Two Muslim Scholars Created Alcohol (And Much of Chemistry) as we Understand It in 700's CE

Brayden Murphy
Brayden Murphy

The history of alcohol goes way back. Booze made with foraged honey predated agriculture, and breweries and wineries have been with us since 4000 B.C.

But all these ancient-yet-familiar beverages are fairly low proof. In the sweep of human history, the distillation of hard liquors—from brandy to ouzo to soju—has been a surprisingly recent development: Scholars have pinpointed the invention of advanced distilling technology to the height of the Islamic Golden Age, which started in the 8th century. That influence on the distillation of liquor is so strong that it lingers in the English language, in the Arabic word “alcohol.”

Before the Islamic Golden Age, people worldwide used crude methods of distillation, such as leaving booze out in the cold and drinking what wouldn’t freeze. And the basic principles of distillation were known by ancient Greek and Egyptian scholars, including Aristotle. But the roots of modern distillation technology began with the semi-mythical Persian alchemist Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan.

Born around 721 AD in modern-day Iran, he lived mainly in Kufa, in modern-day Iraq. It was a tumultuous time, and Jabir’s fortunes rose and fell with the rule of the Abbasid dynasty. He got his start early, as the son of a “pharmaceutical chemist.” His father was put to death for supporting the Abbasid family’s rise to power. But the Abbasids soon triumphed, and Jabir served as court alchemist to the caliph, Harun Al-Rashid.

Jabir’s methods and classifications are still in use today.

He was especially ahead of his time for his research on acids and alkalis, the latter being another word he coined, besides alcohol.

Known as “the father of chemistry” and “the father of alchemy,” he became so well known that historians believe many people wrote under his name on a range of subjects. Adding to the confusion, many of Jabir’s attributed works were written in obscure, stilted language. Later, after the name “Jabir” was Latinized as “Geber,” despairing European alchemists trying to decipher his work came up with the word “gibberish.” (Many of them were looking to discover the secret of making gold instead of just sitting down with a pint.)

Some would say that Jabir’s most important achievement, however, was the alembic still.

An alembic is a liquid-filled container placed over a heat source. Connected by a tube to another vessel, it allows vapors from the heated substance to pass through the tube, condense along it, and drip into the other container. That condensation, which is the essence of the distilled material, became known as the “spirit.” Since alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, heating wine in an alembic still causes alcohol to evaporate first, separating it from the water. Jabir made his still of glass or pottery, while later iterations were made of copper.

The knowledge of distillation spread quickly throughout the Muslim world, which, during the Islamic Golden Age, included parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily. By the 12th century, distillation was happening at the great medical school in Salerno, Italy, the first of its kind in the West. Jabir and al-Razi’s writings weren’t translated into Latin until 1144 and 1279 AD respectively, but by 1200, liquor intended for drinking was being distilled in Spain, which was given the suitably alchemical-sounding name of aqua vini: the water of life.

References to alcohol’s origins in the Islamic Golden Age still abound. Eau de vie is still the French name for brandy, and even the word “brandy” hides a clue to its distillation: It’s derived from the Dutch word brandewijn, or burnt wine. Namely, wine that is heated using an alembic-like still. So while neither Jabir nor al-Razi discovered the secret of making solid gold, their work paved the way for making drinks that plenty of people consider as good as gold.

atlasobscura.com/articles/distillation-alcohol-invention-muslim

All urls found in this thread:

atlasobscura.com/articles/distillation-alcohol-invention-muslim
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholic_drink

Thomas Jenkins
Thomas Jenkins

This article didn't say Jabir was muslim. Only a persian alchemist who worked for his caliph.

Carson Edwards
Carson Edwards

He was a Muslim.

Jace Collins
Jace Collins

History really is filled with ironies.

Easton Davis
Easton Davis

He was also, a polymath: a chemist and alchemist, astronomer and astrologer, engineer, geographer, philosopher, physicist, and pharmacist and physician.

His body of work is so large that as early as 1000 CE, the identity and exact corpus of works of Jabir was in dispute in Islamic circles

Isaiah Gutierrez
Isaiah Gutierrez

What's the point of this thread?

Ian Russell
Ian Russell

Excuse me where is the evidence for provings???

Asher Miller
Asher Miller

You don't just live in Persia, become born in Persia by Muslim parents, and end up not believing in Islam

Austin Cruz
Austin Cruz

Created Alcohol in 700's CE
lol no

Oliver Butler
Oliver Butler

Yeah unless you convert away from it

Blake Walker
Blake Walker

To convert you user. See, we muslims are pretty cool guys, eh?

Landon Wright
Landon Wright

Like Israel

Dominic Murphy
Dominic Murphy

He coined the term. And alcohol before that point, had little purity, distillation was not yet perfectly mastered, and it was hardly anything proof. It was more of a beverage than a serious intoxicant.

Sebastian Cox
Sebastian Cox

I made this thread for anons like this.

Kevin Mitchell
Kevin Mitchell

wtf i love muslims now

t. no one

Jack White
Jack White

This obviously means shariah is inherently communist! Ya Abu Dhar! Who needs diamat when you've got the Qur'an?

