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Theme Changer

 Topic: The Golden Age of Islam and Islam

 (Read 17494 times)
  • 12 3 Next page « Previous thread | Next thread »
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     OP - September 11, 2014, 06:31 PM

    Thanks yeez for posting the link to Luxenbourg!

    I am wondering, actually, how important was the koran and Islam to the golden age?

    This is assumed, but what if everyone got on with their lives, did the rituals, genuflected as required and basically treated it as part of the background?

    Maybe all of this propaganda about an alleged golden age being caused by Islam is just propaganda.  What really happened was many highly intelligent people went somewhere with excellent resources?

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #1 - September 11, 2014, 07:51 PM

    Well they conquered the old centers of civilization, so they were the heirs of Hellenistic Thought. Of course it has nothing to do with the Quran, why would it?

    What exactly did the "Golden Age" bring anyway? Are there any great inventions from this period? I cannot think of anything that has not been debunked as a rip-off from an older period.

    I know they made some minor advances in Mathematics and Medicine, but what exactly were these?
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #2 - September 11, 2014, 08:07 PM

    Thanks yeez for posting the link to Luxenbourg!

    I am wondering, actually, how important was the koran and Islam to the golden age?

    This is assumed, but what if everyone got on with their lives, did the rituals, genuflected as required and basically treated it as part of the background?

    Maybe all of this propaganda about an alleged golden age being caused by Islam is just propaganda.  What really happened was many highly intelligent people went somewhere with excellent resources?

    I often say  to enrage Muslim intellectuals .,  "Advancement of medieval  science by individual Muslims who are born in Islam for no fault of their is in-spite of Islam but not because of Islam and nothing to do with Islam." ..

    anyways we have folders here in CEMB and there on that subject ..

    http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=24697.0
    The end of the Islamic Golden Age
    Islamic Golden Age etc split from Shit Muslims Say To Ex-Muslims

    anyways., this subject important and needs thorough investigation on individual basis not superficial words saying "Islam contribute this.. that and everything in that golden age"  let me  add some links here from Islamic intellectuals on that subject.. We need facts and open discussion

    1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilisation
    Mathematics in medieval Islam
    Astronomy in medieval Islam
    Medicine in the medieval Islamic world
    Physics in medieval Islam
    Alchemy and chemistry in medieval Islam
    Cosmology in medieval Islam
    Ophthalmology in medieval Islam
    Geography and cartography in medieval Islam
    Psychology in medieval Islam

    Quote
    Arab science in the golden age (750–1258 C.E.) and today The FASEB Journal vol. 20 no. 10 1581-1586 ., 2006

    Syed, I. B. () Islamic Medicine: 1000 years ahead of its times. Athar, S. eds. Islamic Medicine www.islam-usa.com/im4.html. Accessed January 12, 2006.

    . National Library of Medicine (1998) Medieval Islamic Medicine. Islamic Culture and the Medical Arts www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/islamic_medical/islamic_02.html. Accessed January 12, 2006.

     Oswego City School District Regents Exam Prep Center () Golden Age of Islam www.regentsprep.org/Regents/global/themes/goldenages/islam.cfm. Accessed January 12, 2006.

    Haddad, F. S. (1993) Arab contribution to medicine. Bull. Soc. Liban. Hist. Med. 1,21-33

     Horace Mann Academic Middle School () Science and Culture in Medieval Islamic Cultures: Part 1 www.sfusd.k12.ca.us/schwww/sch618/ScienceMath/Science_and_Math.html. Accessed on January 6, 2006

     IslamiCity.com () The Golden Age. Islam and Islamic History in Arabia and The Middle East

    www.islamicity.com/mosque/ihame/sec7.htm. Accessed January 6, 2006.

    Haddad, F.S. (1993) Pioneers of Arabian medicine. Bull. Soc. Liban. Hist. Med. 3,74-83

    Ead, H. A. eds. History of Islamic Science 2 www.levity.com/alchemy/islam13.html. Accessed January 11, 2006.

