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The Muslim Foundation of the Renaissance .

 
 
Ahmad
 
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 12:38 am
The ISLAMIC FOUNDATION OF THE RENAISSANCE
Hugh Bibbs, B.A.

The scholasticism of medieval Catholic Europe, focussed entirely as it was upon ancient authority, was unable to inform scientific inquiry until the revolutionary libraries of Islam were made available to the Catholic world

All western advances in civil engineering, mathematics, chemistry, medicine and astronomy were founded upon the medieval sciences of Islam, which were themselves built upon the classical traditions lost to the west during the Germanic destruction of the Roman Empire.
This text clearly details the huge contribution of Islamic civilisation to the Later European Renaissance, and is an edited version of a paper once written for a university course. At that time, the professor examining the History of Science held that since any Islamic contribution to Western science was unknown to him it was therefore irrelevant to his subject, and he refused to read the paper. Comically, his subject dealt at length with the resistance of established authorities to the consideration of new ideas.
In any case, the author still holds to his own view that the massive contribution of medieval Islamic learning bears directly upon the history of western science, as upon the Renaissance itself.

Read the whole informative article here:

http://www.medievalhistory.net/islamica.htm
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 05:05 pm
Re: The Muslim Foundation of the Renaissance .
Ahmad wrote:
All western advances in civil engineering, mathematics, chemistry, medicine and astronomy were founded upon the medieval sciences of Islam, which were themselves built upon the classical traditions lost to the west during the Germanic destruction of the Roman Empire.

That is clearly not correct. Although it is an error to ignore Arab contributions to Western thought and science (Thomas Aquinas, for instance, was quite open about acknowledging Arab scholarship), it is just as erroneous to think that all classical knowledge was transmitted to the West via the Arabs.

The interesting question is why the West had a Renaissance in the 14th-15th centuries while the Muslim world didn't.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 05:30 pm
Ahmad, Id suggest that you read your own links carefully. The pre Islamic Arabs , a syncretist lot, borrowed much from the Greeks. They took the greek scholarship farther. Then with the Reconquest of Europe from islam , the Rennaissance was fueled. then, as Joe so correctly infers, the world of Islam goes into a long period of senescence , while the sciences matured into their modern versions.

I am thankful that Arab scholars did continue work in the basic sciences and math while western europe was digging in filth and basing its everyday lives upon church doctrine.
It sort of seems that the positions became reversed after the 15th century didnt they?.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 12:09 am
Conventionally, the Renaissance held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in classical learning and values - which certainly has been passed (partly) by Islam.

One - and that's at least in Europe important - part of Renaissance still to be seen, is art, btw.
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Ahmad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 12:16 am
Re: The Muslim Foundation of the Renaissance .
joefromchicago wrote:

That is clearly not correct.


Not correct according to who ? according to which scholar and to which school of thought ?

Quote:
Although it is an error to ignore Arab contributions to Western thought and science (Thomas Aquinas, for instance, was quite open about acknowledging Arab scholarship), it is just as erroneous to think that all classical knowledge was transmitted to the West via the Arabs.


Indeed, ''most'' calssical knowledge was given to the west via the Muslims ( not only the arab muslims ) here is what famous WESTERN scholars said about Muslim civilization (specially in Spain ) and its effects on the western renaissance:



"For nearly eight centuries, under the Mohamedan rule, Spain set all Europe a shining example of a civilized and enlightened state. Her fertile provinces rendered doubly prolific, by the industrious engineering skill of the conquerors bore fruit a hundredfold, cities innumerable sprang up in the rich valleys in the Guadalquivir and the Guadiana whose names, and names only commemorate the vanished glories of their past.
"...To Cordoba belong all the beauty and ornaments that delight the eye or dazzle the sight. Her long line of Sultans form her crown of glory; her necklace is strung with the pearls which her poets have gathered from the ocean of language; her dress is of the banners of learning, well-knit together by her men of science; and the masters of every art and industry are the hem of her garments.

"Art, literature and science prospered as they then prospered nowhere else in Europe...

"Mathematics, astronomy, botany, history, philosophy and jurisprudence were to be mastered in Spain, and Spain alone. Whatever makes a kingdom great and prosperous, whatever tends to refinement and civilization, was found in Muslim Spain...

