Born in 1924 in Bitlis, Fuat Sezgin, after attending his primary school education in there, completed his secondary education in Erzurum High School and then he graduated from Oriental Languages and Literatures Department, Faculty of Letters Istanbul University. He completed his Ph.D. studies in the same faculty as an academic, and then in the 1960 military coup, he was given a sack from the university. Upon the advice of Hellmut Ritter he went to Frankfurt University in Germany.
Fuat Sezgin is a Turkish scientist who started his scientific life in Turkey and continued in Germany for compelling reasons. Based on Arabic manuscripts collected from various parts of the world, he revealed the contributions of Muslims to science and their achievements in the scientific field.
Thus he proved with evidence that the perception of “all developments in science was recorded by the Westerners” to be wrong; on the contrary, he demonstrated with documents, the understanding of “many developments in science between 6th and 9the centuries were recorded by the Muslims and Westerners learned from them.” Fuat Sezgin classified the developments of Muslims in scientific fields according to centuries in his work titled İslam’da Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technique in Islam), and he explained who contributed to which scientific field in each century one by one. According to it, in the 1st and the 2nd centuries of Islamic Calendar (Hijri Calendar), the 7th and 8th centuries in the Gregorian calendar, they learned the sciences and they made use of the translations of Ancient Greek scientific works. From the 3rd century of Islamic Calendar, the 9th century of Gregorian Calender, on they formed their own sciences and philosophies.
According to Fuat Sezgin, Muslims produced such thoughts and sciences that could not even be imagined by Ancient Greek philosophers-bookmen or by the 17th-century scientists. For instance, an Islamic scientist named Cabir b. Hayyan, by saying that “Allah gave all the capability to human beings to solve all the veil of misery!” claimed man could solve every misery in the universe. On the other hand, Aristotle accepted that human was not capable of doing that by saying exact the opposite of it. Cabir b. Hayyan defended the thesis that the universe was created in a set of mathematical measurements. In other words, he admitted that even the emotions could be measured. He said, “something that could not be measured could not be the subject of science.” For instance, while Galen classified diseases as first level and second level, Cabir said it should have been expressed through mathematics. Again Cabir İbni Hayyan, with his principle named ‘tevlid’ (meaning being born in its dictionary use), admitted that Allah gave humans the ability to produce new things. However, while saying it, he did not regard the topic in the sense of backsliding. He could claim it in the 8th century. He was a person who could answer the question that “could we consist of stone, herb and animal?” as “yes, we could” in order to show his belief that Allah gave humans such a great power. He, Cabir, was such a wonderful person that he could make an alphabet with 700 letters to express all the animal sounds.
Fuat Sezgin answers the question of “Can you make a comparison between Muslims, Greeks, and Europeans?” by assimilating the development rule of sciences to a river. A river grows from small sources, it flows fast from the hillsides to a meadow, and in the meadow, it both slows down and widens, and then again it gets fast and it becomes a cycle. Sciences, just like rivers, develop slowly in the hands of different people and in the lands of different cultures and turn into its contemporary status.
Thus Fuat Sezgin emphasizes that there is a mutuality base of science. Nations interact and take it from somewhere and improve it. Consequently, people who continue to study become science banner bearers and become influential. The ones who get tired leave the banners aside and regress. While once Egyptians, Babylonians, or Greeks pioneered science, between the 9th and 17th centuries the world of Islam was the pioneer in every topic and it guided humanity. In fact, Muslim scientists mentioned respectfully the people who took information and science, for instance, they said: “measter” for Socrates, “Divine Plato” for Plato, “First Teacher” for Aristotle and “virtuous” for Galen. Muslim scientists did not deny that they were influenced by previous scientists and mentioned where they got information. According to Fuat Sezgin, there is not such a footnoting tradition in the West. They behaved as if they did everything and produced every piece of information.
According to the researches that Fuat Sezgin did, chemistry which is the base of many sciences was invented by a Muslim scientist names Cabir b. Hayyan. The number zero in mathematics was given to the world of science by Ibn Haysem. The founder of the logarithm is Al-Harezmi. The first maps were drawn by the Muslims. In the Islamic world, there were many prominent scholars in many science fields. Biruni, for example, is not only a mathematician but also a geographer; he made mathematical geography an independent discipline. Biruni is the one who founded spherical trigonometry as a branch of science based on the discoveries of his teachers. Biruni, on the other hand, was known as the “father of Pharmacy” with his information in the field of medicines.
One of our most sophisticated scientists is Ibn Sina. Ibn Sina, whose work Al-Kanun Fi't-Tib was translated into Latin several times in the Middle Ages, was known for his innovations in medicine with the title of co-Shaykh er-Reis. He is also a person in philosophy that Westerners follow.
