Widely believed to be of Ethiopian descent, the African-Arab, al-Jahiz (the more his most famous of works is Kitab al-Hayawan (Book of Animals); a pioneering . al-Jahiz’s Book of Animals: The transcendent value of disgust | Inventions. The most famous book written by Al-Jahiz is Kitab al-Hayawan (Book of Animals). This multi-volume book does not only describe more than.

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In turn, flies hunt the mosquito “which is the food that they like best”, and predators eat the flies.

Conway Zirklewriting about the history of natural selection science insaid that an excerpt from this work was the bookk relevant passage he had found from an Arabian scholar. His exact cause of death is not clear, but a popular assumption is that Jahiz died in his private library after one of many large piles of books fell on him, killing him instantly.

FROM AL-JAHIZ (776-868) TO CHARLES DARWIN (1809-1882)

At another place in this book, Iqbal has again referred to al-Jahiz and wrote: Strong animals cannot escape being devoured by other animals stronger than they. The Book of Misers, for example is also very popular. The hyena can frighten the fox, and the latter frightens all the animals which are inferior to it. He believed in the scientific method — as it was then understood — and applied reason and logic to observed phenomena. Yet, another source for his inspiration to study wild nature is barely mentioned, and that is the earlier Islamic literature in biology and zoology.


My books contain above all unusual anecdotes, wise and beautifully expressed sayings handed down by the Companions of the Prophet, sayings which will lead to the acquisition of good qualities and the performance of good works … they also contain stories of the conduct of kings and caliphs and their ministers and courtiers, and the most interesting events of their lives.

He was born in Basra in and learned various disciplines at different mosque circles. They are courageous, energetic, and generous, which are the virtues of nobility, and also good-tempered and with little propensity to evil.

After observing animals and insects, al-Jahiz came to the conclusion that there must be some mechanisms which have influence on the evolution of animals, and this years before Darwin did. He was a man of reason and logic, which generated a spirit of life-long independence. The availability of a cheap writing material was accompanied by another social phenomenon, of which al-Jahiz himself was a product: Connect with Facebook Connect with Twitter.

Al-Damiri, who lived in the 14th century and wrote a well-known encyclopedia called The Lives of the Animals, used much of the scientific and linguistic information from al-Jahiz, but eliminated the anecdotes, poetry, digressions and jokes.

Cairo, 27 January Watch this space for upcoming events: A lion eating the entrails of the carcass of a cow.

This is said to be the origin of his nickname. Due to translation activities, Islamic knowledge of zoology and biology penetrated European universities as early as seventeenth century and provided the foundation for the development of modern disciplines of zoology and biology. It falls in 7 volumes and is full of anecdotes, poetic descriptions and proverbs describing many varieties of animals. Schools Sunni Ash’ari Maturidi Traditionalism. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.


He was a man of reason and logic, which generated a spirit of life-long independence. The book is silent as long as you need silence, eloquent whenever you want discourse.

He writes of singing girls, vagabonds, scholars, theologians, caliphs and viziers, and a very detailed picture of everyday life in ninth-century Iraq could be extracted from his works. Books amimals readily available, and this made learning easily available.

Al-Jahiz – Wikipedia

You are commenting using anmals WordPress. Print this page Email to a friend Share. He described his style himself, saying: 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. He even gets into animal communication, psychology and the degree of intelligence of insect bool animal species. Retrieved from ” https: He sometimes added funny anecdotes and amusing comments in his scientific works.

Al-Jahiz and “The Book of Animals”

Contributions in Medicine and Healthcare from Muslim Civilisation. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Aristotelian Tradition in Islam by F. Although the mechanisms are scientific, Al-Jahiz added a spiritual aspect to it.