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KUFFAAR COLONIZATION OF QUR’AANIC KNOWLEDGE IS TO SURRENDER ISLAM TO KUFFAAR DOMINATION

[By United Ulama Council of South Africa]

The  Western  Christian  conspiracy  to  dominate  the  Ummah  and  extinguish  Islam  has  been an  on-going  perpetual  scheme  since  the  defeat  of  the  Roman  empire  by  Islam.  The Crusader  wars  which  were  initiated  to  achieve  this  goal  have  not  ended.  The  only difference  is  that  the  West  has  adopted  a  new  methodology  and  shifted  the  stage  of conflict  after  they  realized  that  it  was  not  possible  to  eliminate  Islam  on  the  Battlefield  as their  colonization  of  the  Muslim  lands  has  proven.  But,  they  succeeded  in  achieving  their objective  to  a  large  extent  with  their  new  scheme  of  colonizing  the  brains  and  the  hearts  of Muslims.

They  succeeded  in  this  nefarious  plot  by  dismantling  the  Islamic  educational  system  and imposing  their  own  atheistic,  secular  system  in  all  the  lands  of  Islam  which  they  had succeeded  to  colonize  in  consequence  of  the  flagrant  rebellion  against  Allah  Ta’ala  and  the blatant  immorality  –  fisq  and  fujoor  –  of  the  Ummah.  Since  the  Ummah  had  appointed  the Western  kuffaar  as  their  leaders,  Allah  Ta’ala  made  them  our  rulers,  and  to  this  day  they are  ruling  all  the  lands  of  the  Ummah.  All  the  governments,  rulers  and  kings  at  the  helm  of affairs  in  Muslim  lands  are  kuffaar  with  Muslim  names.  They  are  the  worst  type  of Munaafiqeen.  The  Nasaara  of  the  West  have  achieved  its  greatest  success  by  having colonized the brains and hearts of the Ummah

This  satanic  colonization  was  with  the  tool  of  western  secular  education  which  comes  with its  ethos  of  atheism,  liberalism  and  immorality  of  the  worst  kinds.  Their  plot  envisages mellowing  Islam  –  watering  it  down  –  making  it  responsive  to  accept  the  ethos  and  spirit  of western  atheism.  Thus,  via  the  universities  and  other  western  secular  educational institutions  with  their  ‘Islamic’  studies  faculties,  which  are  faculties  of  kufr,  they  gave practical effect to colonizing the brains of Muslim students.

In  this  era,  Darul  Uloom  Deoband  was  the  only  Islamic  educational  Institution  which  served as  the  Last  Bastion  of  Islam.  It  was  a  powerful  Bastion  confronting  the  world  of  kufr  and fighting  the  satanic  menace  of  mental  colonization  imposed  on  Muslims  by  the  West. Deoband’s  educational  system  was  the  system  of  the  Salafus  Saaliheen,  and  only  the  purest form  of  Islam  was  the  Fruit  of  the  Deoband  curriculum  which  the  Akaabir  Ulama  and  Auliya of the then Ummah had introduced.

All  Madaaris  affiliated  to  Darul  Uloom  Deoband  have  hitherto  conducted  themselves  with admirable  independence  by  refusing  to  make  the  curriculum  subservient  to  the  western colonial  policy  of  infusing  it  with  the  kufr  ethos  plotted  by  the  orientalists  for  the destruction  of  Islam.  It  is  not  expected  of  the  Darul  Ulooms  to  now  sacrifice  the independence  of  Shar’i  Uloom  which  our  Akaabir  Ulama  and  Auliya  had  so  zealously guarded  and  maintained  pure  from  all  adulterations  of  kufr.  However,  currently  in  South Africa,  the  confounded,  haraam,  illegitimate  entity,  viz.,  the  NNB  jamiat  (No  Name  jamiat) of  Fordsburg,  masquerading  fraudulently  as  ‘uucsa’  has  been  in  cahoots  with  governmental authorities  in  a  scheme  to  satanize  the  pure  Darul  uloom  curriculum  which  the  Akaabir Ulama and Auliya had  introduced. 

For  the  miserable  and  absolutely  stupid  objective  of  gaining  government  recognition  for molvis,  the  NNB  jamiat  of  Juhala  has  been  in  clandestine  contact  with  the  governmental body  called  HWSETA  (Health  and  Welfare  Sector  Education  and  Training  Authority)  to fabricate  a  new  curriculum  for  the  Darul  Ulooms.  It  is  a  shaitaani  curriculum  to  produce zombie  molvis  who  will  be  subservient  to  the  West  and  who  will  be  prepared  to  lap  up  the vomit  of  the  West  and  on  top  of  it  profusely  thank  the  kuffaar  for  allowing  them  the  favour to  lap  up  their  vomit.  Some  extracts  from  the  miserable  kufr-oriented  curriculum  envisaged for  the  Madaaris  by  the  NNB  jamiat  in  cahoots  with  the  government  are  reproduced  here to  alert  Muslims  and  for  them  to  understand  the  danger  that  this  haraam  NNB  jamiat constitutes for the Ummah.

To  gain  the  Zombie-Molvi  certificate  of  qualification  from  the  government  (the  Madaaris will  be  deceptive  fronts  in  the  new  system),  the  students  will  become  freelancers,  believing themselves  to  be  mujtahids.  The  emphasis  will  be  on  self-interpretation  which  in  terms  of the  Shariah  will  be  haraam  misinterpretation,  the  objective  of  which  will  be  scuttling  the Divine  Shariah  of  Allah  Ta’ala.  No  one  in  this  age  has  the  right  to  arrogate  to  himself  the right  of  interpretation.  The  Deen  was  interpreted,  finalized  and  perfected  during  the  very age  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Confirming  this  fact,  the  Qur’aan  Majeed states:

This  Day  have  I  (Allah)  perfected  for  you  your  Deen,  and  I  have completed  for  you  My    Ni’mat  (Favour),  and  I  have  chosen  for   you Islam  as your Deen.

The  Aimmah  Mujtahideen  and  the  Fuqaha  of  the  first  century  had  codified  and systematized  the  Deen.  Whatever  interpretation  was  needed  to  clarify  the  Deen  was effected  during  the  era  of  Khairul  Quroon.  Thereafter,  no  new  interpretation  was  tolerable, and  so  shall  it  remain  until  Qiyaamah.  Any  new  interpretation  or  re-interpretation  is  a shaitaani  plot  to  dismantle  the  Divine  Shariah  and  to  destroy  Islam.  The  Ulama-e-Haqq cannot and will not allow the satanism of the NNB jamiat to succeed, Insha-Allah.

The  kufr  curriculum  emphasizes  repeatedly:  “Read  and  interpret…     Use  appropriate strategies,  methods,  steps  and  media  to  deal  with  identified  diversions  ….identify  relevant issues that needs interpretation…….

Consider the following devious statements from the curriculum text:

Occupational  Responsibilities:    Exposure  to  the  processes  of  identifying,  diagnosing  and correcting  deviations  from  authentic  traditional  Islamic  sources.  ……  Study,  interpret  and identify policy issues where Islamic viewpoints are required.” 

Effective participation in policy and decision making structures and processes.

Study, interpret and identify policy issues where Islamic viewpoints are required.”

Impart  the  interpretations  derived  from  the  Islamic  sources  using  formal  and  informal methods.”

Teach a structured syllabus in Islamic traditions and sources.

Mentor  potential  scholars. (i.e.  brainwash  them  with  the  liberal  ethos  of    kufr education).

In  order  to  enter  the  qualification  (i.e.  the  scrap  kufr  qualification  of  the  agents  of shaitaan)  a  learner  must  be  in  possession  of  a  recognized  qualification  for  (Zombie)  Imam such as The Occupational Certificate Religious Associate Professional (Imam).”

The  United  Ulama  Council  of  South  Africa  (i.e.  the  bogus,  fraud,  juhala  of  the  NNB jamiat  of  Fordsburg  fraudulently  masquerading  as  UUCSA)  has  been  nominated  to  take  up this role. They have accepted this.”

Identify  and  interpret  the  appropriate  verses  from  the  noble  Quran  relating  to  the principle Islamic beliefs.

Identify and interpret the appropriate Ahadith relating to the principle Islamic beliefs.”

Read and interpret the classical texts relating to the principle Islamic beliefs……

Learners  will  be  expected  to  demonstrate  the  ability  to  apply  the  generic  principles within  the  Islamic  belief  framework  and  ensure  compliance  with  the  Islamic  laws  and  the constitutional principles of South Africa.” (Our emphasis)

This  is  the  shaitaani  trap  being  laid  to  make  the  Ilm  of  the  Qur’aan  subservient  to  the secular  constitution  and  to  produce  bootlicking  zombie  molvis.  Insha-Allah,  we  shall  write in  greater  detail  on  this  ploy  of  Iblees.    How  can  it  ever  be  possible  to  fabricate  a compliance  between  Imaan  and  Kufr,  the  Islamic  Shariah  and  the  secular  constitution without  damaging  and  compromising  the  Haqq  of  Allah’s  Deen?  Innumerable  aspects  of Islam  are  in  stark  opposition  to  the  secular  constitution.    Only  a  mad  man  or  a  traitor  to Islam  or  a  munaafiq  can  fabricate  a  baatil  concept  of  satanic  compliance  between opposites.

Identify  and  describe  the  practice  principles  in  child  and  youth  care  work  within  a  multicultural context.”

What  relationship  does  the  Uloom  of  the  Qur’aan  intended  for  man’s  betterment  and success in the Aakhirah have with the multi-cultural concept of atheists and kuffaar

Identify  the  specific  legislation  relevant  to  the  rights  of  children  and  youth  such  as Children’s Act, Child Justice Act, Norms and Standards, Education Act.”

These  Acts  of  secular  law  are  in  conflict  with  the  Shariah’s  laws  on  these  issues.  The curriculum  is  designed  to  brainwash  the  students  into  accepting  and  believing  in  the superiority  of  these  secular  Acts  of  Law.  This  is  the  same  old  hat  which  is  offered  to  Muslim students  in  the  kuffaar  universities  where  kufr  is  imparted  in  so-called  ‘Islamic’  studies faculties.

identify  and  explain  with  examples  the  four  pillars  of  the  United  Nations  Convention  on the Rights of the Child.

Describe  social  equality  as  it  applies  to  the  child  and  youth  and  is  consistent  with  basic human rights and child rights.”   (Most assuredly in conflict with Islamic tenets).

It  is  indeed  stupid  for  Muslims  to  accept  the  satanic  intrusion  of  the  ‘four  pillars’  of  the United  Nations  into  the  Curriculum  of  Islam.  The  NNB  jamiat’s  bootlicking  subservience  to the  kufr  concepts  and  impositions  of  the  murderous  United  Nations  is  shockingly lamentable.  It  is  haraam  to  have  the  dark  cloud  of  the  kufr  of  the  United  Nations overhanging   the Knowledge of the Qur’aan.

Give  examples  of  social  inequalities  within  the  South  African  society  and  how  this impacts on the development of children and youth…….

Everything  of  Islam  will  necessarily  be  categorized  as  ‘social  inequality’.  Almost  the  whole of Islam is anti-social to the concepts of kufr of the people of the dunya.

The  above  are  a  few  random  hogwash  extracts  from  the  scrap  curriculum  which  the  NNB jamiat  in  cahoots  with  the  HWSETA  is  attempting  to  hoist  on  to  the  Darul  Ulooms.    There  is no  relationship  whatsoever  between  this  scrap  kuffaar  curriculum  and  the  Curriculum  of Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  the  Sahaabah  –  the  Curriculum  which  our Madaaris  have  inherited  from  the  Salafus  Saaliheen.  There  is  nothing  and  no  better  syllabus than  the  Syllabus  which  we  have  acquired  from  the  Salafus  Saaliheen.  The  Qur’aan  and Islam  are  more  than  fourteen  centuries  old,  and  so  is  the  methodology  of  Ta’leem  of  the Ilm of this Deen which does not tolerate any interference in any of its institutions.

From  the  shaitaani  curriculum,  every  sincere  and  intelligent  Muslim  will  understand  that, leave  alone  any  semblance  of  affinity,  there  is  complete  antagonism  between  the  two systems,  and  why  should  they  not  be  poles  apart  when  the  objective  of  the  secular  system is  the  acquisition  of  the  carrion  of  the  dunya  while  the  goal  and  objective  of  Deeni Knowledge  are  Allah’s  Pleasure  and  the  Salvation  of  the  Aakhirah.  The  NNB  moron  jamiat’s idea  of  a  harmonious  blend  between  Ilm-e-Wahi  (the  Knowledge  of  the  Qur’aan)  and  the scrap  knowledge  of  the  dunya  does  not  comport  with  the  Maqaasid  of  Ilm-e-Deen.  Any   interpretation,  re-interpretation  and  expansion  of  the  sacred  Knowledge  of  Islam  to fabricate  any  concept  at  variance  with    the  Shariah  handed  to  the  Ummah  by  the  Sahaabah and  the  Taabi-een  are  satanic  interpolations  designed  to  extinguish  first  the  spirit  of  Islam, then the letter of Islam, viz., its Shariah.

What  has  been  fed  to  the  NNB  jamiat  traitors  by  the  agents  of  Shaitaan  is  the  same  old  kufr hat  which  the  kuffaar  educational  masters  of  the  West  –  the  orientalists  –  had  dinned  into the  ears  and  indoctrinated  into  the  brains  of  Anglo-Muslim  students  studying  at  the  socalled  Islamic  studies  faculties  of  the  atheist  universities.  For  those  zombie  molvis  who  will be  brainwashed  by  the  kufr  system  of  ‘islamic’  education,  the  concepts  and  institutions  of Islam  will  take  on  a  new  texture  and  meaning  totally  at  variance  and  in  conflict  with  the Islam  revealed  to  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  passed  on  to  posterity  by  the Sahaabah  and  the  successive  generations  of  Islam  by  way  of  reliable  and  authentic narration.

The  hybrid,  stupid,  scrap  curriculum  which  the  kuffaar  are  conspiring  to  impose  on  Muslims with  the  aid  of  the  fraud  and  bogus  uucsa  operated  by  the  NNB  jamiat  cannever  produce an  Aalim  of  the  Deen.  The  products  which  this  silly  scrap  curriculum/syllabus  will  churn  out will  be  zombie  molvis  whose  brains  will  be  colonized  and  fitted  into  the  straightjacket  of kufr  liberalism  the  objective  of  which  will  be  the  destruction  of  Islam.  The  deceptive utilization  of  Islamic  terminology  to  market  the  scrap  kufr  curriculum  should  not  fool Muslims.  The  very  bottom  line  for  correct  appraisal  and  understanding  of  the  reality  is  that nothing  can  replace  the  sacred  curriculum  of  the  Sahaabah.  We  are  welded  to  the  Sunnah as  it  was  imparted  during  the  Khairul  Quroon.  As  long  as  Muslims  staunchly  adhere  to  the Sunnah, the evil conspiracies of the vile plotters will not harm us. 

Currently  the  NNB  jamiat  has  its  own  madhouse  ‘madrasah’  where  the  Qur’aan  with  its  Ilm has  been  made  subservient  to  secular  education.  Without  a  scrap  matric  certificate,  the NNB  jamiat  has  made  the  acquisition  of  higher  Deeni  Knowledge  unlawful.  It  is  this  kufr system  which  will  be  expanded  manifold  in  the  curriculum  which  is  being  plotted  by  the agents of shaitaan. It  should  be  understood  that  this  is  only  the  first  step  to  harness  the  Ilm  of  the  Qur’aan.  The process  will  be  incremental,  like  the  proverbial  camel  which  was  given  space  by  its  master to  insert  only  its  neck  into  the  tent  for  warmth.  The  camel  was  incrementally  allowed  to enter  by  degrees  until  it  was  completely  inside  the  tent  from  whence  it  kicked  out  its master.  It  is  imperative  for  the  Ulama  associated  with  the  Darul  Ulooms  to  cure  themselves of  the  malady  of  intellectual  myopia  to  enable  them  to  understand  and  foresee  the consequences of this shaitaan plot. 

The  argument  that  the  benefit  of  government  control  and  supervision  of  the  Madaaris  and their  educational  system  is  the  availability  of  study  visas  for  foreign  students  is  ridiculously stupid.  The  Uloom  of  the  Deen  may  not  be  surrendered  to  shaitaan  and  the  kuffaar  for  the acquisition  of  lousy  visas.  Confound  the  visas.  The  students,  if  they  are  sincere,  will  find some  alternative  institutions.  There  is  no  imperative  need  for  them  to  come  to  South Africa.

It  is  haraam  to  submit  to  the  haraam  system  which  is  being  plotted.  It  is  not  permissible to  study  the  Deen  under  the  confounded  western  system.  It  is  a  system  designed  to destroy  Islam  –  a  system  camouflaged  with  an  ’un-Islamic’  outer  veneer.  But  on  close examination,  it  stinks.  It  reeks  of  kufr  and  shaitaaniyat.  Surrendering  the  sacred  Ilm  of the  Qur’aan  to  the  kuffaar  is  in  effect  to  surrender  Islam  for  destruction.

The Role of Madrasas- (Hope that BBC morons read it!)

Media plays crucial role either for bottlenecking or widening the rifts between the civilizations. Any biased or maneuvered attempt of media against a particular system or group of persons or organization causes serious damages and mutilation of the facts leads towards a mayhem. 

Unfortunately, Islamic institutions associated with Islam or any organization apart from its nature are acrimoniously attacked by the Western media mostly after 9/11  attacks in the United States. The Islamic seminaries or ‘Madrasas’ in Indian subcontinent have come under strident criticism by the engineered reporting of the print as well as electronic media. I have been surprised on a documentary done by B.B.C on April 6, 2016 titled “The Deobandis” because of scant understanding of the subject. 