Türkiye’de de böyle bir müze açması yolunda kendisine iletilen tekliflere olumlu bakan Sezgin, Gülhane Parkı’nda 800 eserden oluşan yeni bir müze daha kurmuş ve adını da İslam Bilim ve Teknoloji Tarihi Müzesi olarak koymuştur.
Fuat Sezgin, as well as collecting Works of Arabic manuscripts in various countries of the world and making scientific studies about them, exhibited the technical instruments narrated in these works by making their one-to-one copy as described in the books in the Museum of the Institute of History of Arab-Islamic Sciences that he opened in Frankfurt. Although he initially planned to make almost 30 instruments, over time he managed to make and exhibit 500 instruments in total. Sezgin, who was favorable on the suggestions of opening such a museum in Turkey, established a new museum consisting of 800 instruments in Gulhane Park and named it as the history of Islamic Science and Technology Museum.
Sezgin is a pioneer in re-establishing the self-confidence of the Turkish-Islamic world through his efforts.
Fuat Sezgin, Türkiye’de başladığı bilim hayatına, zorunlu nedenlerle Almanya’da devam etmiş olan bir Türk bilim adamıdır. Dünyanın çeşitli yerlerinden temin ettiği Arapça yazma eserlere dayanarak Müslümanların bilime yaptıkları katkıları ve bilimsel alandaki başarılarını ortaya koymuştur. Böylece “bilimdeki tüm gelişmeler, Batılılar tarafından gerçekleştirilmiştir” algısının yanlış olduğunu kanıtlarıyla ortaya koymuştur. Buna karşılık “bilimdeki birçok gelişme, 9.-16. Asırlar arasında Müslümanlar tarafından gerçekleştirilmiş ve Batılılar da onlardan öğrenmişlerdir” anlayışını belgeleriyle ispat etmiştir.
Fuat Sezgin’in yaptığı araştırmalara göre, birçok bilimin temelinde bulunan kimya bilimi, Cabir b. Hayyan isimli bir Müslüman bilim adamı tarafından icat edilmiştir. Matematikteki sıfır rakamı, bilim dünyasına İbni Heysem tarafından kazandırılmıştır. Logaritmanın kurucusu, el-Harezmî’dir. İlk haritalar, Müslümanlar tarafından çizilmiştir. İslam dünyasında birçok bilim dalında birden öne çıkan yönlü bilim adamları yetişmiştir. Örneğin Bîrûnî, matematikçi olmasının yanı sıra aynı zamanda coğrafyacıdır; matematiksel coğrafyayı bağımsız bir disiplin haline getirmiştir. Küresel trigonometriyi hocalarının buluşlarına dayanarak bir bilim dalı olarak kuran kişi, Bîrûnî’dir. Diğer taraftan Bîrûnî, ilaçlar konusundaki donanımıyla “Eczacılığın Babası” olarak tanınmıştır.
Çok yönlü bilim adamlarımızdan biri de İbni Sînâ’dır. El-Kânûn fi’t-Tıb isimli eseri Ortaçağ’da defalarca Latince’ye çevrilen İbn-i Sînâ, tıbba getirdiği yeniliklerle eş-Şeyh er-Reis unvanıyla tanınmıştır. O, aynı zamanda felsefe konusunda da Batılıların takip ettikleri bir şahsiyettir.
Fuat Sezgin, dünyanın çeşitli ülkelerinde bulunan Arapça yazma eserleri toplayarak bunlar hakkında bilimsel çalışmalar yaptığı gibi, bu eserlerdeki teknik aletleri kitaplarda anlatıldığı tarzda birebir yaparak Frankfurt’a açtığı Arap-İslam Bilimler Tarihi Enstitüsü Müzesi’nde sergilemiştir. Başlangıçta 30 kadar eser yapmayı planlamasına rağmen zamanla toplam 500 eser yapıp sergilemeyi başarmıştır. Türkiye’de de böyle bir müze açması yolunda kendisine iletilen tekliflere olumlu bakan Sezgin, Gülhane Parkı’nda 800 eserden oluşan yeni bir müze daha kurmuş ve adını da İslam Bilim ve Teknoloji Tarihi Müzesi olarak koymuştur.
Sezgin, bu çalışmalarıyla Türk-İslam dünyasının yeniden kendine güven sağlamasında öncü olmuştur.
|Publication Date||December 23, 2019|
|Submission Date||July 31, 2019|
|Acceptance Date||December 17, 2019|
|Published in Issue||Year 2019 Volume: 2019 Issue: 39|