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The Islamic World to 1600
The domestication of the camel some 3000 years ago had a great effect on desert populations in Asia, where camels lived. Camels are well-adapted to the desert environment, and they are essentially the only animals that facilitate human passage across deserts. They lose water very slowly, and thus they do not need to consume water as often as other beasts of burden, such as horses and mules. They can in fact go up to 17 days without water. When camels do get an opportunity to drink, they can consume over 100 litres of water at a time. They can also live for weeks without food, because they can live off the fat stored in their hump for that length of time. As beasts of burden, camels can carry up to 200 kilograms, and they can cover long distances at three times the speed of a horse.
Camels are valuable in a desert not only as an effective means of transportation, but also for food, shelter, and currency: nomads often drink a camel's milk instead of water, make tents out of its hair, and measure their wealth by the number of camels owned. In an emergency, a camel can also be slaughtered for the water in its stomach, which humans can drink up to two days after the camel consumes it. Similarly, camel dung can be used for fuel, and urine as a shampoo. When rubbed on the skin, camel urine can also provide protection against insect bites. The Arabic language is said to have about 1000 words to describe different breeds, stages of growth, and health of camels. The domestication of the camel greatly enhanced trade across the Arabian desert from Yemen, at the southern end of the Peninsula, to Syria in the north.
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The Islamic World to 1600 / The University of Calgary
Copyright © 1998, The Applied History Research Group
The fly carries a disease and the cure on both its wings: Mentioned in Islam and confirmed by Science (Bacteriophages).
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