"With Granada fell all Spain's greatness. For a brief while, indeed, the reflection of the Moorish splendour cast a borrowed light upon the history of the land which it had once warmed with its sunny radiance. The great epoch of Isabella, Charles V and Philip II, of Columbus, Cortes and Pizarro, shed a last halo about the dying monuments of a mighty state. When followed the abomination of dissolution, the rule of inquisition and the blackness of darkness in which Spain has been plunged ever since.

"In the land where science was once supreme, the Spanish doctors became noted for nothing but their ignorance and incapacity. The arts of Toledo and Almeria faded into insignificance.

"The land deprived of skillful irrigation of the Moors, grew improvished and neglected, the richest and most fertile valleys languished and were deserted, and most of the populous cities which had filled every district in Andalusia, fell into ruinous decay; and beggars, friars, and bandits took the place of scholars, merchants and knights. So low fell Spain when she had driven away the Moors. Such is the melancholy contrast offered by her history."



"And so vanquished for ever from the Spanish territory this brave, intelligent and enlightened people, who with their resolution and labour inspired life into the land, which the vain pride of the Goths condemned to sterility, and endowed it with prosperity and abundance and with innumerable canals, this people whose admirable courage was likewise, in happiness and adversity, a strong rampart to the throne of the Caliphs, whose genius, progress and study raised in its cities an internal edifice of light which sent its rays into Europe and inspired it with the passion of study, and whose magnanimous spirit tinted all its acts with an unrivalled colour of grandeur and nobility, and endowed it in the eyes of posterity with a sort of extraordinary greatness and charming colour of heroism which invokes the magical ages of Homer and which presents them to us in the garb of Greek half-gods.
"The Arabs suddenly appeared in Spain like a star which crosses through the air with its light, spreads its flames on the Horizon and then vanishes rapidly into naught. They appeared in Spain to fill her suddenly with their activity and the fruit of their genius, and endowed her with a glorious glamour which enveloped her from the Pyrenees to Gibraltar and from the oceans to the Barcelona. But a burning love for liberty and independance, a fickle character disposed to frivolty and merriness, neglect of old virtues, an unfortunate disposition of revolution, provoked always by an inflamed imagination, violent passions and ambitions, a spirit to dominate, and other factors of decay, worked in the course of time, to demolish this grand edifice raised by men like Tariq, 'Abdul Rahman al-Nasir, Muhammad ibn al-Ahmer, and led the Arabs to internal dissention, which sapped their power and pushed them to the abyss of naught.

"Millions of Moors quitted Spain carrying their property and arts - the patrimony of a state. What have the Spaniards created in their place? We could say nothing, but an eternal sorrow fills this land in which the gayest natures breathed before. Indeed there are some ruined monuments which still look upon these gloomy districts, but a real cry resounds from the depths of these monuments and ruins: honour and glory to the conquered Moor and decay and misery to the victorious Spaniard!"

Martin Hume in 'Spainish People'

"The Sultan Abd-er-Rahman was one of the Heaven-sent rulers of men. Prompt yet cautious in council and in war, unscrupulous, overbearing and proud, he was as ready to wreak terrible vengeance, as he was politic to forgive when it suited him. Berber and Yamanite alike acknowledged that at last they had found their master....He ruled until his death, in 788, with the tempered severity, wisdom, and justice which made his domain the best organized in Europe, and his capital the most splendid in the world."

S.P. Scott in 'The History of the Moorish Empire in Europe.'

"Yet there were knowledge and learning everywhere except in Catholic Europe. At a time when even kings could not read or write, a Moorish king had a private library of six hundred thousand books. At a time when ninety-nine percent of the Christian people were wholly illiterate, the Moorish city of Cordova had eight hundred public schools, and there was not a village within the limits of the empire where the blessings of education could not be enjoyed by the children of the most indigent peasant, ...and it was difficult to encounter even a Moorish peasant who could not read and write."

Dozy in 'The Moslems in Spain.'

"Cruel and fanatical, the Leonese rarely gave quarter; when they captured a town they usually put all the inhabitants to the sword. Tolerance such as that accorded by the Muslims to the Christians could not be expected of them."

