Islam-knowledge and benefits to man


In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.

Islam-knowledge and benefits to

1. Knowledge
2.  Qur’an and knowledge
3.  Islam and benefits to man

Islam has declared war on ignorance. The Prophet Mohammad declared through Divine Revelation: “Allah has made subservient to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth”–(Qur’an 31:20; 45:13). One could not make subservient “whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth” without knowledge.

   The Prophet Mohammad charged Muslims to ‘seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave,’ to go to China if need be–(Baihaqi) Mishkat Misabih, Vol. 1, p. 361, #111 W); and that ‘the superiority of the learned scholar over the pious worshipper is like the superiority of the (full) moon over the stars’–(Abu Dawud Vol. 3, p.1034, # 3634).
Muslims are enjoined to seek Allāh’s help in obtaining knowledge: “My Lord, increase me in knowledge”–(Qur’an 20:114).

Allāh tells us in His Qur’an:
“And We sent no messenger but with the language of his people, so that he might explain to them clearly”;
“To every nation We appointed acts of devotion, which they observe, so let them not dispute with thee in the matter, and call to thy Lord. Surely thou art on a right guidance”–(Qur’an 14:4; 22:67).
Thus, God is known by a name according to the language of the people.
In Islam there is no such distinction as “secular” knowledge. Whether we call Him Eli, Ishwar, Allāh,  Manitou or Atnatu, all knowledge is from God:

“Read in the name of thy Lord who creates…Who taught by the pen, Taught man what he knew not;”
“I, Allāh, am the Seer. A Book which We have revealed to thee that thou mayest bring forth men, by their Lord’s permission, from darkness into light, to the way of the Mighty, the Praised One”–(Qur’an 96:1-5; 14:1).

   And this knowledge is designated into two groups (1) material knowledge which provides nutrients for the body (2) religious or spiritual knowledge which provides nutrients for the soul and is the vehicle into heaven/paradise.

   Muhammad Ali notes in his The Early Caliphate that ‘Umar, “When as a Caliph he made education compulsory in Arabia, it was made so for both boys and girls”–(p. 120).
   And the Prophet advised the educating even of slave-girls–(Bokhari Vol.; 3 #720. Vol 4 # 655).
   The noble Messenger of Allāh did not consign woman into solitary confinement.
   Allāh is Just. Allāh will not discriminate against Woman because of her gender –a factor she had no control over; a form and physiology He gave her. (See Islam-women).
Prophet Mohammad is noted as saying (as noted in Mishkat Misabih Vol. 1, #112W) that Learning is a treasure-house. Its key is questioning.

Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din states in his book Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an:
“The “Qur’an announced as follows:

(a) The whole world was full of potentialities, (52:4; 2:22.)

(b) Everything in the universe was for a purpose, (3:190; 14:33)

(c) They all were for our service, use and benefit, (15:19-20)

(d) Not a single thing in the whole universe, however insignificant it might be, had been created without its proper use; they have been created to minister to us; and that everything we need is already provided, (3:190; 14:33)

(e) No labour is wasted, (29:58)

(f) Right actions would receive ample reward, 6:161; 7:170; 12:56; 18:30)

           (g) Idleness should gain nothing, (94:7)

(h) Nothing in the universe is changeable in its nature, (30:30)

(i) The whole world is chained by the law. Everything in it follows certain laws, and we can turn everything in it to our advantage if we discover and use the said law. The laws of Nature are none other than the Will of the Most High, (3:82)

(j) The laws of Nature are unalterable, (17:77; 35:43)

(k) Knowledge and the discovery of new sciences will enable us to turn these things in Nature to our use, (2:31; 2:34; 96:5)

(l) Things in Nature stand in a complimentary relation to each other, (86:11-12)

(m) They combine with each other in a fixed proportion to create new things, (87:2-3)

(n) God’s blessings are open to all, (1:1)

(o) His ways are shown to him who seeks after them, (29:69)

(p) There are material treasures in the world for us to work upon. The word Rahman literally conveys this idea that they are open to all and ready to respond to our needs if properly approached, (1:1; 17:20; 67:3)

(q) Everything is already designed and comes to perfection under the principle of Evolution, (20:50)

(r) Man had not to create anything. Everything was already in existence. He had only to strive and use his limbs and he would have an ample reward, (53:39-40)

(s) Everything is for our good but its mishandling makes it evil, (4:79)

(t) Good or evil even in the least measure brings recompense, (7:8-9)

(u) No one will bear our burden, (17:15)

(v) The whole universe is in a measured order, and we have to observe it if we wish to invent other devices or things for our comfort, (15:21)

(w) There are limits and bounds for everything, their trespass entails loss.

