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Even the West is finally realizing…..

A TV program shown on the 15/10/2006 for © Welt der Wunder

To watch this documentation please follow the link blow:

The following text is a short extract covering all topics of the documentation

Head Start through Knowledge

–The development of Islamic science

Have the foundations of today’s world been laid in Europe only? Was the birth of modern Science only there? If one takes a glance at today’s schoolbooks one could easily assume this. As a matter of fact, however, during the Middle Ages Islamic scholars and scientists had knowledge of which people in the Christian occident didn’t have a clue. Not only did those scholars preserve the knowledge which was passed on from the ancient world but they also achieved their own groundbreaking inventions in fields like Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine, and Technology. Thusly doctors in hospitals were already performing complicated operations, and Muslim voyagers were dominating the seas all the way from Gibraltar to India with the help of their excellent maps and instruments.

Rise of the Desert Sons

When Prophet Muhammad died during the year 632 (calculated after the Christian calendar) he and his companions already dominated a big part of the Arabian Peninsula. During the following century the tribes which had converted to Islam conquered a gigantic realm. This realm reached from the Atlantic ocean to the Indus.

Eager to learn

Hence the new rulers were confronted with a huge task. How to rule such a vast empire on the long term? The solution which the Arabs found, proved itself to be very successful. They simply accepted the already established social structures, treated the subdued people fairly and eagerly took in the their knowledge. After all they had taken control of such ancient folks as Egypt, Greece and Persia. With these newly acquired skills and knowledge the Desert Sons were able to establish a strong fleet.

Civilised Conquerors

However the conquerors could not have absorbed the knowledge of the Greek and Oriental sciences as fast as they did, if they themselves had been totally uncivilised before this. In fact many residents of the Arabian Peninsula already lived in cities and had been conducting business with Persia and the Roman Empire for quite some time.

Heritage of the ancient world

The old Greeks had invented Sciences, the Romans tied in with it and then the dark time of the Middle Ages began, until the Europeans recovered the ancient world in the episode called Renaissance, which then led to Modernity.

This is how most people, especially in Europe, view history – but this point of view is wrong. The truth is, not all knowledge was lost with the end of the ancient world, but much was preserved. Not so much in the West but mainly in the East, by the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim conquerors.

Translating Aristotle and Ptolemy

The Muslm conquerors literally inhaled the scientific treasures which they acquired: Many authors of the ancient world were translated into Arabic, two of whom where Aristotle, who proceeded to be the most important philosopher of the Islamic world, as well as Ptolemy. However, it was not only greek-roman knowledge which was to be preserved, but also Persian and Indian knowledge. This was a gigantic pool of knowledge, which would act as the Basis for the discoveries and inventions to come.

Self-conscious dealings with the old masters

Up until the Middle Ages Muslim scientists and scholars produced astonishing results in all fields of science. Of course they didn’t just repeat the doctrines of the ancient scholars, as the West often tries to argue. Many Muslim scientists worked in a self-assured and creative way with their models and found many plausible solutions for problems in their time.

Ingenious Achievements

We all learned math with them – the so-called Arabic numerals. Muslims adopted them from India and modified them slightly. From now on all calculations could be done on the basis of only 10 symbols – from 0 to 9.

This simplification and improvement helped to raise the standard of mathematics in the Muslim world, which had ‘exceeded’ the level of mathematics in the Christian occident by far. In that part of the world, Arabic numerals were first known and used in the 13th century.

Blossoming Landscapes thanks to modern irrigation systems

Muslim mathematicians are not only renowned as the inventors of Algebra, but they also proved themselves to be masters in geometry. Eagerly they took up the knowledge of the Greeks and developed them further to invent practical solutions. Irrigation systems for example. With the help of water wheels, pumps and elevation machines, they were able to achieve very high levels of agriculture in Sicily and other parts of Southern Europe.

Superior Weaponry

Crusaders especially were confronted with the technical achievements of the Islamic world. While travelling through the Holy Land, they had to defend themselves against mighty catapults and crossbows. Their opponents even used grenades and missiles filled with gun powder. However, whether the Muslims had invented this themselves or whether they had acquired this from the Chinese is not clear.

Great Astronomers and Voyagers

A very special interest of the Muslim scholars was aimed at astronomy. As early as the year 1000– centuries before Copernicus – Al-Biruni was able to prove that the earth is revolving around the sun and not the other way round. The position of the sun and the stars was determined quite accurately with the help of instruments like the astrolabe. This had a very important relevance – it is one of the reason why the Arabs were such great voyagers, who were able to navigate their ships through the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. The West, especially the Portuguese, who ventured into the Indian ocean on their sea voyages, were very interested in the maps which the Muslims had fabricated while exploring the oceans.

Taking the path to modern medicine

One of the most important and drastic head starts compared to the Occident was in the field of medicine. Doctors in the Islamic world were able to conduct surgery on such complicated organs as the eye. Not only were dangerous and infectious diseases successfully treated, but there were also vaccines against the Small Pox available as well as seemingly modern psychotherapy with which the mentally ill were treated. Two of the most famous doctors of the Islamic world were Ar-Razi and Ibn Sina. Ibn Sina was also known under the name of Avicenna and was renowned as one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages.

Translated from German by Way-to-Allah Association (Way-to-Allah.com)
Source: www.weltderwunder.de