Science and Technology in Islam in 6 Languages from TÜBA
TÜBA, Honorary Academy Member Prof. Dr. Fuat Sezgin published “Science and Technology in Islam” in 5 volumes. His work was published in Turkish, English, German, French, Russian and Kyrgyz.
The work titled "Wissenschaft und Technik im Islam" authored by Prof. Sezgin in German, and later translated into Turkish for the first time and published by TÜBA, has recently been translated into Russian and Kyrgyz by the Academy as well.
The fact that Prof. Sezgin's works reach millions in different languages is our debt to his knowledge and his devoted life.
TÜBA President Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Şeker stated that Prof. Sezgin dedicated his life to uncovering the truths in the history of science. He emphasized that Prof. Sezgin's genius, diligence, and talent liberated the knowledge that had remained in the dark in the Turkish-Islamic world, unseen and overshadowed by the West's domination. He also highlighted the Institute and Museum of History of Arab-Islamic Sciences founded by Prof. Sezgin in Frankfurt, as well as the Foundation and Museum of History of Islamic Science in Istanbul, where the technological achievements of scientists in the Islamic world in various fields such as astronomy, geography, navigation, time measurement, geometry, optics, medicine, chemistry, mineralogy, physics, architecture, engineering, and military technology are exhibited through models.
Continuing his statement, Prof. Şeker said, "As TÜBA, we meticulously translated the work 'Introduction to Science and Technology in Islam' into Turkish, consisting of 5 volumes: Astronomy; Geography, Navigation, Clocks, Geometry, Optics; Medicine, Chemistry, Minerals, and Fossil Formations; Physics and Technology, Architecture, Military Technology, Ancient Objects, Orientalizing Style European Glass and Ceramics. We first published it in 2007. The translation into Turkish was a significant step, especially for Türkiye and the Turkic world. We brought the Turkish version of the out-of-print book to the readers for the 5th time this year. Through a protocol between TÜBA, Kırıkkale University, IBTAV, and Manas University, the first volume of 'Introduction to Science and Technology in Islam' has been translated into Kyrgyz and Russian languages. The researchers have shared it with Central Asia science academies. We put great importance on publishing the work in different languages to enable readers to read it in their native language. In this context, we have also re-published the previously released German edition and the English and French editions, which have been translated and are currently out of print."
Who is Prof. Dr. Fuat Sezgin?
He was born in Bitlis on October 24, 1924. He studied under the prominent German orientalist Hellmut Ritter at the Oriental Institute of Istanbul University Faculty of Letters, which held a pioneering position in the field of Islamic Sciences and Oriental Studies. Upon Ritter's recommendation, he increased his daily study hours to 18. Prof. Dr. Fuat Sezgin, whose name we gave to the street on our university campus, devoted his life to the research of the History of Islamic Sciences and is considered the greatest authority in this discipline. He never relied on translations but learned the original language and read the sources in their own language. In this way, he learned nearly 30 foreign languages. In 1961, Fuat Sezgin went to Germany and initially taught as a visiting lecturer at Frankfurt University. In 1965, he became a professor at Frankfurt University. He conducted his studies for nearly thirty years at the Institute for the History of Arab-Islamic Sciences, affiliated with the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, which he founded and directed. In this institute, he published around 1,400 books on the History of Islamic Sciences. He personally bound the books in his library, which consisted of 10,000 handwritten manuscripts, after learning bookbinding. Prof. Dr. Sezgin is also the founder of the Museum of the Institute for the History of Arab-Islamic Sciences, affiliated with Goethe University. The museum exhibits around 800 objects related to the History of Islamic Sciences. The main focus of Fuat Sezgin's scientific work was the history of natural sciences in the Arab-Islamic cultural environment, and in this field, he completed his habilitation work in 1965. He continued his research on the history of Arabic literature, which emerged from the 7th/14th century onwards when he was still in Istanbul. His work "Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums" (History of Arabic Literature) became a seminal work for orientalist studies and is still an unmatched 13-volume work, with the first volume published in 1967 and the final volume in 2000Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums covers all major and minor branches of science, from religious and historical literature to geography and cartography, during the early period of Islam. Sezgin played a pioneering role in the establishment of the Istanbul Museum of Islamic Science, Culture, and Technology, affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which opened on May 25, 2008, by reproducing the scientific instruments and equipment he prepared for the Institute of Arabic-Islamic Sciences.
Prof. Sezgin, who was the first recipient of the Islamic Sciences Award from the King Faisal Foundation of Saudi Arabia in 1978, also received the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany. He was honored with numerous awards, including the Iranian Islamic Sciences Book Award. He collaborated with TÜBA, TÜBİTAK, the Academy of Sciences of Morocco, and the Arab Language Academy in Cairo, Damascus, and Baghdad. He passed away on June 30, 2018.