Quiz Whizz # 5: Father of Chemistry

-By Hashim Khan

Great research has been carried out by hundreds of chemists over the years, each of them contributing a great deal to the established Chemistry we study today. However there have only been a privileged few who have been called one of the Fathers of Chemistry!

Yesterday in Quiz Whizz we asked you:

Which of these famous scientists is regarded as one of the fathers of Chemistry?

 a. Johannes Van Der Waals

b. Jabir ibn Hayyan

c. Anders Celsius

d. Abu Ali Sina

We are really glad to announce that almost all of you chose the correct option; it is indeed Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan(103-200 Hijri).

At a time when Islamic civilization was considered the intellectual hub of the world, Jabir Ibn Hayyan was a prominent polymath, a chemist, alchemist, astronomer and astrologer, engineer, geographer, philosopher, physicist, a pharmacist and a physician.

With more than seventy books to his name, Jabir had discoveries and works to the extent that they used to call it the “chemistry of Jabir”. Being the first to acquire his information from experimental observations, he is considered the founder of experimental chemistry. He said and I quote: ”the condition for perfecting this craft, is work and experiment. He who does not work or experiment will achieve nothing.”

Always experimenting, he was the first to prepare many of the chemicals we know today and establish numerous chemical tests that we now carry out in our labs.

It is fair to assume that in the Islamic golden age, Muslim scientists laid the foundations of all the scientific field there are. To reclaim that lost glory, we must make these great men our role model and once again make Islamic civilization the intellectual hub of the world. Amen.

Congratulations to those of you who opted for the correct answer. Stay tuned for the next episode of QUIZ WHIZZ, on Monday 10:00 pm.

 – The writer is an Executive member of NUST Science Society and a sophomore at School of Chemical and Materials Engineering.

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