There is no doubt, the US foreign and defense policies are being hijacked by the strong Jewish lobbyists who are dreaming for a ‘greater Israel’ and ‘New World Order’ (read this: The Hidden evil plan for the New World Order [The Secret World] ). For achieving the desired goals of the Zionists, the US military might is being exploited in their interests. This is a conspicuous fact that the hindrance between Israeli dreams and bringing them in reality, the biggest challenge comes from the Islamic world and their strongest ideological powers. The seminaries, which had been founded in a series after the failure of revolution in 1857 against the British occupiers, had the aim to retain the Muslim identity based on religion, belief, and strong ideology of the supremacy of God within the belief of absolute monotheism. The seminaries in the entire movement of independence in Indian subcontinent continued to play a crucial role for uprising the Muslim morale, thus, they were the epicenters of the Muslim revolt against the British Imperialist regime. Therefore, in the inaugurating period of the freedom struggle, the leadership of Indian freedom fighters was in the hand of Islamic clergies (ulama). These seminaries proved an axis of political as well as religious guidance for the Muslims. 

Despite explicitly emerging challenges on material and economic fronts from non Islamic countries the Western powers are deliberately ignoring them. The West is continuously targeting materialistically and militarily dead Islamic world. Though ahead are several challenges on the fronts of economy, military and diplomacy from the non-Islamic world; but the West believes that the ideological as well as spiritual powers of the Islamic world are much powerful than any challenge from the non-Islamic world. They know that the spiritually and ideologically dead Indian, Chinese and other non-Islamic communities despite their strong material and military infrastructure may be tackled with easy tasks on any of the fronts; but the ideologically and spiritually enthusiastic and ambitious Muslim community cannot be brought down on the knees unless they lose their link with their spirit and ideology. These ideological and spiritual powers rest in the faith of Islamic religion and the seminaries are the best preservers and promoters of these ideologies and spirit. Therefore, as one of the conspiracies to cut off the Muslim masses from their spiritual resources the seminaries/madrasas have been attacked by the Evil Western Media with the slogan of reforms and a harboring place of ‘terrorists’. A state of suspicion is trying to be created even amongst the huge general masses of Muslims against the ‘Madrasas’. The Western media is trying to prove their uselessness in the 21st century without the inclusion of the so-called modern scientific knowledge. According to these Satanic Western media, these seminaries are not giving anything creative to the Muslim communities. These seminaries are cutting off the students from the main stream because of their very old educational system, which is outdated and incapable for handling the sophisticated and modern world. The students after educating from these madrasas feel themselves  isolated from rest of the world because of the lack of the appropriate modern knowledge; they finally choose the path of fundamentalism and extremism because of their frustration and become a warrior for ending their lives ‘in the path of God’. 

Of course the above mentioned allegations against the madrasas are absolutely absurd and one sided without the appropriate and fair analysis. The madrasa system which was ‘systematically’ introduced in the last 19th century had the intentions of preserving and defending the Islamic faith and each religious community has the right to do so. Secondly, even in the modern educational system the frustration lies amongst the students after getting graduated. The numbers of the suicide attempts are in ample numbers only amongst the graduates of the modern educational system, conversely none of the suicide example could be presented amongst the ‘frustrated’ madrasa students. Speaking with The Times of India in October 2001 on the issue of employment the deputy Rector of Darul Uloom Deoband Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi said:

“Like the modern University graduates the Madrasa graduates at least do not become a burden on the government for providing them employment in government enterprises where the severe scarcities and uncertainties prevail. Thus we make capable and self responsible graduates who adjust successfully in the mainstream society, who make later an ideal community.”

Certainly, in these poor countries the madrasas are the basic sources of lifting the ratio or percentage of the literacy rate where they serve free those who even are incapable to sustain themselves and their families twice in a day. Finally, after graduating in madrasas the importance of education clearly reflects in their lives and we see them striving hard for a good future of their progenies. 

Secondly, about the issue of so-called modernization of Madrasas, it is quite embarrassing to target them, The western Satanic media should be ashamed of themselves. The system of Madrasa education since their emergence was drafted for the Islamic religious sciences for preserving the Islamic identity of Muslims. Several modern institutions like Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University etc. are the subject for fulfilling the needs of modern education to the Muslim community. The same rhetoric may be raised against such modern institutes, why do they not include pure Islamic religious sciences in their modern educational curriculum?? Of course, we systematically have the rational answer; the two are the basic needs of Muslims. For elevating Muslim social status in the field of science and technology, we need modern institutes with their ultra-modern infrastructure. As well as to protect the faith and religious identity, we need pure Islamic religious sciences taught in the pure fundamental environment. This fact is patent that the Muslim community in Indian subcontinent emerged as one of the most successful Muslim communities amongst the entire Islamic world because of the madrasa movement in the last 19th century a separate Muslim identity is established. This sense never could be established without the strong ideological as well as spiritual bases. Further the worst experience of Balkans and Central Asian Islamic world, we had witnessed, what had happened to them?? Because of the alienation with their spiritual and ideological bases the Muslim community either was eliminated or was being deprived of religious rights, a dark age in the lands of Bukhari, Ghazali, Tirmizi, Minghinani etc. (the statesmen of Islamic jurisprudence) prevailed until the fall of USSR. The right reason behind this decline of strong Islamic civilization was the decline of pure Islamic religious sciences from the then educational curriculum of those Muslim societies. 

From the perspective of the Western media rhetoric, I would like to conclude; the need is not for the reformation or reviving madrasa system except some infrastructural developments. Despite declaring them inferior or outdated, a parallel approach of understanding is immense need for the sake of our successful attachment with the religion and our spiritual sources. The only need is to propagate and implement the concept of Islamization of the modern institutes prescribed by several Islamic-cum-modern scholars. It will help Islamize the modern rational scientific education amongst Muslims. 

Why the West is Behind Islam??

When one examines the West’s fear of Islam, and tries to relate it to the reasons usually given — Muslim fundamentalism, militancy, radicalism, terrorism, totalitarianism — it is difficult, if not impossible, to justify this fear on the basis of reasons given. One has to believe, however, given all the facts and expertise available to the West, that the fear has to be rational. What is this fear that causes enemies of the Muslim world to play subtly on the theme of the Crusades in order to demonize Islam and Muslims?? Let us first examine what it is not, before we draw our conclusion as to the real reason why the West fears Islam.

The fear of Islamic fundamentalism, militancy, radicalism, terrorism, totalitarianism, and the West’s discovery of the “rogue states,” appeared quite conveniently with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Former Defense Secretary McNamara, in his 1989 testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, said U.S. defense spending could safely be cut in half. It became clear that the U.S. had to either undergo massive shifts in spending, a painful and unwelcome prospect for the defense establishment, or find new justification for continuing high levels of military expenditures. To provide this justification the Pentagon manufactured the threat of “rogue states and nuclear outlaws.” The Gulf War (read this: How the World has been cunningly hijacked and controlled by the Zionists’ Free Masonic scum ) was a contrived opportunity to sell this justification to the American people, to protect oil company profits, and to control the flow of oil to Europe and Japan which need it much more than does the U.S.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies calculates that the $262 billion U.S. defense budget accounts for about 37 percent of global military expenditures. Russia, Japan, and China each will spend about $80 billion, $42 billion, and $7 billion. The six “rogue states” — Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, North Korea — have a combined annual military budget of $15 billion. The U.S. budget for covert operations (U.S. terrorism?) alone is double this amount. Given the paltry defense expenditures of all the “rogue states” combined, even after correcting for differences in costs, one has to believe that the “rogue states” are no match, militarily, for the West.

And, leaving aside the morality of U.S. covert operations which invite retaliation, Muslim terrorists should not be a major fear , according to government statistics, Far more acts of terrorism and violent crime in the U.S, are committed by non-Muslims than Muslims. And if Muslims do pose a terrorist threat to the U.S., one hears little discussion of what it is that the ‘terrorists’ really want. Perhaps, all they want is for the West to stop interfering in their countries interests, looting its wealth, Cheating its currencies (i.e Read The Paper Currency Fraud) utilizing its strengths in ways that we would never tolerate in the U.S.

Islamic totalitarianism, an oxymoron to anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of Islam, should not be a Western concern. A Muslim ruler may be totalitarian, but then her rule would not be Islamic. Furthermore, the Western record on supporting totalitarian Muslim regimes — Iran under the Shah, Iraq before the Gulf War — and doing business with non democratic regimes — China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco — speaks for itself.

As for fundamentalism, Islam has no parallel to the U.S. Protestant Christian movement which opposed modern scientific theory, and which coined the term in 1920 to designate those “doing battle royal for the fundamentals.” Rather Islam has from its birth stressed the use of reason and logic.

Islamic law is based upon the Qur’an, examples and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), analogical deduction, consensus among the learned 4 Imam’s, and individual reasoning. When the Prophet’s contemporaries heard the words islam and muslim, they understood them as denoting man’s “self-surrender to God” and “one who surrenders himself to God,” without limiting himself to any specific community or denomination, eg. in the Qur’an, 3:67, where Abraham (Ibraheem alayhissalaam) is spoken of as having “surrendered himself unto God” (kana musliman), or in 3:52 where the disciples of Jesus say, “Bear thou witness that we have surrendered ourselves unto God (bianna musliman).” In Arabic, this original meaning has remained unimpaired.

Absent a generally accepted definition, the label Islamic fundamentalism serves only to obscure issues, rather than to resolve them. Meanwhile, the Christian Coalition, and the Zionists and their biblical claim to Palestine appear fundamentalist to many, yet both are courted by U.S. politicians, and not viewed as a threat! see the double standards, yet many people never realize it why?? Because of Blind-following whatever satanic western media prints or reports!.

One can go on eliminating Western arguments against Islam and Muslims. Eventually, one has to ask, what then is the source of the West’s fear of Islam and Muslims??

The late Marshall G. S. Hodgson, in Rethinking World History, states:

“[Islam’s] conscious hopes for a godly world order represent one of the most remarkable undertakings in world history and because its less self-conscious general cultural heritage is laden with human values.”

Muslims see the West beset with broken families, violent crime, drugs. They see a society divided by race, religion, and huge disparities in income. They long for a peaceful life in which they may provide for the basic needs of their families, and enjoy the respect due to all mankind regardless of their race, religion, position, or wealth.

These Muslims see their goals for a more just and compassionate society thwarted by a corrupt Muslim elite who pursue wealth and power regardless of the cost to their fellow human beings. They see these elites, who govern not by consensus as Islam prescribes, permitting outside powers to exploit their country while they derive few benefits, and find themselves subordinated by Western influences driving them down the troubled road taken by the West. They see few opportunities to earn a living because most opportunities are withheld for the elites and their sycophants. And they see these elites remaining silent when their faith, which offers solutions to the many social problems that plague the West, is denigrated in the propaganda which serves to maintain these elites.

The Muslim elites’ allies are the defense establishment and the neo-imperialists. Islam’s mandate for justice and compassion opposes the primary objective of these neo-imperialists who seek to follow policies outlined in 1948 by “the leading dove and peace prize winner” Mr. George Kennan, for the U.S. Department of State. In his top secret Policy Planning Study 23 Mr. Kennan stated in part:

“. . .we have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population . . . Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity . . . To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality . . . We should cease to talk about vague and . . . unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization.”

To avoid exposure these neo-imperialists and their allies in the U.S. defense establishment, spurred by the enemy within, divert attention by demonizing Islam and Muslims, thereby fanning the fires of bigotry and raising unrealistic fears among the people of the West.

ARAB CIVILIZATION AND ITS IMPACT ON THE WEST

[By:Dr. ABDULLAH MOHAMMAD SINDI]

INTRODUCTION

It is in these hard times of post September 11 when Arabs and Muslims are being bashed throughout the West that it becomes imperative to explain the various valuable Arab contributions to the West. In fact, unlike any other region in the entire world, the Arab region provided the West (and the rest of humanity) with 3 major contributions:

1. The Arabs’ Semitic ancestors in the Fertile Crescent and Egypt produced 5 brilliant ancient civilizations, which benefited the earliest Western civilizations of Greece and Rome. These 5 are: the Iraqi Sumerian and Babylonian civilizations; the Egyptian Pharaonic civilization; the Lebanese Phoenician civilization; and the Palestinian Canaanite civilization.

2. The 3 Semitic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were all born in the Arab region.

3. The Post-Islamic Arab civilization (which is the subject of this article) contributed handsomely to the European Renaissance.

I

Arab Civilization before Islam

Contrary to some popular Western misconceptions propagated by many Western “experts” and “authorities” on the Arab world alleging that Arabs did not have any civilization before Islam, or that Arabs were nothing more than a collection of nomadic warring primitive tribes, confined solely to the Arabian Peninsula, who spent most of their existence looking for food and water, the historical record proves otherwise. In fact, centuries before the birth of Islam, the Arabs had several civilizations, not only in the Arabian Peninsula itself, but also in the Fertile Crescent, some of which were highly advanced which elaborate development and culture. Although Arab civilization before Islam might not have had a noticeable impact on Greece and Rome, it is nonetheless important to briefly mention here the following pre-Islamic Arab civilizations in order to dispel this wrong conventional Western notion that Arabs had no civilization before the birth of Islam, were nothing but wandering nomads, and were confined only to the Arabian Peninsula.

 

1

The Kingdom of Saba (or Sheba)

One of the earliest and most important of all pre-Islamic Arab civilizations is the Qahtani Kingdom of Saba or Sheba (10th century BCE – 7th century CE), which had an elaborate civilization, legendary in its reputation of prosperity and wealth. The Kingdom of Saba was located in the southwestern mountainous rainy parts of the Arabian Peninsula in what is known today as the regions of Aseer and Yemen. Envious of its wealth, the Romans named it “Arabia Felix” (fortunate or prosperous Arabia).

The Sabaean capital, Ma’rib, was located near San’a, today’s capital of Yemen, which was reportedly founded by Noah’s (Nooh alayhissalaam) eldest son Shem (or “Sam” in Arabic) from whose name the word “Sami” in Arabic or “Semitic” in English comes. In addition to their domains in the Arabian Penisula, the Sabaean kings controlled for a long time some parts of the East African coast across the Red Sea where they established the Kingdom of Abyssinia, which is Eritrea today. It should be indicated here that the name “Abyssinia” comes from the Arabic word “Habashah”. One of the most famous rulers of the Sabaeans was Queen Balgais. This mystic Arab Queen of Sheba was well known for her beauty, grace, wealth, charm, and splendor. She reportedly had a famous impassioned encounter with the Hebrew King Solomon (Nabi Sulayman alayhissalaam) when she took a special trip to Jerusalem

The Sabaean Kingdom produced and traded in spices, Arabian frankincense, myrrh, and other Arabian aromatics. The Sabaeans excelled in agriculture and had a remarkable irrigation system with terraced mountains, incredible huge water tunnels in mountains and great dams including the legendary Ma’rib Dam, which was built around 2000 BCE. This Arab dam was considered to be one the greatest technological wonders of the ancient world. However, the tragic breaking of the Ma’rib Dam around 575, as indicated in the Qur’an, was an event of very traumatic proportions in the collective consciousness of all Arabs at the time and of later generations.

2

The Kingdom of Himyar

The Arab Kingdom of Himyar (115 BCE to 525 CE), which was also located in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, had a sizable number of Arab Christians and Arab Jews (not Hebrews). The most prominent Arab Jew of this kingdom was King Dhu al-Nuwas who persecuted his Arab Christian subjects. He reportedly incinerated some of them alive in retaliation for their persecution of Arab Jews in neighboring Arab Christian Najran.

From their capital city, first at Zafar and later at San’a, the powerful Himyarite kings executed military plans which resulted in the expansion of their domains at times eastward as far as the Persian Gulf and northward into the Arabian Desert. However, internal disorder and the changing of trade routes eventually caused the kingdom to suffer political and economic decline. In fact, after several unsuccessful attempts, the African Abyssinians finally invaded the Arab Himyarite Kingdom in 525. In 570, the year Prophet Mohammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was born, the Abyssinian governor Abraha sent an army of elephant-borne troops in an unsuccessful attempt to attack the city of Makkah (Mecca) and destroy its Ka’bah. In 575 the Persians invaded Himyar and ended the Abyssinian presence in Himyar. But the Persians did not last long there either. Soon thereafter Islam swept the entire Arabian Peninsula.

3

The Nabataean Kingdom

The Arab Nabataean Kingdom was established in the 6th century BCE. It was located south of the Dead Sea and along the eastern shores of the Gulf of Aqaba in the northern parts of the Hejaz. The Nabataeans had their capital city in Petra that was a flourishing center of commerce and civilization. The Nabataeans’ great achievements and culture are still echoed in the magnificent carved-in-the-mountains monuments they left behind. Thousands of tourists from all over the world are attracted every year to this Arab region to see these monuments not only at Petra in Jordan but also in Saudi Arabia’s Mada’in Salih (i.e., Prophet Salih who warned the Thamud Arab Kingdom to worship Allah before the birth of Prophet Mohammad). The small Arab neighboring Kingdoms of Ad, Thamud, and Lihyan – all also with brilliant monuments and achievements mentioned in the Qu’ran – came under the Nabataean suzerainty for a while.

The Arab Nabataean Kingdom, which at its zenith ruled much of the Syrian interior including Damascus, later became a vassal Roman state and eventually fell victim to European colonialism when it was absorbed into the Roman Empire as the “Provincia Arabia” in 195 CE. In fact, the Roman Emperor Philip, who ruled from 244 to 249, was ethnically an Arab from this Arab Nabataean region. Incidentally, this Roman Emperor who was known as “Philip the Arab”, was preceded to the Palatine Hill in Rome by a series of Arab empresses, half-Arab emperors, and the fully Arab Elagabulus of Emesa. It is also believed by some scholars that Philip the Arab was really the first Roman Christian emperor (244-249 CE) rather than Constantine I who ruled the Roman Empire (312-337 CE) 63 years after him.