H. Kamen, 'The Spanish Inquisition.'

"As a result of his (Cardinal Ximenes' coercive) endeavours, it is reported that on l8th December 1499 about three thousand Moors were baptized by him and a leading mosque in Granada was converted into a church. 'Converts' were encouraged to surrender their Islamic books, several thousands of which were destroyed by Ximenes in a public bonfire. A few rare books on medicine were kept aside for the University of Alcala...(Ximenes) claimed...the Moors had forfeited all their rights under the terms of capitulation (of Granada). They should therefore be given the choice between baptism and expulsion...At Andarax the principal mosque, in which the women and children had taken refuge, was blown up with gun-powder...all books in Arabic, especially the Qur'an, were collected to be burnt...Cardinal Ximenes:...was reported during his conversion campaign among the Granada Moors in 1500 to have burnt in the public square of Vivarrambla over 1,005,000 volumes including unique works of Moorish culture."

H.C. Lea, 'The Moriscos of Spain.'

"...that cemeteries could be established near the churches changed from mosques, but old Christians were not to be debarred from burial there if they wished....it continued until 1591 when it was ordered that they should be buried inside of the churches, which was so abhorrent to them that they vainly offered more than thirty thousand ducats if king or pope would allow them to be interred elsewhere, even though in dunghills.
"... tailors were not to make garments nor silver-smiths jewels after their (Moorish) fashion; their baths were prohibited; all births were to be watched by Christian midwives to see that no Moorish rites were performed; disarmament was to be enforced by a rigid inspection of licences; their doors were to be kept open on feast-days, Fridays, Saturdays, and during weddings, to see that Moorish rites were abandoned and Christian ones observed...no Moorish names were to be used and they were not to keep 'gacis' or unbaptised Moors either free or as slaves."

Quote:
The interesting question is why the West had a Renaissance in the 14th-15th centuries while the Muslim world didn't.


because we '' had'' our renaissance when Europe was still in the dark ages.
0 Replies
 
Ahmad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 12:28 am
farmerman wrote:
Ahmad, Id suggest that you read your own links carefully. The pre Islamic Arabs , a syncretist lot, borrowed much from the Greeks. They took the greek scholarship farther.


And where the Greeks got their knowledge from ? from the Ancient arabs who settled in the place where civilization started on this earth ( between Syria and Iraq ).

Quote:
Then with the Reconquest of Europe from islam , the Rennaissance was fueled. then, as Joe so correctly infers, the world of Islam goes into a long period of senescence , while the sciences matured into their modern versions.
I am thankful that Arab scholars did continue work in the basic sciences and math while western europe was digging in filth and basing its everyday lives upon church doctrine.
It sort of seems that the positions became reversed after the 15th century didnt they?


After the 15th century the muslim world led by the ottomans went into the defensive to keep the muslim world guarded against the emerging empires such as the british and the french.

It is this militarization of the muslim world that nearly stopped the muslim renaissance but it was very important step taken by the ottomans otherwise most of the muslim world would have been western colonies.

What we are seeing now is new Islamic awakning, the west is in decline ( low rates of birth, totall moral and social disintegration, ethical bankruptcy and violence ) I think the next century will be the century of Islam.

Sadly, I wont be able to live that long to see it.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 12:34 am
Could you please explain, what exactly was the Islamic renaissance during the European 'Dark Ages'? (You remember, when they started, do you? :wink: )

For centuries Islam fed Greek, Sanskrit and Chinese ideas into Europe, that's correct.
But following this, Isalm is the foundation of modern European times as well.
0 Replies
 
Ahmad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 01:12 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Could you please explain, what exactly was the Islamic renaissance during the European 'Dark Ages'? (You remember, when they started, do you?


Sure, I will give you one example from "The Day The Universe Changed," the historian James Burke describes how the typical European townspeople lived:

"The inhabitants threw all their refuse into the drains in the center of the narrow streets. The stench must have been overwhelming, though it appears to have gone virtually unnoticed. Mixed with excrement and urine would be the soiled reeds and straw used to cover the dirt floors. (p. 32)

At the same time, Muslim cities in Baghdad, Damascuss and Cordoba were let with candle lights, the streets were paved and most muslim cities has sanitation systems.

During the end of the first millennium, Muslim Cordova was the intellectual well from which European humanity came to drink. Students from France and England traveled there to sit at the feet of Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars, to learn philosophy, science and medicine (Digest, 1973, p. 622). In the great library of Cordova alone, there were some 600,000 manuscripts (Burke, 1978, p. 122).

At the same time, libraries were something not even heard of in the dark ages in Europe.

