Prof. Dr. Umar Anggara Jenie
Professor in Medicinal Chemistry,
Faculty of Pharmacy, Gadjah Mada University (UGM)

“Islam is like a good seed, whenever you plant it,
It will grows strongly, even in the drough land, let alone in a fertile one”
(KHA Wahid Hasyim, Mimbar Agama Tahun II, No3 Maret-April 1951)

Science is a knowledge which is acquired through a systematic observation to discover facts on natural (or social) phenomena, and to formulate those facts into laws, rules or principles (Mooris,). Baiquni (1990) gave another definition on science, i.e., that science is a collection of human knowledge on nature, which acquired as a rationally consensus of experts resulting from critical analyses on measured data which collected through observation of natural phenomena. Based on the latter definition, science could be built through four steps, namely: (1) Observation of natural phenomenon, (2) Measurement to obtain data from this observation, (3) Critical analysis of the resulted data, and (4) Rationally concluding the resulted of analysis. Based on those four steps, sciences and its application through technologies have been accumulated since the 17th Century up to the present time.
Most Western science historians believe that the beginning of modern science was in the late 17th Century, when Isaac Newton read his famous book: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica or the Principia, before the Royal Society of London (Prigogine & Stengers,1984). However, a critical analysis of science history gave some remarks, that before Rainessance of 17th Century, the Greek and the Islamic civilizations have already developed their own scientific cultures. The ancient Greek civilization (300-200BCE) has already established its scientific culture, mostly based on philosophical and mathematical thinking. Then, the Islamic civilization (600-1600CE) continued the Greek scientific traditions, and developed what so called scientific emperical or experimental paradigm.

Early Muslim Scientists developed scientific tools to help performing their Islamic duties.
In the late 7th Century the Caliphate territory gradually expanded beyond the border of Arabian Peninsula. The western border of the territory had gone as far as the Atlantic and Iberian Peninsula, while the eastern one had reached as far as South China and the Pacific. The northern border had reached as far as Central Asia and the Anatolia. Shortly speaking, muslim people who were living in the Caliphate had scaterred from the Iberian Peninsula in the West up to the border of South China in the East, and as far as Central Asia and Anatolia in the North. They were living in different places with different seasons, and different distances and directions to the Caliphate Capital (Madinah) and the Holy City of Mecca. Such conditions had pushed muslim scholars all over the caliphate territory, to develop sciences and technologies which could help determining the exact direction to Mecca and the shortest distance to Mecca. Moreover, astronomical calculation had been developed, in order to know the exact time to perform sholah, and the date of the beginning and the end of Ramadhan, as well as the date for Hajj Pilgrimage. Therefore the first scientific-knowledge developed by Muslim scholars/scientists were arithmatics, geography, and astronomy. They had also developed tools, built up many workshops and laboratories to prove their theoretical theses (Baiquni,1997; Arsyad,1989).
Jabir ibn Hayyan known as Geber or Abu Abdullah Jabir ibn Hayyan al-Kufi as-Sufi (721 – 815CE), an outstanding chemists in the Islamic Golden Age, stated that any theory/thesis/hypothesis remains a speculative until they could be proven by empirical evidence. Jabir ibn Hayyan gave an example, that the value of chemistry does not depend on what it has been read, but on what it has been tested and proven through experiments. It was Jabir and his followers who then pioneered on the development of chemistry laboratory to prove theoretical thinking (Baiquni,1997; Arsyad,1995). Thus the experimental or emperical paradigm was established!. Another outstanding scientist and mathematician during the Golden Age of Islamic Civilization was Al Khawarizmi, or Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (known in Western litarature as Algoarismi or Algorism, 780-850CE). He introduced arabical numeral and the number “zero” for arithmetic and mathematical calculation. He discovered the algebra, through his famous book Mukhtasar fi Hisab al-Jabr wa Muqabala. This book was translated into latin by Gerard of Cremona (1114-1187) entitled De Jebra et Almucabola,and then in English in the later Century by Robert of Chester, entitled Liber Algebras et Almucabola (Arsyad,1995). The algebra of al-Khwarizmi has also shown a geometrical meaning. It has not only contributed to solve a triangle theorem accurately, but could also be used to calculate triangle height, parallelogram and circle, including  value. The value of  = 3.1428571 (al-Khwarizmi calculation), while in modern calculation, the value of  = 3.14159265358979323846.
Thus, contributors for the progress of scientific and technological advancement which was accumulated since the ancient time, come from many civilizations, such as Egyptian, Greece, Romans, Islamic (Arab, Persian, Turkish), India, China, and Western (Europeans, Russia and American), Japanese and Koreans civilizations.

