An incredible exhibit that has been at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit for a few months now, has caught the attention and interest of thousands.
For a long time, a very diverse group of local supporters worked perpetually to bring this exposition to southeast Michigan. Their hope was to allow visitors to discover the countless contributions of Muslims in past civilizations, in order to inspire a better future, and share untold stories from a golden age of innovations.
If you’ve thought that Muslims of the past didn’t do anything beyond developing Algebra, or perhaps leaving behind very famous books, you’ll be in for some major surprises upon visiting the exhibit.
The exhibit goes back to the time in which the West was facing a period known as “The Dark Ages.” At this very same stage, the Muslim Civilization from the 7th generation onward have brought forward extraordinary advancements and inventions, the majority in which you may still use in your life to this day. The Muslim civilization stretched from southern Spain, all the way to China. Muslim architects built domes larger than ever before, gave rise to many new architectural ideas, and designed distinctive arches and tile patterns that are continuously used today. Of the most famous architects was Mimar Sinan, who began merely as an ordinary carpenter.
However, he went on to designing 477 buildings for three Ottoman Sultans in his lifespan, leaving his work for you to still see. The Selimiye Mosque in Turkey, which stands to this day, was built by Sinan in the 1570s. His amazing efforts reflected in the circumstance that the mosque lasted for several earthquakes. His work focused on bringing forth harmony between architecture and landscape, and truly reflected in his unique and jaw-dropping designs. One of his most famous known works is the Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. It, in fact, crowns of the seven hills of Turkey, and many of this mosque’s features indicate that Sinan may have been one of the earliest “green” architects.
The term “algebra” comes from the title of the book, Al-Jabr Wa’l-uqabalah, by Al-Khwarizmi. He was a scholar at the House of Wisdom during the early 9th century. Beyond algebra, Muslims contributed to geometry, astronomy, and some very remarkable medical marvels.
Moreover, engineers in the Muslim world went on to drastically improve many architectural features that have been used by previous civilizations. Health wasn’t excluded; countless Muslims dated in the 7th century produced some of the most accurate diagrams of the structure of the human eye, invented a hollow needle to suck out cataracts from patients’ eyes so that they are able to regain vision, and even published remarkable books.
A 10th century Spanish Muslim surgeon, Al-Zahrawi was considered the “father of modern surgery.” He wrote his 30-chapter book illustrating new surgical instruments, which became a very indispensable surgical handbook for centuries thereafter. He pioneered scalpel for cutting (medical instrument used today) as well as the lithotripter, a tool used to crush hard deposits such as bladder stones in the body. He also invented the use of catgut for making internal stiches, and a similar material is used by modern surgeons. They’re simply jaw-dropping facts that are unfortunately, not acknowledged often nowadays.
Of the many inventions, one that was quite attention-grasping was the astrolabe. Prior to the invention of watches or clocks, Muslim engineers and astronomers built astrolabes, which brought space and time together into one gadget. This tool basically told the time during both night and day, and helped many navigate on land by aiding in identifying stars. The tour guide at the exhibit made sure to exclaim, “you’re holding all of time and space in your hand,” and that somehow made the astrolabe feel heavier.
Other inventions and contributions included but are not limited to health and herbal medicine, calligraphy, marbling patterns, currency, astronomy, glass rooms or conservatories, botanical gardens, open-air markets, the postage stamp, geometry, and the spread of knowledge. The exhibit included very interactive game stations, 3-D models, in-depth description and images, and very elegant and eye-catching presentation.
The 1001 Inventions exhibit has been recognized and endorsed by many. “I am delighted to see the success of 1001 inventions, which presents and celebrates the many scientific, technological, and humanitarian developments shared by the Islamic world and the West,” stated his Royal highness, Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales.
The book, 1001 Inventions & Awesome Facts from Muslim Civilization, is loaded with fun facts and historical figures even adults could significantly enjoy. It’s also bursting with over 400 unique and notable photographs that bring history to life. It would make an extraordinary and wonderful addition to any home library. If you don’t get a chance to visit the exhibit, you can purchase the book through several online retailers. Go on now, take a step back into history, not to halt, but to move forward. You can find further information on their website: www.1001inventions.com