The Golden time of scientific bloom during the Time of Imam Reza (A.S) (Part 2)
4. Science of Islamic Jurisprudence
Science of Islamic jurisprudence is the greatest of all Islamic sciences and most distinguished of the them, so it was widespread in that time and the rest of times. This honorable science is responsible for rendering knowledge of required, religious duties imposed on the bounded who are responsible before Allah for following and putting them into practice.
The Imams of the members of the House (Ahl-ul-Bayt), peace be on him, played an active role in establishing a jurisprudence school which included the eminent jurists and scholars such as Zarara, Muhammad bin Muslim, Jabir bin Yazid al-Ju‘fi, Abu Hanifa, and the like. These jurists and scholars recorded what they had heard from the pure Imams in their fundamentals which they are about four hundreds, and which were rectified and gathered in the four books to which the Imam’s jurists refer for concluding lawful precepts.
The Shi‘ites are regarded as the first to record jurisprudence. In this regard Mustafa ‘Abd al-Razzaq said: ”The Shï‘ites were the quickest of the rest of the Muslims in inclining to writing down jurisprudence. It is rational that the Shi‘ites were the quickest in clinging to recording the lawful rules because their belief in the infallibility or semi infallibility of their Imams urged them to write down their legal decisions, their formal and legal opinions. (11)
4. Science of Fundamentals
Among the sciences which were studied in those times and the like was deriving religious decisions (ijtihad); this science was founded by the greatest Imam Abu Jafar Muammed al-Baqir, peace be on him. (12)
Grammar was among the sciences which played an important role during the ‘Abbasid time, for some of its matters and researches were the object of heated argument at gatherings held in the palaces of the Caliphs; disputes and heated arguments concerning some of its matters took place among the leading grammarians in the presence of the ‘Abbasid Caliph. A group of great figures specialized in this science; at their head were al-Kisa’i, al-Farra’, Sibawayh, and this science was established by Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, the pioneer of wisdom and knowledge in Islam.
As for theology, it was widespread in that time. The scholars and the theologians discussed important researches on this science in order to defend their beliefs. On the top of the theologians was Hisham bin al-Hakam, the student of Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq, peace be on him, who disproved the beliefs of his opponents and established with his definite proofs the creed of the members of the House (Ahl-ul-Bayt), peace be on him, which Allah has chosen for His servants.
Some Sunni famous theologians were Wasil bin ‘Ata’, Abu al-Hudhayl al-‘Allaf, Abu al-Hassan al-Ash‘ari, and Hujjat al-Islam al-Ghazali.
Medicine was widespread during that time. Imam Reza, peace be on him was at the head of the scientists in this science, and his dissertation in medicine is regarded as the most marvelous medical research, hence it has been called the Golden Dissertation (al-Risala al-Dhahabiya).
The ‘Abbasid kings encouraged people to study this science and spent a lot of money on the specialists in it such as Gabriel bin Bakhtishu‘, the skillful doctor.
Chemistry was among the most important sciences which attained great care in that time. Jabir bin Hayyan, the pride of the Arab east, was specialist in it; he received his researches from the greatest figure of Islamic thought, Imam Jafar Sadiq, peace be on him, whom some western scholars called the thinking brain of humanity, for it was he who established this science.
9. Architecture and Civil Engineering
Architecture and civil engineering reached zenith in that time, for the architects were creative in their designing the palaces of the caliphs whether in Baghdad or in Samra’. Those palaces were the largest building throughout history. An example of the marvelous architectural designs is the ponds which were made in Samra’, which the poets adored, and which astonished the minds of the scholars, in addition to that there were wonderful paintings and the Hanging Gardens the like of which has not been made even in this century when architecture and technology have reached top.
Astronomy was among the dominating sciences in that time. Al-Mamoon, the ‘Abbasid, was one of those who were specialists in it. These are some sciences, which dominated that time, and which represented intellectual freedom and technology in the time of the Imam, peace be on him.
(11) Tamhid Li Tarikh al-Falsafa al-Islamiya, pp. 202-203.
(12) Hayat al-Imam al-Muhammad al-Jawad, p. 195.
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