       (x) Human nature possesses the best of capabilities, but we need divine guidance for progress, (95:4)

(y) There are pitfalls in our ways, (95:5)

           (z) True success only comes to him who exerts to excel others in his occupation of life, (79:1 to 5). (Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an, pp. 15-19).

“With such a guide before them, it was not surprising that early Muslims should have become keenly interested in scientific research. ….They were the founders of a new civilization. Nay, further, they began to rule Nature, and through it, conquered the world. For centuries they continued supreme, but the riches they thus accumulated, subsequently made them slothful and wrought their ruin. Abuse, excess and self–indulgence shook the structure of their power to its foundations, leaving them an easy prey to others.
   The early Muslims, however, bequeathed a vast heritage to their Western successors in the form of that learning which the latter have since pursued under the name of modern science.”
   “Algebra, Statics, Conic Sections and other branches of applied mathematics are amongst Muslim discoveries.” (pp. 20-21).

   “Muslims were admittedly the founders of modern culture. …It is also an admitted historical fact that there was nothing in pre-Islamic culture to inspire them for scientific research. The Qur’an came to advocate the acquisition of knowledge for the first time. The Holy Prophet bade his followers to go to far off countries in search of it. ….In short, while St. Paul deprecated the law and called it a curse to humanity, the Qur’an respected it and made the observance of it our religion, as Islam literally means “Obedience to the Law.” …..The formal Church had also to assert that sin was innate in human nature, since sin is a breach of the Law. The dictum that man is sinful by nature involves an assumption that he is incapable of observing the Law. It is a most despicable libel on our character to assert that we are criminal by nature. If sin is innate in our nature, it is an anomaly if legislation exists in Christian land. Parliament and all other legislative bodies are a mere infringement on our liberty. …..It was this principle, no doubt, that for centuries retarded all material progress in Christendom, which began to move forward only when the Church dogmas had lost their hold on the human mind.
   Briefly, Law is the chief thing in the world and governs the world. The discovery of this principle and our observance of it brought us progress and success; but it was the Qur’an that first of all taught that obedience to the Law was the Religion from God. All the seven articles of faith in Islam pertained to the Law. They are as follows:-

      (1) Allah -God, the Source of all Law.
     (2) Angels -The first agents through whom the laws of Nature came to operation.
   (3) Books -Revelations that came to man for the promulgation of the Law.
   (4) The Messengers -Those through whom the Law was given.
   (5) The Last Day -The day when we shall all be judged according to the Law.
   (6) The Measures of Evil and Good –As already described, in other words, Law.
     (7) The Coming Life -In which we shall be re-warded according to our observance of the Law.

   In contradiction to the Church, the Qur’an announces that man comes into this world with a nature created to observe the Law:

“Then set your face upright for religion
in the right state
–the nature made by Allah in which He
has made man;
there is no altering of Allah’s creation:
that is the right religion,
but most people do not know”
(Qur’an 30:30).  

   Herein lies the chief difference between Christianity and Islam. While the former was bound to produce material retrogression in the human race, the latter’s aim is to set man on the right path to progress.
   ….All pre-Islamic religions dealt chiefly with a few doctrines of morality, ignoring other aspects of human nature….The Holy Book treats of all subjects –morality, spirituality, sociology, economics, politics and aesthetic matters. But the beauty of the Book lies in the fact that it does not separate one thing from the other. It creates a kind of agreement among them all, and works them out into one harmonious whole.

The Book promulgates certain principles that are broad enough to apply equally to every aspect of the question. For instance, it refers to the doctrine of Evolution and its aspects, while elucidating most of its salient truths. The principle of evolution, it should not be forgotten, was taught to the world for the first time in Islam. The Qur’an began with a chief Divine Attribute –Rabb-ul-‘Alamin. Though this Attribute, in the first place, means the Creator, the Maintainer and the Nourisher of the various worlds, the word Rabb itself is very rich in significance. Its English translation “Lord,” which we find in almost all English translations of the Qur’an, is not an adequate one. ….It also means the Originator of things and their Combiner to create new forms–(Qur’an 87:1-3)….Rabb also signifies One Who reposes all the faculties in things at their inception, and then brings them to perfection, to attain which they pass through various stages. (Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon). In short, the Arabic word conveys all that is connoted by Evolution, as well as every other thing necessary for its functioning. …There is no word in any other language to convey all the meanings of Rabb adequately.” (pp. 15-21, 23-27).