Islamic Society in Modern Era
The declining of the Islamic Civilization started in 18th Century, and reached its peak with the fall of Utsmaniyyah Caliphate (Ottoman Empire) in early 20th Century. After the World War II, most muslim countries have gained their independence from the Western colonialists. Therefore it is a duty for every muslim to build up and develop science and technologies for the benefit of all muslim people and all humankind. The late Prof. Dr. Abdus Salam, – a Pakistani Physics Nobel Laureatte 1979, said in his lecture at International Islamic University in Kuwait that: The Muslims have a scientific past in accordance with the commandments of the Holy Book and the Prophet of Allah. It is their religious duty to strive scientific future…that modern science is not a creation only the Western, – Judeo-Christianity tradition as it often claimed – but the contemporary scientific advances have their roots in innovation and discoveries made earlier in the Islamic lands’ (Salam,1983). Twenty years later, an Egyptian Chemistry Nobel Laureatte 1999, has warned us as follows: ‘….in science, over the past one hundred years of the existence of the (Nobel) prizes, the Islamic world – which represents more than one billion of the earth’s six billion population – can claim only Abdus Salam from Pakistan, co-winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics, and myself. Nearly all prizes in science and medicine have been awarded to the Western world’ (Zewail,2002). It is our duty now, to build up and develop again science and technology. What kind of science needs to be built up?

Islamic Sciences and Sciences; is there any differences?
The word ‘Science’ has been translated into Arabic as ‘Ilmi, and into Indonesian as Ilmu. According to Western philosophy, science is a value-free knowledge, secular in nature, and has no relation to or intervention with revelations. On the other hand, ‘Ilmi is a knowledge given to humankind by The Truly Owner of Knowledge, in order that humankind could perform their duty as khalifatulLah fil ardh (vicegerent of Allah in the earth). ‘Ilmi thus is not a value-free knowledge; it is a value knowledge, transcendental or prophetic in nature, and has relation to the revelations. Therefore, translating the word science in to ‘Ilmi is not appropriate, if not misleading. While science concerns only with physical entities, ‘Ilmi concerns not only with physical entities but also include the metaphysical one; such as knowledge of the Hereafter (Yaumil Akhirat) i.e., the Hell (an-Nar or Jahanam) and the Paradise (al-Jannah or Firdaus), The Day of Resurrection (Yaumil Qiyamah), the Day of Jugdement. So, ‘Ilmi is more of an hollistic knowledge, both physically and meta-physically.
Building up ‘Ilmi is actually similar to that of science, i.e., through steps of observation, measurement, critical analysis and rational conclusion; but building up ‘Ilmi has to be started from the Revelations or Prophecies.

Building up ‘Ilmi
How to build up and develope the ‘Ilmi? It has to be started from the Qur’anic verses/texts, since it is the Speech or Direction of the Almighty Allah, the Real Owner of the Whole Knowledge. In the surah al-Alaq [96]:1, the Almighty is ordering us to ‘Read’ (Iqro’)!. What is to be read? Of course, not only the Qur’an or Revelations (known as ayah qauliyyah) have to be read, but also the whole universe phenomena, such as natural phenomena in the universe, in the earth, in our body (known as ayah kauniyyah). Iqro’ means ‘read’, and could also be interpreted as observation, examination. So we are ordered by the Almighty to ‘study’ the Almighty’s creations. In carrying out ‘Read’ or Observation or Examination, it must be followed by a self-declaration that Allah is the Creator, …in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher Who created”.
     
