Sample History Paper on Influence of Arabs on the West

Influence of Arabs on the West


The ‘House of Wisdom’ set a standard in the development and expansion of Arab scientific knowledge and discoveries with a huge impact in elaborating the significant discoveries. With the influence of these changes in terms of expansion of scientific knowledge and discoveries in the school of thought and even additional skills adopted from the Greek. The Arabs in the 7th Century are largely the most recognized from the Arab nation to have a huge influence on the civilization globally. They were responsible for the development of a strong and advanced culture that has been a huge influence in the development of civilizations in the West and even the globally.

Some Common Inventions still being Used Currently

A large percent of the inventions firsts discovered by the Arabs are in the shadows largely due to lack of effective measures implemented to perfect them or even create awareness of these discoveries. Over the years, most of these discoveries have been attributed to other scientists and scholars from the West, who also has taken credit for the inventions. While some of the inventions have been sole discoveries of the inventions of the Western Scientists and Researchers, some of the discoveries are adaptations of the original inventions of the Arab scholars. The camera obscura or the pinhole camera is one of the revolutionary discoveries by Ibn al-Haytham that no one knows to be his discovery (Dowidar & Salim, 2015). Years later, the camera and the application of the pinhole camera continues to be a huge factor in the progress of the film industry and even the applications of the mobile phone cameras (Devlin, 2002). The lack of exposure and continued development of the invention made it be accredited to the Western Scientists and researchers. The basic of the pinhole camera and the designs are a resemblance of the concepts adopted in the original camera obscura developed by Ibn al-Haytham.

Al Khwarizmi is not known to many people for his revolutionary mathematics discovery in the sector of Algebra. Little is known of Ibn al-Haytham who was among the first scholars to provide and elaborative concept related to Algebra. His easrly calculations in Algebra did not offer the current standards that are being used in the mathematics sector. However, his early approach to the development of Algebra continues to be a standard of basis in the mathematics sector. The name algebra is also a derivative of the concept of al-jabr that also was part of the logarithm discovered by al-Khawarzimi.The numerical system was a medieval discovery that is attributed to the Arab scholars. The development of the Arabic numerical helped in the development of the value zero, which is a derivative of the Arabic al-sifr. From the concept of the al-sifr came the additional numbers that constitute the numerical system being used in mathematics. The application of these concepts exceed beyond the education sector, with both these concepts of calculation and arithmetic being factors defining the development and progress of technology. Coding and programming are attained from logarithms and sequences that are computed based on the possible chances or events of attainment of set outcomes.

In the medical sector, there was a huge adoption of concepts and approaches developed by the Arab scholars and other researchers. Ibn Sina also called Avicenna made a compilation of various health alternatives that were all called the al-Qanun. The al-Qanun made its Way to Europe in the 11th century and was even adopted among the various universities to be used in the development of care concepts and applications (Campbell, 2013). This journal was compiled with the Rhazes developed by Al-Razi in the 10th century to make a basis for medication. The initial journals offered information on the different aspects of health based on traditional methods of development alternative medicine and even caring for wounds and cuts (Campbell, 2013). With the scarcity of these alternative care options and the increase in technology breakthroughs in various sectors of healthcare, most of these early practices were forgotten along with the famous researchers.

The setups of hospitals that are currently attributed to the modernization and inclusion of practices and settings much supported and improved over the years by the Western scientists have their origins in the Arab nations. In the golden years of the Abbasid rule, the emperor passed the decree that promoted the attainment of medication from drug stores that also had to meet various specifications in terms of sanitation. These were common in the 16th century with the healers at that time striving to ensure that they promoted clean hygiene. This also gave rise to the hospital settings that were seen in regions such as Cairo, Cordovam Baghdad, and Damascus many years before the same were developed in the West (Rahman & Sidek, 2017).


While there are very many discoveries that are changing the everyday lives of people globally, there are some that are derivatives from original crude and even advanced discoveries of the Arab scholars. The early civilizations that sought to expand territories increased the availability of some of these discoveries world over and even helped in the development of the modern systems that are changing lives currently. Therefore, despite the lack of accreditation for the discoveries they made, the Arab scholars have played a huge role in the modern civilization and the prosperity of the West in various fields.





Campbell, D. (2013). Arabian medicine and its influence on the Middle Ages. New York: Routledge.

Devlin, K. (2002, September 5). How Islam kick started science. Retrieved from The Guardian:

Dowidar, H., & Salim, A. (2015, March 24). How an ancient Muslim scientist cast his light into the 21st century. Retrieved from Elsevier:

Rahman, A. S., & Sidek, R. S. (2017). Role and Contribution of Ottoman Science Institutions in the Development of Muslim Civilization: Spotlight on 16th Century. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7(8), 46.