- Ahmed Essa with Othman Ali
Studies in Islamic Civilization:
The Muslim Contribution to the Renaissance
Studies in Islamic Civilization draws upon the works of Western scholars to make the case that without the tremendous contribution of the Muslim world there would have been no Renaissance in Europe. For almost a thousand years Islam was arguably one of the leading civilizations of the world spanning a geographic area greater than any other. It eliminated social distinctions between classes and races, made clear that people should enjoy the bounties of the earth provided they did not ignore morals and ethics, and rescued knowledge that would have been lost, if not forever, then at least for centuries. The genius of its scholars triggered the intellectual tradition of Europe and for over seven hundred years its language, Arabic, was the international language of science. Strange then that its legacy lies largely ignored and buried in time. In the words of Aldous Huxley, “Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.” Studies in Islamic Civilization is a compelling attempt to redress this wrong and restore the historical truths of a “golden age” that ushered in the Islamic renaissance, and as a by-product that of the West. In doing so it gives a bird’s eye view of the achievements of a culture that at its height was considered the model of human progress and development.