4

The Kingdom of Tadmor (or Palmyra)

Another important Arab civilization before Islam was the famous Kingdom of Palmyra (or Tadmor in Arabic), which is now Hims in Syria. Although mentioned in some history books as early as the 9th century BCE, Tadmor became only prominent in the 3rd century BCE when it controlled the vital trade route between Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean. The Tadmorians had a great civilization and excelled in international trade. However, like the Nabataeans, they eventually came under the control of the expanding Roman imperialism by becoming another client Arab state of Rome.

In 265 the Tadmorian Arab King Udhayna (or Odenathus) was rewarded by the Romans to become a vice-emperor of the Roman Empire because of his assistance in their war against Persia. However, King Udhayna’s widow Zainab (aka az-Zabba or Zenobia), the famous strong Arab queen wanted nothing less for Palmyra than a complete independence from Rome. She succeeded in temporarily driving the Roman invaders out of most of the Fertile Crescent and proclaimed her son Wahballat (or Athenodorus) to be the true emperor of a new independent Arab Palmyra. Queen Zainab’s Arabian independent spirit, however, deeply angered the Romans and eventually resulted in the destruction of the Tadmorian Kingdom in 273 by a powerful force of the Roman imperial army. As part of the Roman victory celebration, queen Zainab was brutally taken to Rome in golden chains.

5

The Kingdom of Kindah

Kindat al-Muluk (or the Royal Kindah) was a famous Arab kingdom, which originated in the southern Arabian Peninsula near Yemen’s Hadramawt region. Its capital city, al-Fau, was excavated northeast of Najran in Saudi Arabia in 1972 by Saudi archaeologists from King Saud University in Riyadh. The Kingdom of Kindah became prominent around the late 5th and early 6th centuries CE when it made one of the earliest and successful efforts to unite several Arab tribes under its new domain in Najd in central Arabia.

The traditional founder and ruler of Kindah was Hujr Akil al-Murar. However, the most renowned of all Kindah kings was al-Harith ibn Amr, Hujr’s grandson, who extended his kingdom’s domain north by invading Iraq and temporarily capturing al-Hirah, the capital city of the Arab Christian Kingdom of Lakhmid. But in 529 al-Hirah was liberated by its Christian Arabs who killed King al-Harith along with 50 members of his family. After al-Harith’s death, the Kindah Kingdom split up into four factions – Asad, Taghlib, Kinanah, and Qays – each led by a prince. The famous pre-Islamic Arab poet Imru’ al-Qays (who died around 540) was the prince of Qays. The continuing feuding between these Arab factions, however, eventually forced the Kindah princes by the middle of the 6th century to withdraw to their original place in southern Arabia next to Yemen. Nevertheless, after Islam was established throughout the Arabian Peninsula, many descendants of the Royal Kindah continued to hold powerful political positions within the Islamic state. In fact, one branch of the Royal Kindah was even successful in gaining great political influence in far away Arab Andalusia in the European Iberian Peninsula.

6

The Kingdom of Lakhmid

The Arab Christian Kingdom of Lakhmid, which originated in the 3rd century CE, reached the height of its power during the 6th century under King al-Munthir III (503-554). Its domain covered from the western shores of the Persian Gulf all the way north to Iraq where its capital city, al-Hira, was located on the Euphrates River near present day Kufah. Working in close cooperation with the Zoroastrian Persian Sasanian Empire to which the Lakhmid Kingdom was a vassal state, al-Munthir III raided and frequently challenged the pro-Byzantine Arab Kingdom of Ghassan in Syria. His son King Amr Ibn Hind was patron of the legendary Arab poet Tarfah Ibn al-Abd and other poets associated with the seven Mu’allaqat (the Suspended Odes”) of pre-Islamic Arabia (see “The Jahiliyyah” below). The Lakhmid dynasty eventually disintegrated after the death of its great Arab Christian King an-Nu’man III in 602.

7

The Kingdom of Ghassan

As the Lakhmid Arab Kingdom was Christian so was its Arab neighbor to the west, the Kingdom of Ghassan, whose capital city was Damascus. This Syrian Ghassanid Kingdom was prominent in the 6th century and was an ally of the Byzantine Empire. It protected the vital spice trade route from the south of the Arabian Peninsula and also acted as a buffer against the desert bedouins.

The Ghassanid King al-Harith Ibn Jabalah (reigned 529-569), who was a Monophysite Christian, supported the Christian Byzantine Empire against the Zoroastrian Sasanian Persian Empire and successfully opposed the Arab Kingdom of Lakhmids, which sided with Persians. As a result, King al-Harith was given the title of “Patricius” by the Byzantine emperor Justinian.

Like the Lakhmids, the Ghassanids patronized the arts and many literary geniuses such as al-Nabighah al-Thubyani and Hassan Ibn Thabit. Great Arab poets like them were frequently entertained in the royal courts of the Ghassanid kings. After the emergence of Islam in the 7th century, most inhabitants of the Kingdom of Ghassan became Muslim. One of the most prominent poets of the Kingdom of Ghassan was Hassan Ibn Thabit. Ibn Thabit, who espoused Islam, wrote several famous and beautiful poems in praise of Prophet Mohammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

8

The Jahiliyyah (Pre-Islamic Arabia)

Even in the period of Jahiliyyah (or “the ignorance” of pre-Islamic Arabia 500-622) the Arabs also had a great cultural literary civilization. Its great classical belles letters could very easily be compared to the best literary treasures developed during the later golden age of the Arab/Islamic civilization of the Abbasids and Andalusia. The Jahiliyyah era witnessed a vibrant golden age of Arab poetry and odes. Among the top pre-Islamic Arab poets, whose poems are still studied in college and pre-college curricula throughout the Arab world, are the seven legendary poets of the Golden Odes, known as the Seven Mu’allaqat (“the Suspended Odes”). These seven pre-Islamic Arab poets who belonged to different Arab tribes included: Prince Imru’ al-Qays of the Kindah Kingdom; Tarfah (by far the greatest pre-Islamic Arab poet); Zuhair; Labid (who became so overwhelmed by the power and elegance of the Qur’an that he refused to compose any poetry for the last thirty years of his life); Antar (the greatest cavalier warrior of pre-Islamic Arabia); Amru’ Ibn Kalthoom; and al-Harith Ibn Hillizah. Each one of these seven great Arab poets wrote magnificent lengthy poems accentuated with passion, love, eloquence, courage, and sensuality. Their seven golden odes, considered to be the greatest literary treasure of pre-Islamic Arabia, were accorded the highest honor by the critics of the times in the annual poetry fair in Ukaz near Makkah. Their works were inscribed in gold letters and hung (or “suspended”) on the door and walls of the Ka’bah for the public to read, enjoy, and appreciate. To these seven incomparable Jahiliyyah Arab poets one must add the following four geniuses in poetry: an-Nabighah al-Thubyani, Hassan Ibn Thabit, al-Hutay’ah, and al-Khansa’ (a female).

Although most of pre-Islamic Arabia during the Jahiliyyah period was largely nomadic and tribal where bedouin wars and conflicts were the norms among the disunited Arab tribes and where most people believed in pagan religions and superstitions, the two important cities of the Hejaz, Makkah and Ukaz, stood as shining spots in the entire Arabian Peninsula. In fact, Makkah was the religious, political, economic, intellectual, and cultural center of pre-Islamic Arabia. The Ka’bah in Makkah and Mount Arafat outside it (both of which were later incorporated in Islam) had been important religious sites for annual pilgrimage centuries before the coming of Islam.

II

Arab Civilization after Islam

Within a very short period of time after the birth of Islam in the 7th century, the Arabs built a vast empire that stretched from Spain and Portugal (Andalusia) in the west all the way to the Indian subcontinent in the east. Covering almost half of the old known world, the Arab empire was one and a half times the size of the Roman Empire at its peak. Unlike earlier civilizations, the Arab civilization dominated the Mediterranean and made it practically an Arab lake. The Arabs occupied Spain and Portugal in 711 and were on the verge of engulfing all of France in 732 when Charles Martel stopped their advances in the heart of Western Europe in the Battle of Tours, about 100 miles south of Paris.

Between the 7th and 15th centuries, the Arabs established a brilliant civilization the like of which was not contemporaneously found anywhere in the world. However, since Islam united all Arabs for the first time in their history, and rejected nationalism and secularism (Islam united Arabs and non-Arabs under the banner of Islam), Arab civilization and Islamic civilization were one and the same. The two could not be separated. Several Arab powerful states were established each with its own distinct Arab civilization. The most important of these are the following three, the last two of which are considered to be the Arab golden age. These are: The Ummayad State with its capital city in Damascus (661-750); the Abbasid State with its capital city in Baghdad (750-1258); and Arab Andalusia (711-1492) in the European Iberian Peninsula of Spain and Portugal (a continuation of the Ummayad State) with its capital city first in Cordoba and later in Granada. For centuries Arab Andalusia represented Europe’s main cultural center. Although the Arab Abbasid State of the east and Arab Andalusia of the west existed at the same time, they were not united because of the rivalry between their Arab leaders.

In all of the above-mentioned three major Arab States, Arabic was the official language and Islam was the official religion. However, Arabs, half-Arabs, and non-Arabs of all the three Semitic religious faiths lived together in racial and religious harmony. There was a great deal of tolerance towards Christians and Jews whether they were Arabs or not. Within all Arab/Islamic empires, Arabs played the major role in all of the political, economic, social, cultural, educational, and scientific affairs. Non-Arabs were deeply Arabized both emotionally and culturally. In short, these three Islamic civilizations (Ummayad, Abbasid, and Andalusia) were by and large Arab.

However, after the destruction of the Arab Abbasid State in 1258 at the hands of the Mongols and their ruthless leader Hulagu (a crushing defeat that the Arabs have never completely recovered from), the Muslim Turks took over the leadership of the Muslim world. In an affirmation of the political unity of the Islamic nation or “Ummah” (because Islam rejects nationalism), the Turks established their Muslim Ottoman State (1258-1922) with its capital first in Bursa and later in Istanbul (Constantinople), the former capital city of the Eastern Roman Empire (or the Byzantine Empire). It was only in this last major Muslim Turkish State, which did not include either Persia or Andalusia, that the Arabs did not play a dominant role in the political or cultural affairs of the Islamic State. Nor was Arabic the official language of the Ottoman Empire in its last days.

Nonetheless, inspired by numerous exhortations of Prophet Mohammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to Muslims such as: “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave“; “Search for knowledge, even if you must go to China to find it“; and “The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr”, the Arabs excelled in science and art and provided the world with a brilliant and unique civilization. Arab civilization contributed a great deal to the world in general and to the West in particular by helping bring about the European Renaissance, first in Spain and Portugal and later in Italy. As will be explained shortly, the West is immensely indebted to the Arabs for many scientific, technological, and artistic inventions as well as philosophical concepts. As the contemporary Western civilization has enlightened the world, so did the old Arab/Islamic civilization.

However, while the brilliant ancient civilizations of Iraq and Egypt, and the Jewish and Christian religions that emerged from Palestine, are all acknowledged in the West but only as a part of what is strangely called “Western civilization”, the great Arab/Islamic civilization (like Islam itself) that emerged from the same Arab region is either ignored in the West or, if mentioned, distorted and belittled by many European and American “scholars” and “experts”. In fact, these so-called “Arabists” or “Orientalists” cannot hide their hatred, resentment, racism, and patronizing attitudes towards the Arabs and Islam. [1]

Because Arab civilization – especially that of the Abbasid State – included some contributions from half-Arab and non-Arab Muslims as well as from Arab Jews and Arab Christians, many American “scholars”, who like to demean or insult the Arabs, downplay the vital Arab role in the Arab/Islamic civilization. They argue that Arab civilization was copied from the Greeks and/or was nothing more than the civilization of Persians, Turks and other non-Arab Muslims. Even the so-called American “left” and “open-minded scholars” argue in a racist way that Arab contribution to the Islamic civilization was minimal. For example, the following citation is a typical example of Western distortion of Arab contribution to Islamic civilization. In an address given at a symposium on the history of philosophy of science held at Boston University on September 22, 1994, Mr. Dirk Struik said the following, which appeared in the American Monthly Review, the so-called “left-wing and socialist” periodical: “Incidentally, we often speak of the Arabs. But these “Arabs” were Persians, Tadjiks, Jews, Moors, etc., seldom Arabs [My underlining]. What they had in common was their use of the Arabic language.” [2] Also, Mr. Struik wrongly referred to the Jews as a distinct nationality, forgetting the elementary fact that “Jews” are nothing but the adherents of the Jewish faith regardless of their race or language, and disregarding the basic fact that Arab Jews have always existed even up to the present time. He also wrongly implied that Moors are not Arabs, dismissing the simple fact that Moors are indeed Arabs. In addition, Mr. Struik even ridiculed and belittled Arab contribution to human civilization by saying: “…the Arabs, who were so kind [my underlining] as to keep the torch of Greek science ablaze to pass it over to the Europeans…” [3]

However, unlike Mr. Struik and the many Western “scholars” like him who distort Arab intellectual and scientific contributions to humanity, Professor Briffault in his book Making of Humanity simply stated the basic facts: “Science is the most momentous contribution of Arab civilization to the modern world.” [4] In addition, historians Edward Burns and Philip Palph concluded that: “The intellectual achievements of the …[Arabs] were far superior to any of which Christian Europe could boast before the twelfth century.” [5] They also correctly acknowledged that: “In no subject were the [Arabs] farther advanced than in science. In fact, their achievements in this field were the best the world had seen since the end of the Hellenistic civilization.” [6] In addition, Burns and Palph wrote that Arabs:

“…were brilliant astronomers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists, and physicians. Despite their reverence for Aristotle, they did not hesitate to criticize his notion of a universe of concentric spheres with the earth at the center, and they admitted the possibility that the earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun… [The Arabs] were also capable mathematicians and developed algebra and trigonometry… [Arab] physicists founded the science of optics and drew a number of significant conclusions regarding the theory of magnifying lenses and the velocity, transmission, and refraction of light…[Arab] scientists were the first to describe the chemical processes of distillation, filtration, and sublimation…The accomplishments in medicine were just as remarkable…[The Arabs] discovered the contagious nature of tuberculosis, described pleurisy and several varieties of nervous ailments, and pointed out that the disease can be spread through contamination of water and soil.” [7]

In fact, the Arabs were the world’s pioneers in establishing the first major institutions of higher learning. Arabs established the oldest universities in the world. The University of Qeirawan in Fez, Morocco was founded in 859, and the al-Azhar Mosque-University was established in 970 in Cairo. On the other hand, the oldest university in Europe is the University of Bologna in Italy, which was founded in 1088.

1

The Golden Arab Abbasid Civilization

Arab civilization reached its golden age during the Abbasid era (750-1258). Baghdad, the seat of the powerful Abbasid State – which the USA brutally and illegally occupied in 2003 – was the proud Arab capital city and the world’s major center for the arts and sciences. Abbasid’s Baghdad was not only the largest city in the world in size, about 100 square kilometers, but was also the world’s most crowded city, containing about 2 million people. During its heyday, Baghdad was the center of the richest and most powerful country in the entire world. It contained two of the world’s oldest and greatest universities, the Nizamiyah and the Mustansiriyah.

Baghdad was also the seat of the legendary Bait al-Hikmah or (“the House of Wisdom”), the most widely-respected “think tank” and the major research center in all of the vast Abbasid Empire. From it came various important translations of Greek and other earlier non-Arab scientific manuscripts; major breakthroughs in many scientific and artistic fields; and different discoveries in various scientific fields that enriched Arab civilization and in turn benefited the West and the rest of the world.

Moreover, Baghdad had many banks, where the world’s first checking accounts were established, with various branches all over the world even as far as China; an enormous free general public hospital; a thousand physicians; many pharmacies; a large number of schools and higher institutions of learning; a very well-organized postal service; countless libraries and bookstores; an excellent water-supply system; a comprehensive sewage system; and a great paper mill. Even though paper was invented in China, it was the Arabs who introduced it to the West. The Europeans, who up to the 12th century used only parchment for writing, learned for the first time the art of manufacturing paper from straw after the brutal Crusaders invaded the Arab world. [8]

Among the great Arab inventions was the clock. Some Arab clocks had their timepieces moved by water, others by burning candles or mercury. A beautiful Arab water clock was given in 807 as a gift by the great Arab Abbasid Caliph Haroon ar-Rasheed (786-809) to the French King Charlemagne who was totally impressed by it. In fact, the 13th century Abbasid Arab genius, Ibn ar-Razzaz al-Jazari, invented impressive arrays of water-operated monumental clocks such as the famous automated Peacock Fountain and the Castle Water Clock.

