Technology and Islam

The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim." (Hadith, Ibn Majah)

Islam has paid a great attention to knowledge. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim." (Hadith, Ibn Majah) . In islam, teaching and learning are the necessities of life. A person should either learn or teach ( or both ). It is a significant element in the social progress and development of the society.

The Prophet (pbuh) inspired a great zeal for seeking knowledge in the hearts of his followers. This inspiration enabled the occurance of many great scientists in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, physics, philosophy , logic, surgery ,chemistry, pharmacology, optics, zoology and medicine.

Here are some examples for islamic scientists: Jabir ibn Hayan was accepted to be the father of modern chemistry. Muhammad Ibn Musa al-Khawarizmi ( 800 BC ) studied astronomy and geography. He also founded modern mathematics and defined the fundamentals of algebra. Al-Biruni is accepted to be the founder of the modern scientific method. Ibn Sina had great contributions to medical science and was known as the 'doctor of doctors.' Ibn Rushd had great contributions to the science of astronomy with his book "the Almagest".

One of the other islamic scientists , Al-Ghezali said, "O youngster! Many are the nights that you have passed with seeking knowledge and scanning books, and you have abstained from sleep. I do not know your intention. If it has been obtaining the concerns of this world, collecting its wreckages, and holding its positions and ostentation before the others, then woe is you! If your intendment is enlivening the Prophet's practices, refining your ethics, and violating the bad-tending soul, then you should get many happy returns."

In the early years of prophecy, the mosque of the muslims was lit by burning old date leaves. But burning leaves caused a lot of smoke. Temim Dari ( a sahabi ) bought an oil lamp from Damascus ( capital city of Syrie ). The lamp was made by Chiristians and some of the sahabi would refuse to use the lamp in the mosque. Then the Prophet(pbuh) came to the mosque and saw that the mosque was lit by a lamp which did not cause as much smoke as burning date leaves. The Prophet(pbuh), not only approved the usage of oil lamps, but also praised Temim Dari. ( Ibn Hacer, el-isabe, II, 18 ). This anectode indicates that islam encourages utilising new technologies.

( pbuh = peace be upon him )

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