Caleb Myers
Caleb Myers

Most chemists probably would if they could thank who coined the term Alkali.

William Richardson
William Richardson

No it just means a Muslim made alcohol and created much of modern chemistry, I don't know what everyone is so upset about.

Camden White
Camden White

My post was pretty obviously sarcasm.

Liam Peterson
Liam Peterson

Yes but to what end :v)

Parker Jackson
Parker Jackson

hi where are the socialisms : DDD

Logan Morales
Logan Morales

Without Jabir there probably wouldn't be any chemical sciences to the points where the 20th century west could not create any nukes. Therefore he's unintentionally responsible for the cold war and nuclear weapons.

Go nuts.

Nathaniel Cox
Nathaniel Cox

muh low hanging fruit

holy kek, yeah, muslims were kangz and shit, and whitey stole their spaceship pyramid technology
alcohol was known to prehistoric peoples worldwide, nomadic people used to carry around grapes in leather bags, which fermented that way when exposed to sun
wasnt too long ago before everyone started setting fires under the grapes, trying to figure this thing out

islam is backwards and has nothing to offer to the modern world, muslims should be shot along with the liberals

Parker Kelly
Parker Kelly

Doubtful semetic user

Ethan Fisher
Ethan Fisher

Alcohol was never potent enough or distilled correctly enough up until the point where distilation technique from Jabir came into prominence in Europe around the 900's to 1000's CE that it was hardly "alcohol as you understand it", That's why I prefaced "as you understand it".

Alcohol before this time was a way to keep water purified mostly, there were no special universal intoxicating properties to it, as it was hardly 40 proof.

This thread is really just a trap to see how many of you still cling to identity politics.

It's true.

Logan Collins
Logan Collins

It's true, that event that never happened, it's true… in my mind
Go organise a rape gang subkike

Juan Parker
Juan Parker

The word "alkali" is derived from Arabic al qalīy (or alkali)

Levi Harris
Levi Harris

muslims discovered breathing air :^)
if muslims didnt discover you can breathe air, we'd all choke :^D

such developed
very science
much progressive

that region (persia, egypt) used to be scientific B E F O R E shitslam happened to it
there is absolutely no value in shitslam, every qoran should be burned, every muslim who ever heard about it shot in the head, and the whole unfortunate thing forgotten by whole humanity

Isaac Hall
Isaac Hall

The word "alcohol" is from the Arabic kohl (Arabic: ‎, translit. al-kuḥl), and it was used before that point to keep water from becoming too stagnant to drink.

Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith

Without the Near East I seriously doubt there would be a sophisticated Europe. That goes for before and after.

Gabriel Bailey
Gabriel Bailey

And no chemist will be praising allah, the pig fucker for it

Jace Sanders
Jace Sanders

Do you mean Muhammad? Allah is just the translation for God in Arabic.

Jaxon Robinson
Jaxon Robinson

In fact it's surprising that so few of you actually knew this and this test for how entrapped you were in identity politics came so swimmingly.

Logan Hall
Logan Hall

First post is rational post.
muslims like to take credit for things that had nothing to do with their religion.
Given that the title of the thread itself is clickbait and deliberately misleading, it follows that the contents is just as much so.
Strongly alcoholic fermented drinks have been around since prehistorical times, worldwide.
There even some animals that drink naturally fermenting plants to become drunk.
ISLAM INVENTED THE WHEEL AND COMPUTERS

Mason Miller
Mason Miller

I don't really give a shit user. Just want to see you violent, slave owning fucks dead. Obama did good with those drone strikes.

Cameron Cook
Cameron Cook

WRONG
the muslims saved the libraries of alexandria, by burning them down and then claiming that the discoveries of the greeks from a thousand years beforehand were their own
they also save history in modern times by blowing up ancient statues and various buildings and monuments that they don't agree with.
they are just as progressive as america, which is currently pulling down statues that they don't agree with

Mason Peterson
Mason Peterson

why should i give a fuck about the muslims today? goat rapists have nothing of value to offer to the modern world

pls behead some liberals tho, doubt any leftist is opening his gates for your disgusting, filthy, uncivilized kind

Dylan Reed
Dylan Reed

Distillation prior was mainly to keep water clean for creating beverages (eg.g not stagnant water), and it was also used for make up and cosmetic purposes.

The medieval Arabs used the distillation process extensively, and applied it to the distillation of alcohol. The Arab chemist Al-Kindi unambiguously described the distillation of wine in the 9th century

The process of distillation spread from the Middle East to Italy, where alcohol as it is understood to today, exploded in use across Europe. As did their advances in chemistry

How do you not know this. This is basic world history here

I'm not even OP, this is sad and pathetic

Brayden Campbell
Brayden Campbell

why should i give a fuck about the muslims today? goat rapists have nothing of value to offer to the modern world
Are we talking Muslims or Americans.

Which is more immoral, a war that's killed more Muslims than Muslims have killed practically anyone in the Middle East, or the Muslims?

I'm curious.

Asher Martinez
Asher Martinez

Sam Harris please

Landon Powell
Landon Powell

Pew
Brainlet detected.

