Arabic alchemy was derived from Greek Alexandrian thinking. However, most of the practical matter of Arabic chemistry came from Mesopotamia.

The accounts of KHALID IBN YAZID (ca. 665-704 A.D.) and JABIR IBN HAYAN (fl. 760 A.D.) have been shown to be incorrect; the writings of the former were not concerned with alchemy, and those of the latter were compilations of a Muslim sect known as the Isma'iliya and were composed by a number of different authors. The first important and authentic writings appeared in the tenth century. Prior to that a number of mystical works of alchemical content appeared. The "BOOK OF KRATES" was typical of this period. The "SILVERY WATER AND STARRY EARTH" of MUHAMMID IBN UMAIL (ca. 900-960 A.D.) was a collection of alchemical writings that served as a basis for others. The "TURBA PHILOSOPHORUM" was another. However, although rational, these writings were quite different from, if not the opposite of JABIR's CORPUS which was clear and free of any mysticism and allegory. They encompass a large number of works dealing with alchemy, cosmology, mysticism, astrology, etc., and their basic ideas were Greek in origin.

AL-KINDI (ca. 800-870 A.D.) wrote a large number of works that were based on the science and philosophy of the Greeks (including 36 on technology and chemistry. Probably the first Muslim to doubt the concept of transmutation.

AL-RAZI (RHAZES) (860-925 A.D.) Although most of his writings were medical, he wrote a number of chemical works, the best known of which were the "BOOK OF SECRET OF SECRETS" and the "COMPENDIUM OF TWELVE TREATISES." Dispite his opposition to AL-KINDI on transmutation, his ideas were practical, scientific in their approach and as with JABIR, devoid of mysticism and ambiguity.

IBN SINA (AVICENNA) (980-1037 A.D.) contributed to almost every branch of science. His "BOOK OF THE REMEDY" included many chemical observations; the ideas were basically Aristotelian. IBN SINA followed AL-KINDI'S skepticism of transmutation.

The greatest contribution of the Arabs was in the transmittal of the Hellenistic ideas; but they also explicitly formulated the sulfur-mercury theory, clarified the elixir doctrine, the philosopher's stone, etc., as well as making a number of important practical discoveries.

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