     Horace Mann Academic Middle School () Science and Culture in Medieval Islamic Cultures: Part 4 www.sfusd.k12.ca.us/schwww/sch618/ScienceMath/Science_and_Math.html. Accessed on January 6, 2006


    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #3 - September 11, 2014, 08:27 PM

    Academic Sources for 1001inventions of medieval Islam

    Awesome Facts for Muslim  Teachers Muslim kids

    academic references for 1001inventions of medieval Islam

    Education Programme

    A brief debunking of a list of top 20 Muslim inventions

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #4 - September 11, 2014, 08:30 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqRqjzLCcqI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X2mKwDPIFU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCtjXpLyvxA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq4tJOjSFxQ




    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #5 - September 11, 2014, 08:53 PM

    I see the yeez train has arrived before me. The islamic 'golden age' is often idiotically exaggerated, simply to try and make Islam look better. It's not too unbelievable that there probably was a time of relative peace and fair scientific progress, but claims such as Al-Khwarizmi  'inventing' maths and other Muslim scientists succeeding at flight before any others etc. are simply false.

    أشهد أن لا إله
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #6 - September 12, 2014, 05:16 AM

    The sad thing is that Muslim intellectuals don't bother to critically analyse what made the Golden Age of Islam so productive. They end up saying this: lots of great stuff came out from that time, Islam was the dominant ideology, therefore Islam is great. It's lazy-ass revisionism at its worst.

    It ignores the efforts and insights of individuals and pins their achievements on some hazy concept of Islamic thought. Like the bloody Borg hive mind...

    I wonder how the political and religious climate shifted to a more dogmatic, autocratic one. Was it true that, other than paying the jizya tax, Christian and Jewish thinkers were free to do whatever they wanted in Golden Age Baghdad? Were Muslim atheists tolerated or did they keep their atheism hidden for fear of persecution? There's only so much Hellenistic philosophy you can spout before the authorities start noticing.
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #7 - September 12, 2014, 08:05 AM

    We also need comparisons.  How were China, India, Byzantium, Venice, Europe doing in this period.  My impression is pretty well - Alfred the Great...

    Has Islam always been a second division team that managed to get promoted for a couple of years when it had loads of foreign players?

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #8 - September 12, 2014, 09:48 AM

    Quote
    What Muslims were doing back then was still a medieval, pre-scientific intellectual enterprise. They never quite made the breakthrough, the scientific revolution, that took place in Europe.

    Today, it’s something of an impediment for the Muslim world to continually look back to the glories of the past and keep saying that the Islamic world used to be a world leader in science. This tends to obscure some very important differences between modern science and medieval thinking. They did some very interesting things in medicine and optics. But all of this was mixed in with astrology and alchemy and what today we would consider dead ends. This was not thinking of nature mechanistically, as happened in the scientific revolution in Europe, but in almost an occult sense.

    http://www.salon.com/2007/08/13/taner_edis/

    Did Al Farabi really invent sociology?
    There is a subtle campaign on Wikipedia to overstate the contribution of Islamic sages to scientific scholarship.
    James Hannam says that the facts should be sacred
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/5482023/did-al-farabi-really-invent-sociology/
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #9 - September 12, 2014, 10:12 AM

    I see the yeez train has arrived before me. The islamic 'golden age' is often idiotically exaggerated, simply to try and make Islam look better. It's not too unbelievable that there probably was a time of relative peace and fair scientific progress, but claims such as Al-Khwarizmi  'inventing' maths and other Muslim scientists succeeding at flight before any others etc. are simply false.


    not just overstated, but I find its projected as being supreme, rather than part of human civilisation. Its just a form of dawah in some cases, really crude, chauvinist dawah at that.

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #10 - September 12, 2014, 10:55 AM

    People who should know better like the president of the British Humanist Association are particularly important here.

    And the weird thing is Edward Said is an agnostic!

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #11 - September 12, 2014, 11:16 AM

    People who should know better like the president of the British Humanist Association are particularly important here.

    And the weird thing is Edward Said is an agnostic!

    well  Edward Said grew up Palestine  Christian home on top of that He was a left leaning guy., So he will be bit grumpy against Jewish State.  I still think he was a great guy.. but moi my interest is your OP this Golden goose of Islam that apparently  laid golden eggs in Science  during medieval times.  Now  I wonder whether any one of you have that book   i see at 1001inventions.com?


    What I want in this thread is complete list of those 1001 inventions from that book  by folks who happened to be Muslims during that Islamic Golden age between `~ mid-7th century to the mid-13th century ..

