By: Zeeshan Nasir
When I hear someone talking about the current Muslim scientists, I remember the saying of Bernard Lewis, ” The civilization that had produced cities, observatories and libraries and opened itself to the world had now regressed and become closed, resentful,violent, and hostile to discourse and innovation.”
The current status of Muslims towards the technological era is one that witness perpetual ignorance since the Muslims are tagged with the label of being terrorists provoking one to question whether Islam really opposes the learning of science?
Indubitably, Islam stands in hand to hand with science. Allah repeatedly advises in many verses and Ayahs in the Holy Quran to study the nature for learning more about the nature. One can know the power of Allah better by coming across bizarre entities like tiny insects and gigantic animals like the blue whale and African elephants.
History witnesses that Muslims were dominating after the advent of Islam in the technological era which has moved to the west now.
Today, the western World feels proud to have inventing innovations forgetting the fact that these foundations of scientific field and research were laid by the Muslims which ever present technical advancements they have.
Between the 8th and 13th centuries, Muslim scientists made tremendous leaps in the field of scientific research. Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarzmi, whose discovery of the logarithm forms the basis of computer science and is known as the father of Algebra. With being a philosopher and a jurist, Ibn Rushd made contributions to the diagnosis and cure of diseases. Abu Bakr al-Razi was a great physician. Ibn Zuhr was a famous surgeon and physician. Abu Nast Mohammad al-Farabi was a philosopher, musician and sociologist while Ibn Sina’s contributions ranged from medicine, psychology to pharmacology and from geology, physics, astronomy,philosophy to chemistry. And this is not the end; the list goes on.
But unfortunately, these days Muslim countries are only known for the production of camels, falconry and desalination.
Morosely, science has being considered as the enemy of the spreading of Islam. Gates of knowledge in the Muslim countries have been closed and the people have grown more aggressive, more intolerant and more ignorant than before.
According to a recent report some years ago, Muslims had nine scientists, engineers and technicians per 1,000 people, compared to a world average of 41 ,of 1,800 universities,only 312 had scholars who published journal articles and forty-six Muslim countries contributed to just 1 per cent of the world’s scientific literature.
Presently, Turkey is the only Muslim country in the top 20 ranking on science output ranked as the 19.
Unfortunately, Muslim countries don’t contribute in science much is because of corruption.Politicians and government aren’t science fans. Most of them are literally ignorant,and seek only for power.
True, global powerslike Russia, China, Japan ,the US and India etc have led with the torch of scientific inquiry and have investigated the true knowledge of nature. Our neighbouring countries like China or India have topped scientific inquiry and China has sent astronauts into space, landed a rover on the moon and is now on the way to a mission to Mars. India has launched missions to the moon and Mars and is pushing the frontiers of knowledge. These countries have scientists in every field from particle physics to theoretical physics to biology to chemistry.
To take one instanceof two global powers like Saudi Arabia and Russia indeed both are rich in minerals,but Saudi Kings spend their cash on gambling in casinos and to fulfil their military goals by destructing and engulfing smaller countries like Yemen. But the situation in Russia stands reversed. Russia too is going through wars with other countries; however, the Russians are pushing the frontiers of knowledge by producing scientists and intellectuals to boost up their scientific research.
Unfortunately, I didn’t hear of a Baloch scientist till 2016, when I heard that a Baloch astronaut named Dr Yar Jan Samad hailing from a village based in the Turbat district known as Buleda made a trip in space; however, he didn’t make the journey not in his native country but in Europe.
This is the political situation of the countries which witness unsatisfactory results and issues that still remain unaddressed.
However, our own Muslim country,Turkey, according to reports has removed the Darwin’s evolution theory in the school syllabus but what about our own country?
Despite being a developing country, Pakistan spends only 2.7 percent of its GDP on education while countries like Maldives spend 11.2 percent, Uzbekistan 7.4 percent and Bhutan 4.8 percent. Pakistan, however, seems to be interested in investing on building underpasses or spending on arms and ammunitions.
It is in fact a tragic that the followers of a Faith which could take human potential to great heights of education and spiritual development are now mired in the depth of ignorance.