Our Beacon Forum

Al-Kuhl, A muslim invention.
Date: Tuesday, 6 April 2010, 6:42 pm

The isolation of ethanol (alcohol) as a pure compound was first achieved by Muslim chemists who developed the art of distillation during the Abbasid caliphate, the most notable of whom were Persian Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber), Arab Al-Kindi (Alkindus) and Persian al-Razi (Rhazes).

The writings attributed to Jabir ibn Hayyan (721-815) mention the flammable vapors of boiled wine. Al-Kindi (801-873) unambiguously described the distillation of wine.

The word "alcohol" almost certainly comes from the Arabic language, however, the precise etymology is unclear. "Al-" is the Arabic definite article, but the second part may be derived from the al-kuḥl, the name of an early distilled substance, or perhaps from al-ġawl, meaning "spirit" or "demon" and akin to liquors being called "spirits" in English.

Sidqi. Ca.