"Their society ( the muslim ) had become too sophisticated to be fanatical. Christians and Moslems, with Jews as their intermediaries and interpreters, lived side by side and fought, not each other, but other mixed communities." (Cleugh, 1953, p. 71)

At the same time, Europe was engaged in barbaric sadistic inter religious wars and feuds, not to forget the crusaders.

The first hospital ever built in the world was built in Baghdad in 706 AD. The Muslims also used camel caravans as mobile hospitals, which moved from place to place....at the same time, Europe was jailing its sick and turning to witchcraft for medicine !!

And many more examples.

Quote:
For centuries Islam fed Greek, Sanskrit and Chinese ideas into Europe, that's correct.
But following this, Isalm is the foundation of modern European times as well.


You see, some people attempt to margainalize muslim influence on europe can be easily exposed by historical facts from '' western sources'', please note, I did not post any muslim sources about the subject '' yet '' !

:wink:
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 09:00 am
Ahmad wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:

That is clearly not correct.


Not correct according to who ? according to which scholar and to which school of thought ?

I'm sorry, I don't have my library at hand, so I cannot readily access either my sources or my schools of thought. You can, however, be assured that the scholars I rely upon typically have more than a B.A.

Ahmad wrote:
Indeed, ''most'' calssical knowledge was given to the west via the Muslims ( not only the arab muslims ) here is what famous WESTERN scholars said about Muslim civilization (specially in Spain ) and its effects on the western renaissance:

Most of your quotations simply do not support your contention. The Lane-Pool quotation alone deals specifically with Moorish intellectual achievements, but it should be noted that Lane-Pool's scholarship has been severely questioned (I myself have never read his book, but I direct your attention to some of the reader comments at Amazon.com).

Ahmad wrote:
Quote:
The interesting question is why the West had a Renaissance in the 14th-15th centuries while the Muslim world didn't.


because we '' had'' our renaissance when Europe was still in the dark ages.

It has certainly become popular to describe practically any era marked by some sort of cultural or intellectual advance as a "Renaissance." Thus there is a smattering of Renaissances throughout European history -- or, rather, throughout European historiography. But your initial post, Ahmad, clearly did not have these other Renaissances in mind.

Specifically, you referred to the "Late European Renaissance." And it was to that "Renaissance" that I referred. If the Muslim world had anything comparable to the cultural and intellectual flowering of the 14th-15th centuries in the Dark Ages, then presumably the next question must be: why did Europe surpass the Muslim world when the latter had such an imposing head start?

Ahmad wrote:
You see, some people attempt to margainalize muslim influence on europe can be easily exposed by historical facts from '' western sources'', please note, I did not post any muslim sources about the subject '' yet '' !

As long as you don't count the aforementioned Stanley Lane-Poole, author of The Speeches and Table-Talk of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him)
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 10:36 am
The European Renaissance as a unified historical period ended with the fall of Rome in 1527.

However, Great works of art animated by the Renaissance spirit, however, continued to be made in northern Italy, middle and in northern Europe. (For instance the main objects of the so-called "Weser-Renaissance" are from middle/late 17th century.)



Joe

Since a couple of students wrote their BA-theses with themes given by me when I taught at university, I'm used to read such. :wink:
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 11:43 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Joe

Since a couple of students wrote their BA-theses with themes given by me when I taught at university, I'm used to read such. :wink:

As a holder of a B.A. in history, I'm familiar with writing such papers. That's why I don't put much faith in their trustworthiness.
0 Replies
 
Ahmad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2004 01:14 am
joefromchicago wrote:
I'm sorry, I don't have my library at hand, so I cannot readily access either my sources or my schools of thought. You can, however, be assured that the scholars I rely upon typically have more than a B.A.


You see, some orientalists try always to put down the muslim influence over Europe, they cant accept that Muslims were one time far more superior than the Europeans.

Those orientalists were exposed by the famous book written by Edward Saed called orientalism:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0141187425/guardianunlim-21/202-4380083-6913415

Quote:
Most of your quotations simply do not support your contention. The Lane-Pool quotation alone deals specifically with Moorish intellectual achievements, but it should be noted that Lane-Pool's scholarship has been severely questioned (I myself have never read his book, but I direct your attention to some of the


Perhaps you ought first to know by which mean the muslim civilization helped the renaissance, it is through MUSLIM SPAIN.

