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Curricula in Islamic Sciences

Curricula in Islamic Sciences

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Published by ismail
Islamic Classical Sciences from medicine to astronomy were thought in religious schools with religious courses. Curricula and different courses.
Islamic Classical Sciences from medicine to astronomy were thought in religious schools with religious courses. Curricula and different courses.

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Published by: ismail on Nov 09, 2009
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Curricula In Classical Islamic Sciences Ismail Yurdakokismailyurdakok@gmail.comIntroduction. Although ancient Greece, Indian and Sassanian books and texts wereused at the beginning in classical Islamic sciences; but even from the translationperiod, critical method was applied on these texts by Islamic education milieu.When they were teaching sciences, scholars corrected these texts and developed theprograms. Interdisciplinary but detailed science education is mentioned in thefirst part of the paper. Critical Thought in Science Education was studied in thesecond part. Courses in Medical Education and Curricula and Sub-Disciplines ofSciences in Ottoman Madrasas are the other parts. 1-Interdisciplinary but Detailed Scientific StudyWhen first Islamic philosophers were searching Greece (and Indian) philosophy theyalso investigated mathematics, chemistry, physics, medicine, astronomy that thesedisciplines were in the philosophy in that days.(1) Kindi was saying “it isimpossible to be successful in philosophy unless you know mathematics, and Farabi“You can enter philosophy with geometry and logic and it is impossible to besuccessful unless you know physics. Because physics is the easiest and nearestdiscipline to us”(2) Farabi (d.339A.H/950 A.D) had written Risala fima yanbaghian yuqaddam qabla taallum al-Falsafa (Booklet on Necessary (Topics) BeforeLearning Philosophy) as a guide-book for students of philosophy. Syriacs did notread the sources in Syriac after Farabi wrote his kulliyyat on logic. Hisclassification of knowledge influenced to muslim and latin authors.The third part(fasl) of Ihsa al-Ulum of Farabi is on mathematics. Arithmetics, geometry, optics,astronomy, mechanics and cranks are seen in this part. Physics is in the fourthpart. Concept of tawhid (unity of knowledge) is clearly seen in this book.Political philosophy, natural sciences, ethics, (Islamic) law, (Islamic) theologyare studied together.Ihsa al-Ulum is like a handbook that reflects the disciplines and researches andeducation of 10th century Islamic world. Ihsa al-Ulum became the source ofinspiration for this kind of studies after it, like Rasail al-Ikhwan al-Safa,Kharizmi’s Mafatih al-Ulum, Ibn Sina’s Aqsam al-Ulum al-Aqliyya, Fakhraddin Razi’sJami al-Ulum, Ibn al-Akfani’s Irshad al-Qasid ila Esn al-Maqasid, Ibn Khaldun’sMuqaddimah, Tashkoprizada’s Miftah al-Saadat, Katib Celebi’s Kashf al-Zunun, andSiddiq Hasan Khan’s Abjad al-Ulum. Researchers L.Baur, Moris de Wolf and P.Maurice Bouyges showed the influence of Ihsa al-Ulum on Latin authors. Ihsa al-Ulum was brought to England at late years of 12th century by Daniel Morlayer. (3)Diploma (Degree) of Science. In eastern Islamic world, Nasirudin Tusi made begunthe education of rational and mathematical science and after a short time with theinfluence of this teaching style, the other Islmaic countries followed the sameway. Qutbuddin al-Shirazi had given an ijazat (diploma) in science to NajmuddinAbdurrahman al-Mawsili in Rabi al-Awwal 708(September 1308.) This new kind of
 