“ Read! (iqro’) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher Who created” (QS al-Alaq[96]:1)

The first verses of the first Surah revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), in my opinion, becomes the Islamic Paradigm in Seeking Knowledge, that seeking knowledge must be based on self-declaration that The Almighty Allah is the Creator Who Created. So research to seek a knowledge shall not be separated from Existency of the Almighty.
In the surah Yunus [10]:101, again Allah has been ordering us to deeply examine or unzhuru (Baiquni,1990); another translator such as Allama ‘Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1983) translated the word unzhuru! with behold!
               
Say: “Behold! (Examine deeply!) (unzhuru) all that is in the heavens and on earth”; But neither Sign nor Warners profit those who believe not. (QS Yunus[10]:101).

Moreover, Baiquni stated that the word unzhuru means examine with inthizor, or deeply examine, or more significantly means ‘examine the Greatness and Powerfullness of the Almighty Allah and His all observed creations’.
So the first step to obtain knowledge for building up ‘Ilmi is to read, to observe or to examine deeply on all God creations, whether in the heavens, earth, ocean or on our bodies. The second one is to carry out measurement and quantification (if nescessary) on what we have already got from observations. In surah al-Qomar [54]:49, the Almighty stated that all things that Allah has created are in certain proportion and measure.
 •    
“Verily, all things have We created in proportion and measure (qodarin)” (QS al-Qomar[54]:49).

Therefore quantification and measurement are the important step in building up ‘Ilmi, since all creatures are in certain proportions and measured.
As in building up of science, the steps-3 and step-4, i.e., critical analysis dan drawing rational conclusion respectively, are also steps which could be carried out in building up the ‘Ilmi. We can see in the surah an-Nahl [16]:11-12, as follows:

   • • •    •  •      
“With it He produces for you corn, olives, date-palms, grapes, and every kind of fruit; Verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought (qoumin yatafakkaruna)” (QS an-Nahl[16]:11)

   •              
“And He has made subject to you the Night and the Day; the Sun and the Moon; and the Stars are in subjection by His Command; verily in this are Signs for men who are wise (qoumin ya’qiluna) (QS an-Nahl[16]:12).

Qoumin yatafakkaruna in the verses 11 surah [16] refers to those who give thought or who is able to use their brain forin-depth thinking. This verse has always ordered us to carry out critical analysis, use our brainrdingly; while qoumin ya’qiluna in the verses 12 of the same surah, refers to those who could rationalize, and thus draw rational conclusions.
It is clear now, that building up ‘Ilmi is actually similar to that of building up science. However, building up ‘Ilmi must start from the Qur’anic Revelation or the Saying of the Holy Prophet. The existence of human beings on earth is as vicegerent (caliphate or khalifah) of the Almighty Allah; therefore to carry out our duty we need tools which could be developed through development and application of the ‘Ilmi, as have already been done by early muslims scientists.

Who are responsible to carry out the Big Task: Building up an Islamic Science (‘Ilmi)
Islamic and Muslim States must take responsibility for carrying out this Big Task. The first step is, of course, carrying out “Read” or Observation. This means, carrying out research and development (R&D) in actual work. The States must seriously take responsibility for developing this science, and providing enough budget for R&D; otherwise we could do nothing for developing science and technology. Even most muslim countries are still left behind by the new emerging developing countries, such as China, India and Brazil.
At the 2nd World Science Forum in Budapest, 10-12th November 2005, Dr. Mohammed Hassan (Director of the Academy of Sciences of Developing World ) stated that substantial progress on science and technologies has already been made by three developing countries, namely: China, Brazil and India. These three countries, together with South Korea become new world centers for the advancement of sciences, in line with the OECD Countries.
Dr Hassan gave the details concerning the advancement of these three countries. In the field of Biotechnology, progresses have been made by China, Brazil and India; and followed by Egypt, Cuba, South Korea, South Africa and Iran. In the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), progresses have been made by India, China, followed by Pakistan. In the field of Aerospace Engineering, progresses have been made by China, India, Brazil, Pakistan and Iran. In the field of Nanosciences and technology, China, Brazil, India and South Africa become new centers for advancement nanosciences and technologies. Therefore countries which will follow China, India and Brazil, most probably will be Pakistan, Iran, South Korea, Egypt and Cuba. Chile, Thailand and Nigeria will follow later on. In journal of Nature Biotechnology 2004, it has been declared that 7 third world countries are now successfully mastering health biotechnology, at the same level with the developed coutries. Those countries are China, India, Brazil, Egypt, Cuba, South Korea, and South Africa. In year 2007, Iran has been included to countries which are successfully mastering on medical biotechnology, and also stem cells research on leukemia.
The following is a Table of % R&D per GDP of developed and developing countries, taken from R&D Magazine, Batelle, OECD, World Bank; 2005.

