Skip to comments.‘Renaissance Couldn’t Have Happened Without Muslim Input’
Posted on 01/15/2008 5:15:30 AM PST by forkinsocket
JEDDAH, 15 January 2008 The history of science and civilization, as taught by many institutions in the West, often fails to include more than 1,000 years of Islamic heritage and civilization, according to Dr. Salim Al-Hassani of the UK-based Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization.
The Renaissance couldnt have happened out of nothing, said Al-Hassani while speaking at Dar Al-Hekma College here yesterday. In the West, theres total ignorance of the contributions of other civilizations. Did modern civilization really rise from nothing?
Al-Hassani explained how many Western discoveries are of Muslim origin. There was a lost age of Muslim innovation and invention that Muslims are not communicating to the West, he said. It is not included in the their history syllabus or textbooks either.
During Umar ibn Al-Khattabs reign in 634 A.H., Muslim women took the lead in different ways. He appointed Samra bint Nuhayk Al-Asadiyya as a market inspector in Makkah and Ash-Shifa bint Abdullah as an administrator of the market in Madinah. Later, Ash-Shifa was appointed as the head of health and safety in Basra, said Al-Hassani.
Al-Qarawiyyin, a spiritual and educational center that led the Muslim world for over 1,200 years, was founded and built in 859 C.E. by a young princess, Fatima Al-Fihri, who migrated with her father Mohammed Al-Fihri from Qairawan (Tunisia) to Fez in Morocco.
Fatima vowed to spend her entire inheritance on building a mosque suitable for her community. This remarkable story is a typical example shedding some light on the role and contribution of women to Muslim civilization. Such a role is the subject of widely held misconceptions about Islam, said Al-Hassani.
In 1993, Prince Charles said in a public speech at the Oxford Center of Islamic Studies that if there was much misunderstanding in the West about the nature of Islam, there was also much ignorance about the impact of Western culture and civilization on the Islamic world.
It is a failure which stems, I think, from the straitjacket of history which we have inherited. The medieval Islamic world, from Central Asia to the shores of the Atlantic, was a world where scholars and men of learning flourished, said Charles. But because we have tended to see Islam as the enemy of the West, as an alien culture, society and system of belief, we have tended to ignore or erase its great relevance to our own history.
Al-Hassani founded www.muslim heritage.com attracting 60,000 visitors daily in order to change misperceptions about the role of Muslim inventions in todays schools, universities, homes, hospitals, market, cities and the world. He was one of the key speakers at the first Arab Knowledge Economy conference that was held in Jeddah on Jan. 12-13.
Thank you. I am sick to death of the revisionist history being pumped out—”Muslim civilization saved the world”— or however it is worded.
Spare me. I look for the fruits, not just the words, and what I see is a roiling mass of chaos, hatred, jealousies, misogyny, and sand.
Arab societies gave us the Astrolabe, but that was about it, and had nothing to do with Islam. Pre-Islamic Arab developments were much more robust. Islam had a definite retrograde effect on science and medicine in conquered lands.
History through islamic colored glasses.
In other words - they forgot their own Kwanzaa of thought?
NOTE: Kwanzaa was selected as the comparison because it was a newly-minted "tradition" with no historical basis.
If the muslims want to invent a new "history" of invention and innovation, let them show the true evidence of it, not simply insinuate themselves into others' achievements.
CE = Common Era = AD = Anno Domini (The Year of our Lord)
BCE = Before the Common Era = BC = Before Christ
The Arabs invented the Zero and stayed inside it.
Google ‘bce ce ad’
While the word “Renaissance” is usually refered to that period which great works of art, literature, music, etc., flourished, it should be remembered that a lower definition of the word means - “a renewal of life, vigor, interest, etc.; rebirth; revival: a moral renaissance.” So, there is some truth to the statement because you cannot have a renaissance if you were at the top. Being hamstrung by Islam for centuries is the main reason the Renaissance occurred.
Try doing algebra some time, and math without arabic numerals.
He appointed Samra bint Nuhayk Al-Asadiyya as a market inspector in Makkah and Ash-Shifa bint Abdullah as an administrator of the market in Madinah. Later, Ash-Shifa was appointed as the head of health and safety in Basra,
I wonder who he appointed to head the EPA and the DOT?
Just another story about muslims trying to re-write history.
They’re meant as exact replacements, even though the calendar itself is still centered on the birth of Christ (give or take 5-7 years).
It’s actually “COMMON Era” and “Before COMMON Era”-they really try to take Christ out of time.
I bookmarked a thread on the 4th which refutes all of the Islamic claims of influence on the Renaissance-the bottom line is that any accomplishment they claim as their own is from their violent takeover of the civilization that actually invented/discovered the accomplishment.
Yes, it’s a surprisingly weak article that offers no evidence to support the claim made in the headline.
Persia, for instance, under Zoroastronism was when the majority of any of the cultural advances were made.
Basically the economies of North Central Italy (Venice, Florence, Bologna) and the Low Countries (Amsterdam, Antwerp) recovered from the long economic decline that followed the Carolingian Empire's dissolution - and this economic recovery came about largely because the population grew to a critical mass that repopulated the cities.