Austin Reyes
Austin Reyes

Don't drink or give a fuck about the history of a highly abused and addictive substance. Not knowing trivia isn't pathetic, using that fact to shame people is pathetic. Fuck of mohammad, typical tricks from religious fucks, especially sandkikes

Liam Garcia
Liam Garcia

Everyone sage and hide this shit.

Adrian Lee
Adrian Lee

it's not my preferred source so you must be wrong.
Back up your claim nigger

Jackson Wright
Jackson Wright

lets ignore the main point of muslims being unfit for the modern world, and sidetrack with historic trivia

yeah nah
muslims arent workers, they just go around raping children in their deserts, that is quite literally 100% of all activity that happens over there, theocratic child rape
that and tourist zones, only civilized bits over there, made by capitalists in return for oil exploitation

Nolan Williams
Nolan Williams

Not knowing trivia isn't pathetic
Not knowing where post Dark Ages Europe got their source for not only chemistry, but a large variety of Sciences is pretty stupid. It's hardly trivia, you're supposed to learn this in Grade school and how so many of you just apparently did not know leads me to believe most of the posters in this thread are either British or American 18-24

Adrian Ortiz
Adrian Ortiz

Arguing morality
You're both disgusting and need to be wiped out

Dominic Taylor
Dominic Taylor

A mate of mine once said "go to get Pew to research what people think about the NHS, and they will come back that 34% of respondents support Sharia law". They are well known in the polling community for being fucking bad at their job.

Adam Bailey
Adam Bailey

lets ignore the main point of muslims being unfit for the modern world
Are we talking Muslims or Americans

Jose James
Jose James

Wait so you're in favor of Imperialism? I just want to make sure I'm getting this right

Christopher Perry
Christopher Perry

Not really user, I've a 5 year degree and a post grad, knowing that I don't know shit is smart, arguing otherwise is retarded. Dunning Krueger effect cleric, go fuck a goat and read the koran

Carson Diaz
Carson Diaz

As the OP of this thread I can say its purpose went absolutely perfect.

Zachary Gray
Zachary Gray

Not really user, I've a 5 year degree and a post grad
That's not very believable

Benjamin Cruz
Benjamin Cruz

Who would do that? Just go on the internet and tell lies?

Juan Wilson
Juan Wilson

How retarded would you need to be to believe this? People had been drinking alcohol for at least several hundred years before hamhead wrote his knockoff Judaism.

Eli Nguyen
Eli Nguyen

You're logic is fucked. That's the opposite of what I said you dense sandnigger

Jordan Green
Jordan Green

How retarded would you need to be to believe this?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholic_drink

Go down

Dylan Clark
Dylan Clark

It is not the opposite of what you just said, actually

Wyatt Miller
Wyatt Miller

Given that the title of the thread itself is clickbait and deliberately misleading, it follows that the contents is just as much so.
Damn this logic is stretched.
Also, did you not pay attention in school? The headline is SUPPOSED to captivate the reader. It's SUPPOSED to be "clickbait". Have you ever in your life read a newspaper?

Justin Fisher
Justin Fisher

I'm pretty sure you might have read what you said wrong

Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy

blah blah blah i'm willfully retarded

Eat shit nigger

Isaac James
Isaac James

change my flag to look like different user
It's not the opposite, but I clearly didn't say I was in favour of imperialism for wanting to see sandkikes and american imperialism wiped out.

James Long
James Long

sure thing sandkike

Ryan Cooper
Ryan Cooper

Mods can check my IP. I'm not the OP.

Luke Hernandez
Luke Hernandez

I didn't say you were OP

Andrew Perry
Andrew Perry

Shhh let them keep spouting the nonsense for all to see.

Jace Sullivan
Jace Sullivan

2394022
caring about muslims is a liberal mental disease
Then plenty of people here have a liberal mental disease, including you

Oliver Watson
Oliver Watson

2394022
not a single worker in the whole middle east today
Do you actually believe this?

Austin Gutierrez
Austin Gutierrez

It's hilarious

Andrew Gutierrez
Andrew Gutierrez

2394022
I mean at this point you're just starting to sound like baboon boy samefagging

Charles Torres
Charles Torres

Thank you mods.

Isaac Diaz
Isaac Diaz

This is a weird thread.

Alcohol before this time was a way to keep water purified mostly, there were no special universal intoxicating properties to it, as it was hardly 40 proof.

This is just misleading. Even in the BC times, nobody was drinking fermented grape juice to get pure water. You can get drunk off of rotten fruits ffs.

Justin Sullivan
Justin Sullivan

Even in the BC times, nobody was drinking fermented grape juice to get pure water
It still wasn't used in the same capacity as it was today. The only culture that achieved equivilant was the farther East, particularly China. Anything West of this did not have alcohol as "we" understand it until around the 12th century. The change happened in how much alcohol was leftover within the drink from the distilling process.

After all, alcohol is both an Arabic and English word.

As is Alchemy.

The word alchemy was borrowed from Old French alquemie, alkimie, taken from Medieval Latin alchymia, and which is in turn borrowed from Arabic al-kīmiyā’ (‎).

Chemistry was very much born in the Near East.

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