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The emergence of chemistry in Arabs

 Chemistry is the science that studies the three states of matter: (solid, liquid, and gaseous), it studies them in terms of the number of atoms, their composition, and the interactions that occur with the elements and some of them, and there are many branches of which the science of chemistry consists, such as: biochemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, briefly chemistry is the study of all chemical substances and how they can change, many scholars excelled in this science and excelled in it

the nature of Arabic chemistry in the the medieval age

refers to both traditional alchemy and early practical chemistry (the early chemical investigation of nature in general) by Muslim scholars in the medieval Islamic world. The word alchemy was derived from the Arabic word كيمياء or kīmiyā and may ultimately derive from the ancient Egyptian word kemi, meaning black. 

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire  and the Islamic conquest of Roman Egypt,  the focus of alchemical development moved to the Caliphate and the Islamic civilization.

 Much more is known about Islamic  alchemy as it was better documented; most of the earlier writings that have come down through the years were preserved as Arabic translations. 

the role of Arabic scholars in the chemical field 

The Arabs from the centuries that came after Islam had the upper hand in the search for the secret of chemistry and knowledge of some of its various processes.

 Jabir Ibn Hayyan worked with them, and on this occasion he has several manuscripts preserved in the House of Books, Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Zakariya Al-Razi, Avicenna and Ibn Rushd were famous of them.

The science of chemistry was known by many names, including the ultimate secret, the divine workmanship, the venerable stone, and the philosopher’s stone, in relation to the difficulty that the researcher encountered in ascertaining the understanding of the secret of chemistry among Arab chemists. 

Where they moved away from the myths of sorcery and witchcraft with chemistry and the widespread imaginary perceptions of some ancient philosophers - such as their saying that there is a "stone of philosophers" that turns base metals into gold - that made it associated with magic and astrology, so they wrote many solid books in which they wrote down their experiences and opinions that agreed with many discoveries and modern theories In chemistry.

Arab and Muslim scholars have liberated the science of chemistry from mysticism, magic, mysteries, astrology, talismans, superstitions, and tricks that dominated the thinking of the nations.

Arab and Muslim scholars have succeeded in making chemistry an experimental science based on exploration, testing, and the search for the truth that does not accept interpretation. 

Therefore, we can say that Arab and Muslim scientists are the ones who laid the foundations of the science of chemistry with their great experiments and innovations, which were recognized by friends and enemies alike.

Western scientists have benefited from the production of Arab and Muslim scientists in most of the applied and pure sciences, but the science of chemistry had the lead and this appears from the rush of Western scientists to the chemical school established by Arab and Muslim scientists in Andalusia, so this prestigious school became a source of knowledge for Western scientists in the field of chemistry. And by virtue of the scientific tendency of Arab and Muslim scholars and their relentless tendency to research, scrutiny, and experiment, chemistry flourished during their era not only in Andalusia, but also in other cities such as Baghdad, Damascus, Sicily, Cairo, and others.

Qadri Hafez Touqan says in his book (Science among the Arabs and Muslims) "It can be said that the Arabs had a great influence in the formation of a chemical school that left the greatest impact in the countries of the West. This would not have been possible without Jabir bin Hayyan and other Arab who  changing situations and establishing chemistry on experiment, observation and conclusion".

The Arabs did not stop at the production of the ancients, nor did they adhere to Aristotle or other Greek philosophers, but they differed from them in some theories and opinions, and came with theories and opinions more appropriate to scientific facts). 

 By virtue of the insistence of Arab and Muslim scientists in the field of chemistry on experiment, observation and conclusion, they were able, with all success, to put a complete and accurate scientific description of all chemical preparations, and to highlight the steps of change in them. 

With this successful science, they aptly discovered the important parts of the science of chemistry. 

Therefore, we find that Western scientists in the field of chemistry acknowledge loudly that chemistry is an Arab science. Because it did not become a real science away from myths and superstitions except thanks to the efforts of Arab and Muslim scholars and their actual scientific tendency based on measurement, conclusion, observation and testing in laboratories.

The most prominent achievements of applied Arabs in the field of chemistry

They benefited by practicing chemistry, a great benefit that was not intended in particular, so they looked at fermentation and the extraction of alcohol by distillation. They knew the volatile oils and extracted them from plants by juice, and they discovered soda and called it frying, they also extracted sugar from cane juice by knotting it over the fire, they also went a long way in extracting metals and other chemical compounds.

Terms introduced by the Arabs in the field of chemistry

To this day, chemistry still bears chemical terms developed by the  Arabs, and they did not change when translated into the foreign language, most of the simple processes that are used now in the treatment of chemicals were also known to the Arabs, and these are some of the important processes.

distillation


This process was one of the first operations that the Arabs carried out, and even loved it for them, because by means of the distillation apparatus, they could separate the substance to be prepared to sublimate it into vapor, and then convert it into a liquid. 

amalgamation

This process was used extensively, and it is the dissolving of minerals in mercury without its compounds, then extracting it by sublimation, and this method is still used in extracting gold. 

sublimation

The Arabs were able to separate the volatile body by heating it, as its vapor multiplied into a solid without passing through the liquid state. 

calcination

It heats the body in the air and this process includes oxidation. 

Crystallization

This process was widely used as a purification tool, as in separating crystals from salty sea water and similar cases.

filtration 

This process was very simple and it has been mentioned in the manuscripts that the Arabic scholars  left that they were filtering their materials by sieves or by pieces of cloth.

The great thinkers and scientists in Europe consider Jabir ibn Hayyan the pioneer of the science of chemistry and laid down its foundations, rules and principles after he purified it from the impurities and mistakes that were prevalent before him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

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