The Abbasid Arab leaders, or Caliphs, were the most opulent rulers in the entire world. Their palaces, halls, parks, and treasures were highly ostentatious. For example when a diplomatic Byzantine delegation arrived in Baghdad during the reign of the Caliph al-Muqtadir (908-32), they were highly impressed to see the outstanding treasures in the store-chambers and the magnificent armies of elephants caparisoned in peacock-silk brocade. The Byzantine delegation saw Caliph al-Muqtadir arrayed in brilliant clothes embroidered in gold and sitting on an ebony throne which was surrounded on both sides by nine hung collars of gems and other fabulous jewels. [9] In his elegant Room of the Tree, they observed:

“…a tree, standing in the midst of a great circular tank filled with clear water. The tree has eighteen branches, every branch having numerous twigs, on which sit all sorts of gold and silver birds, both large and small. Most of the branches of this tree are of silver, but some are of gold, and they spread into the air carrying leaves of different colours. The leaves of the tree move as the wind blows, while the birds pipe and sing.” [10]

In fact, the Arabs were so advanced in all of the scientific and artistic fields over the West that they considered the Europeans to be inferior barbarians with uncouth manners. In a language similar to the current racist propaganda perpetrated by many Europeans and Americans against non-Europeans, especially Blacks, the famous 10th-century Arab geographer/historian Abu al-Hasan al-Mas’udi of Baghdad (died 956) wrote the following about the Europeans:

The peoples of the north are those for whom the sun is distant from the Zenith… cold and damp prevail in those regions, and snow and ice follow one another in endless succession. The warm humour is lacking among them; their bodies are large, their natures gross, their manners harsh, their understanding dull and their tongues heavy… their religious beliefs lack solidity…those of them who are farthest to the north are the most subject to stupidity, grossness and brutishness.” [11]

In addition, in the 11th-century, an Arab judge from Toledo in Arab Spain made even more racist remarks than al-Mas’udi’s about the “stupidity” of the Europeans and their lack of civilization. He wrote:

“…their bellies are big, their colour pale, their hair long and lank. They lack keenness of understanding and clarity of intelligence, and are overcome by ignorance and foolishness, blindness and stupidity.” Even as late as the 14th century the great Arab sociologist and philosopher, Ibn Khaldun, made contemptuous remarks about the Europeans. [12]

Before the European Renaissance (the start of the current Western civilization from 1350 to 1650), most of Europe was living in the feudalism of the Dark Ages. Europeans lived in poverty, ignorance, hunger, diseases, violence, treachery, squalor, and intolerance. Most Europeans lived in mud huts with filth, practically like animals. Dirty roadside ditches throughout Europe, filled with stagnant water, served as public latrines. [13] In fact, most Europeans did not even wash their own bodies with water for fear of damaging their skins and health.

2

The Glorious Arab Andalusian Civilization of Europe

Arab entrance into Europe began with an “invitation”. The governor of an outlying province in the Iberian Peninsula sent his daughter to Toledo for schooling. She was supposedly under the protection of King Rodrick (one of the Germanic ruthless Visigoth occupying rulers in Spain) who instead of protecting her, violated and impregnated her. As a result, her father appealed to the Arabs in North Africa for a redress of this injury. [14] The Arabs complied, and thus began almost 8 centuries of Arab occupation and civilization in Europe’s most southwestern part. To be exact, the Arabs stayed in Europe 781 years during which they introduced to the West a wonderful civilization; religious tolerance; racial harmony; public baths; and the novel idea of cleanliness expressed in public and personal hygiene by washing the human body with water.

While most Westerners of the Dark Ages lived in filth, poverty, and ignorance, the Arabs had a brilliant civilization in Andalusia, Europe’s Iberian Peninsula. From 711, when Tariq Ibn Ziyad (rahimahullah) landed with his Arab conquering army at Gibraltar (so named after him from the Arabic words Jabal Tariq or “the Mountain of Tariq”), to 1492 when the Arab presence in Europe ended, Andalusia was the most enlightened, civilized, racially and religiously tolerant place in all of the West.

Before the Arabs arrived in the Iberian Peninsula, the barbarian Germanic occupying Visigoths viciously persecuted Spanish and Portuguese Jews. The Arabs not only treated local Jews with kindness and respect, but also treated their fellow Christians with the same kindness and tolerance that Islam called for. In fact, the Iberian Jews welcomed the Arab conquering army as a liberating force and joined it against the Visigoths. [15] The intolerant Germanic Visigoths also heavily taxed and ruthlessly treated the poor Iberian peasants, rendering them practically as slaves. The Arabs, on the other hand, humanely treated the local peasants and drastically reduced their taxation.

As early as the 10th century, the Arab Andalusian capital, Cordoba, was a magnificent metropolitan center of progress. The pride of the Arabs in Europe, Cordoba had a half million people living in it at a time when no European city could claim a population of even 10,000. Indeed, Arab Cordoba was the largest and most cultured city in all of Europe. Its jewelry, leather work, woven silk and elaborate brocades were highly prized throughout the world. Cordoba’s Arab women copyists excelled far better than most European Christian monks in the production of religious works. A travelling German nun by the name of Hrosvitha, who died in 1002, was highly impressed by Arab Cordoba. She referred to it as “the jewel of the world”. She wrote:

“In the western parts of the globe … there shone forth a fair ornament … a city well cultured … rich and known by the famous name of Cordoba, illustrious because of its charms and also renowned for all resources, especially abounding in the seven streams of knowledge, and ever famous for continual victories.” [16]

Arab Cordoba was truly the jewel of the entire world. In contrast to the dust and mud which would remain familiar features of the streets of London and Paris for 7 centuries to come, Cordoba had miles of paved streets; street lights (even seven hundred years later there was not so much as one public lamp in London); 113,000 houses with lavatories and water drainage (even poor houses had them, something which was not found at the time in most other European cities); 700 mosques; 300 public baths; 70 public libraries; numerous bookstores; parks and palaces; [17] and two major magnificent treasures unequal for their sophistication in the known civilized world.

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                     Mosque of Cordoba

The first treasure was the Great Mosque of Cordoba, the most extraordinary religious shrine, second in size only to the Great Mosque of Makkah. It was completed in 976 and took 200 years to build. This Great Mosque, which is still a major tourist attraction in Spain today, is a vast rectangle with a deep sanctuary divided into 19 aisles by a forest of 870 marble columns. The interior of this marvelous religious shrine was beautifully decorated with gold; silver; precious stones; mosaics; colored tiles; contrasting green and red marbles; carved plater; wall paintings; Qur’anic calligraphy; and 8,000 oil lamps, to provide light, hung from two hundred chandeliers. The scent of burning aloes and the perfumed oils in the lamps drifted through the arches of the long naves. The Mosque’s spacious seven-sided mihrab (the prayer niche which directs worshipers toward Makkah) was lined with gold mosaics and marbles. Next to the mihrab stood the beautifully carved minbar (or pulpit) with its several straight steps for the Imam to climb up in order to give his Friday sermon. This wonderful unique pulpit, which took eight talented craftsmen seven years to make, was laced with rails of gold and silver and made of ivory, ebony, sandalwood, and citron wood. Unfortunately, this magnificent pulpit was cut into pieces when the Spanish Christians took over Cordoba in 1236. Today this great mosque is the Catholic Cathedral of Cordoba.

The second treasure in the Arab Andalusian capital city of Cordoba was the outstanding enormous public library. Completed around 970, this wonderful library alone had over 440,000 books, more than all of the books in all of France at the time. In addition to this gigantic public library, there were 69 other public libraries in Cordoba. These Arab libraries had been using paper for over 200 years at a time when the few Europeans, who could read or write, were still using animal skins for writing.

Just outside Cordoba, in the city of al-Zahra, the Arab ruler Abdul-Rahman III built his famous magnificent Palace of Madinat al-Zahra. One of the great wonders of this extraordinary Arab palace was the Room of the Caliphs, which had a gilded ceiling and walls of multi-colored marble blocks. On each side of the hall were eight splendid doors, which stood between columns of clear crystal and colored marble, decorated with gold and ebony and inlaid with precious stones. In the center of this beautiful room was a large pool filled with mercury, which produced dazzling reflections from the walls and ceiling every time the sunrays shone on it. When the surface of the pool was quivered, the whole room was shot through with rays of light, giving the impression that the room was floating away. All experts and writers at the time agreed that the magnificence of this Arab hall had never been equaled anywhere in the world. [18]

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After the fall of Cordoba to the Spanish Christians, the Arabs moved their capital city to Granada – in the south of the Iberian Peninsula – which also became famous as an Arab center of arts and learning. Arab Granada was also renowned for its wealth and trade especially in silk. To immortalize Grenada, its Andalusian Arab rulers built the magnificent Palace of al-Hamra (“the red”) or Alhambra Palace. This unique palace has two splendid courts, the Court of the Lions and the Court of the Myrtles, considered to be the most magnificent and glorious of all Arab monuments in Spain. The Alhambra Palace, which was also an Arab fortress, took about 100 years to build and is today a major tourist attraction attesting to the beauty and genius of Arab architecture. In addition to Cordoba and Granada, Seville and Toledo also served as the greatest houses of Arab Andalusian knowledge. In fact, Toledo was the main center of scientific translation from Arabic to Latin.

The Andalusian Arabs also produced several exotic agricultural products (see “Agriculture” below) and developed many great manufactured products, which were all exported to Western Europe and the rest of the world. These industrial products include: textiles; paper; silk; baked tile; glazed cups, dishes, and jars which rivaled Chinese porcelain; pottery; sugar refining; gold; silver; ruby; silk; various crafted metals; marble; ceramics; and the much-admired Cordovan (“cordwain”) leather-work.

The sciences that the Andalusian Arabs excelled in and were taught at their universities, which helped educate several generations of Western scholars and students from all over Europe, included: mathematics, geometry, astronomy, physics, chemistry, architecture, optics, meteorology, engineering, pharmacology, medicine, biology, botany, anatomy, zoology, and philosophy. It should also be mentioned here that Arab students in Andalusia were the first to use the cap and gown worn today by students all over the world during graduation ceremony.

III

The Legacy of Arab/Islamic Civilization and Its Impact on the West

Thanks to Islam and Arab civilization, Arabic has become the richest of all Semito-Hamitic languages (so-named after Noah’s (Nuh alayhissalaam) two eldest sons Sam and Ham), and one of the world’s greatest languages in history. As a major language of scripture and civilization, Arabic has deeply influenced several world languages both in the East and the West such as Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese, Maltese, Malay-Indonesian; some African languages like Hausa and Swahili; and to a lesser extent even the English language (see below). The Arabic alphabet, which contains 28 letters (2 more letters than the English alphabet), is now – like the Latin alphabet – one of the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world used in the writing of the languages of Muslim countries like Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Between the 9th and 15th centuries, during the zenith of Arab civilization, Arabic was the international language of science to a degree which has since never been equaled by any other language including English. Arabic was not only the language of the Arab people, but also the language of many other peoples and faiths. Neither Greek, nor Latin, nor even English has ever attained the far-reaching unique historical dominance over human civilization as Arabic had. Arabic was so important as the language of science that European scholars had to learn it as they learned Latin. Today, Arabic is one of only six official languages of the United Nations along with French, English, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Arabic is also the World’s fourth most popular language after Chinese, English, and Spanish. And as the language of the important Arab oil-producing countries, Arabic has also achieved a prominent status in the world of international finance and economics.

In fact, the profound impact of the Arabs and their civilization on Western civilization can be found in the many Arabic words that became part of the everyday language in the West. While it is obvious that the influence of Arabic is much greater on Spanish and Portuguese, both of which contain many thousands of Arabic words, than on any other European language, at least some 4% of the English language came from Arabic. [19] The following is a group of words from several scientific and cultural areas – presented in alphabetical order – used today in English that originally came from the Arabic language:

[aba, abelmosk, abutilon, Achernar, acrab, admiral, adobe, afreet (or afrit), albacore, albatross, alcalde, alcazar, alchemy, alcohol, alcove, Aldebaran, alembic, alfalfa, alforja, algarroba, algebra, Algol, algorism (or algorithm), alidade, alkali, alkanet, Allah, almanac, alphabet, Altair, amalgam, amber, ameer (or amir), aniline, antimony, apricot, ardeb, argan, ariel, arrack, arroba, arsenal, artichoke, assassin, atabal (or attabal), attar, aubergine, average, azimuth, azure …

baldachin, banana, barberry, bard (or barde), bark, barkentine, bedouin, benzoin, berseem, Betelgeuse, bint, bonduc, borax, buckram, bulbul, burnoose (or burnous) …

cable, cadi (or kadi or qadi), calabash, caliber (or calibre), caliph, caliphate, camel, camise, camlet, camphor, canal, candy, cane, Caph, carafe, carat, caravan, caraway, carmine, carob, carrack, Casbah (or Kasbah), check (from the Arabic word “sakk”), checkmate, chiffon, cinnabar, cipher, civet, coffee, coffer, coffle, colcothar, Copt, cotton, crimson, crocus, cubeb, cumin, curcuma …

dahabeah, damascene, damask (from Damascus), damson, darabukka, Deneb, dhow, dinar, dirham, djin (or djinn or djinni), dragoman, drub, durra …

elixir, emir, emirate …

fakir, fedayee (or fedayeen), fellah, fennec, fils, Fomalhaut, fustic …

gabelle, galingale, garble, gauze, gazelle, genet, genie, ghibli, ghoul, Gibraltar, ginger, giraffe, grab, guitar, gundi, gypsum …

haik, hajj, hajji, hakim, halva (or halvah), hamal (or hammal), hardim, harem, hashish, hazard, hegira (or hejiara), henna, hookah, houri, howdah …

imam, imamate, imaret …

jar, jasmine, jebel, jerboe, jereed, jessamine, jihad, jinn (or jinni), jubba (or jubbah), julep …

Kaabah, kabob (or kebab), Kabyle, kafir (or kaffir), kantar (or qantar), kaph, kat (or qat), kef, kermes, khamsin, khan, khanjar, kismet, kohl, Koran (or Qur’an)…

lacquer, lake, lapislazuli, latakia, leban (or leben), lemon, lilac, lime, lute …

magazine, Mahdi, majoon, mancus, marabout, marcasite, marzipan, mascara, mask, massage, mastaba, mate (as in checkmate in Chess), mattress, mecca (after Makkah or Mecca), mezereon, minaret, Mizar, mizen (or mizzen), mocha (from Mocha, Yemen), mohair, monsoon, mosque, muezzin, mufti, mullah, mummy, Muslim, muslin (from Mosul), Mussalman (or Mussulman), myrrh …

nabob, nacre, nadir, natron, nizam, noria, nucha, nuchal …

oka (or oke), olibanum, orange, Ottoman, oud …

pandore, pistachio, pherkard, popinjay …

qintar, quintal …

racket, realgar, ream, rebec (or rebeck), retem, retina, rial, ribes, Rigel, rice, risk, riyal, rob, roc, rook, rotl…

safari, safflower, saffron, Sahara, Sahel, sahib, saker, salam, salamoniac, salep, saloop, saluki, sambul, santir, saphena, sash, satin, sayyid, scallion, senna, sequin, serendipity, sesame, shadoof (or shaduf), shaitan, shallot, sharif, sheik (or sheikh), sherbet, sherbert, sherif (or sheriff), shish-kebab, shrub, simoom (or simoon), sinologue, sirocco, sirup, sloop, soda, sofa, spinach, sudd, Sufi, Sufism, sugar, sultan, sultana, sultanate, sumac (or sumach), sumbal (or sumbul or sumbal), sura, Swahili, syce, syrup …

tabby, tabla, tabor (or tabour), taffeta, talc, talisman, tamarind, tambour, tambourine, tangerine, taraxacum, tarboosh (or tarbush), tare, tariff, tarragon, tazza, timbal (or tymbal), traffic, tutty, typhoon …

ulama (or ulema) …

Vega, vizier …

wadi …

xeba, xebec …

yashmac (or yashmak) …

zaffer (or zaffre), zareba (or zariba), zenith, zero, zibet (or zibeth) …]

However, more important than the above Arabic words are the actual scientific contributions and foundations that the Arabs provided for the West. As indicated earlier, the European Renaissance was deeply indebted to the Arabs and their civilization. From the Arabs the Europeans took the basic scientific, technological, philosophical, and cultural foundations that put them on top of the world and eventually led them in their global colonial terrorization of the non-European world, which started with Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the Western Hemisphere in 1492. In fact, one of Columbus’s main sea navigators was an Arab Muslim who upon sighting the land of the New World joyfully shouted in Arabic: “Allahu Akbar” (or God is the Greatest). [20]

Indeed, as will be revealed shortly, major works in various philosophical and scientific fields were borrowed and/or copied from the Arabs by a number of leading European scholars and scientists before, during, and after the European Renaissance. The following is a brief summary of the Arab contribution to Western and human civilizations in 15 major scientific and artistic disciplines. Only the top Arab and Muslim scientists (as well as some occasional Arab Jews and Arab Christians) both from the Abbasid and Andalusian civilizations are mentioned in this survey.

1

Mathematics

The Arabs and Muslims contributed more to the field of mathematics, the basic foundation of modern civilization, than any other people in history. To the magnificent Arab civilization the world owes algebra, algorithm (logarithm), arithmetic, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, the decimal system, and the brilliant “zero”. The revolutionary “zero”, which gave us what is referred to in the West as the Arabic decimal numeration system, did not originate in India as some Western historians claim but was rather developed in ancient Iraq by the Neo-Babylonians maybe as early as 500 BCE. [21] American mathematics Professor Karl J. Smith indicated in his textbook, The Nature of Mathematics, that while the ancient Indians developed mathematical digital symbols, their numeration system offered no advantage over other earlier systems because it did not contain a “zero” or use a positional system. [22] Although the Arabs’ Semitic ancestors in ancient Iraq developed the “zero”, it was only through the great post-Islamic Arab civilization that it was incorporated into the main body of the general mathematical theory. It took Europe almost 300 years to finally accept the “zero” as a gift from the Arabs. The Arabic numerals were simultaneously expressed in somewhat two different figures or forms, one Abbasid (the eastern style which most Arabs currently use) and one Andalusian (the western style which is used today in the Arab Maghrib countries of Northwest Africa). It was this Arab Andalusian form of numerals (i.e., 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9) that the West and the rest of the world eagerly adopted; hence the worldwide label “Arabic numerals”.