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #12 - September 12, 2014, 11:24 AM

    http://www.salon.com/2007/08/13/taner_edis/

    Did Al Farabi really invent sociology?
    There is a subtle campaign on Wikipedia to overstate the contribution of Islamic sages to scientific scholarship.
    James Hannam says that the facts should be sacred
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/5482023/did-al-farabi-really-invent-sociology/

    hello Pertinax., not read much from you so greetings and welcome to CEMB.,

    Well what is there to invent in sociology?    forget Al Farabi., I don't think any one invented anything in sociology., but that link of your post on that Turkish-American Physicist  Prof.   Taner Edis  interview   on   "The religious state of Islamic science " is important .. Thank you for that..

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #13 - September 14, 2014, 01:39 PM

    let us put some links here

    1001 Inventions The Legacy of Muslim Civilization ? -CEMB forum..

    Muslim Astronomers in the Islamic Golden Age by  Aigerim Korzhumbayeva

    Science and Math in Islamic Golden Age

    Arab science in the golden age (750–1258 C.E.) and today  by Matthew E. Falagas*,†,1,    Effie A. Zarkadoulia* and  George Samonis‡   The FASEB Journal vol. 20 no. 10 1581-1586., August 2006.

    well I still see no contribution of  Islam in that Golden Age.,  Thescriptural dictums of religion Islam—the blind-faith on Allah had no role and CONTRIBUTED TO NOTHING TO SO-CALLED ISLAMIC GOLDEN AGE..  It is foolish on the part of well educated Muslims of 21st century  to claim that  the so called ‘Islamic Golden Age is is due to Islam and they must realize that the contribution to science is actually by some Muslim-born freethinkers during the period of liberal freethinking Caliphs of Abbasid dynasty and NOT due to Islam but in fact it is  In-spite of Islam.

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #14 - September 14, 2014, 03:02 PM

    Quote
    500 BC
     Sakia
    Persian Water Wheel
    (Persian Water Wheel) The first use of what is now called a pump. This device was an endless series of pots on a rope which ran over two pulleys. The oxen-powered device powered a cogged wheel allowing the pots to enter the water supply, fill and then be raised and emptied. The Sakia was similar to the Noria except that it was powered by an external force rather than the flow of the river’s current.


    Quote
    250 BC
     Tambour
    Archimedes Screw
    While visiting Egypt the Greek scholar Archimedes created this device which consisted of a screw inside a hollow tube. The screw was turned and as the bottom end of the screw rotated, it scooped up water. The water traveled up the length of the screw until it poured out the top of the tube. Today the principal is used in transporting granular materials such as plastic granules used in injection molding and in moving cereal grains.
    500
     Windmills
    500 AD
    When the first use of a windmill occurred is unknown, although drawings of a water pumping windmill from Persia (current day Iran) exist. This design had vertical sails made of bundles of reeds or wood which attached to a central vertical shaft.


    This looks very similar to something allegedly invented under Islam 1500 years later!  Windmills have to use gearing!

    Quote
    Although credit is usually given to Leonardo da Vinci of Italy, Al Jazari was actually the first inventor to use hydraulics, gears and to study of the flow of fluids. He developed a suction pump that could draw water through a closed system, however the gear was probably Al Jazari’s most important invention. Constructed out of mulberry wood, the gears made it possible to alter the direction of motion and to attach other machinery to waterwheels. Al Jazari also created the first crank, a device that eventually evolved into a crank-connecting-rod system.


    Quote
    Gears are considered as one of the oldest piece of equipment known to mankind, so old in fact that their origin can be traced back to The Chinese South-Pointing Chariot in the 27th century B.C – a vehicle built on two wheels which bore a movable indicator that always pointed South no matter how the chariot turned. The chariot, allegedly designed by mechanical engineer Ma Jun, possessed rotating wheels that were mechanically geared to keep the indicator pointing in a southern direction without the use of magnets.

    The earliest description of gears was written in the 4th century B.C. by Aristotle. He wrote that the “direction of rotation is reversed when one gear wheel drives another gear wheel” (Hellenic World encyclopaedia). In the 3rd century B.C., various Greek Inventors used gears in water wheels and clocks, and sketches of various types of gears of around this time were found in Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks later on.

    For a long period after these discoveries, there were no major development concerning wheels until the 17th century, when the first attempts to provide constant velocity ratios (conjugate profiles) was recorded and there was mention of the utilization of the involute curve.



    http://www.ronsongears.com.au/a-brief-history-of-gears.php



    http://www.irrigationmuseum.org/exhibit2.aspx
    http://people.hofstra.edu/alan_j_singer/Docket/Acedemic_Freedom_Docket/19ScienceAndMathFromTheIslamicGoldenAge.pdf

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #15 - September 14, 2014, 03:25 PM

    Anyone want to do a detailed response to that 1001 thing and similar?  It is urgently needed.  I did not realise how misleading and cleverly written it is - for example Da Vinci did not invent much of the stuff he drew, he copied ancient manuscripts!