The economic recovery spurred aggressive regional trade, and the rise of the mendicant orders (Franciscans and Dominicans) in the rejuvenated city centers renewed theological debate and disputation - which led to a flowering of scholarly research of all kinds.
Theologians like William of Moerbeke (A Dutchman living in Italy) began to seek out Greek texts of the ancient philosophers and acquired them from Jewish merchants and the Byzantine colony at Ravenna.
The Vatican still owns a copy of Archimedes translated from the Greek in William's own handwriting from 1269.
If one argues that the Renaissance began in Italy in the 13th/14th century, what were the major cultural developments?<1>(1) Art. Giotto introduced perspective in painting in the 1290s. His paintings, of course, were figural. Figural painting was banned in Islam and this development owes nothing to Islam.
Donatello arguably resuscitated the art of naturalistic sculpture. Again, in Islam, sculpting images of people was forbidden. This development owes nothing to Islam.
(2) Literature. The Renaissance is characterized by two literary movements.
The first was the return by intellectuals to the high style of Golden Age Latin with Cicero as a stylistic model. Cicero was more or less unknown among Muslims, and Islam had nothing to do with the reintroduction of Latin style.
The second literary movement is the development of vernacular literature - the most important theoretician and practitioner of vernacular literature as a legitimate cultural expression was Dante and his masterwork The Divine Comedy is the cornerstone of European vernacular literature. Nothing in Dante's work bears any debt to Islam. Islam had nothing to do with the rise of vernacular literature - it should be remembered that in Islam, all literary production was supposed to be in the "classical" Arabic of the Koran, not local dialects or vernacular languages.
The only substantial vernacular literature in Islam was Persian poetry, which was unknown in Europe at the time of teh Renaissance.
(3) Philosophy. There were two major developments in philosophy: the rise of Neo-Platonism and the resurgence of Aristotelianism.
The rise of Neo-Platonism was sparked by William of Moerbeke's translation of Proclus from the original Greek, not by any Muslim source.
Aristotle was an obscure thinker to most Europeans in the 1200s because the exiting Arabic translations of his work were spotty and inadequate - even misleading. He was considered a minor figure for this reason. It was not until more readable translations from the Greek were made by friars like Moerbeke in the 1260s that the full range of Aristotle's thought became better appreciated. Here is the one slight Muslim influence: Thomas Aquinas - the greatest European expositor and commentator on Aristotle used the commentaries of the Muslim Averroes as one of his scholarly sources. It should be noted, however, that Averroes was considered by Muslim authorities to be an apostate and a heretic and his works were condemned and destroyed. Averroes' philosophical works exist today only in the Latin translations of them made by Christian priests.
(4) Music. The great musical development of the Renaissance was polyphony - the singing of multiple vocal lines in complex harmony and counterpoint. This was the foundation of all art music in the West and led directly to instrumental counterpoint and fugue forms that Bach and his contemporaries made into the baroque music that was the precursor of the golden age of European classical music.
Polyphony had nothing to do with Islam whatever - it was derived from the folk forms of part singing among the Franco-Germanic peoples of Europe. Strict Islam banned singing and music in general -and especially the kind of secular music like madrigals that were the heart of polyphony.
(5) The Sciences.
In mathematics, it is claimed that Fibonacci's groundbreaking introduction of non-Roman calculation was a Muslim contribution.
While Fibonacci learned the basics of the system in North Africa as a trader, the number system he learned was actually Hindu - as he himself acknowledges in his book as the modus indorum "The Indian method" of calculation.
Islam did not invent this system, but adopted it from India.
In physics and astronomy, the Renaissance reintroduced the work of the classic Greek thinkers like Aristotle mentioned above, as well as Archimedes and Ptolemy.
In medicine and biology, the sources were again Greek: Aristotle and Galen.
In sum, the only elements of the Renaissance that can be traced to Islam are that an apostate Muslim was a useful commentator on Aristotle (but he was so effective a commentator on Aristotle mostly because he rejected Islamic theology as philosophically false) and the Muslim use of Hindu mathematical notation.
In otehr words, no indigenous product of Muslim theology or Muslim culture had anything to do with the Renaissance.
Innovations such as beheadings, the Jihad, petty intolerance, and blaming the JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE? Advancements like that, Achmed?
Perhaps the original author can explain why in the last hundred years "Western" civilizations have cured most diseases that plagued THEIR countries, invented air conditioning, the internal combustion engine and Pasteurization, and have gone from clumsy experiments with gliders to walking on the surface of the Moon (the symbol of their religion, incidentally) while the scholarly Muslim world has invented only squatting on sand, pumping oil, and blaming others for their technological and societal shortcomings? (And blowing up their own children to punish the Infidel, of course.)
Fatima vowed to spend her entire inheritance on building a mosque suitable for her community."
Really? She gave up the fortune given to her family in an effort to better entrench a belief system that could behead her for petty crimes and viewed she and all women as little more than property? What a good little woman! Her owners must have been so proud!
But what have you done for us lately?