education system was carried to madrasas of Tabriz, Shiraz and Samarkand and thento Ottoman lands. Qadizade had given an ijazat of rational and mathematicalsciences to Fathullah al-Shirwani in Samarkand in the first half of 15th century.Al-Shirwani had followed the courses of chief professor (dean and chair) Qadizadain methodology of Islamic law, Islamic theology, jadal and khilaf (science ofdisputation as a branch of jurisprudence), astronomy, geometry and the othermathematical sciences. The date of Qadizada’s ijazatnama to Fathullah al-Shirwaniis Rabi al-Akhir 15, 844(September 13, 1440 A.D) and the textbooks were followedby al-Shirwani were written in ijazatnama: Sharh al-Tazkiratu al-Nasiriyye fi al-Hay’a (Sharhu Nizamuddin al-A’raj al-Nisaburi), Sharhu Mukhtasar Ibn Hajib fiilmay al-Usul wa al-Jadal (Sayyid Sharif Jurjani) Sharhu al-Mawaqif(Jurjani),Sharhu Mulakhkhas fil al-Hay’a (Qadizada), Sharhu Ashkal al-Ta’sis (Qadizada).After returned to Turkey, Shirwani gave courses to his students from the textbooksof Qadizada’s Sharhu al-Mulakhkhas and Sharhu Ashkal al-Ta’sis that there were alot of students that followed these courses even some scholars like MuhyiddinMuhammad al-Niksari, Kamaluddin Mas’ud al-Shirwani. Fathullah al-Shirwani wasgiving courses of mathematics, astronomy and geography with the courses of Arabicgrammar and Islamic subjects. (4) And Jalaluddin al-Dawwani had given an ijazat toMuayyadzada Abdurrahman Amasi in 888(1483 A.D.) Shamsuddin al-Ushi had taken anijazat from Haja Muhammad Parsa after completed the science and religious coursesas a full diploma (ijazatnama-i umumi) in Rabi al-Awwal 796(March 1394.) Sometimesone scholar was teaching all of the sciences and religious courses and giving onediploma; sometimes student was following different courses from different scholarsand taking different certificates.(5)2-Critical Thought in Science EducationEmpirical method, objectivity and critical thought were the main characteristicsof classical Islamic sciences. Jabir b. Hayyan (d. 200 A.H/ 815 A.D) as one of thepioneer names, his studies spreaded from mathematics, astronomy, medicine tophilosophy, chemistry. But he is the first degree chemist. E. J. Holmyard firstsaw Jabir’s distinguished position in chemistry and Jabir had shaped thechemistry as a systematic empirical science. E.O. Lippmann says: “Jabir’s place inchemistry is equal to the founders of modern chemistry Boyle, Priestley andLavoiser. As a reality that Jabir had comprehended exactly the importance ofempirical method in (natural) sciences and had applied this method in all of hisstudies. His statement: “We only mentioned in this book, ‘knowledges that after wetested the characteristics of what we observed’ not we (only) listened or not(only) was said to us or not we (only) read” shows his giving importance toempirical method. Every medieval chemists had been influenced by Jabir, even RogerBacon had said for him: “master of the masters.”(6)Fargani (d. 247 A:H/ 861 A.D) is the famous mathematician-astronomer in theperiods of caliphs Ma’mun, Mu’tasim Billah, Vathiq Billah, and Mutawakkil Ala-Allah. His book Jawamiu Ilm al-Nujum wa Usul al-Harakat al-Samawiyya becamefamous in Islamic world but especially in Europe. Fargani put objections againstPtolemy (Ptolemaios) in this book. After translated the book into Latin byJohannes Hispalensis in 1134 and by Gherardo Cremonese in 1175 a great acceptancewas seen because Fargani’s book was excellent in its content and in its systematicdesign.(7)Muslim astronomers investigated the similarities among the Iran (Sassanian),Indian and Greek systems and they worked to establish an eclectic astronomy, onthe other hand they corrected the parameters of Ptolemy (Ptolemaios) that theydeveloped new and healthier observation techniques of measurements. AlthoughPtolemy’s earth-center universe model protected its (dominant) place in Islamicworld for centuries but muslim astronomers did not copy exactly the geography ofPtolemy that they also developed new techniques and systems using the knowledges
 