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #16 - September 14, 2014, 03:36 PM

    Anyone want to do a detailed response to that 1001 thing and similar?  It is urgently needed.  I did not realize how misleading and cleverly written it is - .................

    misleading is more appropriate,  it appears to be clever only  to those who do not want look in to it carefully

    Syed Kamran Mirza is shouting at the world on this for the past at least 8 years., The propaganda from well educated Muslims on this subject swamps people like  Kamran Mirza..  But eventually people will see the  truth ....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH595DMVs-E

    Greatest Inventions Of Muslim's || The Golden Age

    Jim Al-Khalili - Lessons from the past: science and rationalism in medieval Islam

    Islamic Golden Age - العصر الذهبي الأسلامي

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #17 - September 14, 2014, 05:40 PM

    Names and works of Known Medieval Scientist/discoverers   happened to be Muslims...



    Quote
    Jabir Ibn Haiyan (722 – 804):   Also known as Geber. The father of Arab chemistry known for his highly influential works on alchemy and metallurgy.  Abu Mūsā Jābir ibn Hayyān (Arabic: جابر بن حیان‎, Persian: جابرحیان‎, often given the nisbahs al-al-Bariqi, al-Azdi, al-Kufi, al-Tusi or al-Sufi; fl. c. 721 – c. 815),  also known as Geber, was a prominent Muslim polymath: a chemist and alchemist, astronomer and astrologer, engineer, geographer, philosopher, physicist, and pharmacist and physician. Born and educated in Tus, he later traveled to Kufa and his father came from Syria (bilad al-Sham) .

    Jabir was a natural philosopher who lived mostly in the 8th century; he was born in Tus, Khorasan, in Iran (Persia), then ruled by the Umayyad Caliphate. Jabir in the classical sources has been entitled differently as al-Azdi al-Barigi or al-Kufi or al-Tusi or al-Sufi.  There is a difference of opinion  as to whether he was a Persian from Khorasan who later went to Kufa or whether he was, as some have suggested, of Syrian origin and later lived in Persia and Iraq. His ethnic background is not clear, but most sources reference him as a Persian

    Quote
    Jābir professes to draw his inspiration from earlier writers, legendary and historic, on the subject. In his writings, Jābir pays tribute to Egyptian and Greek alchemists Zosimos, Democritus, Hermes Trismegistus, Agathodaimon, but also Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Pythagoras, and Socrates as well as the commentators Alexander of Aphrodisias Simplicius, Porphyry and others.  A huge pseudo-epigraphic literature of alchemical books was composed in Arabic, among which the names of Persian authors also appear like Jāmāsb, Ostanes, Mani, testifying that alchemy-like operations on metals and other substances were also practiced in Persia.





    Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi (780 – 850)

    Quote
    Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī  (Persian: عَبْدَالله مُحَمَّد بِن مُوسَى اَلْخْوَارِزْمِي‎), earlier transliterated as Algoritmi or Algaurizin, (c. 780 – c. 850) was a Persian ] mathematician, astronomer and geographer during the Abbasid Caliphate, a scholar in the House of Wisdom in Baghdad.

    Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was born in 780 CE at a place called Khwarizm which is a part of present day Khiva, Uzbekistan. Like many other thinkers and scientists of his time he also moved to Baghdad which was center of learning of science and philosophy in the middle ages. He studied the sciences and mathematics at House of Wisdom established by Khalifa Ma’mun, which included the translation of Greek and Sanskrit scientific manuscripts. He worked and lived in Baghdad where died in the year 850 CE.