 Contrary to  fanciful charge that Muslim societies have not contributed much to humanity, here are some Muslim contributions to humanity.

Abul Hasan invented the Telescope.
-Ibn Yunus, a “genius in science,” invented the Pendulum.
-Kutubi made the first watch.
-Muslims invented the mariner’s compass.

Mir Fatehullah Khan invented the gun and gunpowder (contrary to popular belief that the Chinese invented gunpowder).
-Ibn al-Hashem invented photography
Muhammad Musa, invented the “Astrolabe” (instrument for measuring the earth)
-Arab chemists were the first to manufacture soap.

Al-Masudi In his celebrated work The Meadows of Gold, he has described an earthquake, and the first windmill which was also invented by a Muslim.
Jabir Ibn Afiah, a mathematician, constructed the first observatory in Europe (in Spain).
-Muslims developed the Algebra of the Greeks to higher applications. Invented “Spherical trigonometry,” and “the “tangent,” etc. Invented the invaluable “zero.”

-“Razi (Rhazes), Ibn Sina (Avicenna), and Abu Ali al-Hasan (Alhazen) were the greatest medical scholars of mediaeval times. Al-Razi was the inventor of “Seton” in Surgery and the author of Al-Judari wal Hasbak, an authentic book dealing with measles and small pox;” this book “is one of the most authentic books on the subject even to the present day. It was translated into Latin and other European languages and was published more than forty times between 1498 and 1866 A.D. It contains detailed information regarding the treatment of postules. The greatest achievement of Al-Razi in the realm of medical science is his celebrated work Al-Hawi (Latin Continens) the most comprehensive encyclopaedia of medicine ever written by a medical man, which runs into 20 volumes. This book was translated into Latin by the Sicilian Jewish physician, Faraj Ibn Salim, on the order of Charles I, King of Sicily, and named Continens. “Its influence on European medicine was thus very considerable,” says Max Meyerhof. Al-Razi has also contributed to gynecology, obstetrics, ophthalmology and has written valuable treatise on the treatment of some common diseases in the East including stones in the bladder and kidneys. He was also an eminent surgeon and is the inventor of ‘Seton’ in surgery. He settled in Baghdad where he founded a hospital named Bimaristan. He selected its site by hanging pieces of raw meat in various localities and choosing the spot where they showed least signs of putrefaction.

 -“Abu Ali Al-Husain-al-Sina, known as Avicenna in the west was one of the greatest intellectuals of the Islamic world.” “His gigantic work AlQanun-Fil-Tib known as Canon in Latin is the culmination and masterpiece of Arab systematisation. It is a medical encyclopaedia dealing with 760 drugs, as well as with general medicine, simple drugs, and diseases affecting all parts of the body. It is particularly concerned with Pathology and Pharmacopoeia and was translated into Latin in the 12th century by Gerard of Cremona. The popularity of this excellent book may be gauged by the fact that during the last 30 years of the 15th century it was printed 16 times and in the 16th century 20 times in various European languages. Publications including sections from this work as well as commentaries on it in various languages of both the east and West are innumerable. According to a celebrated western writer, “Probably no medical work ever written has been so much studied….Hence his influence on European medicine has been overwhelming.”‘ Sir Jadu Nath Sircar, the celebrated Indian Historian pays eloquent tribute to Ibn Sina when he says, “Avicenna was the greatest intellectual giant of the middle ages.”” He discovered the spreading of disease through water. Avicenna was responsible for elevating Islamic medicine to its zenith, and his portrait as well as that of AI-Razi still adorns the grand Hall of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Paris.

-“Muslims have made a lasting contribution to the development of Medical Science. Razi (Rhazes), Ibn Sina (Avicenna), and Abu Ali al-Hasan (Alhazen) were the greatest medical scholars of mediaeval times. Al-Razi was the inventor of “Seton” in Surgery and the author of Al-Judari wal Hasbak, an authentic book dealing with measles and small pox.” “Alhazen was the world’s greatest authority on “optics”. The contagious character of the plague and its remedies were discovered by Ibn Katina, a Moorish Physician.

Jabir known as the father of Arabic alchemy was a mystic and was known as ‘Ceber’ in mediaeval Latin literature.” “Sir Thomas Arnold pays eloquent tribute to this great Muslim scientist when he says, “At the very dawn stands the figure of a Muslim whose shadow lies athwart the science of the middle ages in the orient as in the Occident.”

