International Symposium on “Science and Technology in Islamic Civilization" held in Baku, Azerbaijan, 20-22 February 2015

International Symposium on “Science and Technology in Islamic Civilization" held in Baku, Azerbaijan, 20-22 February 2015

An International Symposium on the theme "Science and Technology in Islamic Civilization" has been organized jointly by IRCICA and Khazar University, Baku, Azerbaijan. The symposium was held in Baku on 20-22 February 2015.

The symposium aim was to contribute to studies on the history of civilizations by encouraging objective research on the scientific activity carried out in the Muslim world throughout history and the achievements of scientists of this world in various sciences, thus giving the peak period of "Islamic sciences" its rightful place in the world history of science and, on a broader level, throwing light on a lesser known phase of the evolution of civilizations. Scientific activities carried out in the Islamic world resulted in contributions to world science which were in turn transferred to other cultures and civilizations, including the European, and thus played a role in the development of the sciences and technologies that reached our time. Presentations at the symposium underscored this role by contributions of Islamic sciences. The sub-themes were: Science in Islam, Astronomy, Geography, Geometry, Physics, Optics, Medicine, Chemistry, Natural sciences, Mechanics, Architectural technology, Navigation, War technology.

Participants from Azerbaijan, China (Hong Kong), Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan Tajikistan, and Turkey contributed papers to the symposium.

At the opening, Prof. Hamlet Isahanli, Founder of Khazar University and Chairman of its Board of Directors and Trustees, welcomed the participants and underlined the significance of the history of science and its role in Islamic civilization. Assoc. Prof. Halit Eren, Director General of IRCICA, spoke about the activities of this centre dedicated to researching various aspects of Islamic culture. Ambassador İsmail Alper Coskun, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Azerbaijan, noted that among all the interesting events organized in support of the development of scholarship in Khazar University, this symposium devoted to science in the Islamic world was particularly significant. Addressing the opening, Academic Vasim Mamadaliyev spoke about Islam's contributions to world cultural history and expressed his belief that the conference would help further develop studies in this field in Azerbaijan. Ms. Raziya Isayeva, Khazar University's Development Director, made a presentation about Khazar University. A concert program followed, including performances by university students and staff, led by Prof. Zulfiyya Sadigova, Head of the Department of Music and Fine Arts.

The first working session, moderated by Dr. Farda Asadov, Vice President of Khazar University, heard the following studies: "Alchemy of the Muslim Period between Egyptian-Greek-Roman-Chinese Alchemy and European Chemistry" by H. Isahanli; "Scientific Manuscripts of Azeri Writers in the Middle Ages at Apostolic Library of Vatican" by Prof. Farid Alakbarli; "Mentality and the Dynamics of the Scientific Revolution in the Islamic Worl" by Prof. Mustafa Demirci; "Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi and his Work Entitled Mafatih al-Ulum" by Prof. Mustafa Sabri Küçükaşçı.

The second session, moderated by Prof. Khurram Qadir, heard the papers titled "Islamic Sciences and their Effects on the West" by Prof. Cevher Sulul; "Islamic Science in the Late Abbasid Period (945-1258)" by Dr. Arshad Islam of Malaysia; "Astrology and astrologists during Safavid Period" by Dr. Zivar Huseynli; "Turkish Manuscripts on Natural Sciences in the Egyptian National Library" by Dr. Ahmed Abdullah.

The third session was moderated by Prof. Hasan Niknafs, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Khazar University. The presentations were titled: "The Contribution of Muslim Scholars of the Middle Ages to the Development of World Civilization" by Dr. Nusratolla Zakirov,"Education and Science in the Maraga Observatory" by Drs. Bilal Dadayev and Süleyman Sarıbaş; "Nasir al-Din al-Tusi's Two Works Related to Geometry and their Manuscripts in the Collections of Sultan Mehmed II" by Prof. Mehmet Rıhtım and Dr. Yagub Aliyev.

At the fourth session, which was moderated by Dr. Javad Mehri, instructor at Khazar University School of Engineering, the presentations were "Nasir al-Din al-Tusi and His Place in the History of Exact Sciences" by Dr. Agil Shirinov; "A Sample on the Ottoman Military Technology Development: Light Firearms" by Prof. Feridun Emecen; "About the Role of the Scientific Center entitled ‘Rabi-Rashidi' in the Islamic World" by Dr. Dilavar Azmli.

The fifth session, moderated by Prof. Feridun Emecen from Turkey, the papers were: "Ibn al-Haytham as a Muslim Researcher of Optical Problems" by Dr. Elvusal Məmmadov; "Al-Qur'an and Technology: From the Perspective of Approaches, Directions and Discoveries" by Prof. Erdoğan Baş; "Azerbaijanian Scholars Contributing to Ottoman Science" by Dr. Elnur Nasirov.

As to the sixth session, it was moderated by Prof. Tayyar Altıkulaç of Turkey. Presentations were made on "Muslim Scholars' Contributions to the Exact Sciences" by Dr. Goshgar Salimli; "The Place of al-Jizra and a Scholar from al-Jizra Abu al-Iz Ismail al-Jazari in the History of Islamic Science" by Dr. İbrahim Baz; "Hubaysh al-Tiflisi as an Encyclopedic Scholar of the 12th Century" by Prof. Mohsin Naghisoylu.

The seventh session was moderated by Dr. Irada Khalilova, Head of the Khazar University Department of Biology. It heard papers on "The Tradition of Treatment during Prophet's Period and its Traces in Islamic Medicine" by Dr. Elnura Azizova; "Stem Cells Researches as a New Treatment Options in Medical Genetics: An Islamic Perspective" by Dr. Gunay Akbarova; "The Nature of Muslim Scientific Enquiry" by Prof. Khurram Qadir; "Abul-Qasim al-Zahrawi: The Great and Pioneer Muslim Surgeon and Inventor of Many Surgical Instruments" by Prof. Syed Minhaj ul Hassan.

Each session had a section for questions and answers. The sessions were followed by an audience composed of a large number of scholars and students from various universities of Azerbaijan.

Prof. Hamlet Isahanli, founder of Khazar University and Chairman of its Board of Directors and Trustees, and Assoc. Prof. Halit Eren, Director General of IRCICA, gave closing remarks.


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