    In the twelfth century, Latin translations of his work on the Indian numerals introduced the decimal positional number system to the Western world.  His Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing presented the first systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations in Arabic. In Renaissance Europe, he was considered the original inventor of algebra, although it is now known that his work is based on older Indian or Greek sources.  He revised Ptolemy's Geography and wrote on astronomy and astrology.

    http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=1929

    well you can read more at that link but., those who read Quran, hadith and life story of Prophet of Islam Muhammad  the basic ingredients of Islam must realize that, Science & Islam  or for that matter Science & any religion are fundamentally incompatible,.   Frankly speaking   THERE WERE NO MUSLIM SCIENTISTS IN THE HISTORY OF ISLAM. In the same way,  there were no Christian scientists., Jewish Scientists, Hindu scientists, Buddhist scientists. They were all rations thinkers/free thinkers exploring the science of their times with in their limitations.  In fact some of the names often  Islamic intellectuals  of 21st century hyphenate as Muslim Scientists may not even be Muslims but apostates of Islam..  such as  Avicenna (980-1037)  and Averroes (1126-1198),

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #18 - September 16, 2014, 11:00 AM

    Isaac Newton was a Christian but his own interpretation of the religion would have had him burned at the stake if he had been born a hundred years earlier. These "Muslim" scientists probably had the same heretical worldviews and it's to the credit of the Golden Age rulers and ulamas that scientists weren't persecuted for asking too many questions. At least not in the beginning... anyway, once zealots came to power and started putting Islam above reason, the centres of knowledge shifted to Renaissance Europe.

    As for those darn gears, 100 BC, geared computers, praise Zeus! We could have had steam driven computers in the Roman Empire if more devices like the Antikythera Mechanism had been built.



  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #19 - September 16, 2014, 04:02 PM



    This book, written by a Central Asia specialist, is worth a look:

    Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane

    According to the publishers...
    Quote
    In this sweeping and richly illustrated history, S. Frederick Starr tells the fascinating but largely unknown story of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment through the eventful lives and astonishing accomplishments of its greatest minds--remarkable figures who built a bridge to the modern world. Because nearly all of these figures wrote in Arabic, they were long assumed to have been Arabs. In fact, they were from Central Asia--drawn from the Persianate and Turkic peoples of a region that today extends from Kazakhstan southward through Afghanistan, and from the easternmost province of Iran through Xinjiang, China.

    Lost Enlightenment recounts how, between the years 800 and 1200, Central Asia led the world in trade and economic development, the size and sophistication of its cities, the refinement of its arts, and, above all, in the advancement of knowledge in many fields. Central Asians achieved signal breakthroughs in astronomy, mathematics, geology, medicine, chemistry, music, social science, philosophy, and theology, among other subjects. They gave algebra its name, calculated the earth's diameter with unprecedented precision, wrote the books that later defined European medicine, and penned some of the world's greatest poetry. One scholar, working in Afghanistan, even predicted the existence of North and South America--five centuries before Columbus. Rarely in history has a more impressive group of polymaths appeared at one place and time. No wonder that their writings influenced European culture from the time of St. Thomas Aquinas down to the scientific revolution, and had a similarly deep impact in India and much of Asia.

    Lost Enlightenment chronicles this forgotten age of achievement, seeks to explain its rise, and explores the competing theories about the cause of its eventual demise. Informed by the latest scholarship yet written in a lively and accessible style, this is a book that will surprise general readers and specialists alike.


    Here's Chapter One

    One thing that comes across from reading the book is that he sees all this as something coming out of Central Asian history and civilisation rather than specifically out of Islam.
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #20 - September 16, 2014, 04:13 PM

    Thanks Zeca, I wasn't aware that a book of this sort even existed.
    I have now ordered a copy.

    My mind runs, I can never catch it even if I get a head start.
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #21 - September 16, 2014, 04:19 PM

    Yes, it seems that a lot of the research on the area was done by Soviet scholars and archeologists, so there's a language barrier for anyone who does want to write about it. One reason, I guess, why a lot of the history has been ignored.

    Really it puts the role played by Islam into perspective. The area had its thinkers and scientists before Islam arrived, but they were writing in local languages and hardly anything survives. Many of the books and libraries were destroyed in the Arab invasions, and as Arabic became the new literary language any surviving manuscripts would have stopped being copied. Where texts do survive from the ancient world it's usually because people had a reason to keep on making copies, which in turn depended on having a language that survived through the centuries or millennia, Latin, Greek and Arabic being obvious examples.
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #22 - September 16, 2014, 04:55 PM

    It's a little known fact that virtually every one of the great Islamic scientists in the medieval era was a Persian.  Really it should be known as the Golden Age of Persia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_in_the_medieval_Islamic_world

    As Ibn Khaldun, the fourteenth-century Arab historiographer and sociologist suggests, it is a remarkable fact that with few exceptions, most Muslim scholars in the intellectual sciences were Ajams ("Persians"):