-“Ali Ibn Al-Abbas-al-Majusi known in the west as Haly Abbas, who died in 994 A. D., was the author of a celebrated work Kitab-al-Maliki known as Liber Regius in Latin, an excellent and compact encyclopaedia dealing with both the theory and practice of medical science. It is less voluminous than Al-Razi’s Hawi and it remained a standard book until it was superseded by the Canon the masterpiece of the great Avicenna. Perhaps Majusi was the first physician to write about the capillary system and to describe accurately the way in which a child is born.

Abu-Al-Jarrah-Al-Zahrawi known in Latin as Abul Casis was a great surgeon who wrote AE-Tasrif containing 30 sections, the last of which deals with surgery.” “Al-Tasrif is fully illustrated with sketches of surgical instruments and it profoundly contributed to the development of surgery both in the East and the West. It was translated into several European languages and the famous French surgeon Guy de Chauliac benefitted from one of its Latin translations. Stanley Lane Poole in his celebrated work The Moors in Spain pays eloquent tribute to the part played by Spanish Muslims in the awakening of the West, when he says, “Every branch of science was seriously studied there, and medicine received more and greater additions by the discoveries of the doctors and surgeons of Andalusia than it had gained during all the centuries that had elapsed since the days of Galen.”‘

-“Ali Ibn Isa of Baghdad known in Latin as Jesu Occulist has written an excellent treatise on ophthalmology, a branch of medicine dealing with eye diseases. It was translated into Latin and was considered the authoritative work on eye diseases in Europe till the middle of the 18th century.

-“Abu Ali al-Hasan (965-1020 A.D.) known as Alhazen in the west is recognised as the greatest authority on optics the world produced.” “He has made valuable contributions to the development of physics and medicine, but his outstanding achievement is in the realm of optics. He has corrected the theories of Euclid and Ptolemy on the subject. His Opticae Thesaurus influenced such great writers on optics as Roger Bacon, Leonard da Vinci, John Kepler and all mediaeval western writers, who base their works on the research of Alhazen. The two greatest luminaries of the Islamic world Ibn Sina and Al-Beruni shared and fully endorsed Alhazen’s opinion that, ‘It is not the ray that leaves the eye and meets the object that gives rise to vision. Rather the form of the perceived object passes into the eye and is transmitted by its transparent body.

-“Ibn Rushd known as Averroes in the west who died in 1198 in Morocco is the greatest Aristotelian philosopher, He is the author of 16 medical works of which one Kulliyat Fil Tib dealing with general rules of medicine was translated into Latin as Colliget. It was printed several times in Europe. Averroes is one of the most outstanding literary figures that Islamic Spain has produced and he was instrumental in clearing away the darkness of illiteracy that had enveloped Europe.
(Averroes, Avicenna, Alhazen, Saladin –Salahuddin Ayyube, the majestic liberator of Jerusalem– don’t you just adore the way the West/Christians adulterate the names of Muslims, just like they adulterate their “Book of God.” Perhaps by adulterating the names of Muslims they are trying to obliterate or obfuscate the truth that these benefactors of humanity are Muslims).

-“Ibn Katina, the Moorish physician who died in 1369 A.D. is the author of excellent book on the plague. A severe plague which ravaged Alemaria in Spain in 1348-49 A.D. caused the celebrated physician to write a treatise on the plague which was superior to all earlier works on the subject. This book was edited and translated in Europe in the 15th century A.D. and revealed the contagious character of the plague and its remedies which were not known to Greek physicians.

-“The study of medicine in Europe began at Salerno (Sicily) where Constantine the African, a disciple of an Arab Physician organised the first medical school. The medical school of Montpellier soon followed suit, which was founded on the pattern of Cordova under the guidance of Jewish doctors. Other schools on the same lines were opened at Pisa and later at Padua (Italy) where Canon of Avicenna and the Surgery of Abul Qasim remained until the 17th century the text books of medical science throughout Europe. Robert Briffault writes, “The Pharmacopoeia created by the Arabs is virtually that which but for the recent- Synthetic and organotherapic–Apic preparations, is in use at the present day; our common drugs, such as nux vomica, Senna, Rknbarb, aconite, gention, myrrh, calomel and structure of our prescriptions, belong to the Arabic medicine.
(The material on Muslims contribution to mankind is voluminous. Just “Google” The Islamic Scholar, or Muslims contribution to the world, or Muslims contribution to Science, or Muslims contribution to Medicine, from where I gleaned my information).

THE  QUR’AN:  MIRACLE   OF  ALL  MIRACLES: by Dr. Zakir Naik: Though the two videos are similar there is additional info  in  one; and also in the question and answer section).