and 3) Harsh but well argued: “Muslims in the West: Redefining the Separation of Church & State” by Sami Awad Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh;

    B) WOMEN AND ISLAM. 4) A good reference book: “Women In Islam: An Anthology From The Qu’ran And Hadiths” by Nicholas Awde; and 5) Autobiography of a courageous woman: “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is a controversial thinker with a very interesting life.

    C) HISTORY: 6) General: “The Venture of Islam”, by Marshall G. S. Hodgson (nowadays a classic included in any bibliography on Islam); 7) Turks: “The Turks in World History” by Carter Vaughn Findley; 8) Political theory: “God’s Rule : Government and Islam” by Patricia Crone; and 9) Jihad: Understanding Jihad” by David Cook.

    Rating: 4 / 5

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