My Notes on what Bettany Hughes listed as contributions of Islam to civilization in documentary, "When the Moors Ruled In Europe" (When East met West)...in addition to other key points in her documentary:
1. Spain burned 1 million books in the Inquisition
2. Granada. The Red One. All the archives destroyed in the Inquisition by the Catholics.
3. Architecture, Geometric design and ornament
4. When she spoke to Antonio Fernandez-Puertas of University of Granada at 8:39. Complex Geometry and complete translation of Pythagoras and other Greek mathematicians
5. Introduced the Golden Mean, Golden Ratio or Fibonacci Sequence and in so doing triumphed in mathematics and aesthetics
6. Empire that stretched from China to Africa was behind the intelligence to build Al Hambra
7. Nabi Muhammed and the Quran; Nabi Ibrahim and Nabi Ismail
8. Faith committed to learning. Religion and study going hand and hand. Seek knowledge.
9. When she spoke to Moussa Aouni of Muhammed Ben Abdullah University at 17:05 Mosques grammar and literacy.
10. Madrasas or Colleges emerged.
11. Muslims produced many books in various disciplines that came to be known worldwide. But, necessity was also the mother of invention.
14. Qiblah direction
15. Lunar Calendar
16. Scientific and mathematical investigation
17. Works of the Ancient Greeks ignored by most of Northern Europe for centuries
a. Library of Alexandria bulk of knowledge held there
b. Brought to Fez
c. Aristotle with commentary by Averroes Ibn Rushd
d. Christians were suspicious of Ancient Greek texts
e. After the fall of Rome the time Christians referred to as the Dark Ages.
f. Traffic between Spain and Morocco in Mediterranean Sea was a highway
18. When she spoke to Lauro Olmo Encisco of Aleala University, Madrid at 24:53. They (the Moors) took Al Andalus or Spain
a. It was not uncivilized (the seize)
b. It was more of problem solving or bringing solutions to a crisis.
c. Visegoths were the native people
d. The Muslims built a new and better society
e. They were being saved from the tyranny of the Latins
f. When she spoke to Ali Raisuni the Historian at 27:00. It was a transformation of the Arab mind to move from the desert to a land that was of rich and fertile soil. That is the secret of how such a great civilization came to be born. The arrival of Al-Islam to a failing state.
g. A Roman bridge was repaired by Abdel Rahman
i. Engineering to repair a Roman bridge
ii. Cutting edge technology to Spain
iii. Sophisticated irrigation knowledge
iv. He didn't arrive a Marauder but as a Savior
v. Transformed the landscape with groves of:
vi. The new agriculture created huge wealth and Abdel Rahman's trade networks were sophisticated. The riches were used to build one of the greatest cities in the world. Cordoba. People in London were living in houses made of wood while in Cordoba they had built a Cosmopolitan of over 100,000 people. 70 libraries and over 300 public baths. Houses had running water and streets were illuminated by street lights.
vii. Cordoba was described by a 10th century German visitor as the ornament of the world. Cordoba was the ornament of the world at 32:04
viii. Cordoba was built on the largest city of Roman Spain, by Abdel Rahman.
ix. The greatest work of course was the Great Mosque of Cordoba. Abdel Rahman at 33:06
x. When she spoke with Eduardo Manzano CSIC, Madrid. At 36:18 All over Spain what happened in Cordoba was done. Even Madrid was founded by Muslims. At 36:21
i. Culture of innovation. Markets. Trade Networks. Islam had wealth, social structure, and intellectual power. Islam in Spain did more than change the name of the God that people worshiped.
ii. The muslims brought paper to Europe. It was better than parchment and phellum. They opened paper making factories. Paper allows you to do 3 things:
1. You can gather information
2. You can analyze and develop ideas in a very precise way
3. You can disseminate your ideas to a wide world. In the 10th century that was a potent mix.
xii. Cordoba's love of books became legendary. The Library of France contained 900 books. 1 of Cordoba's 70 libraries amassed 500,000. Containing some of the most sophisticated studies in Astronomy in the world.
xiii. The Astrolabe allowed for.
1. Direction of the Qiblah
2. ? Star mapping.
3. Prayer times.
4. Sea Navigation
xiv. Cordoba was streets ahead of Europe especially when it came to Medicine
1. How Moors vs Europeans treated a knight with an abscess pre-Islamic intervention of books from Cordoba.
a. The Moorish doctor treated a woman with consumption and a knight with an abscess:
i. Made a plaster for the knight it released the fluid and the swelling went away
ii. Prescribed a diet for the woman to revive her consumption
b. The Frankish doctor however objected
i. Asked for a strong knight with a well sharpened battle ax. The knight struck a blow and the marrow of the leg spurted out. The man died on the spot.
ii. As for the woman he said that the devil (Aoudhubillahi) must have entered her head. So he grabbed a razor and cut an incision in the shape of a cross exposing the bone of the skull and rubbing salt into the wound. The woman died in the incident.
iii. The reporter of the incident said, "I returned home having learned much about the medicine of the Christians.
c. Abu Khasees performed operations in Cordoba that would not be seen in the rest of Europe for hundreds of years. He spent 40 years compiling a Medical Compendium. Chapter 30 dealt with surgery. There were instruments on display from that chapter.
2. When she speaks to Pedro Chalmeta Gendron of University Complutense, Madrid. The poor and rich were literate in Quranic and Law of the land at 42:56
a. Crop sharing was introduced along with sophisticated irrigation systems. Contract about plowing the land. Renting the land.