of Indian and Sassanians and they corrected and completed the geography ofPtolemy. (8) Astronomer and mathematician al-Badi’ al-Usturlabi (d. 534 A.H/ 1139A.D) first studied in Isfahan and then came to Baghdad and did scientific studiesunder the patronage of caliph Mustarshid Billah; Usturlabi worked on theinstruments of observations and developed them and it had been possible with hisstudies to measure more than one latitude using one instrument. (9)Jabir b. Aflah’s Kitab al-Hay’a fi Islah alMajasti gave a big reputation to himthat he had written it to correct the mistakes of Ptolemy’s. He died probably inthe middle of 12th century and his book was translated into Hebrew in 1274 byMoses b. Tibbon and then Jokob b. Mahir and Samuel b. Judah corrected thetranslation in 1335. Gherardo of Cremonese translated the book into Latin andpublished in Nurnberg, in 1534. Jabir put the knowledgeson spherical trigometry in the introduction part of his book that especially thissection is very important. R.P. Lorch prepared a doctorate dissertation Jabir b.Aflah and His Influence in the West in 1970.(10) Muslim physicians had writtenrefutations against the books of Hippocrates and Galenos and these refutationswere being read with the original texts of Hippocrates and Galenos. (11) Famousphysician Fakhruddin al-Mardini had corrected some sentences of Ibn Sina’s al-Qanun fi al-Tib with the helps of his teacher Ibn al-Tilmiz in Baghdad. (12) Al-Qanun fi al-Tib was also criticized by Ibn al-Nafis famous physician of 13thcentury that Ibn al-Nafis criticized the anatomy part of Ibn Sina’s book and wrotea book Sharhu Tashrih al-Qanun li Ibn Sina (13) All of the famous physicians ofthe Bimaristani (Hospital) of Nuruddin in Syria in 13th century: Abu al-Majd b.Abu al-Hakam, Dahwar, Ibn Abu Usaybia, Ibn al-Nafis, Ibn al-Quf had got criticalthought and produced a lot of original books and papers on medicine.(14) Anotherfamous physician of 13th century Abdullatif al-Baghdadi (d. 1231) that he wasgraduated from the Madrasa of Nizamiyya of Baghdad that he had showed the mistakesof Galenos on osteology (science of bones.)Andalusian scholar IbnTufayl had suggested to his student Bitruji to criticize theastronomical system of Ptolemy and changed the system depending on the datas ofAristotle’s philosophy of physics, in 12th century. Bitruji put a (differentsystem from the model of Ptolemy) new system using eccentrics and episics.BeforeBitruji, in one of his books, Ibn Tufayl had promised to develop like a thissystem but it is understood that he could not realize it. But F.J.Carmody claimsthat there was a book of Ibn Tufayl that did not reach today that the sources ofBitruji’s system of astronomy and thoughts of Ibn Rushd on this topic were takenfrom Ibn Tufayl. Ibn Rushd, Ibn Tufayl and Bitruji lived in the same years.Bitruji studied in the way that his teacher Ibn Tufayl advised him and he wroteKitab al-Hay’at. To write this book, Bitruji, first, read Ja’bir b. Aflah’s Islahal-Majasti and learned the criticisms on Ptolemy’s system that done (by muslimscholars) before, and then defended his thesis. Bitruji’s astronomy system causeda big reaction in Europe in 13th century. British astronomer William tookquotations from Bitruji and Grosseteste took Bitruji’s system as a base for hisstudies when he rejected the system of Ptolemy. In the second half of 13thcentury, there were great disputes between the defenders of Ptolemy and Bitruji.Isaac Israeli of Toledo was saying for Bitruji: “Man who shakes the world with histheory.” Criticisms of Andalusian scholars like Ibn Bajja, Ibn Tufayl, Ibn Rushd,Bitruji, Ibn al-Aflah against Ptolemy’s theory, became a sources of inspirationfor critics of Ptolemy for European scholars in the Renaissance period.(15)Ibn Rushd as a great scholar in religious studies and sciences and an Islamicjudge, he explains the disputed popular problem of that days of Islamic world that‘is it permissible to learn a science that non-muslims established (or/anddeveloped) it. Kindi had mentioned this topic before Ibn Rushd. Ibn Rushd (andKindi) says “continuity is the base in the knowledge; the successors uses theknowledges of the formers. It is a natural and historical necessity that to profit

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