3.1.6 Islam Science, and History: Beginnings (Supplemental)

In this 2008 Dwight H. Terry Lectureship at Yale University, Professor Ahmad Dallal details the relationship between Islamic theology and the practice of scientific investigation in the classical period of Islam. The first of four lectures, the fourth can be found in our section on Evolution in learning material 4.2.5.

The guiding questions focus on the first hour and 6 minutes of the lecture, though you are welcome to watch the questions portion as well.


Guiding Questions:

  1. How did the way of determining the direction of the Qibla change? What critiques did jurists originally make of mathematical astronomers initially?
  2. How was the question of whether mathematical knowledge should take precedence over religious authority resolved? This is illustrated by the case of mis-aligned mosques in Fez, Morocco.
  3. What does Professor Dallal argue are key characteristics of the Arabo-Islamic scientific culture?


Thumbnail: “Welcome to the Library.” Al Ahmed Mahmoud Foundation Library, Chinguetti, Mauritania. Photo Credit: Michał Huniewicz, 2014. CC BY 2.0.