What to know

Five Muslim Inventions and Discoveries That shaped The World


Without these five Muslim inventions and discoveries, the world as we know it today would not have been.

The ancient Arab and Islamic world played a bigger role in the advancement of humankind than any other ancient civilization. At the peak of the Islamic civilization, also known as the “Islamic Golden Age”, between the 9th to 13th century, Muslim inventions and discoveries spread across the world to change what people knew, and how they lived.

Five inventions and discoveries we still use today that you might not have known had Islamic roots are:

Personal Hygiene Products 

Hygiene products

Since Islam was one of the first religions to emphasize on the need of proper bodily hygiene, it is not odd that personal hygiene products originated during the Islamic Golden Age.

It was in Arab and Islamic cultures that the invention and widespread use of soap,shampoo and the toothbrush were recorded. While other cultures had some form of soaps, Arabs were the first to combined vegetable oils with sodium hydroxide and aromatics.

When it comes to the toothbrush, Egyptians had been known to chew on miswak, twigs from the “toothbrush tree”. But when it was noticed that the Prophet Mohammed used them regularly, it became part of Islamic culture and later on spread out to the world.



Medical surgery saves hundreds of thousands of lives each year, but it was in the Islamic World that the first surgical tools and devices were invented and used.

Sometime near the first millennium, Abu al-Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas al-Zahrawi published a 1,500-page illustrated surgical encyclopedia. His work was used as a medical reference in Europe over the next 500 years.


Pinhole camera

You wouldn’t have been able to upload a daily selfie on Instagram if it wasn’t for 10th Century mathematician known as Ibn al-Haitham.

While Greek scientists believe that light was emitted from the eyes, it was Ibn al-Haitham who discovered that light had to enter the eye for us to see.
After observing light entering through a hole in his shutters, he invented the world’s first pinhole camera, as well as the magnifying lense.



Five hundred years before the first windmill was built in Europe, around 634, the Arabian desert was full of windmills that helped them grind corn and draw water for irrigation.

It was the seasonal dry periods that inspired early Muslims to look for an alternative source of mechanical power.



As our mathematics teachers always told us as children, there would be nothing without math. Well, then there would’ve been nothing without Al-Khawarizmi. Probably the most important among all Muslim inventions, the word algebra itself come from his famous book “Kitab al-Jabr Wa l-Mugabala” which translates to “The Book of Reasoning and Balancing.”

His mathematical formulas and theories are still used and taught until this day. So whenever you have a hard math problem, you know who to refer to.

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