TABLE on % R&D per GDP, 2005


Nature of State (Continent)
per GDP
1 ISRAEL – (Asia) 4,5
2 SWEDEN Developed (Europe) 3,9
3 FINLAND Developed (Europe) 3,5
4 JAPAN Developed (Asia) 3,2
5 USA Developed (America) 2,6
6 SOUTH KOREA Developed (Asia) 2,6
7 SWIZERLAND Developed (Europe) 2,6
8 GERMANY Developed (Europe) 2,5
9 AUSTRIA Developed (Europe) 2,3
10 TAIWAN Developed (Asia) 2,2
11 SINGAPORE Developed (Asia) 2,2
12 FRANCE Developed (Europe) 2,2
13 UK Developed (Europe) 1,9
14 CHINA Developing (Asia) 1,4
15 RUSSIA Developed (Europe) 1,3
16 INDIA Developing (Asia) 1,0
17 TURKEY Developing (Euro-Asia) 0,7
18 MALAYSIA Developing (Asia) 0,7
19 INDONESIA+) Developing (Asia) 0,1++)
+) Indonesia was not included in the above Report. Data for Indonesia has been taken from the Sc&Tech Indicator of LIPI (Indonesian Institute of Sciences)
++) Data year 2004

From the Table, it has been seen that %R&D/GDP for developed countries around 2-4%. We see the awakening of some Asian countries through the budget allocated for R&D, especially in South Korea, Singapore, China and India. Turkey and Malaysia will follow soon. As for Indonesia, still far behind.

Closing Remarks
Developing of science in accordance with Islamic Teaching, which we call ‘Ilmi, is the responsibility of all Muslim Ummah, individualy as well as institutionally.
The Governments of Islamic/Muslim countries must have strong and real commitment to provide appropriate R&D Budget, – at least 1% of their GDP, for building up a real and targeted research and developement activities to increase competitiveness of their countries.

Ali, Abdullah Yusuf, 1983, The Holy Qur’an, Text, Translataion and Commentary, Amana Corp, 4411 41st St., Brenwood, Maryland, USA.

Arsyad, M.N.,1995 (4th Ed), Ilmuwan Muslim Sepanjang Sejarah, dari Jabir hingga Abdus Salam, Penerbit Mizan, Bandung, hal.23-47.

Baiquni, A.,1997, Al Qur’an dan Ilmu Pengetahuan Kealaman, PT Dana Bhakti Prima Yasa, Yogyakarta, hal. 63-78.

Baiquni, A., 1990, Filsafat Fisika dan Al Qur’an, Ulumul Qur’an, 4, 4-12.

Hassan, M., 2005, Report at The 2nd World Science Forum, Budapest, 10-12th November 2005.

Prigogine, I. And Stengers I., 1984, Order Out of Chaos, Man’s New Dialogue with Nature, Redwood Burn Ltd., London.

Salam, A., 1983, Sains dan Dunia Islam (Translated by Achmad Baiquni from Science and the Islamic World), Penerbit Pustaka, Bandung.

Zewail, A.H., 2002, Walks of Life to the Nobel Prize, World Scientific, New Jersey-Hongkong.

—————–, 2005, R&D Magazine, Batelle, OECD, World Bank; 2005.

+) Presented at the Achmad Wahid Hayjim International Seminar, The Future of Islam in the World, in conjuction with 100th year Anniverversary of the late KH A. Wahid Hasyim, Pesantren Tebu-Ireng, 08 Juni 2011, Jombang.