Al-Jahiz lived, during one of the most exciting times of intellectual history – the period of the transmission of Greek science to the Arabs and the. A Wondrous Journey of Discovery with 9th-century Explorer Al-Jahiz. ‘ Inventions and the Book of Animals’ is an educational initiative. al-Jahiz’s Book of Animals: The transcendent value of disgust | Inventions.

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It is also difficult to pin al-Jahiz down on a given topic, for he loved to present debates between two social classes aimals scholars and merchants, mules and horses for instance — in which the merits of each are paraded before the reader.

Snakes like eating rats very much. Both in his subject animxls and vocabulary, he presumes a familiarity — albeit superficial — with Aristotle and the technical terminology of scholastic if. He moved to Baghdad, attracted by the greater scope of the capital of the Arab Islamic Caliphate at the time, in AD, because the Abbasid Caliphs encouraged scientists and scholars and had just founded the House of Wisdom.

Mosquitos “know instinctively that blood is the thing which makes ql live” and when they see an animal, “they know that the skin has been fashioned to serve them as food”. In Bagdad he was exposed to a new and important influence: Supplements to the Journal of Arabic Literature.

Captions appear in Persian language. Because of overhunting and poaching, or illegal hunting; overfishing; and destruction of habitats, scientists think 25 percent of mammals could become extinct—and others, too. The Zanj say that God did not make them black in order to disfigure them; rather it is their environment that made them so. Chuo cha Uchunguzi wa Jabiz ya Kiswahili In turn, flies hunt the mosquito “which is the food that they like best”, and predators eat the flies.

The Father of the Theory of Evolution: Al-Jahiz and His Book of Animals

They are all written in a language very accessible for the common person. He even gets into animal communication, psychology and the degree of intelligence of insect and animal species. Animalw book is silent as long as you need silence, eloquent whenever you want discourse.


Despite the title, the Book of Animals is by no means conventional zoology, or even a conventional bestiary.

From a youthful fish-seller, on the canals of Basra, he became a gargantuan figure, in the development of literature in Muslim civilisation and science. The Ambrosiana manuscript is textually very important. As for the snakes, they defend themselves from the danger of the beavers and hyenas; which are more powerful than themselves.

Sadly, few works of al-Jahiz have survived the vicissitudes of time, but those that have, make us regret all the more the ones that have been lost.

Al-Jahiz never lost sight of his readers, and developed a very personal and characteristic style, which blended anecdote, serious subjects and jokes, in an effort to hold their interest. The best evidence of this is that there are black tribes among the Arabs, such as the Banu Sulaim bin Mansur, and that all the peoples settled in the Harra, besides the Banu Sulaim are black.

His education was highly facilitated by the fact that the Abbasid Caliphate was in a period of cultural and intellectual revolution. It was clear to him that there is always one species stronger than the other, and that in order to survive, species had to develop new characteristics. Highly engaging interactive exhibition with hands-on activities, exhibits and digital interactives educating young people about the natural world and inspiring them to take action to strive to protect their environment.

These books also had the role of a cultural drive for the progress of research in modern science in zoology, biology, evolutionary theories, medicine, veterinary, anatomy, etc. Views Read Edit View history.

By classifying al-Jahiz that way, one misrepresents the history of Islam by removing his entertaining work from that history. Kf became readily available, and this made learning easily available. Photo by Diana Tyszko Source.

In short, God has disposed some human beings as a cause of life for others, and likewise, he has disposed the latter as a biok of the death of the former. Retrieved from ” https: This Harra is such that the gazelles, ostriches, insects, wolves, foxes, sheep, asses, horses and birds that live there are all black.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anomals. Print this page Email to a friend Share. Using pigeons as an analogy, for example, he observes that there seem to be many natural forms of sexuality, including homosexuality in males and females, as well as varying preferences regarding domination. It eats some other inferior animals, like small animals and small birds…it hides its babies in disguised underground tunnels for protecting them and himself against the attack of the snakes and of the birds.

Kitab al Hayawan Book of Animals. In Baghdad, al-Jahiz not only fused the Islamic sciences to Greek rationalism, but created Arabic prose literature. His education was highly facilitated due to the fact that the Abbasid Caliphate was in a period of cultural, and intellectual revolutions.

Loving a good story, however, al-Jahiz could never resist passing on the most preposterous yarns of sailors and Bedouin.

The Father of the Theory of Evolution: Al-Jahiz and His Book of Animals | Mvslim

He read Greek literature in translationespecially Aristotle and learnt Farsi. Besides, the land of the Banu Sulaim has much in common with the land of the Turks, where anima,s camels, beasts of burden, and everything belonging to these people is similar in appearance: Of his writings, only thirty books survive today — enough nevertheless to show the omnivorous curiosity of the author.

He used to gather with a group of other youths at Basra’s main mosque, where they would discuss different scientific subjects. This manuscript, which dates from the 14th century, was discovered in the Ambrosiana Library in Milan in by the Swedish scholar Oscar Lofgren.