Islamic Contribution to Civilisation


Did you know ?…

  • The English words apricot, orange, giraffe, albatross, sugar and cotton are derived from Arabic.
  • Coffee was introduced to Europe by the Ottomans via the famous coffee port of Mocha in Yemen.
  • The Astronomical terms Azimuth, Nadir and Zenith are from Arabic, along with over 200 star names.

Discover all this and more fascinating facts in the Islamic Contributions to Civilisation gallery!

Arabic Numerals, the concept of Zero, algebra, alkaline soap, the first camshaft and the pinhole camera are just some of many scientific discoveries reaching Europe from the Muslim world. Our journey starts with the ‘House of Wisdom’ and great libraries established in Baghdad around 1000AD for the translation and development of ancient wisdom from Greece, Rome and India. It ends with the great universities of Cordoba in Andalusia where scholars from all over Europe came to study Mathematics and other sciences in the Arabic language.

The Islamic Contributions to Civilisation Gallery displays Islamic Golden Age scholar’s contributions in the areas of Medicine, Engineering, Chemistry, Astronomy, Literature and more. Visitors will also enjoy a short film featuring Academy award winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley. ‘1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets’ features Kingsley as famous Ottoman inventor Al-Jazari. He successfully convinces his students that the ‘Dark Ages’ weren’t so dark… we hope this IMA gallery does the same!