Mohammad al-Khawarizmi (780-850), the giant genius scientist who was born and died in Abbasid Baghdad, created modern algebra and made brilliant contributions in the field of mathematics. In fact, the word “algorithm” is derived from his name, and the Arabic word al-jabr (or “algebra” in English) comes from the title of his major work, Kitab al-Jabr wa al-Muqabalah (“The Book of Integration and Equation”). Served for a number of years as the Executive Director of the prestigious “House of Wisdom” in Baghdad, al-Khawarizmi was also the first scientist in history to explain how passing light through water particles creates rainbows.

Another Muslim genius in mathematics, also from Abbasid Baghdad, is Abu Arrayhan al-Biruni (973-1048) who was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, physicist, chemist, geographer and historian. He was probably the greatest scientist in all of medieval Islam. Another great mathematician is Naseer al-Din at-Tusi (1201-1274). It was in the super work of at-Tusi that trigonometry achieved the status of an independent branch of pure mathematics, thus making it an invention of Arabic science. At-Tusi’s contribution was to combine the results of earlier investigators and to replace Menelaus’ complete quadrilateral by a simple triangle, thus freeing trigonometry from spherical astronomy. [23]

Practically all of the advanced trigonometrical work in the world during the 12th and 13th centuries were made by Muslim mathematicians and published in Arabic. Arabic influence in this major scientific field did not only impact the West, but also other parts of the world. It seemed that even the Chinese trigonometry as used by Kuo Shouching at the end of the 13th century was also of Arab origin. [24]

2

Astronomy

The most important figure in this scientific field is the Arab Abu Abdullah al-Battani (aka Albategius: 858-929) from the Abbasid era. He was the best-known Arab astronomer in Europe during the Middle Ages. Al-Battani refined existing values for the inclination of the ecliptic, for the length of the year and of the seasons, and for the annual precession of the equinoxes. He showed that the position of the Sun’s apogee is variable and that the annular eclipses of the Sun are possible.

Al-Battani also improved the Greek Ptolemy’s astronomical calculations by replacing geometrical methods with trigonometry, thus becoming the chief responsible scientist for the first notion of trigonometrical ratios as they are in use to the present day. He carried out many years of remarkably accurate observations at ar-Raqqah in Syria. One of al-Battani’s major works in astronomy – a compendium of astronomical tables – was translated into Spanish and was published in 1537 under the title De motu stellarum (“Our Stellar Motion”). [25]

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Image: An illustration from al-Biruni’s astronomical works, explains the different phases of the moon.

The Abbasid mathematician al-Biruni also made valuable contributions in astronomy by accurately determining the latitudes, longtitudes, geodetic measurements, specific gravity, and the magnitude of the earth’s circumference. In addition, the astronomer Ahmad al-Farghani published a comprehensive treatise on astronomy from which the famous Italian Alighieri Dante heavily borrowed both in his Vita Nuova and his Convivio. [26] The great Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) also quoted several Arab scientists in his famous De Revolutionibus Orbium Celestium – especially the great Arab astronomer and instrument-maker al-Zarkali (aka Arzachel) of Andalusia. Al-Zarkali not only invented a revolutionary astrolabe and wrote a major treatise about it that influenced the entire astronomical sciences of the Middle Ages, [27] but also built a fascinating water clock capable of determining the hours of the day and night and indicating the days of the lunar month. [28]

3

Chemistry

The word “chemistry” itself comes from the Arabic word alchemy (or al-Keem’ya‘). There is no bigger name in the field of Muslim chemistry than the great alchemist Jabir Ibn Hayyan (aka Geber: 721-815), the “father of Arab chemistry” of the Abbasid era. More than 2,000 works are attributed to Jabir Ibn Hayyan. [29] Many of the chemical terms used in English today come from Ibn Hayyan: “alkali”, “antimony”, “realgar” (red sulphide arsenic), and “sal-amoniac” which he discovered. He was also the author of an important work in chemistry on the use of manganese dioxide in glass making; the dyeing of leather and cloth; the waterproofing of cloth; and the preparation of steel. When European scientists began to turn their attention to chemistry, they accepted Ibn Hayyan as their mentor. In 1144 the Englishman Robert of Chester translated Ibn Hayyan’s Book of the Composition of Alchemy into Latin, and Gerard of Cremona also made another translation of Ibn Hayyan’s other important work Book of the Seventy. Ibn Hayyan’s 17th century English translator, Richard Russell, called him: “Geber, the Most Famous Arabian Prince and Philosopher”. [30]

Also, the world’s first explosive developed in the field of gunpowder known as black powder – which is a mixture of salt petre (potassium nitrate), sulfur, and charcoal (carbon) – was originally invented by the Arabs and not by the Chinese [31] as it is commonly believed in the West. The Chinese took this invention from the Arabs, and by the 10th century used it in their fireworks and signals. The Arab-invented black powder was eventually adopted by the Westerners, (during the 14th century primarily for use in firearms), who gradually discontinued it use in the middle of the 19th century in favor of the guncotton (the first smokeless powder) and other forms of nitrocellulose. In addition, around 1304 the Arabs invented the world’s first real gun, a bamboo tube reinforced with iron that used a charge of black powder to shoot an arrow. [32]

4

Physics

In the fields of physics and optics, no Arab scientist comes close to the legendary Abu Ali al-Hasan Ibn al-Haytham (aka Alhazen: 965-1039) who was born in Iraq and died in Egypt during the golden Abbasid era. Ibn al-Haytham made the first significant contributions to optical theory since the time of the Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. In his book On the Burning Glass, he revolutionarized the nature of focusing, magnifying, and inversion of the image.

Ibn al-Haytham was the world’s first scientist to give an accurate account of vision, correctly stating that the light comes from the object seen to the eye, and not the other way around as was previously believed (i.e., from the eye to the seen object). [33] Also, In his widely-acclaimed treatise on optics, translated into Latin in 1270 under the title Opticae Thesaurus Alhazeni Libri VII, this great Arab physicist/optometrist published revolutionary theories on reflection; refraction; binocular vision; focussing with lenses; the rainbow; atmospheric refraction; spherical aberration; parabolic and spherical mirrors; and the apparent increase in size of planetary bodies near the Earth’s horizon. In fact, so complicated and so advanced were Ibn al-Haytham’s theories in physics that for a long time both Western and Eastern scientists were afraid to adopt them. But when he was finally proven to be correct, Ibn al-Haytham’s scientific pre-eminence throughout the world was no longer in doubt. [34] The English Roger Bacon (1242-92) was not the only Western scientist on optics to admit his indebtedness to Ibn al-Haytham. Both the great Italian Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and the German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) were also deeply influenced by the scientific findings of this Arab genius.

5

Medicine

The great Persian Muslim scientist Abu Bakr al-Razi (aka Rhazes: 865-925) of Abbasid’s Baghdad was the greatest medical authority in the entire Islamic civilization. His major works were translated into Latin. A pioneering physician, al-Razi was the first to describe pupillary reflexes; gave the world’s first account of smallpox and measles; discovered the contagious characters of diseases; and differentiated among colic pain, kidney-stone pain, and the pains of the ileus. His ten-part treatise in Arabic on clinical and internal medicine, at-Tibb al-Mansuri that was translated into Latin under the title Medicinalis Almansoris, was widely influential in the West throughout the Middle Ages. In it, he discussed drugs; diets; skin diseases; child and mother care; mouth hygiene; toxicology and epidemiology; climatology and the effect of environment on health; a regiment for preserving good health; and general medical theories and definitions. In his brilliant treatise on psychic therapy written in Arabic, at-Tibb ar-Ruhani (“Psychic Therapy”), and in his comprehensive medical encyclopedia, al-Hawi fi at-Tibb, al-Razi provided considerable insight into the scope, methods, and applications of the clinical, internal, and psychiatric medicine as well as the interpretation of the general health precepts.

Another medical genius was Abu al-Qasim Az-Zahrawi (aka Albucasis: 936-1013), an Arab from the great Arab Andalusian civilization. Az-Zahrawi is considered to be Islam’s greatest medieval surgeon who single-handedly shaped European surgical procedures until the Renaissance. His 30-part medical encyclopedia, At-Tasrif (“The Method”), which contained over 200 surgical medical instruments he personally designed, was a surgical treatise that had a tremendous influence on Western medicine. Translated into Latin in the 12th century by the Italian scholar Gerard of Cremona, at-Tasrif stood for nearly 500 years as the leading textbook on surgery in Europe, preferred for its concise lucidity even to the great works of the classical Greek medical authority Galen of Pergamum.

A third Muslim medical giant, from the Abbasid’s Baghdad era, is the Persian Abu Ali Ibn Sina (aka Avicenna: 980-1037). Perhaps the most controversial philosopher but an influential scientist in all of Islam, Ibn Sina added to al-Razi by discovering the contagious character of disease (e.g. through water). Ibn Sina wrote many medical volumes in Arabic, the most important of which are the following two, both of which were translated into Latin. The first is Kitab ash-Shifa (“The Book of Healing”), a vast encyclopedia that included the science of psychology and is probably the largest work of its kind ever written by one man. The second is an encyclopedia by the name of al-Qanun fi at-Tibb (“The Canon of Medicine”), the most famous single book in the history of medicine in both East and West. The Canon became the medical authority not only in the Islamic world where it was used as a major reference until the 19th century, but also in the Western world where it was used for more than 500 years. [35]

Arab and Muslim medical science came to a climax in the two famous treatises on the plague by two great Arab physicians: Ibn al-Khatib (1313-1374) of Granada, and his contemporary Ibn Khatima. Ibn al-Khatib who wrote more than fifty books on different subjects, used some revolutionary medical terms for his time in his treatise on the plague. On the other hand, Ibn Khatima’s treatise on the plague was considered to be “far superior to all the numerous plague tracts edited in Europe between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries”. [36]

The Arabs founded the world’s first hospitals as well as travelling hospitals during the Abbasid era. While hospitals were well established and widespread throughout the Arab and Muslim world as early as the 9th century, they did not come into existence in the West until the 13th century. As late as the 16th century medical studies in the West were still largely based on the findings of Arab scientists. Actually it was due to contacts with the Arabs that medical schools began to appear in the West. Even in the 17th century we still find some Western scholars from France and Germany relying on Arab medical writings rather than on any other. [37]

6

Pharmacy and Pharmacology

As a recognized profession, pharmacy is an Arab/Islamic institution. Under the patronage of the Arab Abbasid rulers around 800 CE, pharmacology achieved the status of an independent science, separate yet closely related to medicine. The first privately owned and managed pharmacies in the world (where drugs, herbs, and spices were sold) were established in Baghdad in the early part of the 9th century. Shortly thereafter, pharmacy shops started to appear throughout the Muslim world. [38]

In pharmacology (or “as-Saydalah” in Arabic), the Arabs produced some of the best pharmacists in the world at the time. The most famous pharmacist/botanist was an Andalusian Arab by the name of Ibn al-Baytar (died 1248) who wrote the greatest of all medieval books on botany called Collection of Simple Drugs and Food. Ibn al-Baytar collected plants and drugs from all over the Muslim world and described over 1,400 medical drugs and their use. For hundreds of years, European dispensaries relied heavily on recipes prepared by Arab pharmaceutists and took to the West some of the Arabic medical terms such as sirup (sharab) and julep (gulab). [39] In fact, Arab pharmacology in the West survived until the early part of the 19th century. [40]

7

Zoology and Veterinary Medicine

Depending on animals for food, war, and transportation, the Arabs and Muslims raised the basic interest in animal husbandry to the level of a science. The first important comprehensive zoological study of animals in Arabic was Kitab al-Hayawan (Book of Animals), written by Abu Uthman Amr Ibn Bahr al-Jahiz (776-869) from Basrah, Iraq. Covering animals in and around Iraq with their characteristics, this pioneering book was written in an eloquent and interesting literary style. In it, al-Jahiz described the various diseases that afflict animals and their treatments. Another important work in this field was The Uses of Animals, written by an Arab doctor named Ibn Bakhtishu. This 11th century book is a comprehensive account of the medicines that could be extracted from animals for human use.

However, the greatest medieval work in veterinary medicine is the comprehensive work by Abu Bakr al-Baytar of Cairo (died 1340) entitled Kamil as-Sina’atayn. This famous work in Arabic covers animal husbandry, birds, breeding, horsemanship, and knighthood. In it, al-Baytar also detailed animal diseases, the methods and drugs used in their treatment, and the use of animal organs in therapeutics.

Also, during the 14th century, another Arab scientist from Egypt by the name of Kamal al-Din ad-Damiri (died 1405) provided the world with a brilliant work in zoology and animal husbandry entitled Hayat al-Hayawan (The Life of Animals). In this most comprehensive major work, al-Damiri (who was also a philosopher/theologian) arranged and discussed animals in alphabetical order. He listed their characteristics, qualities, habits, and the medical values of their organs for humans. In addition, this brilliant work by al-Damiri along with other Arabic texts on animals and natural sciences – which were written over four centuries before the famous 1859 Origins of Species by the English Charles Darwin (1809-1882) – contained rudimentary concepts of evolutionary theory, including the doctrine of survival of the fittest and natural selection. [41]

8

Agriculture

Arab Andalusia had a highly advanced system of agricultural engineering, an elaborate irrigation canal system, and fountains – the likes of which was not found anywhere in Western Europe at the time. The Arabs made the Iberian land produce more and better crops and introduced to Europe such exotic and valuable agricultural products as oranges, cotton, eggplants, saffron, pomegranates, apricots, rice, sugar cane, artichokes, peaches, date palms, and mulberry.

The Andalusian Arabs were the leading agricultural practitioners in all of Europe who also developed the most advanced systems in canal and irrigation, land drainage, and siphoning. Thanks to them, Spain was agriculturally the richest and most advanced country in Europe. According to one American author, agriculture and horticultural improvements “constituted the finest legacies of Islam, and the gardens of Spain proclaim to this day one of the noblest virtues of her Muslim conquerors.” [42]

The Arabs of Andalusia also produced some of the world’s finest agricultural scientists who benefited humanity. For example, during the second half of the 11th century, an Arab scientist from Toledo by the name of Ibn al-Bassal wrote a brilliant book on agriculture, which in 1955 was edited with a Spanish translation and notes under the title Libro de Agricultura. [43] In addition, an Arab scientist from Seville named Ibn al-Awwam wrote the most important agricultural treatise during the golden age of Arab Spain in the 12th century. It was entitled Kitab al-Filahah (“Book of Agriculture”) and was translated from Arabic into both Spanish and French in the 19th century. Ibn al-Awwam’s brilliant book contained 35 chapters and covered 585 plants. It dealt with agronomy, cattle and poultry raising, and beekeeping; made important observations on soil, manures, plant grafting, and plant diseases; and covered such agricultural topics as medical plants, farming techniques, husbandry, plant sex life, fertilization, tillage, sharecropping, gardening, and landscaping. [44]

9

Philosophy and Metaphysics

Western Christian philosophy and theology owe a great deal to Arab thinkers and philosophers. For example, The Italian theologian St. Thomas Aquinas (1224-74) copied liberally from the Arabic writings of Abu al-Walid Ibn Rushd (aka Averroes: 1126-98), the Arab Muslim of Cordoba who is considered to be the Mutazalite philosopher of Islam.The Summa of St Thomas, which was considered to be the very citadel of Western Christian theology, was deeply influenced by the writings of Arab philosophers, especially Ibn Rushd. The French philosopher, Rene Descartes (1596-1650), was also deeply influenced by Ibn Rush. Also, St. Thomas’ great Dominican’s most essential doctrines were copied practically word by word from the Arabic work of an earlier Turkish Muslim philosopher by the name of Abu Nasr al-Farabi (878-950) of Abbasid’s Baghdad. [45]

In addition, Italy’s greatest poet, Dante (1265-1321), who hated Prophet Mohammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and Islam, plagiarized his greatest work, the Divine Comedy, by copying from the works of the mystic Arab genius Ibn al-Arabi rahimahullah (1165-1240) of Arab Andalusia, and also from Risalat al-Ghufran (The Epistle of Forgiveness) written by the great Arab philosopher and poet Abu al-Ala’ al-Ma’arri of Syria (973-1057). Dante’s Divine Comedy’s fundamental concepts of Heaven and Hell very closely resemble Ibn al-Arabi’s account of Prophet Mohammad’s ascent to Heaven from Makkah via Jerusalem. [46] Ironically, however, the unthankful plagiarist Dante consigned Prophet Mohammad to the lowest level of Hell in his Divine Comedy. On the other hand, the Spanish mystic Ramon Llull (1235-1316) was also highly influenced by Arabic philosophy and Islamic mysticism produced by such Muslim mystics as al-Hallaj rahimahullah (858-922) of Abbasid’s Baghdad.

Actually Arab influence was so obvious on Western philosophy that many European scholars and theologians openly admitted their great indebtedness to the Arabs. One of those who admitted his gratitude to the Arabs is the Scottish theologian John Duns Scotus (1266-1308) who was deeply influenced in his intellectual activities by the Fons Vitae which was originally written in Arabic by a great Arab philosopher of Jewish faith (not a Hebrew) from Cordoba by the name of Abu Ayyub Ibn Gabirut “or Gabirol” (aka Avicebron: 1022-70). [47] Other great Andalusian Arabs of Jewish faith may include such scholars as the philosopher/poet Abu Haroon Moussa (aka Moses Ibn Ezra: 1060-1139), and the philosopher/physician Abu Imran Moussa Ibn Maymun (aka Moses Maimonides: 1135-1204), the personal physician of the great Salah ad-Din (rahimahullah) who liberated Palestine from the Crusaders.

