Al-Jahiz lived, during one of the most exciting times of intellectual history – the period of the transmission of Greek science to the Arabs and the. A Wondrous Journey of Discovery with 9th-century Explorer Al-Jahiz. ‘ Inventions and the Book of Animals’ is an educational initiative. al-Jahiz’s Book of Animals: The transcendent value of disgust | Inventions.

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The Aristotelian Tradition in Islam by F. He even gets into animal communication, psychology and the degree of intelligence of insect and animal species. Seeking to widen his intellectual horizons further, he travelled to Damascus, Beirut, Samarra and Baghdad, the Abbasid capital, where he resided for many years.

Al-Jahiz died in This does not mean that he was never serious, but that in all his major works, seriousness and humor are inextricably mixed; it is sometimes difficult to know when he is joking and when he is not. There are no better singers anywhere in the world, no people more polished and eloquent, and no people less given to insulting language.

The Father of the Theory of Evolution: Al-Jahiz and His Book of Animals | Mvslim

His greatest service, perhaps, was in popularizing science and the rational method, and in showing that a literary man could concern himself with any subject. Captions appear in Persian language.

Photo by Diana Tyszko Source. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Short feature film from producer Ahmed Salim that explores the animal kingdom through the eyes of Al-Jahiz. Sadly, few works of al-Jahiz have survived the vicissitudes of time, but those that have, make us regret all the more the ones that have been lost.

He also studied the Qur’an and the Hadiths. His family was poor and as a young man of 20 he seems to have sold fish along one of the Basran canals.

Al-Jahiz and “The Book of Animals”

No other nation can surpass them in bodily strength and physical toughness. But this is by no means all. It is also difficult to pin al-Jahiz down on a given topic, for he loved to present debates between two social classes — scholars and merchants, mules and horses for instance — in which the merits of each are paraded before the reader. From a youthful fish-seller, on the canals of Basra, he became a gargantuan figure, in the development of literature in Muslim jaihz and science.


Even though his family was very poor, it did not stop Al-Jahiz of seeking knowledge and attending lectures on different topics like Arabic poetry, philology and lexicography. Anticipating a number of concepts which were not to be fully developed until the time of Darwin and his successors, al-Jahiz toys with evolutionary theory, discusses jzhiz mimicry — noting that certain parasites adapt to the color of their host — and writes at length on the influences of climate and diet on men, plants and animals of different geographical regions.

Everybody agrees that there is no people on earth in whom generosity is as universally well developed as the Zanj. A collection of stories about the greedy.

In turn, flies hunt the mosquito “which is the food that they like best”, and predators eat the flies. He sold fish along one of the canals in Basra in order to help his family. In Bagdad he was exposed to a new and important influence: In short, God has disposed some human beings as a cause of life for others, and likewise, he has disposed the latter as a cause of the death of the former.

Greek science, particularly Aristotelian thought. Retrieved from ” https: Al-Jahiz and the Book of Animals campaign aims to create awareness about those issues and inspire young people to take action to help. This Harra is such that the gazelles, ostriches, insects, wolves, foxes, sheep, asses, horses and birds that live there are all black. I would have you know that a pebble proves the existence of God just as much as a mountain, and the human body is evidence as strong as the universe that contains our world: Old Namara inscription Pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions.

More importantly, he communicates to us the excitement of an intelligent non-specialist confronted with radical scientific, philosophical and theological speculations.

He moved to Baghdad, attracted by the greater scope of the capital of the Arab Islamic Caliphate at the time, in AD, because the Abbasid Caliphs encouraged scientists and scholars and had just founded the House of Wisdom. His works attest the remarkable spread of Greek ideas among ordinary readers.


Beautifully illustrated book for young readers taking children on an exciting journey of discovery with messages echoing those set by the campaign of the importance of respecting all creatures and caring for animals while striving to protect the environment. He sometimes added funny anecdotes and amusing comments in his scientific works. What the author himself thought is often not obvious, and it is possible that in these dialogues he was animale interested in showing his skill at taking both sides of an argument.

This is said to have been the beginning of his career as a writer, which would become his sole source of living. A unique feature of his oeuvre, apart from his celebrated prose – is that he tailored his writing in such a manner that the general community could understand; interspersing his writing, with anecdotes, humour and witticisms.

Jaihz and black are the results of environment, the natural properties of water and soil, distance from the sun, and intensity of heat.

Jeffrey Yang on Kitab al-Hayawan (“The Book of Animals”) by Al-Jahiz | Quarterly Conversation

It is obviously copied by an educated scribe who has indicated the vowels — not normally written in Arabic — which allow the text to be more accurately understood than heretofore. He showed that Arabic was flexible enough to handle any subject with ease, and although he was not personally associated with anomals House of Wisdom, his linguistic achievement paralleled — indeed surpassed — the efforts of the scholars engaged in rendering Greek scientific texts into Arabic.

Namara inscription Pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions. Many of the stories continue to be reprinted in magazines throughout the Arabic-speaking world. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. Connect with Facebook Connect with Twitter. The titles, however, aniimals only a faint idea of their contents.

Books became readily available, and this made learning easily available. Illustrated Arabic manuscripts of any sort are extremely rare, and this is the only illustrated copy of a work by al-Jahiz anijals existence.