Science and Islam

It is a terrible shame that a creative civilisation like Islam can come to be so backward and identified now in the international media with extremist violence. Islam did, in fact, contribute much to world culture and civilisation. Long before the European Enlightenment, scholars and researchers working from Samarkand in modern-day Uzbekistan to Cordoba in Spain advanced our knowledge of astronomy, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, medicine and philosophy.


From Musa al-Khwarizmi who developed algebra in 9th century Baghdad to al-Jazari, a 13th-century Turkish engineer whose achievements include the crank, the camshaft and the reciprocating piston, Ehsan Masood tells the impressive story of one of history’s most misunderstood yet rich and fertile periods in science. Mahsood describes the scholars, research, and science of the Islamic empires of the middle ages.


Watch the accompanying BBC series with Jim Al-Khalili here


Check if this illuminating book on science history is in stock at your local library by consulting the online catalogue at


256 pages in Icon Books

First published 2008

ISBN 978-1848310407


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Ehsan Masood

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