Also, you picked up lane pool only, what about others ? maybe their quotes dont suit your agenda ! :wink:

Quote:
It has certainly become popular to describe practically any era marked by some sort of cultural or intellectual advance as a "Renaissance." Thus there is a smattering of Renaissances throughout European history -- or, rather, throughout European historiography. But your initial post, Ahmad, clearly did not have these other Renaissances in mind.


Other renaissances !! like the crusaders renaissance for example ? Rolling Eyes

Quote:
Specifically, you referred to the "Late European Renaissance." And it was to that "Renaissance" that I referred. If the Muslim world had anything comparable to the cultural and intellectual flowering of the 14th-15th centuries in the Dark Ages, then presumably the next question must be: why did Europe surpass the Muslim world when the latter had such an imposing head start?


Good question, Europe surpassed the muslim world in matieralism not in spirituality and ethics, the muslim world after the 15th century was militarized by the ottomans to defend the muslims against the emerging new empires such as the british and the french, in such environment, no real scientific development can take place.

Europe did not develop out of its people's intelligence, Europe enslaved most of the poor world, colonized latin ameirca and wiped out entire nations, one example:

''I found very many islands filled with people without number, and all of them I have taken possession for their Highnesses...
As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information on whatever there is in these parts"
Christopher Columbus


http://www.discoverhaiti.com/images/indianmassacre.gif
The colonization of Haiti

http://www.discoverhaiti.com/images/taino_pop.jpg
Taino Population on Espanola from 1496-1570

http://www.discoverhaiti.com/history00_4_1.htm

So your development came through blood, theft, enslavement, colonaizaton and terror.

Quote:
As long as you don't count the aforementioned Stanley Lane-Poole, author of The Speeches and Table-Talk of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him)


Why you are picking on this scholar ? is it because he was very objective and fair and did not fall into the typical western lies regarding the muslim world ? Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2004 02:18 am
Quote:
like the crusaders renaissance for example


Could you please quote just one recognized historian, who called the crusades "renaissance"?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2004 08:31 am
Ahmad wrote:
You see, some orientalists try always to put down the muslim influence over Europe, they cant accept that Muslims were one time far more superior than the Europeans.

Just as some people can't understand arguments that do not fit neatly with their preconceived biases.

Ahmad wrote:
Those orientalists were exposed by the famous book written by Edward Saed called orientalism:

I've read "Orientalism." An interesting book, but, as I recall, somewhat tendentious.

Ahmad wrote:
Perhaps you ought first to know by which mean the muslim civilization helped the renaissance, it is through MUSLIM SPAIN.

I assumed that was your point.

Ahmad wrote:
Also, you picked up lane pool only, what about others ? maybe their quotes dont suit your agenda ! :wink:

No, actually they didn't fit with your agenda. You argued that Muslim intellectual and scientific achievements led to the Renaissance, yet most of the quotations had less to do with Muslim deeds than with European misdeeds

Ahmad wrote:
Other renaissances !! like the crusaders renaissance for example ? Rolling Eyes

Is that your attempt to gain some sort of debating advantage by raising an entirely irrelevant point?

Ahmad wrote:
Good question, Europe surpassed the muslim world in matieralism not in spirituality and ethics

Depends on what you mean by "spirituality" and "ethics."

Ahmad wrote:
... the muslim world after the 15th century was militarized by the ottomans to defend the muslims against the emerging new empires such as the british and the french, in such environment, no real scientific development can take place.

The Ottomans were hardly on the defensive after the 15th century. They were only pushed back from the Austrian frontier in the latter half of the 17th century.

Ahmad wrote:
Europe did not develop out of its people's intelligence, Europe enslaved most of the poor world, colonized latin ameirca and wiped out entire nations, one example...

Irrelevant. Stick to the point.

Ahmad wrote:
So your development came through blood, theft, enslavement, colonaizaton and terror.

If that was all that it took for Western development, there would have been no Dark Ages.

Ahmad wrote:
Why you are picking on this scholar ? is it because he was very objective and fair and did not fall into the typical western lies regarding the muslim world ? Rolling Eyes

I have no idea if he is objective and fair (although it's quite apparent that other people think he is not). Rather, you claimed that you cited only non-Muslim scholars: I noted that, from a survey of his published works, it appeared that Lane-Poole was, if not Muslim, at least a fellow-traveler.
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