        "Thus the founders of grammar were Sibawaih and after him, al-Farisi and Az-Zajjaj. All of them were of Persian descent… they invented rules of (Arabic) grammar … great jurists were Persians … only the Persians engaged in the task of preserving knowledge and writing systematic scholarly works. Thus the truth of the statement of the prophet becomes apparent, 'If learning were suspended in the highest parts of heaven the Persians would attain it' … The intellectual sciences were also the preserve of the Persians, left alone by the Arabs, who did not cultivate them … as was the case with all crafts … This situation continued in the cities as long as the Persians and Persian countries, Iraq, Khorasan and Transoxiana [=modern Central Asia], retained their sedentary culture."
        —Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah,
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #23 - September 16, 2014, 05:03 PM

    Yes, always remembering that the 'Persians' here included people from Central Asia and Afghanistan, who spoke various languages, and not just from what is now modern Iran. I think this tends to get glossed over. Fred Starr has tried to change the perspective here though maybe he's making a bit of an artificial distinction between Central Asia and western Persia.
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #24 - September 16, 2014, 06:30 PM

    Agreed ... Persian is a very artificial category and I don't mean to suggest it was precisely defined much less that it refers to a specific ethnicity.  Really what you are talking about is the continued development of Sassanid Persia, now under Arab rule and theology.  The point is that the flowering of Islamic civilization was really an extension of the development of Sassanian Persian culture, itself a very sophisticated culture of Late Antiquity that drew from many different cultures around the region, rather than something that was uniquely Arab/Islamic.
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #25 - September 16, 2014, 07:10 PM

    Every era has its leaps in developed be it art, technology, etc. If one attaches a religion significance to an era of progress one must also use this same standard for eras of decline. This standard can also be applied to other eras using other religions. The 15-16th centuries were Christian, the 17-19th centuries theistic, deistic and atheistic, the modern era is non-religious. Religion may have inspired developments but it provided no methodology, standard or new information for these developments. There are other influences which have a greater impact on an era of development than religion.

    The whole argument is a fallacy of weak induction.
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #26 - September 16, 2014, 08:13 PM

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=0tVAE7bE_2sC&printsec=frontcover&dq=tom+holland&hl=en&sa=X&ei=UZcYVOLMH8-y7AbXwIH4Cg&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=tom%20holland&f=false

    Tom Holland Persian Fire

    OK this is up to the time of the Battle of Marathon, but remember, like Rome maybe it did not end to 1917.

    I think we all have a general issue about looking at things from the perspective we are used to.  Maybe Islam should be understood as the main religion of the Persian Empire, interestingly since the victory of the Persians over the arabs in the 750's.

    Maybe the Shia Sunni split is really one of empires - Persian against Arab.

    This alleged golden age of Islam is actually of a Persian Empire.

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #27 - September 16, 2014, 08:33 PM

    A little-known fact is that the earliest dated historical record of the name "Muhammad" is on *Persian* coins dated to 685 AD, issued shortly after Abd al Malik took over ruling the region.  Here it is:

    http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Coins/drachm1.html

    As Islamic Awareness correctly says, "This is the earliest occurance of the name "Muḥammad" in a dated Muslim text."  The Dome of the Rock was then erected by Abd al Malik 7 years later, 692 AD.  To my mind, this is when Islam as we know it truly began emerging as a distinct new religious faith.  Much of that faith was ironically created by Persians speculating about an imagined distant Arabian past that they actually knew very little about .... the guys who created the great classics of Arab linguistics were largely Persian, like Tabari, Sibawaih, trying to piece together what must have happened.
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #28 - September 16, 2014, 09:47 PM

    We also need comparisons.  How were China, India, Byzantium, Venice, Europe doing in this period.  My impression is pretty well - Alfred the Great...

    Has Islam always been a second division team that managed to get promoted for a couple of years when it had loads of foreign players?


    China had two golden ages. The cultural age of the Tang and the cosmopolitan age of the Song. India was also having a golden age in culture, philosophy and math.
  • The Golden Age of Islam and Islam
     Reply #29 - September 17, 2014, 07:52 AM

    Quote
    Much of that faith was ironically created by Persians speculating about an imagined distant Arabian past that they actually knew very little about .... the guys who created the great classics of Arab linguistics were largely Persian, like Tabari, Sibawaih, trying to piece together what must have happened.


    So Islam is actually made in Persia?  Maybe the Shias are the originals?

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
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