DISCOVER 1001 INVENTIONS


1001 Inventions is an award-winning international science and cultural heritage organisation that raises awareness of the creative golden age of Muslim civilisation that stretched from Spain to China.

From the 7th century onwards, men and women of different faiths and cultures built on knowledge from ancient civilisations making breakthroughs that have left their mark on our world. Arab, Persian, Indian, Turkish, North African, Spanish, Sicilian and other nationalities and cultures formed this large area of Muslim Civilisation that included men and woman scholars of Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Sabean, Hindu and other faiths.

Knowledge from Assyrian, Babylonian, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Indian, Persian and Roman civilisations was highly prized in the Muslim Civilisation. Scholars advanced science by building upon ancient wisdom, making breakthroughs that have had a huge but mostly unknown influence on our world.

This ‘golden age of discovery’ took place during the so-called ‘dark ages’ of Europe. Join '1001 Inventions' on a journey to the past to inspire a better future!

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New Building Methods that Exalted the Heavens: Sinan the Architect designed and built impressive schools, mosques, and public buildings, approaching his work with an eye for harmony between architecture and the landscape. His work appeared in Damascus, Mecca, Bosnia, and elsewhere, but perhaps his most impressive building is his last, the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey.
Muslims also devised star maps and astronomical tables, and both of these would be used in Europe and the Far East for centuries. Maps of the heavens also appeared in art, such as on the dome of a bathhouse at Qusayr ’Amra, a Jordanian palace built in the eighth century, which has a unique hemispherical celestial map. 
In 1651, Joannes Baptista Riccioli, a Jesuit professor of astronomy and philosophy in Bologna, Italy, compiled a comprehensive work on astronomy, called Almagestum Novum, with a complete map of the Moon. He named the lunar formations after distinguished astronomers of the Middle Ages. Ten were given the names of Muslim astronomers and mathematicians...
To avoid vital secrets falling into the wrong hands, messages are scrambled (encrypted) so that only someone with the right code can unscramble them. A famous case of encryption was during World War II when the Germans used a typewriter-like machine, called Enigma, to encrypt military messages before playing them on the radio...
A time when Muslim merchants could travel virtually unobstructed from Morocco to Southeast Asia, and navigators from Ming China could boast of enormous naval expeditions reaching as far west as Hormuz, Aden, and Mombasa, Western Europeans remained almost totally confined, both physically and intellectually, to a small slice of the world...
Since the Quran said every able-bodied person should make a pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca at least once in their lifetime, thousands travelled from the farthest reaches of the Islamic empire to Mecca, beginning in the seventh century. As they travelled, they made descriptions of the lands that they passed through. Some of the most famous include...
As the Muslim lands grew, merchants, scholars, and travellers came across exotic plants, trees, seeds, and spices previously unknown to them. They collected and brought back a huge number of samples of raw ingredients, along with knowledge and information about their use, combing the world and its harshest of environments, going as far afield as the steppes of Asia and the Pyrenees...
The Anatolian Ottoman Turks knew about methods of inoculation. They called it Ashi, or engrafting, and they had inherited it from older Turkish tribes. Vaccination is a process where a person is given a weakened or inactive dose of a disease-causing organism. This stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies to this specific disease.
The idea behind hospitals in the Muslim world a thousand years ago was to provide a range of facilities from treatments to convalescence, asylum, and retirement homes. They looked after all kinds of people, rich and poor, because Muslims are honour-bound to provide treatment for the sick, whoever they may be.
This alphabet lists just some of the words that have come from sources in Muslim civilization and have passed into the English language with their original meaning intact. It is only a small selection...
Muslims were urged throughout the Quran to seek knowledge. This was a great incentive for reflection and understanding. This Quranic urge meant that all over the Muslim world, advanced subjects were taught in mosques, schools, colleges, hospitals, observatories, and the homes of scholars.
Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Shakir and his brothers Ahmed and Al-Hasan were known as the Banu Musa Brothers. They were part of the House of Wisdom of Baghdad in the ninth century. As well as being great mathematicians and translators of scientific treatises, they also invented many trick devices. Their Book of Ingenious Devices lists more than a hundred of them.
