Spanish Muslims Led Science, Medicine, Math for 750 Years

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Question: Does modern science benefit from Islamic scholarship hundreds of years ago?

worship creator_01"Absolutely" says Yusuf Estes, former U.S. Muslim Chaplain, "Just think of the major contributions Muslims gave the whole world over the last 1,400 years.."

Muslim Spain - Cairo's Al Azhar - Morocco's Fes University - Baghdad's Antiquities - Syria and so many other great contributers to the modern day science and medicine, the likes of which we could never begin to estimate....

Muslim Contributions to the West

science islam logoMuslims played a principal role in the history of Spain. They lit up the Iberian Peninsula while the rest of Europe was engulfed in darkness.

They let Andalusia and produced a great civilization far ahead and advanced than the rest of Europe.

Under their rule, Muslims made Spain a center for learning and knowledge. Muslims taught reading, writing, math, Arabic, Qur'an, and Hadith (stories of Muhammad, peace be upon him), and produced the leaders in math, science, medicine, astronomy, navigation, etc.

Andalus was famous for prosperity as people who quested for knowledge came from everywhere to learn in its universities under at the feet of the Muslim scholars.

This caused Andalus to rise in a great many intellectual giants. Islamic Spain produced philosophers, physicians, scientists, judges, artists, and the like. Ibn Rushd, (Averroes) Ibn Sina, (Avicenna) Ibn Zuhr, (Avenzoar), Al-Kwarizmi, (Algorizm) and Al-Razi, (Razes) to name a few, were all Muslims educated in Andalus.

Martin Luther, was also educated in Andalusia. It is from the Andalusian philosophers, Ibn Rushd, and Ibn Sina, great renowned Christian men like St. Thomas Aquinas borrowed their philosophies. Both St. Thomas Aquinas and Dante called Ibn Rushd or "Averroes" "The Commentator" and they incorporated views of Muslims. Through the works of Aristotle, Ibn Rushd reconciled reason with religion.

Aquinas attempted to refute Ibn Rushd's ideas because they placed a great deal of emphasis on human reason over faith, a "threat" to Christian beliefs.

Dante himself was familiar with Muslim figures. It is reported by countless historians, including William Phipps, in his book, Muhammad and Jesus: A Comparison of the Prophets and their Teachings, the theme of Divine Comedy was inspired by the "Miraj" or ascension of Muhammad, peace be upon him, into heaven from upon the rock sitting below the Dome of the Rock in Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.


Roger Bacon, an individual used unkind words for Arabs and Muslims, consulted Ibn Sina's (Avicenna) work.


Ibn Sina's work, Al-Qanun, (Canon) was a widely studied medical work, used in European Universities for over 300+ years, and formed half the medical curriculum.

In any case, the list of contributions from the Andalusian Muslims is endless.

The Islamic civilization reached its peak in 10th century, and by 1100, the number of Muslims rose to almost 6 million.

There existed in Cordoba alone, 200,000 houses, 600 mosques, 900 public baths, 10,000 lamps, 50 hospitals, and lighted and paved streets.

Muslims introduced public baths because of their need to to wash in preparation for their 5 daily prayers.

Libraries and research institutions grew rapidly in Muslim Spain, meanwhile the rest of Europe remained illiterate and stagnet.

In Muslim Spain, knowledge from Greece and Rome was preserved. Arab scholars produced encyclopedias on medicine and astronomy in 11th century, also including astrology, psychology, zoology, biology, botany, chemistry, physics, mathematics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, etc. Christian scholars couldn't wait to get them (and translate them).

Toledo, in Spain, thrived essentially because of its Muslim rule and practice. It became the "Cradle of Learning," and the chief point of interaction between the Muslims, Christians and Jews.

The scholars of the West traveled to Spain and Sicily to learn Arabic and to make transcripts of texts in Latin. Muslims produced cotton, paper, salt, silk, satin, pepper, stamps, clocks, soaps, rulers, maps, globes, furs, velvets, described over 200 surgical instruments, and named over 200+ stars with Arabic names.

The Islamic civilization in Spain was the main threshold behind the European Renaissance.

From the first time Muslims set foot in Spain in 711 until 1084 (a year before Toledo was taken) Muslim Spain had become an area unique to the entire world.

Muslim artisans mastered remarkable skills and their architecture and design and made beautiful Mosques and palaces.

The Alhambra Palace, and The Great Mosque of Cordoba, are just two of the most famous magnificent architectural masterpieces of the Muslims, still seen today. Of the Alhambra, it is called, "a utopia, the brightest memory of a lost golden age of pleasure, poetry, tolerance, art, and learning."

One Muslim poet wrote: "A sun dwells in this place and even its shadow is blessed. In this palace a multitude of pleasures capture the eye and suspend the intellect. Here a crystal world teaches marvels. Everywhere Beauty is carved, opulence is manifest."

Islamic architecture in Spain is so elaborate and decorative with intricate designs. Stone, and stucco, plaster for coating exterior walls, were widely favored. Later, brick replaced stone. The "Mezquita" or Great Mosque of Cordoba and the Alhambra of Granada are two Islamic monuments utilizing this design.

