Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Impact of Islamic Civilization on the Historical Development of Civilization


The Impact of Islamic Civilization on the Historical Development of Civilization

Civilization is not a private property of a group or nation, but a common heritage to all who have contributed in building it. Thus, they have the right to enjoy its outcomes since it is a nationalized industry for all nations.

In order to fulfill the concept of civilization, it is important to search in its core. Otherwise, it will be a body without a spirit. Hence, some historicists have noticed that the essence of civilization lies in the spiritual and the moral side of the individuals and the groups, without ignoring material and aesthetic considerations.

In some phases of history, wars are means for exchanging ideas and experiences. When wars have stopped, there start a stage of understanding, consideration, knowledge, examining the others values and cultures, and selecting what is useful to reach a step of development.

The Arabs have spread all over the earth, faced all difficulties, overridden wilderness, fought battles for Islam. In all their actions, they have been allayed by victory and success because of their tolerance; the policy they have applied with all who disagree with them, setting the best example of not discriminating the others.

The sublime principles, which the law of the Islamic countries were based on, aim to protect all of their citizens in light of Islam's call for coexistence and mutual respect with people of other religions. Such Islamic tolerance has led to a harmony among the citizens of the country, consequently, achieving a development in human thought and a new sort of activity in different fields which has not been known before. They all have contributed in making the Islamic Civilization to be the first international civilization in human history, which has stimulated other nations to come out to the world of light and accept an era of science and civilization.

The tolerance of Islam is evident when Islam entered Andalusia, accompanied with an intellectual and a spiritual freedom and released the citizens from restrictions. Despite of the presence of the special educational system of Christians and Jews, Muslims did not have any problem in discussing their historical and religious heritage, they did not monopolize their culture, thought and knowledge. In contrary, they allowed other people's children to join Muslims' in "Kuttab"; where teachers teach their pupil Qur'an and other subjects related to Islam and Arabic. Moreover, some Jews participated in scientific seminars in the palaces of the Caliphs or in mosques, which contributed greatly on the intellectual and the cultural awakening of the Jews. 

In the Islamic Empire, equality in rights among individuals had been an ideal example and model for others to follow, made them a unified society. Muslims and Non Muslims were teachers and students for each other. Thus, Muslims worked on all types of human arts and science, therefore, the cultural and the human thought method had entered to the countries, which were not ruled by Islam, either by Muslims who traveled to foreign countries for one reason or another, or by Non-Muslims who came to the Islamic countries for studding.

At the time when Europe had lived in ignorance, darkness and fanaticism, Andalusia enjoyed the light of knowledge and development, as the libraries were full of thousands of publications in various sciences, arts, and literature. After the Jewish thought was limited by a narrow religious authoring, they dealt with all various sciences, which was something they believed- before living among Muslims- to be a form of infidelity and atheism. Consequently, their medical, philosophical and astronomical publications had increased. In addition, their thought absorbed sciences, arts and literature that had been affected by Islamic influences. Eventually, a number of Jewish intellectuals and writers had emerged, who found in tracing Muslim intellectuals, writers and thinkers a great impact in awakening their own civilization.

When the Arabs' cultures and writings in philosophy, medicine, mathematics and astronomy had astonished the emerged European culture, schools of translators were established, to translate the Arabic literature to Latin. In addition, these schools had translated the Arabic translations of the ancient Greek literature, which was unknown until the Arabs had translated it. In virtue of these Arabic translations, Europe had the chance to look at Greek literature that lost its authorships.

The impact of Islamic Civilization had extended to include not only sciences and arts but also life and behavior in many fields. Two examples should be enough to illustrate what that means: 

1- The external appearance:

the Islamic environment imposed on Muslims to care of their appearance, purity, and to follow good behaviors, which affected even the Non-Muslims. For instance, many books of Jews have contained whole chapters regarding politeness and straight behavior, along with the cleanness of body and clothes. They even started to take off their shoes in front of temples just like Muslims do when they enter Mosques, along with other behaviors which they were not used to before.

2- The treatment of woman:

the Jews said that their law had stipulated that the husband had the right to do with his wife whatever he wants to do, as Talmud did not respect woman and her humanity, as it is mentioned: ( blessings for you God because you did not create me as a woman). And by the Islam Effect, Jews allowed woman to go to the temple in respectful dress, and specified for her another place inside the temple, then Jews were forced to change this saying: ( blessings for you God because you created me as you want). 
The wife was not able to request divorce for her husband hardness, or for his inhuman behavior. However, they forced the husband to give the wife the food and the life necessities by the effect of Islam and Muslims, then they allowed divorce when the husband abuse her wife.

Finally, on the light of Islamic civilization, Europe has awakened from its deep sleep, or we can say, it was born from the Islamic civilization, and mother and daughter were.


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