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.
There is no such thing as "arabic numerals."
There are, however, Hindu numerals, adopted by Arabs and others.
And algebra is not Arabic, but a Persian systematization of Indian mathematics.
No doubt islam contirbuted alot back in the day.
But how can one brag when all of the progress is in the rear view mirror?
seems the LIMITED contribution of the arab world was from sleazy merchant who were selling “useless” Greek and Roman scrolls to infidels.
The arab words contribution was akin to “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”
I understand that there are political points to be made, but Fibocacci published the Liber Abaci based upon what he learned from Arabs. So in 1250 Europe is still using Roman numerals and by 1700, we’re doing calculus.
Also, though I am sure your specific citations are accurate, my understanding is that some of the Greek texts, especially in mathematics, were eventually translated into Latin and vernacular from Arabic translations. There was a contribution.
I have also heard documentaries that play accademic humor by referen to the “Before Christian Era” and “Christian Era.”
Drives the atheists wild.
Just think of BCE and CE as the metric system applied to years...
The title makes a good point. Without the need to protect themselves from the invading Muslim terrorists, the Westerners might have not advanced technology as fast as we did.
I needed a good laugh.
So you openly admit that you are a member of the terrorist group Al Gebra?
Seems to me I just recently read in the Smithsonian Magazine about the destruction of the great library in Alexandria, Egypt by the conquering mohammedens. Maybe that was just an isolated incident, though.
Why were those Byzantine scholars fleeing to the west?
Because Byzantium was under attack from moslem hordes.
Giving moslems credit for the renaissance is like giving a burglar credit for thwarting later attempted robberies, because his initial burglary made the victim install a better alarm system.
To be completely honest it was the 4th Crusade with crippled the Byzantine Empire and left it ripe for the taking.
And I thank you for your very interesting and informative post.
Thank you for the link.
I minored in Portuguese and we studied the history of the Muslims and their achievements on the Iberian peninsula. There is a lot of truth to this - with the West overlooking a lot of the achievements by the Islamic empire.
Makes one wonder why that dropped off. No denying that it did.
“Try doing algebra some time, and math without arabic numerals”
You mean the symbols that the arabs call Hindu numerals?
And the 4th Crusade was in response to raging Buddhists?
Which the Muslim conquerers of India got from Indian mathematicians, then re-labeled as their own