While the achievements of the Islamic civilization are often underestimated, Muslims have made enormous contributions across the fields of science, healthcare, philosophy and others. Muslim scientists (primarily, Al-Khwarizmi and Al-Kindi) laid the foundations of algebra, geometry and trigonometry in their works. The numerals (including zero) and basic arithmetic procedures that we use in our daily life are some of the most influential inventions of the Islam civilization. In the field of astronomy, Muslims can be credited with the invention of astrolabe and compass, which became valuable instruments in long sea travels and thus facilitated further discovery of new territories by Europeans. In the field of physics, Ibn Al-Haytham made important discoveries in the optic theory, explaining the mechanism of vision and reflection of light. In general, Muslims largely contributed to all spheres of science by developing rational scientific methods, which focused on careful observation and measurement.
Muslims also had numerous achievements in the field of healthcare. Thus, they were the first to understand the nature of infectious diseases and develop the methods for their prevention. The Muslim scientist Al-Zahrawi is widely known as the founder of surgery: the surgical instruments he described in his writings are still used in modern medicine. The use of anesthesia and cauterization of the wounds are other influential achievements of the Islam civilization. Moreover, due to their emphasis on the importance of hygiene, Muslims developed technologies for the production of soap, shampoo and perfumes, which became incredibly popular with Europeans.
Since Islam attaches large importance to knowledge, Muslims developed original philosophical ideas and influenced the development of European philosophy. During the Middle Ages, Muslims played the key role in preserving the works of classical antiquity by translating the works of ancient Indian and Greek thinkers. The writings of Muslim philosophers – such as Avicenna, Al-Ghazali, Ibn Sina – became the basis for the development of scholastics, which sought to combine Christian faith with the philosophy of Aristotle. Moreover, due to their emphasis on knowledge, Muslims were the first to open large universities where both religious and secular subjects were taught, and degrees were given based on the students’ performance. The universities that Muslim founded in Spain were the major centers of education during the Dark Ages.