Discussion

It has been seen that the scholars working in the Islamic Empire spanning over three continents started in the beginning with the translation movement, as well as creating the necessary language tools in Arabic for the translations of the works of the Greeks, Persians, Indians and all ancient knowledge. But having acquired the knowledge they set about not only assimilating, testing and analysing, but also adding important and original contributions to that knowledge.

Beginning from the end of the tenth century this knowledge began to filter back to Europe through the translations of Arabic versions of the Greek knowledge and the original Greek treatises (Burnett, 2001). But also transferred to Europe were the seminal contributions of scholars of the Islamic world. Modern science as we know it today works with theories and models that must be tested empirically, starting in the fields of mathematics, astronomy and medicine. The Muslims developed the procedures for testing knowledge both empirically and logically. However an important characteristic of Islamic science was its experimental character. Islamic scientists were interested especially in the applied sciences, in the construction of apparatus, in testing theories by undertaking observations, and analysis of results through mathematics (Bammate, 1959). These ideas and procedures were all available in Western Europe through the seminal works of Islamic scholars before the times of Galileo, Descartes and Newton to whom they have been largely attributed.