Important Inventions of Muslims

Since ancient times, Muslims have discovered surgical methods or designed flying machines, setting the stage for the development of today’s civilized world.

Muslim engineer Abbas ibn Firnas was the first to carry out the plan to build a flying machine and test it. Around the 9th century, he designed an airframe with wings and hoped it could fly like a bird. During a famous test in Cordoba, Spain, the machine flew for a few seconds before falling to the ground and breaking his back. Abbas’s work is said to have been the inspiration of Leonardo da Vinci hundreds of years later.

Important Inventions of Muslims Abbas ibn Firnas (left) and his test flight simulation. (Photo:

Around the year 1000, Dr. Al Zahrawi published a 1,500-page Encyclopedia of Surgery. This book was used as a reference in medical research 500 years later.

Zahrawi is also the one who discovered how to use cat intestine thread to suture surgical wounds. He is also the doctor who performed the first caesarean section and invented the surgical forceps.

According to Professor Salim al-Hassani, president of the British Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization, coffee was first brewed in Yemen around the 9th century. At that time, it was a drink that helped Sufis teach stay up all night to pray. Later, coffee was brought by a group of students to Cairo, Egypt and then to Turkey around the 13th century. Coffee beans began to appear in Europe three centuries later and were brought to Italy by a merchant.

In 859, Fatima al-Firhi , the daughter of a wealthy merchant, founded the world’s first degree-granting university in Fez, Morocco . Together with the mosque founded by her sister Miriam, it became the complex of the University and the al-Qarawiyyin Mosque, operating for nearly 1,200 years. Professor Hassani said the story highlights that education is at the core of the Muslim tradition, and hopes it inspires Muslim women today.

Many important scientific achievements and advances in optical research come from the background of the Islamic world. Ibn al-Haitham demonstrated that humans see objects when light is reflected and enters the eye, contrary to the theory of Euclid and Ptolemy which asserted that light is emitted from the eye. The physicist also discovered the dark box phenomenon, which explains how the human eye sees images thanks to the connection between the brain and the optic nerve.

Islamic music had a far-reaching influence on European music. According to the researchers, the lute and the rahab , the precursor to the violin, were two of the musical instruments brought to Europe. The scale or scale in modern music is believed to derive from the Arabic alphabet.

The Prophet Mohammed is said to have contributed to the popularization of the use of a toothbrush since 600. Mohammed cleans his teeth and breath using a small Meswak twig. Substances similar to those found in the Meswalk tree are used in toothpaste.

Important Inventions of Muslims
Some Muslim and African countries today can still use small meswak branches to clean teeth. (Photo: ShutterStock)

“The hospitals we know today, with their systems of clinics and training centers, have their roots in 9th century Egypt,” said Professor Hassani. The world’s first medical center named Ahmad ibn Tulun , established in 872 in Cairo, provides free care to patients based on Muslim traditions.

Initially, in ancient India, people invented a form of chess with 64 squares, associated with the famous legend of a king who generously rewarded its inventor with twice the number of grains of rice each square. in the previous box. But then, in Persia (Iran), this game was developed into today’s chess form and quickly spread to Western Europe and Asian countries such as Japan.

Important Inventions of Muslims
When this game was brought to Persia, it was developed into the form of chess as it is today.

Maybe because bathing is a mandatory religious requirement of Muslims, it was they who perfected the soap making recipe that we still use today. Before that, the ancient Egyptians used soap, the Romans also used soap as a perfume. But it was the Arabs who combined vegetable oils with caustic soda and flavorings to make soap.