Although Al-Jahiz made the first step s in the field of biological evolutionary thought, in the history of science, the theory of biological evolution was presented for the first time in its complete form by a great early zoologist, Al-Jahiz, in the ninth century; within the theory as such was originated. Al-Jahiz theory is an example of scientific revolution and innovation that has had reverberations into the farthest reaches of human thought.
Al-Jahiz and “The Book of Animals”
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 development of Arabic prose literature -and was intimately involved in both.
Not much is known about al-Jaḥiẓ’s early life, but his family was very poor. Born early in February 776, some 14 years after the foundation of Baghdad by the Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur, al-Jahiz grew up in Basra (Iraq), a major intellectual center at that time which contributed substantially to al-Jahiz’s intellectual development. It was there that he first went to school – studying under some of the most eminent scholars of Islam.