Some people unaware of what Muslims accomplished believe that astronomy died with the Greeks, and was brought to life again by Nicolas Copernicus, the 15th-century Polish astronomer who is famous for introducing the sun-centered theory of the solar system, which marked the beginning of modern astronomy—even though it was not universally accepted.
In 1929, scholars working in Turkey’s Topkapi Palace Museum discovered a section of an early 16th-century Turkish world map. It was signed by a captain named Piri ibn Hajji Mohammed Reis (meaning “admiral”), and it was dated 1513. Now known as the famous “Map of America,” it was made only 21 years after Christopher Columbus had reached the New World...
A thousand years ago, accurate plans of countries, continents, and waterways were unknown. But as more people began to travel the world for trade, exploration, and religious reasons, the demand for good maps increased. Some of the world’s most precious maps were drawn by great scholars of Muslim civilization, who assembled all the geographical knowledge available to them...
From Córdoba to Damascus and Baghdad, old streets still remain intact in some ancient towns, providing glimpses of life 1,000 years ago. The Spanish cities of Córdoba and Seville still retain areas of their old towns in which you can glimpse how life was lived centuries ago under Muslim rule...
Ibn Sina wrote and taught widely on medicine, philosophy, and natural sciences. In the Canon, Ibn Sina collected together medical knowledge from across civilizations. Made up of five volumes, the book covered medical principles, medicines, diseases of various body parts, general disease, and traumas.
A thousand years ago, geographer Al-Istakhri wrote of seeing windmills used to provide power, running mills that were built everywhere. Unlike the traditional European design, Central Asian windmills had vertical shafts onto which vertical vanes were mounted to catch the wind...
In early 12th-century Muslim Spain, a gifted philosopher, mathematician, poet, and medical doctor was born. Ibn Tufayl, or Abu Bakr ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Tufayl al-Qaysi, to give his full name, became known in the West as Abubacer...
From rose water to hair dye, soap to paint, early chemists worked to create a panoply of useful substances. As early as the middle of the ninth century, experimenters in Muslim civilisation were aware of the processes of crystallisation, oxidation, evaporation, sublimation, and filtration. To make their experiments more accurate...
Blue skies, lush greenery, and brightly-coloured flowers. A garden offers shade, serenity and inspiration whether it’s in the grounds of a luxurious palace or hidden within a modest courtyard. Add the soothing sounds of water gushing from a fountain, and the picture is complete.
Jeannie Miller, an assistant professor in the department of near & Middle Eastern civilizations, is working on a manuscript examining The Book of Animals by al-Jahiz, a ninth-century Arabic writer and polymath. Al-Jahiz  saw himself as a theologian and natural scientist, but is often miscast because of the risqué nature of some of his prose.
A Google Doodle is a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google's homepages that commemorates holidays, events, achievements, and people. Some of the people featuered are prominent figures from Muslim Civilisation from scientists to scholars, travelers to other social figures.
Watch these excellent documentaries presenting Muslim Civilisation with a focus on contributions to science and technology. 
Throughout history, trade routes played a central role in the transfer of goods and exchange of ideas between different parts of the world. The historic Silk Roads, which were a network of trade routes across land and sea that connected the lands from China across Asia to the Meditteranean...
Along the road from sympathetic magic and shamanism to scientific method, much trailblazing was carried out over a few centuries by scholars, alchemists, physicians and polymaths of the Muslim Middle East, and their rules, procedures and expectations are, to a great extent, practiced almost universally today.
Fully automated environmentally friendly water raising devices, pumps, windmills and more! Discover some of the most facinating devices from the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation that brought creative innovative ideas helping to drive agriculture and industries from southern Spain to China.
From Ibn Al-Haytam’s optical lenses to a mosque lamp of Amir Qawsun, Muslim Civilisation played a major role in inspiring the growth of the glass industry.  Mosques, houses and cities were transformed into centres of rich decoration with glass. Muslim Civilisation turned a craft into an industry, employing large numbers of workers.
Last year news regarding the discovery of a ring found on a Viking woman with the inscription 'To Allah' erupted in the media. Some named it the “mysterious ring”, some actively debated and made up theories of how or why it arrived in Sweden. It is worth noting however that this was not the only contact documented between the Viking and Muslim Civilisation.
Professor Glen Cooper discusses the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation. During the European Dark Ages, when science, art and literature seemed to flounder for centuries, there actually was a lot of discover in places like Iraq, Persia and Syria. Professor Cooper explains how science of medicine, mathematics and astronomy flourished.