List of inventions in the medieval Islamic world

A number of inventions were made in the medieval Islamic world, a geopolitical region that has at various times extended from Spain and Africa in the west to Afghanistan and the Indian subcontinent in the east.[1] The inventions listed here were developed during the medieval Islamic world, which covers a period from the early Caliphate to the later Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires.[2] In particular, the majority of inventions here date back to the Islamic Golden Age, which is traditionally dated from the 8th to the 13th centuries.[3][4] During this period, artists, engineers, scholars, poets, philosophers, geographers and traders in the Islamic world contributed to agriculture, the arts, economics, industry, islamic law, literature, navigation, philosophy, sciences, sociology, and technology, both by preserving earlier Greco-Roman philosophy, inventions and discoveries, then by adding inventions and innovations of their own.[5]

The interiors of the Alhambra in Spain are decorated with arabesque designs.


Food production

Drugs and medicine

Smoking The Hookah
A cup of coffee
Yemen is thought to be where coffee drinking began
Al-Kindi's 9th-century Manuscript on Deciphering Cryptographic Messages was the first book on cryptanalysis and frequency analysis.




Main article: Islamic pottery

See also


  1. Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong:
    "There have been many civilizations in human history, almost all of which were local, in the sense that they were defined by a region and an ethnic group. This applied to all the ancient civilizations of the Middle East—Ancient Egypt, Babylon, Persia; to the great civilizations of Asia—India, China; and to the civilizations of Pre-Columbian America. There are two exceptions: Christianity and Islam. These are two civilizations, defined by religion, in which religion is the primary defining force, not, as in India or China, a secondary aspect among others of an essentially regional and ethnically defined civilization. Here, again, another word of explanation is necessary."
  2. Danny Yee. "Islam: The Straight Path, John L. Esposito, Oxford University Press 1998". Danny Yee's Book Reviews. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
  3. p. 45, Islamic & European expansion: the forging of a global order, Michael Adas, ed., Temple University Press, 1993, ISBN 1-56639-068-0.
  4. Max Weber & Islam, Toby E. Huff and Wolfgang Schluchter, eds., Transaction Publishers, 1999, ISBN 1-56000-400-2, p. 53
  6. Broemeling, Lyle D. (1 November 2011). "An Account of Early Statistical Inference in Arab Cryptology". The American Statistician. 65 (4): 255–257. doi:10.1198/tas.2011.10191.
  7. Al-Kadi, Ibrahim A. (1992). "The origins of cryptology: The Arab contributions". Cryptologia. 16 (2): 97–126. doi:10.1080/0161-119291866801.
  8. Lucas, Adam (2006), Wind, Water, Work: Ancient and Medieval Milling Technology, Brill Publishers, pp. 62 & 64, ISBN 90-04-14649-0
  9. 1 2 Drachmann, A.G. (1961), "Heron's Windmill", Centaurus, 7: 145–151.
  10. 1 2 Dietrich Lohrmann, "Von der östlichen zur westlichen Windmühle", Archiv für Kulturgeschichte, Vol. 77, Issue 1 (1995), pp.1-30 (10f.)
  11. Ahmad Y Hassan, Donald Routledge Hill (1986). Islamic Technology: An illustrated history, p. 54. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-42239-6.
  12. Dietrich Lohrmann (1995). "Von der östlichen zur westlichen Windmühle", Archiv für Kulturgeschichte 77 (1), p. 1-30 (8).
  13. Donald Routledge Hill, "Mechanical Engineering in the Medieval Near East", Scientific American, May 1991, pp. 64-9 (cf. Donald Routledge Hill, Mechanical Engineering)
  14. Maillard, Adam P. Fraise, Peter A. Lambert, Jean-Yves (2007). Principles and Practice of Disinfection, Preservation and Sterilization. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons. p. 4. ISBN 0470755067.
  15. Razpush, Shahnaz (15 December 2000). "ḠALYĀN". Encyclopedia Iranica. pp. 261–265. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  16. Sivaramakrishnan, V. M. (2001). Tobacco and Areca Nut. Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan. pp. 4–5. ISBN 81-250-2013-6.
  17. Blechynden, Kathleen (1905). Calcutta, Past and Present. Los Angeles: University of California. p. 215.
  18. Rousselet, Louis (1875). India and Its Native Princes: Travels in Central India and in the Presidencies of Bombay and Bengal. London: Chapman and Hall. p. 290.
  19. Weinberg, Bennett Alan; Bennett Alan Weinberg, Bonnie K. Bealer (2001), The world of caffeine, Routledge, pp. Page 3–4, ISBN 978-0-415-92723-9 Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  20. Ireland, Corydon. "Of the bean I sing". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  21. John K. Francis. "Coffea arabica L. RUBIACEAE" (PDF). Factsheet of U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  22. Meyers, Hannah (2005-03-07). ""Suave Molecules of Mocha" -- Coffee, Chemistry, and Civilization". Retrieved 2007-02-03.
  23. Bowles, Edmund A. (2006), "The impact of Turkish military bands on European court festivals in the 17th and 18th centuries", Early Music, Oxford University Press, 34 (4): 533–60, doi:10.1093/em/cal103
  24. Chevedden, Paul E. (1 January 2000). "The Invention of the Counterweight Trebuchet: A Study in Cultural Diffusion". Dumbarton Oaks Papers. 54: 71. doi:10.2307/1291833. The traction trebuchet, invented by the Chinese sometime before the fourth century B.C., was partially superseded at the beginning of the eighth century by the hybrid trebuchet. This machine appears to have originated in the realms of Islam under the impetus of the Islamic conquest movements.
  26. 1 2 3 Barbera, Henry (1998). "The Military Factor in Social Change: The State As Revolution". pp. 116–118.
  27. Evans, Tom; Mary Evans (1977). Guitars: From the Renaissance to Rock. Paddington Press Ltd.
  28. Houtsma, M. Th (1993). First Encyclopaedia of Islam: 1913-1936. BRILL. p. 987.
  29. Houtsma, M. Th (1993). First Encyclopaedia of Islam: 1913-1936. BRILL. p. 987.
  30. Bernsted, A.K. (2003), "Early Islamic Pottery: Materials and Techniques, London: Archetype Publications Ltd., 25; R.B. Mason and M.S. Tite 1994, The Beginnings of Islamic Stonepaste Technology", Archaeometry, 36 (1): 77–91, doi:10.1111/j.1475-4754.1994.tb00712.x.
  31. Mason and Tite 1994, 77.
  32. Mason and Tite 1994, 79-80.
  33. Caiger-Smith, 1973, p.65
  34. Tite, M.S. (1989), "Iznik Pottery: An Investigation of the Methods of Production", Archaeometry, 31 (2): 115–132, doi:10.1111/j.1475-4754.1989.tb01008.x.
  35. Tite 1989, 120.
  36. Tite 1989, 129.
  37. Tite 1989, 120, 123.
  38. Ten thousand years of pottery, Emmanuel Cooper, University of Pennsylvania Press, 4th ed., 2000, ISBN 0-8122-3554-1, pp. 86–88.
  39. Mason, Robert B. (1995), "New Looks at Old Pots: Results of Recent Multidisciplinary Studies of Glazed Ceramics from the Islamic World", Muqarnas: Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture, Brill Academic Publishers, XII: 1, doi:10.2307/1523219, ISBN 90-04-10314-7.
  40. Caiger-Smith, 1973, p.23

External links

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