10

Geography

Many Arabs and Muslims made valuable contributions in the field of geography. Abu al-Hasan al-Mas’udi of the Abbasid era (died 956) – a geographer, historian, and traveler – was the author of more than twenty major voluminous works many of which were translated into Latin. He was the first Arab to combine history and scientific geography in his widely acclaimed historical-geographical encyclopedia, The Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems. Al-Mas’udi’s encyclopedia was one of the finest and richest medieval sources not only in geography but also of geographical and anthropological information. Al-Mas’udi also wrote another 30-volume encyclopedia on world history entitled Akhbar az-Zaman (“The History of Time”).

image

Image: al-Idrisi’s map

The Arabs who occupied Sicily, prior to its occupation by the Normans (Vikings) in the 11th century, made it major center of Arab sciences. Even during the occupation by the Norman Kings, Sicilian coins were minted with Arabic inscriptions and Islamic dates; many of the Sicilian records including those of the courts were written in Arabic; and it was also fashionable for Christian Sicilians to dress like Arabs and to speak Arabic. [48] When the Christian Norman King Roger II of Sicily (1130-54) needed a compendium of the then known world, he entrusted no other geographer in the world except a Moroccan descendant of Prophet Mohammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) by the name of al-Sharif Abu Abdullah al-Idrisi (1100-1166), the greatest of all Arab geographers. Al-Idrisi produced for King Roger II not only a brilliant construction of a celestial sphere but also a disk-shaped map of the known world (i.e., the world’s Eastern Hemisphere), both of which were made of solid silver. The silver map, which was one of seventy accurate maps he produced, was based on his encyclopedic work, The Book of Roger, translated into Latin in Paris in 1619. After the death of King Roger II, al-Idrisi stayed on at the court in Palermo and wrote, for his son King William I, another geographical treatise, The Garden of Civilization and the Amusement of the Soul. [49] Al-Idrisi also wrote one of the greatest works of medieval geography, The Pleasure Excursion of One Who is Eager to Traverse the Regions of the World.

However, in the area of travelling and exploration no Arab geographer achieved the fame of the legendary Moroccan Mohammad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Battutah (1304-1369). Ibn Battutah documented his famous travels that covered over 75,000 miles in 28 years throughout Africa, Arabia, Persia, India and China. In addition, the Arab geographer Hassan al-Wazzan (aka Leo Africanus: 1485-1554) produced a major work titled, A Geographical Historie of Africa, which was translated into Latin around 1600 and subsequently appeared in 14 different editions. This scholarly work by al-Wazzan served Europe almost up to the modern times as its main source of knowledge on Africa. [50]

11

Sociology

The Arab legendary Abdulrahman Ibn Khaldun, sociologist and philosopher of history (1332-1406) from Tunis, was an amazingly original genius. He was the world’s first historian to develop and explicate the general laws that govern the rise and decline of civilizations. Ibn Khaldun wrote many books the most important of which is his brilliant seven-volume encyclopedia on history and societies. This encyclopedia’s first volume is entitled al-Muqaddimah (“Introduction”), which gives a profound and detailed analysis of human society and its cultural components. In it he fathered the sciences of sociology, economics, anthropology, and political science.

Ibn Khaldun’s greatest contribution to human civilization is found in his “positive” philosophy of history and social evolution. It is to him that we owe the systematic elaboration of a full-fledge theory of sociological determinism. Ibn Khaldun’s study of the nature of society and social change, as well as his deference to empiricism in general, enabled him to develop “the science of civilization” which he clearly saw as a new science. It was a totally new science without any parallel in the history of ancient and medieval thoughts. Indeed, Ibn Khaldun had founded the discipline of Sociology over 4 centuries before the French Auguste Comte (1798-1857) who is credited in the West with its establishment.

Ibn Khaldun called his new science Ilm al-Umran (“the science of culture”), which he defined as: “This science … has its own subject, viz., human society, and its own problems, viz., the social transformations that succeed each other in the nature of society.” [51]

Robert Flint once eulogized Ibn Khaldun as follows: “As a theorist on history he has no equal in any age or country until Vico [the great Italian philosopher of history Giambattista Vico: 1668-1744] appeared, more than three hundred years later. Plato, Aristotle and Augustine were not his peers…” [52] The great 20th-century British historian Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) stated that Ibn Khaldun has founded: “a philosophy of history which is undoubtedly the greatest work of its kind that has ever yet been created by any mind in any time or place.” [53]

12

Literature

Not only did the West learn from the Arabs the arts of making paper books, as indicated earlier, but also the typically beautiful Arab art of leather binding with its luxurious ornamentation in “gold tooling” and its flap that folds over to protect the front edges of a book. [54] In addition to the thousands of Arabic words that entered the various Western languages, especially Spanish and Portuguese, the rich Arabic literature itself has left some of its general imprints upon Western literature.

Among the great works of Arabic literature that have impacted the West is the multi-volume Alf Laylah wa Laylah (“The Thousand and One Nights” or “The Arabian Nights”) from the golden Abbasid era which is composed of a large collection of famous Arab entertaining stories narrated by queen Scheherazad to her husband Scheherayar. These include such famous legends as “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp”, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, and “The Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor”. The Arabian Nights was translated early in the 18th century into many Western languages and immediately introduced a distinct new element to Western fiction writing. For example, “The Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor” became an inspiration for Gulliver’s Travels published in 1726 by the Irish author Jonathan Swift. The Arabian Nights was also a source of inspiration for many other Western writers and poets. These include: the French writer Voltaire (1694-1778) who modeled his famous work Zadiq on it; the English Samuel Johnson (1709-84) who was influenced by it in his Rasselas; the English poet George Gordon Byron (1788-1824); the English poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850); and the Argentinean poet Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). [55]

In fact, the influence of Arabic literature on Europe was so pervasive and widespread that we find echoes of it in the Grail-saga, in the old French romance Floire et Blanchefleur; in the allied German Rolandslied and the French Chanson de Rolandl and in the more famous Aucassin et Nicolette, the name of whose male hero derives from the Arab name Qasim. Obviously, both the oriental tales in Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron and Geoffrey Chaucer’s Squieres Tale are of Arab origin. Also, the Arabic apologies came to play an important role in medieval and later Western literature, especially the Spanish and Portuguese literatures. For example, Arabic influence is very clear on Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote published in 1605. [56]

The two best-known Arab characters in English literature are found in William Shakespeare’s Othello and The Merchant of Venice. While Othello is an Arab with all the pride, passion, and nobility of his own cultural identity, the Prince of Morocco, in The Merchant of Venice, is an Arab with a high distinction of soul and appearance hardly matched by the Western characters against whom he was pitted. [57]

Moreover, Professor H. A. R. Gibb indicated that Arabic poetry contributed in some measure to the rise of the new poetry of Europe [58], especially the Provencal troubadours whose poetry and music owed so much to the Arabs. Arab poetry was cultivated in the court of Alfonso the Wise of Castille and of the Norman kings and of Frederick II of Sicily. The Arab poet Shushtari provided literary themes to many Western writers such as St. John of the Cross and Ramon Lull. The Arabic poetry of ghazal (“love and romance”), especially as reflected in the idealized legendary love passion of Qays and Layla, left a profound mark on the Western love lyrics of many European writers such as the French communist poet Louis Aragon (1897-1982). [59]

Also, the love traditions of Jamil and Umar made their way into the French Provencal courtly love whereby the Arabic word TaRiBa became TRoBar and TRouBadour. The great Arabic literature of the genius Abu Mohammad Ibn Hazm of Cordoba (994-1064), especially his chivalric love in Dove’s Necklace, deeply influenced the French writer Andre Le Chapelain’s The Art of Courtly Love, published in 1185. [60]

In fact, we find Arabic and Islamic influences and elements in the works of many other and more recent European authors and poets such as in the English author William Beckford’s (1760-1844) Vathek, published in 1786; in the English author Daniel Defoe’s (1660-1731) Robinson Crusoe, whose inspiration clearly came from the beautiful Arab novel Hayy Ibn Yaqzan (“Living, Son of Awake”) written by the great Arab Andalusian philosopher/physician Mohammad Ibn Tufayl (1109-85); in the German poet Johann Goethe’s (1749-1832) West-ostlicher Divan, published in 1819; and in the works of other great German poets of the 19th century such as August Platen (1796-1835) and Friedrich Ruckert (1788-1866). [61]

13

Music

Even though orthodox Islam does not approve of music, it was with the advent of Islamic pseudo-mysticism, such as Pseudo-Sufism, that the Arabs and Muslims began to develop a great deal of musical art, especially for religious observation. A talented Arab musician by the name of Zaryab (died 850), who moved from Baghdad to settle in Andalusia, established Europe’s first conservatory in Cordoba. Zaryab became a great singer, lute player, and music teacher. The influence of the Arab music on European music can also be found in the musical instruments the Arabs invented and/or introduced to the West. For example, in 942, the Arabs introduced kettledrums and trumpets to Europe.

In fact, the West did not only adopt Arab musical instruments but also took their names as well. These include such instruments as the lute (al-ude), pandore (tanbur), and guitar (qitara). [62] The origins of many other Western musical instruments, such as the oboe, trumpet, violin, harp and percussion instruments, can also be traced to Arab Spain.

In addition, the Arabs and Muslims produced a large amount of literature on music, mostly of scientific nature. For example, the great Arab philosopher/mathematician Abu Yousif al-Kindi (801-873), known as “the philosopher of the Arabs”, wrote important works on the theory of music, including more than 270 works on different musical subjects many of which were translated into Latin. Others who also wrote in Arabic on music include the great Turkish al-Farabi and the  Persian Ibn Sina. Actually, al-Farabi’s Grand Book on Music in Arabic was superior to anything produced anywhere at the time. The Arab and Muslim writers on music not only influenced the West, but also Africa, India, and the Far East. [63]

After the 12th century few of the Western authors, from the Spanish Domingo Gundisalvo to the Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Kilwardy, Lull, George Reish, and Adam de Fulda, omitted to quote from al-Farabi’s musical writings in Latin translations, especially his De Ortu Scientiarum and De Scientiis. Both Roger Bacon and Adelard de Bath, of the 12th century, advised their fans and followers to abandon their Western schools for those of the Arabs. [64]

Another major Arab contribution to Western music was the mensural music and rhythmic modes such as the famous and beautiful Andalusian Arab Muwashshahat, strophic poems performed with music. Arab music was spread all over Europe through the wondering medieval minstrels, echoes of whose music have survived for hundreds of years in Gypsy music. Many Arab musical terms are still used today in Spanish such as huda, nourisca, zamra, and zarabanda. In fact, not only the famous Spanish flamenco music and dance originally came from the Arab music of Andalusia, but also even the English Morris dancers were deeply influenced by Arab music. Actually the word Morris means Moorish or Arab. [65]

There are many outstanding Western musicians and composers, from the 19th and 20th centuries, who found inspiration in Arab music and were influenced by it. These include four French: Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), Charles Saint-Saens (1835-1921), Jules Massenet (1842-1912), and Claude Debussy (1862-1918); one French-Belgian: Cesar Franck (1822-1890); four Russians: Aleksander Borodin (1833-1887), Mily Balakirev (1837-1910), Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881), and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) who composed the famous symphonic suite Scheherazad in 1888; and two Spanish: Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909) especially in his musical production Alhambra, and Enrique Granados (1867-1916), especially in his songs Chansons Arabes and Mauresques. [66]

14

Art

Because Islam forbids the portrayal of human figures and animals (for man must not compete with God who alone has the power to create), Arab civilization produced not only the beautiful and distinguished artistic forms of Arabic calligraphy, but also the famous “arabesque”, a unique stylish form of Arab art.

Arabesque is a most perfect style of decoration characterized by an elaborate interlocking plants and abstract curvilinear motifs as well as intricate geometrical designs. Because it represents visual art in its purest form, arabesque was copied throughout Europe from the time of the Renaissance and up to the 19th century. European artists used arabesque, as the Arabs did, for the decoration of walls and ceilings; plaster panels; woodcarving; metalwork; pottery; textile; furniture; and illuminated manuscripts. In fact, the Italian Renaissance used the term “arabesque” to mean intricate design.

European artists, particularly in Spain and Portugal eagerly adopted the famous Arab art of using the alphabet letters for purely decorative purposes, calligraphy. The European Gothic script was used in the same fashion as Arabic calligraphy. Sometimes Christian art itself used the actual Arabic letters as a form of decoration. For example, Arabic artistic writing in Western art could be found in the paintings of the following three great Italian painters: Giotto Di Bondone (1266-1337), Fra Angelico (1400-1455), and Fra Lippi (1406-1469). In Lippi’s great painting of the “Coronation of the Virgin”, housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, the yard-long scarf held by the angels has Arabic words written all over it.

The Andalusian Arabs introduced to the West many beautiful artistically handcrafted industries such as the unique Arabian jewelry; the manufacture and painting of ceramics, including tiles; and the manufacture of crystal, a process discovered by the Arabs in Cordoba in the second half of the 9th century. [67] Also, an 11th century Spanish Catholic prince by the name of Alfonso VIII ordered the minting of a decorative coin in which not only the inscriptions were written in Arabic, but also he referred to himself on the coin as the “Ameer of the Catholics” and the Pope in Rome as the “Imam of the Church of Christ”. [68]

During the Renaissance, Arabian turbans and other articles of Arab apparel appeared in many Western paintings, some of which even displayed Christian Saints looking like Arab and Muslim notables. [69] Arab artistic influence could also be easily seen as late as the 19th century in the great paintings of the French Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) who lived in Arab North Africa and was influenced by his experiences there.

In reality, the beautiful Arabian textiles; silk; damasks; inlaid tables; wood carving; colored glass wares; lamps; bottles; enamelled glass; beakers; metal and leather works; book-binding; and decorative colored glazed pottery were all considered great objets d’art throughout Europe. They were copied and sometimes poorly imitated by European artists, especially in Italy. Also, what was identified in Europe as the “Chinese Blue” pottery, which was copied especially in Holland and Denmark, was in reality the Islamic pottery known in China as the “Mohammadan Blue” which the Chinese potters themselves had learned from the Arabs. Further, at the Canterbury Cathedral, the mother-church of English Protestantism, the artistically made 13th century Arabian silk bags were used to hold the seals of documents. [70]

15

Architecture

The style of Arab architecture was popular in the West and was copied by both European and American builders. Both the plain Andalusian horseshoe arch and the more complex cupsed arches of the mosques of Cordoba and Samarra in Iraq as well as at those of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, served as models for many arches in Perpendicular and Gothic churches in England and France.

The beautiful Arab brick tracery of the facades of both the well-known Islamic Giralda Tower in Seville, as well that of its sister-minaret, the Kutubia in Morocco, were copied with some minor variation in much of Gothic tracery throughout Europe, especially on the Bell Tower at Evesham in England. [71] Many churches both in Sicily and Southern Italy have a deep Arab architectural influence such as the church of Capella Palatina in Palermo. The medallions of Christian saints that adorn its arches bear Arabic writings of the Kufic style. Many European arches and battlements, such as the Palazzo Ca’ d’Oro (one of the greatest of 15th century palaces in Venice), also reflect Arab architectural influence. The Italian cities of Siena and Florence provide the best available examples of the Arab architectural influence of alternating white and black marbles on the facade of churches. Other examples elsewhere include various churches and academic buildings in England, such as Cromer Church in Norfolk and Christ Hall in Oxford. [72]

However, the very best example of the profound impact of Arab architecture on the West is provided by the campanile that is nothing but a clear adaptation of the tall graceful slender minaret. This adaptation can be found in the campaniles of the Torre del Commune in Verona, the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, and the Piazza San Marco in Venice. [73] Arab architectural influence touched even the early American city architecture; especially those buildings designed by the great American architect Louis Sullivan (1856-1924), the spiritual father of modern U.S. architecture. In fact, the interest of American architects both in long ornamental friezes and in the severity of American exteriors is due to the influence of Arab monuments, especially those of the Madrasah (“religious school”) of Sultan Hasan in Cairo. [74]

IV

The Horrors of the Spanish Inquisition after the End of Arab Andalusian Civilization

In January 1492 Granada surrendered to the Christian Spanish forces of King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile. Although there was no final battle, but rather a final surrender, the Pope declared their victory to be a “holy war” – a crusade against Islam. Ironically, after almost 800 years of brilliant Arab civilization and presence in Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, the Christian Spaniards resorted back to the old Western uncivilized religious and racial intolerance. By brutal and barbaric acts of racism and religious intolerance, the Spanish “Christians” initiated the horribly violent Inquisition (or holocaust) against both Muslims and Jews whether they were Arab or not. The terrorist Inquisition in Spain, which was officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church and the Papacy in Rome, was actually a continuation of the general European Inquisition against non-Christians, which started some 200 years earlier during the violent European Crusades against the Arabs and Muslims of the East. In fact, the barbaric European Inquisition that started with the beginning of the Crusades in Toulouse, France, in 1229 continued for over 600 years all over Europe. This Western terrorism that included the horrors of witch-hunting and the killing and torturing of non-Christians and Christians, as well as the censoring of scientific ideas, finally came to an end in Spain in 1834.