Sadly, there are not many examples of Islamic architecture remaining today in Spain, due to destruction, and converting mosques to churches when Muslims were exterminated (officially) in the year 1492 and beyond. The Alhambra is the only palace left (almost) intact and preserved of all the Muslim masterpieces in Spain.

Most Muslims abstained from painting figures of people and animals, the Islamic art and beauty, did not lack anything in style and form.

Muslim scribes in Spain developed calligraphy into art form. Islamic art is known for its repetitious patterns, a constant reminder of the uniqueness of God.

Calligraphical, floral, arabesque, and geometric designs flourished in the Muslim world.

Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "Whoever makes images of living creatures in this world (i.e., human, animal) will be charged with putting a soul in it which he will never be able to do."

So, Muslim artists avoided making images of living creatures and concentrated on the oneness of God. Paintings of inanimate objects, trees and flowers were permitted. Islamic ideology teaches that the making of images can lead to idolatry.

Also, praising of one's own work, destroys humility and humbleness, important virtues stressed in Islam. This can lead to neglect of remembering Allah, and neglecting what Allah has given us in the way of talents, ideas, discoveries and wealth.

It can also compete with our love for Allah, who is the sole creator of the Universe and all it's inhabitants.

NOTE: Some might blame the Catholic Church for the Crusades and later the Inquistion, laying waste to most of the beauties and destroying the beautiful structures, well known in Muslim Spain (and killing anyone who would not say, "Three gods"). But the truth is Allah, and ONLY Allah is the ultimate Planner, Designer and Guide. So, everything is from Allah (EVERYTHING). It may be the Muslims were getting arrogant, showing off or fighting among themselves. 

References:
. Shubert, Adrian. The Land and People of Spain. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992.
. Chejne, Anwar. Muslim Spain: Its history and culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1974.
. Saud, Muhammad. Islam and Evolution of Science. India: Adam Publishers & Distributers, 1994. and Vernet, Juan. Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Abrams, 1992.
. Harvey, L.P. Islamic Spain: 1250-500. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.
. Barrucand, Marianne. Moorish Architecture in Andalusia. Italy: Taschen, 1992.
. King, Geoffrey. Architecture of the Islamic World. London: Thames and Hudson, 1978.
. Rodriguez, D.C. Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Abrams, 1992.
. Grabar, Oleg. The Alhambra. Massachusetts: Harvard University, 1978.

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Comments   

#15 nasiru saadu 2014-11-01 04:08
They said, "Have you come to delude us away from our gods? Then bring us what you promise us, if you should be of the truthful."
46:22


He said, "Knowledge [of its time] is only with Allah , and I convey to you that with which I was sent; but I see you [to be] a people behaving ignorantly." Al-ahqaf46:23
#14 nasiru saadu 2014-11-01 04:06
Satan will still not allow the deceived to see the truth of the Quran and what ISLAM stance for. Until they perished. But those who are guided remain guided till eternity. MashaAllaah alhamdulillah for been a Muslim.
#13 Don 2014-07-17 20:49
Where did Martin Luther attend school?
#12 Mintee 2013-10-08 20:42
I only wish now that some eastern extremist muslims would commit to learning knowledge and understanding the Quran as it should be, instead of picking and choosing verses out of context to use against non muslims out of sheer ignorance...
#11 ruqya sharia 2012-08-06 08:54
Thanks for the article, it gives iman.

Mashallah.
#10 ahmed 2012-06-10 05:42
Islam is the best for all times. _If some of you Readers think that this is relating only to the past, then listen to this._Translati on of Surah Al Asr. _1.By Time (ie ALL TIMES)_2.Verily Man is at loss_3.Except those who Believe_ And Do righteous good deeds_ And Encourage each other to do good_ And Recommend each other to be patient.__This Applies to All Times. Work and we will be given. Insha Allah. He is Al Muizz (The Honorer) and Al Muzill (the dishonourer). So be whatever peace that the As Salaam (the giver of peace) has given you. For Allah knows and we do not know everything._
#9 Muhammad Fayaz Yousaf 2012-03-21 11:26
It is Islam that makes a nation the nation of glory and Muslims were the glorious nation in the world, the real leaders of the human kind because Quran would function in their daily lives as a universal constant and Islam 'the perfected way of life was found in their lives like oxygen, food, water and even in their idle thinking and that is how they laid the foundation of logical and practical approach in exploring the universe and it is Muslims who laid the foundation of 'the science' for the first time in the history of human kind. Jazakallah Dear Yusuf Estes, may ALLAH s.w. bless you with the same smile and the same jolliness in the heaven and one of the most beautiful youth in the heaven. (in heavenly form off course l.o.l.)
#8 Jason Blair 2012-03-21 10:50
The title of this article was misleading to say the least. Good article all around but it should have been called something like "Golden age of Islam, what was it like?" or something.
#7 abdul jabbar 2012-03-21 09:29
science proves the quran.

i just read the article. there is no new proof concerning more added info then what is already available to the general public.

Now, what NEW fact do you have?
#6 Abdullah 2012-02-19 08:24
YES!
At Last!
Where has this information been hidden?
I love it..
give us more please
alhamdulillah.

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