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Muslim Contributions to Chemistry & the Scientific Method

Ibn Jabir




  • Developed laboratory equipment such as the alembic, retort, double boiler, and scales for measuring small particles.
  • Developed distillation, crystallization, sublimation, calcination processes
  • Discovered hydrochloric, nitric acids, and citric acid
  • Isolated the elements: arsenic, bismuth, and sulfur.
  • Described a classification system for substances
  • Believed that mass was made of atomic particles.
  • Developed a way to weigh and measure small particles.
  • Made soaps and perfumes
  • Findings were used to improve the manufacturing of steel and other metals to prevent rust, water proofing, develop fuels, and make inks.
  • The word "gibberish," comes from his name because he often wrote in code.
  • Sometimes referred to as the Father of Modern Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.


  • Developed laboratory equipments such as mortar and pestles, spatulas, flasks, beakers, and other glass vessels. 
  • Recognized the toxicity of arsenic and mercurial ointments to treat skin ailments.
  • Added categories of substances to include boraces, atroments, and salts.
  • Introduced an atomic theory that posed that there were spaces between atoms.
  • Systemized laboratory practices and techniques.
  • Described the salinity and inflammablity of substances. 
  • Regarded by some as the father of pharmacology. 


  • Translated the works of Greek philosophers and continued their debates.
  • Insisted on the use of the scientific method.
  • Developed recipes for perfumes.
  • Described the effects of compounded substances for medication.
  • Described the effects of various dosages of medications.
  • Recognized that air particles are made of atoms.

Muslim Contributions to Navigation and Discovery