The Spanish violent Inquisition of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries resulted in the widespread killing and burning of Jews and Muslims; their brutal torture and deportations from Spain; their denial to hold any public office whatsoever; and their forced conversion to Christianity. In fact, even those who had been forced to convert to Christianity (i. e., the “Moriscos”) were also expelled from Spain. In all, over three million Muslims were deported from Spain. [75] It was believed that all Hispanic names that ended with “ez” were originally Arab-Muslim families who were “converts” to Christianity and who fled the Spanish Inquisition to find new hopes in the New World. In fact, the voyages of Christopher Columbus (who was an inquisitor, a slave-owner, and a slave-trader) to the New World were financed with the revenues from the confiscated properties of Muslims and Jews who had been brutally deported from their homes in Spain. [76] Armand-Jean du Plessis (1585-1642), the famous French Cardinal and Duke of Richelieu – who served as the chief minister to the French King Louis XIII from 1624 to 1642 – described the expulsion of the Arabs and Muslims from Spain in his memoirs “as the most barbarous act in human history.” [77]

During the Spanish Inquisition, many Christians also resorted back to the old dirty European habit of avoiding washing their bodies with water, this time in order not to imitate the heretic expelled Muslim Arabs! After the “uncivilized” Arabs were expelled from Spain, all public baths were closed. The Spanish Christians rejected all forms of bathing, public or private, because they associated them with Islam and regarded them as “a mere cover for Mohammedan ritual and sexual promiscuity.” [78] In fact, even until today people throughout the “civilized” Western world, whether in Europe or in the Americas, still clean up with only toilet papers after using the toilet bowl, whereas all Arabs and Muslims have always used water to wash and clean up afterwards. In addition to the sudden disappearance of the virtues, such as personal and public hygiene, religious and racial tolerance, which the Arabs had introduced to the West, intellectual academic freedom in Spain also suffered a major setback. In 1499 in Granada the Spanish Cardinal and Grand Inquisitor, Francisco Jimenez (or Ximenes) de Cisneros (1436-1517), ordered the public burning of over 80,000 Arabic treasure books, and denounced Arabic as: “the language of a heretical and despised race.” [79] The Spanish Inquisition’s violent ethnic cleansing outlawed Muslims and Jews (Arab and non-Arab alike) from Spain until the 1890s.

However, not all Spanish people hated the Arabs. There were, and still are, many Spanish who were grateful to the Arabs, for their religious and racial tolerance, and for their wonderful civilization. The great Christian Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) once lamented the loss of Arab civilization and its religious and racial tolerance in his own country by writing: “It was a disastrous event, even though they say the opposite in schools. An admirable civilization and a poetry, architecture and delicacy unique in the world – all were lost…” [80]

***********************************
Notes:

1. For detailed information on Western “Orientalist scholars”, see Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, 1979).

2. Dirk Struik, “Multicluturalism and the History of Mathematics,” Monthly Review, 46, No. 10 (March, 1995), 30.

3. Ibid., p. 28.

4. Quoted in Rom Landau, Arab Contribution to Civilization (San Francisco: The American Academy of Asian Studies, 1958), p. 9.

5. Edward McNall Burns and Philip Lee Ralph, World Civilizations: From Ancient to Contemporary. Their History and Their Cultures, 2 volumes (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1964), p. 397.

6. Ibid., p. 398.

7. Ibid., pp. 398-99.

8. Amin Maalouf, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. Translated by Jon Rothschild (New York: Schocken Books, 1984), p. 54.

9. Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1991), p. 34.

10. Ibid., p. 34.

11. Bernard Lewis, The Arabs in History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 180.

12. Ibid., p. 181.

13. David E. Stannard, American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 58.

14. Catherine Young, An Introduction to Islamic History: A Teacher’s Resource Book Grades 7-12 (Fountain Valley, California: Council on Islamic Education, n.d.), p. 1 of the section on Spain.

15. Lewis, The Arabs, pp. 131-32.

16. Duncan Townson, Muslim Spain (Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, 1979), p. 24.

17. Ibid., p. 17.

18. Ibid., p. 19.

19. Mohammad T. Mehdi, Islam and Intolerance: A Reply to Salman Rushdie (New York: New World Press, 1989), p. 21.

20. Ibid., p. 61.

21. Clifford N. Anderson, The Fertile Crescent: Travels in the Ancient Footsteps of Ancient Science (Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Sylvester Press, 1972), p. 94.

22. Karl J. Smith, The Nature of Mathematics (5th ed.; Monterey, California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 1987), p. 176.

23. Abdelhamid I. Sabra, “The Exact Sciences,” in The Genius of Arab Civilization: Source of Renaissance, ed. by John R. Hayes (3rd ed.; New York: New York University Press, 1992), p. 186.

24. Landau, Arab Contribution, p. 36.

25. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1989, vol. 1, p. 962.

26. Landau, Arab Contribution, pp. 35-36.

27. Ibid., p. 37.

28. Paul Lund, “Science in Al-Andalus,” Aramco World Magazine (a Special Aramco Knoxville World’s Fair Issue, 1982?), p. 22.

29. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1989, vol. 6, p. 451.

30. Landau, Arab Contribution, pp. 50-51

31. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1989, vol. 5, p. 571.

32. Ibid., p. 571.

33. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 267.

34. Landau, Arab Contribution, pp. 46-47.

35. Hayes (ed.), The Genius of Arab Civilization, p. 226.

36. Quoted in Landau, Arab Contribution, pp. 42-43.

37. Ibid., pp. 47-49.

38. Sami K. Hamarneh, “The Life Sciences,” in Hayes, The Genius of Arab Civilization, p. 213.

39. Landau, Arab Contribution, p. 44.

40. Ibid., p. 49.

41. The entire section on “Zoology and Veterinary Medicine” is drawn from Hamarneh, “The Life Sciences”, p. 213.

42. Landau, Arab Contribution, pp. 52-53.

43. Hamarneh, “The Life Sciences”, p. 217.

44. Ibid., p. 217.

45. Landau, Arab Contribution, p. 24.

46. Mounah A. Khouri, “Literature,” in Hayes, The Genius of Arab Civilization, p. 66.

47. Landau, Arab Contribution, pp. 25-26.

48. Lewis, The Arabs, p. 130.

49. Hayes (ed.), The Genius of Arab Civilization, p. 266.

50. Landau, Arab Contribution, pp. 39-40.

51. Quoted in Encyclopedia Britannica, 1989, vol. 6, p. 222.

52. Quoted in ibid., p. 222.

53. Quoted in ibid., p. 222.

54. Landau, Arab Contribution, p. 58.

55. Khouri, “Literature”, p. 70.

56. Landau, Arab Contribution, p. 55-56.

57. Ibid., p. 57.

58. Cited in ibid., p. 55.

59. Khouri, “Literature”, p. 56.

60. Ibid., p. 67.

61. Landau, Arab Contribution, pp. 56-57.

62. Ibid., pp. 59-60.

63. Ibid., pp. 60-61.

64. Ibid., p. 61.

65. Ibid., pp. 61-62.

66. Ibid., p. 62.

67. Ragaei and Dorothea El Mallakh, “Trade and Commerce,” in Hayes, The Genius of Arab Civilization, p. 259.

68. Landau, Arab Contribution, p. 65.

69. Ibid., p. 65.

70. Ibid., pp. 66-67.

71. Ibid., p. 68.

72. Ibid., p. 68.

73. Ibid., pp. 68-69.

74. Oleg Grabar, “Architecture and Art,” in Hayes, The Genius of Arab Civilization, p. 112.

75. Audrey Shabbas, “Living History With a Medieval Banquet in the Alhambra Palace,” Social Studies Review, 34, No. 3 (Spring, 1996), 25.

76. Ibid., p. 25.

77. Quoted in Henry Kamen, The Spanish Inquisition (New York: The New American Library, 1965), p. 115.

78. Stannard, American Holocaust, p. 161.

79. Quoted in Desmond Stewart, Early Islam: Great Ages of Man (New York: Time Incorporated, 1967), p. 143.

80. Quoted in Shabbas, “Living History With a Medieval Banquet,” p. 25.

The Irrationality of Western Ideology and the Blind Faith of Muslim Modernists

By Abdullah Al Andalusi

The most important thing for a person who seeks truth is to remain objective and be skeptical of so-called ‘given truths’ – especially ideas that are in fashion in his/her day and age. In every age and time, there were always ideas that were fashionable, accepted as given, and taken for granted that they were true – but later rejected as false – even laughed at.

The best approach for the rational mind, is to withdraw oneself from the society and time period one inhabits and look at the ideas around oneself for what they are. Many thinkers and philosophers have done this and have written great books whose content mostly remains timeless. The reason for this, is that they have successfully removed themselves from their times and cultures and used their minds to assess the ideas based purely on their evidence and merit, and come to conclusions of truth, no matter how unpopular or odd they seem to their society at the time.

However, the one thing I’ve noticed, is that most people claim to be skeptical only to ideas they don’t like, or which is not in line with the accepted culture or fashion of their times. Many such people even claim that they are ‘rational’ and want people to ‘think for themselves’, but really they just want people to ‘think’ their way into conformity with popular trends and the dominant fashions.

I’ve always urged Muslims to be skeptical, even of their own beliefs, in order that they can reach certainty and depart from blindly following their parents religion and culture. But unfortunately there is another culture that influences some Muslims and is blindly followed by many of them due to their inability to detach themselves from their society and time and look at the world from a rational and detached perspective – the culture of Western Civilisation.

It is taken as ‘accepted’ in this day and age that religion is a retrograde force, and that only Secularism or Liberalism can bring progress. It is also accepted ‘wisdom’ that the development and technological progression of the West is due to their democratic systems of ruling, and their liberal secular values. The concept of ‘democracy’, ‘nationalism’, ‘feminism’, ‘secularism’ and [the Liberal conception of] ‘human rights’ is taken as given ‘truths’ to the degree that they have attained the level of an unquestioned religious dogma. Most people don’t know how to philosophically justify these ideas, or how they came about – all that people know is, ‘it’s the MODERN way to do things’.

However, just like the proverbial big elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring, these ideas lack any rational justification or intellectual basis. For example, Democracy is impossible, people will always be ruled by one leader or small group of leaders – usually the elites of their society. This was something both Plato, and the classical Muslim philosopher Al Farabi realised and wrote about.

Nationalism cannot be justified, as there is no clear way to delineate one nation from another [is it common language? Then is USA, Australia and South Africa all one nation?]. Secondly, why should humans be separated and discriminated into categories that should hold no moral difference or division??

Feminism cannot be rationally justified either, as basing rights on gender is either arbitrary and unholistic at best, or elitist and sectarian at worst (if men are not also considered equally in the equation). If men and women should be exactly equal in everything, as Feminism claims, then why not egalitarianism instead of feminism??

Secularism cannot be rationally justified, because in essence it posits the absurd notion that man’s purpose in life should be separate from man’s affairs in life. Secularism then results in a materialistic re-interpretation of man’s purpose of life, and the imposition of this purpose in place of a former non-materialistic purpose – with no conclusive reason why one is superior to another. Secularism then naturally ends up being non-neutral to this central question of human purpose, while fooling the people as pretending to be neutral!

‘Human rights’ [as understood by Liberalism] are arbitrary, prone to change depending on society’s current tastes at any given point in time, and lacks any rational justification for where rights even come from in the first place. The irony of Liberalism is, while pretending to be materialistic, it borrowed a lot of its rights from Christianity and theology (which is where the term ‘God given rights’ comes from) then quietly divorced from it later on when it wanted to claim ‘universality’ to the world. Consequently, ‘rights’ can’t be justified. For example, if humans have rights merely for being human, then why are criminals denied the ‘right to freedom’ when they are put in jails?? Surely they are still human, and therefore deserving of their full ‘human rights’? Apparently not.

However, the Modernist ‘Muslims’ doesn’t question these Western imports. They are perfectly happy to be skeptical against all Islamic laws, beliefs and traditions, but never to be skeptical on the Western ideas they blindly follow and adore. Modernists can only defend these borrowed Western ideas with emotional arguments, usually either brushing off the criticism as ‘just wrong’ or ‘out of kilter’ or claim the criticism is just ‘a strawman’ of their beliefs – without providing any evidence to show why its a strawman. I’ve yet to hear a rational argument from a modernist other than merely playing down criticism of Western ideas as merely ‘the ramblings of Islamist fundamentalism’ – which is the equivalent of the dismissive saying ‘you are just haters’.

This reveals something very interesting about the Modernist mindset. As the saying goes ‘you can’t reason someone out of something they weren’t reasoned into’, and the Modernist ‘Muslim’s’ blind faith in Western ideas is just that, an irrational dogma they’ve adopted blindly. But this leads us to the question ‘what made them believe these ideas in the first place??, why are they so alluring??’. The answer is quite simple, ‘might makes right’. The West, though declining, still retains a degree of cultural, technological, economic and military superiority over the Muslim world. The Muslim world, for reasons of social and historical circumstances is currently in a ignorant and declined state – it’s simply human nature for the weak to look up to the strong, just like the Barbarian tribes of europe looked up to Roman culture before and adopted their habits and language.

The are two main problems with this modernist logic. They have made two faulty assumptions, and this leads them to their error.

The first assumption is that Muslim decline is due to the ‘traditional Muslim understanding of Islam. This is easily refuted when we consider that during the first 500 years of ‘traditional Islam’ Muslims were technologically, militarily and economically the most advanced in the world – innovating many new technologies and expanding the boundaries of human knowledge. The fact that Muslims believed in hudud punishments, the traditional family, or wearing turbans and having beards didn’t limit their cultural advancement in the slightest. This demonstrates that the spirit of technological progress and knowledge development has NOTHING to do with the ‘traditional’ Islamic law system, and everything to do with the Muslim state of mind. Consequently, the main problem of the Muslim world is not getting rid of ‘medieval laws’ but to rediscover of the same spirit and state of mind that motivated our ancestors to advance in all spheres of life. The Islamic political system is not limited to only being implemented using medieval technology, but can be implemented using modern technology! Systems don’t change, technology changes. Democracy is 1000 years older than Islam, yet no one believes that implementing it will send people back to the age of wearing togas and worshipping Zeus! Political systems are timeless, because they merely describe a set of relationships between humans, not a technological tool or piece of equipment.

The second biggest assumption made by modernists, is that religion is a retrograde force, and that Western advancement , political stability and economic success is the result of leaving religion and implementation of democracy, liberalism, secularism and nationalism. However history begs to differ.

Christianity was never the reason for the European dark ages, but rather the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of barbarian tribes is the most glaringly obvious reason. Historians are generally agreed that the last great ancient, or classical period philosopher before the fall into the dark ages was the Christian thinker St Augustine! However, since Christianity can only exist in the minds of humans, if the humans carrying it are ignorant, shallow thinkers, then their understanding and practice of Christianity will also be ignorant and shallow. To believe the dark ages was the cause of the Catholic clergy’s behaviour during this period is to confuse the symptom with the problem.

For most of the last 500 years, technological advancement in the West started, and has mostly occurred, under highly religious non-democratic European monarchies and empires. The Liberal Democratic Europe we see today mostly emerged only in the last century! [1900-1999]. The vast majority of pioneering Western scientists were not Atheists, nor did they live under Secularism, but rather they were devout Catholics and even clergy (e.g. Roger Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Copernicus, Descartes, Pascal, Boyle and even the recent George Lemaitre, discoverer of the ‘big bang theory’…) or protestant Church (e.g. Newton) – and much scientific literature and almost ALL institutes of higher education and research were under patronage by the Catholic [and later Anglican] Church!

Economic success in the West started with colonialism (and continued with neo-colonialism to this day)- but now is seriously declining COINCIDENTALLY with the rise of countries powerful enough to be outside Western control (e.g. india, china, Iran, brazil etc).

As for political stability, it is mostly due to wealth – but even then people should check their history. Many Liberal and Secular countries today are not the result of an unbroken continued implementation of Liberalism, but rather many currently Liberal countries are the results of a second attempt to re-impose Liberalism after a previous attempt failed, which led to civil wars and the collapse into fascist or autocratic regimes (e.g. Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Japan, Greece etc…over the last 150 years). And the future looks like Liberalism is collapsing again in a number of Western countries, with fascism rising again ‘coincidentally’ as these same countries get poorer [recent example, Greece, Ukraine!].

What took the West out of the Dark Ages, was the change induced by their interaction with the medieval Islamic civilisation which developed a spirit and state of mind that led to the beginning of technological development and the advancement of human knowledge LONG before Liberalism, Secularism, Nationalism were invented [and Democracy re-implemented since Ancient Greek times]. These ideas did not begin the Western intellectual renaissance, but were rather the RECENT PRODUCTS of it [along with Communism and Fascism]. Oh how human memory is short to believe those ideas have existed since the beginning of Western development! If you could take a time machine and go back 100 years, you’d see a europe mostly NOT LIBERAL and 150 years back mostly not secular. Technically, UK is still not a Secular country! The head of state is the head of the national Church – a relic of the not-so-distant past).

In the end, Western development came from a state of mind and spirit, not from an ideology or set of ideas (just look at the modern example of China, a country fast outpacing USA in inventions and industry, despite being not Liberal and not Democratic!).

In contrast, the Arabs developed and advanced not when they removed religion from their life’s affairs (like the pagan Quraysh had been doing for centuries) but change only happened after they CONNECTED religion with their life’s affairs – Islam. It was only then that the Arabs then rose at an intellectually and technologically alarming rate, eventually surpassing all the empires around them in achievements.

What changed the Arabs was not contact with another civilisation, but rather the introduction of Islam – which spread beyond the Arabs, creating a new ‘nation’ (the Muslim Ummah) and assimilation different races and cultures into itself. The ideal that spurred the early Muslims to excel in civilisation, and to expand human knowledge and condition, was the ideal of ihsan – the attainment of the perfection of the Worship of Allah Almighty. Unlike the secular understanding of this in the current Muslim dark age, the classical understanding of Ihsan was the perfection not just of praying, and dhikr, nor just morals and conduct, but the perfection of wisdom, knowledge of God’s creation [the universe] and the worship of him through the highest degree of philanthropy to our fellow human beings – creating hospitals, medicines, mental therapies, sewage systems, health care and technologies that provide ease. The obligation to prayer alone, viewed today as a purely private spiritual affair, created in the medieval Islamic world, the material and knowledge advancements in city planning, street lighting, acoustics, astronomy, navigation, water provision to cities, even domestic plumbing [yes, all that from just the Islamic obligation of the Salah!].

