Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of the University of Sharjah … the launch of the activities of the Fourth International Conference on Arabs' and Muslims' History of Sciences, organized by the College of Science under the umbrella of the Sharjah International Foundation for the History of Arab and Muslim Sciences (SIFHAMS) at the University of Sharjah, under the theme: "Scientific Legacy and its Contemporary Impacts." This in cooperation with the University of Cologne in Germany and King Abdulaziz University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Scholars, researchers and directors of universities, research centers, libraries and international museums, participated in the Conference and the number of registered participants reached more than 900 participants from more than 40 Arab and Islamic countries and other countries from all over the world. The Conference activities will last for three days by through the virtual communication platform Zoom.
- The Conference works to solidify the significance of Arabs and Muslim sciences
- Highlighting the contributions of the first Arab and Muslim scientists to the scientific progress that the world witnessed
- Consolidating the role of the Sharjah International Foundation for the History of Arab and Muslim Sciences (SIFHAMS)
- Work to create and revitalize research groups working on the history of Arab and Muslim sciences
The Conference includes 21 scientific sessions during which more than 130 scientific and research papers will be presented by distinguished scholars, specialists and graduate students who work in various fields of applied sciences, engineering, medical, health, humanities and social sciences. The scientific papers are also characterized by diversity, which revolve around embodying the achievements and innovations of early Muslim scholars in all applied sciences, engineering, medical, health, humanities and architecture.
His Excellency Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah, opened the Conference sessions delivering a speech on behalf of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah. His Highness welcomed the attendees who joined to share their scientific knowledge despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the significance of this Conference. He added that it works to highlight the significance contributions of Arab and Muslim sciences in their various components and fields from the start of the Islamic Civilization to the modern days.
His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah added that challenging the current conditions lies not only in the importance of these contributions to the contemporary human civilization, but lies in their forming the basis for many scientific and technological developments around the world while neglecting their Arab and Muslim origins. This Conference therefore works to reaffirm the role of Arab and Muslim scientists to these modern scientific and knowledge developments.
In his speech during the Conference, His Excellency Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah, extended his thanks to His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah on behalf of the University family, the Conference organizing committee, and participants for sponsoring and supporting the Fourth International Conference on Arabs' and Muslims' History of Sciences. His Highness' support, he added, highlights the important role of Arab and Islamic scientific and cultural legacy in building the scientific foundations for global developments. It also highlights the role of His Highness as a beacon of supporting and building cultural and scientific knowledge edifices nationally and internationally.
The Fourth International Conference on Arabs' and Muslims' History of Sciences, he continued, held by the University of Sharjah and SIFHAMS constitutes a new scientific achievement and another link in the series of its initiatives for scientific and knowledge progress and development. This Conference links the present and future of the nation with its glorious scientific and knowledge past. The University and the Foundation assure all thought leaders that the sources of scientific originality and creativity have overflowed from Arab and Islamic civilizations and environment. The scientific knowledge and development the world is witnessing today, he added, is due largely to the knowledge treasures of Arab and Muslim scholars. The University of Sharjah and SIFHAMS continuously work to link these global scientific developments with their Arab and Muslim origins to inspire and enrich the cultural and scientific arena.
The Chancellor stressed the importance of this scientific event, which will contribute to clarifying the role of early Arab and Muslim scholars in scientific development, and preserve the Muslim civilization's rich scientific heritage. It will contribute to building the current and future generations intellectually on the constants of that heritage and its original values, so that they believe in the transcendence and magnification of their religion that built one of the best civilizations.
For his part, His Excellency Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, complimented the Conference theme: "Scientific Legacy and its Contemporary Impacts". The theme, he added, combines the various contributions made by Muslim scholars throughout history due to their pivotal and influential role in human civilization and scientific development. He added that this Conference launched in the Emirate of Sharjah – the hub for culture and scientific knowledge aspirations thanks to the pioneering role of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah in restoring Arab and Muslim culture and knowledge. He also stressed that the Islamic civilization, at its height, and at the top of its contribution to the world, made many immortal contributions and pioneering discoveries in all scientific fields, including: medicine and pharmacy, anatomy, surgery, astronomy, geography, chemistry, and mathematics, Muslim scientists were the first to invent the experimental method in their handling of scientific and astronomy data, which had a great impact on establishing the foundations of the experimental scientific method, followed to day globally.
Some of those great Arab and Muslim scholars, he added, included Ibn Al-Nafees, Al-Khwarizmi, Jaber Ibn Hayyan, Doctor Al-Zahrawi, Al-Biruni, Al-Kindi, Al-Masoudi, Al-Bakri, Al-Atakhari, Al-Qazwini, Doctor Ibn Jazlah, Abbas Ibn Firnas, and others. Muslims also excelled in industries, especially the paper industry, which they were credited with spreading around the world at the time.
In her speech, Her Excellency Manal Ataya, Director General of the Sharjah Museums Authority, affirmed that His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah is continuing the intellectual development process launched by the first Muslim scholars within a huge national cultural project. She explained that the Sharjah Museums Authority believes in the importance and status of science and education, and their role in the development and prosperity of societies. The Authority, she added, is keen to enhance the role of museums as educational destinations that provide information in rich ways and with more interesting museum presentation methods.
In his speech, Dr. Hussein Elmehdi, Chairperson of the Conference Organizing Committee, referred to the goals that the conference seeks to achieve in its current session, complementary to the path it started in its previous three sessions. Those include presenting a clear and ambitious vision for the future of studies related to the history of Arab and Muslim sciences; consolidating the status of SIFHAMS as a destination to attract scholars and those interested in the history of Arab and Muslim sciences from various countries of the world; and directing the world's attention to the importance of the role the institution plays in spreading the culture of dialogue, tolerance and coexistence through the themes of the scientific heritage, which represent a common denominator for the history of all humankind. SIFHAMS also plays a role in designing strategies to revitalize research groups serving the history of Arab and Muslim sciences, and works with partners to accomplish major research projects that serve the Foundation's goals. It also provides opportunities to attract researchers at the local, regional and global levels with an emphasis on the importance of exchanging experiences.
The opening session of the conference also included speeches by the main speakers of the conference. Prof. Erwin Andreas Eckart. Physics Department at the University of Cologne in Germany, provided an introductory overview of his scientific study entitled "Milky Way in the Arab Culture" that evaluated the role of the Islamic scholar Ibn al-Haytham in this field.
Prof. Jan Pieter Hogendijk, Professor at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, presented many scientific inventions by Muslim scholars that were used in the Middle Ages in determining directions, dimensions, and times that were proven extremely accurate.