Islam And Science (Part II)

Islam emphatically commands every kind of work, working in all the branches of science, on knowledge and morals. It is written in books that all these efforts are fard-i kifaya [1]. Moreover, if a tool or a means newly discovered by science is not produced in an Islamic country, and if any Muslim suffers harm for his reason, the administrators, the authorities of that country, are held responsible according to Islam. It was declared in a hadith [2], "Teach your sons how to swim and how to shoot arrows! What a beautiful amusement it is for women to spin threads in their homes." This hadith commands us to procure every kind of knowledge and weaponry necessary for war, never to remain idle, and to find useful amusements.

The knowledge which Muslims have to acquire and learn is called "Ulum-i Islamiyya" (Islamic knowledges). It is fard [3] to learn some of this knowledge. It is sunnat [4] to learn some other branches of it, and it is mubah [5] to learn even more of it.

The second branch of Islamic knowledge is Ulum-i 'aqliyya (experimental sciences). The branch dealing with living creatures is called Ulum-i tıbbiyya (science of medicine), and the branch dealing with non-living creatures is called Ulum-i hikemiyya. The branch dealing with the sky and stars is called Ulum-i falakiyya. The knowledge dealing with the earth is called Ulum-i tabi'iyya. The subdivisions of Ulum-i 'aqliyya are mathematics, logic and experimental knowledge. They are acquired by perceiving through the five senses, by observing through the mind, experimentation and calculation.

These fields of knowledge help us to understand and better carry out religious knowledge. They are necessary for this reason. They change, increase and improve in the course of time. For this reason, it has been said, "Takmil-i sına'at is fulfilled by talahuk-ı afkar," which means that "improvement in arts, science and technology is realized by adding to one another's ideas and experiments."

[1] fard kifaya: fard that must be done at least by one Muslim in a community.
[2] hadith (sharif): i) a saying of the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam).; al-Hadith ash-sharif: all the hadiths as a whole; ii) 'ilm al-hadith; iii) Books of the hadith ash-sharif. iv) Al-hadith al-qudsi, as-sahih, al-hasan: kinds of hadiths (for which, see Endless Bliss, II).
[3] fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta'ala in the Qur'an al-karim. Fard (or fard) means (any behaviour or thought or belief which is) obligatory. Islam's open commandments are called fard (pl. faraid).
[4] sunnat: i) act, thing that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta'ala, done and liked by the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) as an 'ibada (there is thawab if done, but no sin if omitted, yet it causes sin if continually omitted and disbelief if disliked; the Sunna; i) (with fard) all the sunnas as a whole; ii) (with the Book or Qur'an al-karim) the Hadith ash-sharif; iii) (alone) fiqh, Islam.
[5] mubah: (act, thing) neither ordered nor prohibited; permitted.