The task of the Muslim today, is not to change Islam in the hope of imitating the West’s current intellectual follies, but rather to recapture the state of mind and spirit that made our medieval ancestors excel in civilisation.

And to our Modernist friends, with the decline of the West, and the social, economic and political problems rising in its societies, perhaps we should ask them this searching question ‘why do you want to imitate the most recent ideas produced by a declining civilisation?’

Perhaps because love is blind…

The Crusades: Its continuation by the West till the present day

What were the Crusades??

The Crusades were fought during the middle ages by the Catholic Church in western Europe against heretics or in other words, Muslims because their belief differed from that of the official church. The first Crusades was launched by Pope Orban the second in 1095. This was the longest and largest Crusade of the Christian church and lasted for over 200 years, It was fought in the Middle East against Muslims and Islam. The apparent aim was to take the holy land of Palestine which was revered by Christians and was a place of pilgrimage for them. The Pope claimed that the land was controlled by Infidels’, which is what they called the Muslims. But the more implicit political agenda was to militarily attack the ever expanding Islamic territory, due to fear and horror that Islam may eventually enter Europe. It had already reached the gates of Vienna and France, so the Church inevitably felt threatened.

Crusade Fever

During the Middle Ages Europe was a feudal society controlled by the monarchy, clergy and ‘knights’. The church in Europe at this time had the upmost authority, the Pope being the head of the church had the most power and therefore he had political interest in society. The Crusades where part of the church’s wish to expand its empire. At the time of his call to destroy Islam in the Middle East, the Pope realised that the church’s political interests could be furthered as the Byzantine Empire (controlled by the Greek Orthodox Church) was requesting help against the Muslims, from Rome. If the Crusades where fought and won, it would mean geographical expansion of political power and authority for the Church.
The whole of Europe was gripped by “Crusade Fever “. The military venture was seen as a confrontation between the truth of Christianity against the supposedly demonic and ignorant face of Islam which had been painted by the church. This false propaganda on Islam Included attacking the authenticity of the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), who were both tagged imposters, sorcerery, satanic, evil, and pagan (Allah forbid). Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) was considered falsely painted as bad, extremist etc (Allah Forbid). From this wretched fabrication, the evil church concluded that all Muslims were despotic and evil, to the extent where not only did they resemble beasts in their behavior, but also in their looks. So ridiculous were all these allegations, yet they were unquestioned and lapped up by the people, and added to the justification of attacking the Muslim world. These essentially became the roots of the long and continuing attack on Islam by the West, especially from its development into Orientalism. Years later, when the Crusades were subject of huge romanticisation, Chateaulri and would write about how the Crusades were the so-called
‘glorious Christian attempt to liberate the Muslims from the only thing they knew which is force.
This is ironically more accurate a picture of the Crusades rather than the Muslims.

The church had little worry of acquiring the military force that would be needed for the war; the religious hysteria which the church had evoked by using the above and similar depictions of Islam and the Muslims was enough to fund and haul support for the cause of the Crusades.

Additionally this was one of the first times in history when European countries successfully mobilised against a common enemy further strengthening the Christian position. Driven by the Church’s promise of eternal paradise and martyrdom, and seething, blind hatred for the ‘barbaric’ Muslims, a mass exodus of knights and peasants left Europe particularly from France, Germany and England, to conquer and ruthlessly kill the Muslims and take Jerusalem.

Muslims Divided

After three years of traveling, encountering Muslims and fighting, pillaging, raping, for example in Constantinople, the kuffar reached Jerusalem and took control. Why did they enjoy such a success?? This was due to the fact that the Muslims at the time were deeply divided as a result of the dispute over the Khilafah; there was a division between the Abbasid and Fatimid families. Palestine was the place where the conflict between the Muslims took place, making them weak and the land easy to occupy. After occupying Palestine, the kuffar founded new states which where called “Outremer” (a French word meaning overseas). A king was established in Jerusalem and military expansion occurred when more knights where recruited from Europe, such as the knights Templar. The Muslims closed off the north and Outremer became like a fortress. Anyone coming Into Outremer from Europe had to do so by the sea. Eventually the Templar Knights became rich and powerful and by 1187 they where the biggest land owners in the Middle East. However the Crusaders’ power could only be maintained while the Muslims remained divided, the policy they applied to achieve this was divide and rude.

Salah Ud-Din Ayyubi’s (rahimahullah) Rise to Power.
Amidst the turmoil, a strong group of Muslims arose to challenge and defeat the power of the Outremer. In 1144 a Muslim by the name of Zengi took control of Edessa the most northern of the Outremer states, his son Nur Ad Din also participated in the struggle against the evil crusaders and the weakness of their states became more evident. An officer of Nur AdDin, Salah Ud-Din Ayubi (rahimahullah) overthrew the Crusaders and united the Muslims. Salah Ud-Din (rahimahillah) overthrew the kuffar in many areas such as Damascus ( 1174 ) Aleppo ( 1183 ) and Mosud ( 1186 ), these areas surrounded the Outremer. Salah Ud-Din led an army against the Christians in Tiberias, the king of Jerusalem sent knights to attack the army but failed and the Muslims recaptured Jerusalem without killing a single person in the city.

The church in Europe was shocked at the fact that they had lost Jerusalem to the Muslims. The church started to organise a further Crusade and requested the assistance of European riders (or butchers) such as Frederick Barbarossa, the German Holy Roman Emperor who had taken part in the earlier Crusades Philip Augustus of France and (the barbaric) Richard 1 of England known as Richard the Lionheart, who was responsible for the massacre of Muslims at Acre. It was reported that the streets were covered with Muslim blood.

Nonetheless, the Crusaders failed to regain their previous stature and capture Jerusalem, and Salah Ud-Din maintained power.

The Decline

It became clear to the Crusaders after a long war which spanned generations that they where not a military match to the Muslims. European leaders left the Middle East after having their own power and authority threatened in their homelands, such as Richard 1 of England who left his brother John on the throne in England realizing that John was reluctant to hand the authority back. Military allies of the Pope lost confidence in the churches loyalty after the Greek Orthodox Church offered money to the church to help them place Alexius, son of the former emperor of Greece in power which meant they had double crossed the Greeks. After the murder of Alexius the Crusaders where sent to capture Byzantium instead. Byzantium later fell to Muslims in 1453. As we can see, the Crusaders had to cope with much political dissension and corruption on their own territory, which made it increasingly difficult to wage military campaigns against the Muslims as Islam was expanding at a rate which they could not stop, or where not willing to take on. More accurately, though victory is in the hands of Allah or He says:

We hurl the truth against the falsehood and it knocks out it’s brain and behold, the falsehood does perish.” (Quran 21:18)

Europe did gain many things as a result of the Crusades against Islam. As a result, Europe progressed materially, they advanced their knowledge in science, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, navigation and trade. Many new textiles such as silk reached Europe because of this new trade route established by the European presence in the Middle East, as well as spices and fruit. Many books where translated by Muslims from Arabic into Latin and used in European universities. This period in European history was called “The Enlightenment “.

Unfortunately for Europe they only took materially from the Muslims and not the complete Deen of Allah (SWT). The military Crusades where the beginning of the long attack against Islam in the west.

Today Europe relishes in the propaganda against Islam, creating myths and stereotypes and perpetuating them in order to create a climate of Islamophobia. Words like Saracens, barbaric and Infidels where created in the past to negatively and wrongly stereotype Muslims and today they have been replaced by words like Terrorist, Fundamentalist or Extremist as we often see in the western media.

The crusading continues but manifests differently today Allah (SWT ) says in the Qur’an:

“…Hatred is revealed by the utterance of their (the kuffar’s) mouth, but that which their breast hides is greater…” (Quran 3:118)

… and so Muslims must wake up and take responsibility of their situation and educate themselves in Islam, so that they do not feel apologetic about the slander and crusade against Islam, but can stand up and defeat it, like Salah Ud-Din (rahimahullah) and his army did. Islam is the Truth, we should take pride in that, and remember that the Truth will always prevail. over the falsehood, by the Will of Allah.

How the West Came to Dominate the World

In the 15th century, Christian Europeans began making oceanic voyages of discovery. Very quickly, these voyages led to the outright economic, political and religious domination of the globe. This domination lies at the heart of the problems facing Muslims today.

Why were Europeans the only ones to discover and conquer the world, notwithstanding the Church’s lie to them, that the earth was flat and if anyone sailed too far, they would fall into Hell! They were not only inward-looking, illiterate and misguided but oppressed by their clerics who victimised them through inquisitions, witch-hunts and charges of heresies. How was it possible for a society with such characteristics to even dream about discovering, and conquering the world??

The fact is, the very institution that misguided its followers, also sent them on a Naval Crusade in the guise of explorers, traders and colonialists.

Following the destruction of Baghdad in 1258 AD by Christian-backed Mongols, the remaining intellectual Islamic states were in Africa. Africa was home to several Islamic universities, namely Fez, Timbuktu, Jenne and Al-Azhar, with many faculties including Law, Medicine, Grammar, Building, Crafts, Manufacturing and Geography which attracted scholars from all over the Muslim world. Even though, two-thirds of the world’s supply of gold came from West Africa during the Middle Ages, more profit was made from the sale of books. Arabic was not only the language of religion and learning, but it was also the language of trade and commerce.

This is not surprising because Islam is a universal religion. Allah (swt) is the Lord of the East, and the West [73:9]. Furthermore, the Last Prophet (saw) was sent to the whole mankind, the Last Message had been delivered and Islam had been completed [5:4]. Muslims were inclined to practice trade, Dawah, Jihad, migration, etc.

In addition, Muslims were sailors, geographers, astronomers and scientists. For example, in 793 AD, Al-Biruni, an Afghan scientist in the Punjab had calculated the earth’s circumference and thus, Muslims had ascertained that the earth was round 700 years before the Europeans.

Unlike Christians, Muslims faced few obstacles in spreading Islam throughout the world. When the Church discovered that Muslims from West Africa were actually doing so, they launched the Naval Crusade and the brutal slavery of West Africans.

Many people are under the impression that the primary reason for these events was economics. History books have been written to openly talk about the evils of slavery, racism, economic exploitation, etc.. in order to hide the truth.

Prior to secularism, religion played a dominant role in all civilisations including the Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Europeans and Indians. In fact, it still does so right up to the present day. The concept of secularism is about 200 hundred years old. Thus, all historical events should be interpreted using the religious reference frame, and not the secular, economic, or even geo-political reference frame.

By critically analysing the Kuffar’s so called scholarly writings using the Islamic reference frame, we find that they shrewdly attempt to remove, hide or ridicule the role of Muslims in world history. However, they often reveal the very opposite of what was intended.

These history books supply the very evidence they thought to suppress or record significant facts of which they were ignorant.

Even Shaytan cannot write a book completely devoid of truth
In 1457, the Council of Cardinals met in Holland as a righteous and progressive idea, the enslavement of Africans for the purpose of their conversion to Christianity and exploitation in the labour market as chattel property. This devilish scheme quickly gained the sanctimonious blessing from the Pharaoh (Pope) and became a standard policy of the Catholic Church, and later of the Protestant churches.

A bull of Pharaoh Nicholas V instructed his followers to `attack, subject, and reduce to perpetual slavery the Saracens, Pagans and other enemies of Christ, southward from Cape Bojador and including all the coast of Guinea’.

Having launched inquisitions in France and Italy, the Church extended it to Spain in 1481 to kill or forcibly convert Muslims. On 2nd January 1492, the last Muslim foothold in Spain, Granada was invaded by Christian armies, thus ending about 700 years of Europe’s Islamic civilisation.

When Granada fell, the Spanish monarchy appointed Columbus a Genoese seafarer `to go by way of the West to India’. Columbus set sail in the name of the Trinity from the harbour of Palos on 3rd August 1492. He sailed down the West coast of Africa to some outlying islands, then straight across the Atlantic Ocean.

On the very first page of his diary, Columbus describes the humiliating end of the Muslims in Granada. He then goes on to state the objective of his journey to the lands of India to meet the Great Khan, who like his predecessors, had many times appealed to Rome to instruct him in Christianity, to combat the religion of ‘Mahomet’ and all idolatries and heresies.

He also wrote that he hopes in God to find gold mines and spices in great quantities that within three years, Spain would undertake and organise themselves to go to conquer the Holy Sepulchre, for all the wealth gained in the enterprise should be spent on the conquest of Jerusalem.

By 1500, a number of royal marriages took place linking the Spanish monarchy with that of Hapsburg possessions in Austria, Germany and Holland. Spain became a global empire, stretching from Vienna to Peru! Charles V, who held more than 60 royal titles declared: `in my realm the sun never sets’. The Church which often arranged these royal marriages began to think a universal Christian empire had at last been achieved.

The destruction of Al-Andalus was planned, to ensure that Muslims from Africa could not assist their co-religionists in Europe. With two year’s preparation and a papal bull, a Crusade was launched in 1415 against Ceduta, a Muslim stronghold and a trading centre on the African side opposite to Gibraltar. A well armed Portuguese Armada, supported by a contingent of English archers overwhelmed Ceduta within a day.

The Portuguese set out with the intention of uniting the Christian forces of Europe with those of Africa, namely Ethiopia in an all out war against the Muslims and to make their state into a vast African-Indian empire, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean and bigger than the continent of Europe. To achieve this the Church had given the Portuguese organisational skills and uninhibited aggressiveness to go forth to conquer and dominate.

The early Portuguese were not traders or private adventurers, but aggressors with a royal commission to conquer territory and promote the spread of Christianity.

In July 1497, Vasco Da Gama set sail from Lisbon. unlike previous Portuguese expeditions, Da Gama continued sailing further down the West coast of Africa and north along the East African coast. With the help of an Arab pilot borrowed from Malindi inmodern Kenya, Da Gama entered the IndOcean and arrived at Calicut in 1498.

A second expedition, consisting of thirteen ships and 1200 soldiers, under the command of Cabral, was despatched in 1500. The sum of his instructions was to begin with preaching, and, if that failed, to proceed to the sharp determination of the sword. On reaching Calicut, Cabral established factories in face of active hostility.

In 502 Da Gama sailed again to the East, with a fleet of twenty vessels and thus began the Crusade, Christianisation, conquest, and `commerce’ of Africa and India.

Once Spain and Portugal had been used to establish strategic bases and ports in the Americas, Africa, India and South-East Asia to contain the spread of Islam, skilled and educated Europeans were then needed to hold and expand the frontiers of newly acquired territories and `administer’ the resources in these lands, on a scale never seen in history. Their aim was to ensure the social, economic, political, technological, military and spiritual domination of the world by the West to this very day.

To achieve this, the Church created, financed and organised a New Order, in which religious reformation, scientific and economic revolution simultaneously took place, namely Protestantism, modern science and capitalism respectively. The result of this New Order was the displacement of Catholic Spain and Portugal by Protestant France, Holland, Germany, Britain, etc.

However, the foreign policy of the `enlightened and progressive’ Protestants was exactly the same as the Catholics, namely the slavery, genocide, theft, Christianisation of non-white, non-Western, non-Christian people, but at increased levels of magnitude and efficiency.

Now, educated Europeans could design and build machines, fight wars using mechanised armaments, obey complex orders given by factory managers and military leaders; seize and `cultivate’ resources including people (slavery) and commodities (colonialism), and distribute them around the world as inputs to the factories of the Industrial Revolution or as finished products to the colonies. The globalisation of trade in `stolen goods’ was sanitised by the term, Capitalism.

The trade was financed by the largest owners of capital, namely the Church and Jews, underpinned by usury, sanitised by the term, ‘interest’. As Catholics were taught that indulging in usury was akin to sodomy, the Protestant order was taught no such thing, thereby enabling its global implementation and thus causing so much misery for the masses today. Little wonder that the capitalistic theories of Adam Smith -a Jew- are still popular under neo-colonialism.

When King Henry VIII broke away from the Church, he started building Britain’s first Navy. The Protestant British Empire was built on Naval power and ruled one quarter of the world. India was not the jewel in the Crown but the engine of the Empire providing men and materials for the Mother Country. One of the very last countries colonised by Britain was Palestine in 1917, when the British Army General entered Jerusalem declaring: `Today the Crusades have ended’. Soon after, the British Empire started to ‘unravel’ when nationalists from India demanded independence.

Palestine was colonised to protect the route to India. In 1947 Palestine was handed over to the Zionists. The never forgotten objective of the Church, the recapture of Palestine, had finally been achieved.

Having been previously expelled from European countries, the Jews returned under the New Secular Order, to dominate the socio-economic, political and foreign affairs of the Gentiles (non-Jew) by indirectly ruling the Church. In addition, two large Gothic Cathedrals were built, the House of Lords (for clergy, royalty, feudals) and House of Commons and a replica of St. Peter’s Basilica -the White House, from where `Democracy’ could be practised to freely and democratically elected secular Western governments to continue to fight Islam and Muslims and support the Zionist cause in Palestine in the 20th Century.

For the East, the Church created another Order using Jews like Karl Marx but based on extreme secularism (Communism) to conquer those countries with strong religious values like China and Africa. However, this Order, comparable in result to British Imperialism, ended in failure in Afghanistan

It is the same old Pharaohnic System that was behind the pagan Greek and Roman Empires, following the collapse of Ancient Egypt. The Greek and Roman religion was based on classical myths and legends.

Whatever mutations they go through: Pharaohnic, Greeco-Roman, Catholicism, Renaissance, Protestantism, Colonialism, Secularism, Democracy, Nationalism, Zionism, Communism, Cold War, New World Order, etc. it is still the same old battle between belief and disbelief. Each New Order strengthens them to fight Islam and prepares Palestine for their one-eyed leader.

The battle continues…