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ASTRONOMY

ASTRONOMY. One of the greatest astronomers of Islam, al-Battani (the Albatenius, Albategni, or Albategnius of the Latin West, d. c.929 CE), declares that astronomy is the most noble of the sciences, elevated in dignity, and second only to the science of religious law (Sayili, 1960, p. IS). This praise of the discipline is not merely a practitioner's claim; embodies a historical truth. Indeed, astronomy is the only natural science that escaped the censure of the medieval Muslim opponents of se ...more

ASTROLOGY

ASTROLOGY. To say that a belief in astrology is a feature of the popular culture of the modern Islamic world is to make a trivial statement, for this is true of practically all world cultures. It is a nontrivial exercise, however, to study the distinguishing features of the Islamic astrological tradition, the role it has played in blending and modifying and then transmitting outward all the various elements in drew from a host of classical foreign cultures, and the attitudes Islam displayed towa ...more

ALCHEMY

Viewed from the perspective of the history of science, alchemy can legitimately be considered an Islamic creation. Indeed, notwithstanding some development in ancient China, it was in the Islamic world that alchemy developed from a dark craft with its mysterious recipes into a systematic discipline founded on well-defined cosmological and metaphysical principles; and it was here that we find for the first time a body of alchemical literature largely (though not invariably) written in a clear sci ...more

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