Muslims Did Not Invent Algebra




How the Arabs Invented Algebra: The History of the Concept of Variables (Powermath)
Photo Credit: Amazon Books

Muslims enjoy passing around the absurd lie that it was a Muslim who invented Algebra. For example, on Yahoo! Answers we read the following exchange:


Was they guy who invented algebra really a Muslim?
(Asked by Soso Suprise)

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

Yes soso he was Muslim.

Also, Zero number was invented by Arabs.

The English numbers are originally Arabic numbers.

The first and the most ancient writings and alphabet in the world was originated in Iraq in Middle East. The English word. "alphabet" itself refers to the first and second letter in Semitic languages and Greeks adopted this writing to create their own alphabet.


The person who asked the question ignored the correct answer:

Nope, elementary Algebra as we know it today was used extensively first by the Greek Mathematician Diophantus (cf Diophantine equations).

The Persian Mathematician Al Khwarizmi merely formalized it, he did not "invent" it and moreover, he may have been a Zoroastrian, it is disputed whether he was Muslim at all.


Yes, algebra is an Arabic word. So is sugar (from the Arabic word سكر sukkar) but that doesn't mean Muslims invented sugar.

When Arabs overran Persia, Egypt, Constantinople and other countries they found great literature and books of discovery. But ascribing greatness to Muslims for translating the ideas of others into Arabic is like saying the Nazis were artistic geniuses for invading the museums of Europe and carting off the great works of art back to Germany (1). Give me a break.

If Islam inspires its adherents to make great discoveries in science and technology then why are 99% of Muslims in the world:

"... the poorest, the most illiterate, the most backward, the most unhealthy, the most un-enlightened, the most deprived, and the weakest of all the human race..."

-- Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf


And it has been like that for the past 1,000 years.




ENDNOTES


(1):

Wikipedia, Nazi plunder

Nazi plunder refers to art theft and other items stolen as a result of the organized looting of European countries during the time of the Third Reich by agents acting on behalf of the ruling Nazi Party of Germany. Plundering occurred from 1933 until the end of World War II, particularly by military units known as the Kunstschutz, although most plunder was acquired during the war. In addition to lucre, such as silver and currency, cultural items of great significance were stolen, including paintings, ceramics, books, and religious treasures.



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