Islam's First Contact with Greek Science and Philosophy

Source Pict : Pixabay

In the year 331 before Islam, there was a battle between Alexander the Great and Darius in Arbela. In that battle, Alexander was able to defeat Darius and occupy Persia. With the entry of Alexander into Persia, causing the meeting of two cultures, namely Greek culture and Persian culture. In such circumstances, Alexander did not destroy the culture of the nation he ruled, but tried to unite it. He began to dress in Persian even he married Statira, son of Darius. And he also advised his generals and soldiers to marry Persian women.

After Alexander died, his great empire was divided into three. Macedonia in Europe, the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt with Alexandria as the capital and the Seleucid Empire in Asia. Two kingdoms, namely the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms, after the death of Alexander still continued his efforts to unite the two cultures, namely the Greek and Iranian cultures. Although these attempts were unsuccessful, they left a huge mark in this area. For example, in Egypt and Syria, the administrative language at that time was still used, namely Greek. Even still there after Islam entered the two regions, only changed to Arabic during the Caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan, in the 7th century AD Alexandria, Antioch and Bactra became the center of Greek science and philosophy.

During the time of Harun Ar-Rashid, the fifth caliph of the Abbasids. He ordered the translation of Greek science books into Arabic. Because basically the caliph Harun really loved science, he wanted the science that sparked Greek civilization to be developed during his reign. For the record, there were several famous translators at the time. Such as, Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Sabit ibn Qurra, Qusta ibn Luqa, Hubays and Abu Bisr Matta ibn Yunus.

At that time, most of the works of Aristotle, Plato, and neoplatonism were also translated. So that it can be easily read by Islamic scholars at that time. Philosophical works, especially Greek philosophy, attracted the attention of the Mu'tazilah, it influenced his thoughts which focused on the power of reason. Like the Mu'tazilite figure, Abu Huzail Al-Allaf, who read a lot of philosophy books. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Mu'tazilites had a rational way of thinking.

Not long after, in the field of science. There emerged experts such as Ibn Haitam, Ar-Razi, Al-Biruni and others who came from within Islam itself. Thus, Islam's first contact with Greek science and philosophy was when Islam entered or controlled an area that previously had Greek culture or culture in it. Meanwhile, the great movement of Greek science and philosophy to the Islamic world occurred during the caliph Harun Ar-Rashid. And then advance to the next one.


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