3. Abdel Rahman III was 21 when he became ruler of Cordoba at 45:11
a. He declared himself the Caliph
b. He positioned Spain as a key power in Islam and no longer just a Western Outpost.
c. He built Medinatul Zahra a palace. Largest in world at time.
d. Soundscape was of:
2. Currents of artificial rivers running room to room
3. Layer upon layer of different types of music and singing
4. Professional instrumentalists
5. Singing girls - entertainers, poets, conversationalists
6. Poetry is one of the most important Arts to Arabs only 3 places had developed end ryhme at that time (7th century) China, India , and the Arabs.
7. Their love of poetry directly influenced the development of literature in the rest of Europe. Mostly about the pangs of love and distance of the beloved.
8. Trubadors were inspired by the singing slave girls of Al Andalus
9. Birds and insects were also part of soundscape of that time and place.
e. Within Medinatul Zahra were the seeds of it's destruction. Mercenaries. He did not use his own citizens for his army and hired foreigners.
19. Lawlessness befell Spain when Christians from Northern Spain began the Crusades and Inquisition.
20. Al Andalus fell to corruption
21. El Bueno was a muslim. His descendants are a noble and well endowed family. Their library family archive is simply magnificent. The Duchess of the El Bueno family says that Spain is guilty of reinventing history at 1:06:38
22. El Cid was also a mercenary. El Cid was from the Arabic word Al Sayyid. He did not force conversion on the Muslims to Christianity.
23. The Inquisition was a civil war between Spaniards of different Faiths.
24. Curious respect for Muslim culture by the Christians that came into power
a. Christian King Peter of Seville built a palace called ???
i. Builder King Muhammed V - Al Hambra
ii. Builder King Peter I of Castille - Palace
25. Between the middle ages and modern era Europe underwent a massive intellectual and cultural revolution called the Renaissance Era. It prompted the exploration of:
c. Relation between man and Allah. How they saw themselves in relation to God.
d. The Renaissance and the scientific revolution that followed were critical stages in the development of Europe.
e. The origins of the Renaissance is generally believed to lie in Italy. The renewed interest in the Classics had a huge impact on Art and Culture. But the foundations of the Renaissance were layed much earlier but not in Italy but in a town called Toledo in Islamic Spain.
f. 1085 AD. When Christian Spain seized control of Toledo from Muslim Spain it was a. Peaceful transition. The Muslim citizens were allowed to remain inhabitants and the Mosques were not disturbed. The city that emerged accommodated both Christians and Muslims. Spain at this time is a paradox on one hand tensions between Muslims and Christians were becoming unbearable on the other hand there was a hugely beneficial intellectual evolution that is occurring because Christians and Muslims are living side by side. These intellectual discourses from the libraries of Islamic Spain is at the foundation of the Renaissance Era in Europe. Because when Toledo fell to the Christians it's doors were open to intellectuals and travelers all over Europe. They mixed with the Muslims in the city learning their language and reading their books. Many of the adventurers came from England. 1:14:52 In the late 1100s AD an Englishman known as Daniel of Morely tremendously insulted the intelligence of the French before going to Toledo to hear the wisest philosophers in the world. The Moors translated complete.Greek knowledge some 400 years prior, and now under Christian rule Toledo was passing on that knowledge to all of Europe who were flocking there by the hundreds. Christians, Jews and Muslims began translating manuscripts that had been stored there which included the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Euclid and acclaimed Arab mathematicians, astronomers, and alchemists. A resource like no other in all of Europe. It was intellectual dynamite.
26. She speaks to a woman in Toledo named Maria Angeles Gallego of SOAS, London who describes the process of translating the Classic Books of Muslims into Latin and many other European languages including German.
a. This is how new words were introduced to the English language.
b. Algorithm is named after an Arab mathematician
c. Algebra is from the Arabic word Al Jabbar
d. The Muslims also brought the decimal or changed the numeric system from Roman numerals to 1-10 or the Arabic numeric system. This developed mathematics and complex construction projects.
e. Cathedral builders began using the Arabic numerical system about 1200 AD when Salisbury Cathedral was built in England. Archeologists made the discovery while renovating the roof... noticed upon the structural timbers were the Arabic numeral system.
f. Oxford University was founded on the knowledge that was pouring out of Toledo. Universities in Paris and Bologna did the same.
g. A compatriot of Daniel of Morely named, Adulla Abbas published a volume upon returning from Toledo (at 1:23:00) in which he credits the Arabs for teaching him rational inquiry and to lead by reason. He said he would detract nothing from God, but very carefully listen to the limits of human knowledge. Only where this utterly breaks down should we refer things to God.
h. "The Muslims had developed a massive program of translations from Greek into Arabic everything that had reached them. And it was something that was promoted by the whole society. And the result of this is that they translated practically all Greek knowledge. There is the first period in which they translated and they learned. They assimilate. Later they had learned enough and they begin to produce original works. By themselves. And to criticize Greek science (this is the filtration system that filters out the errors.). One cannot say that the Arabs were mere trasmitters of Greek science. They were the people that continued the work of the Greek scientists. Until they led all this research into a final crisis. And this final crisis was the crisis that brought the Renaissance and the scientific revolution. If they had not done this Renaissance and the scientific revolution would have been impossible." - Julio Samso of University of Barcelona at 1:24:00
i. Western intellect was transformed. It would take time for the Europeans to assimilate the knowledge.
i. The works of Aristotle were taught in the new Universities.
ii. The Medical Treatises of Avicenna were used in hospitals.
iii. Arabic translations of Greek geometry and those new Arabic numerals were passed on to Craftsmen and architects..
iv. This was a critical stage in the growth of Western thought. At 1:25:46
v. The Renaissance should not be viewed simply as a rebirth, but a continuation of an intellectual movement that had been nourished centuries earlier by Muslims.
vi. We have been suffering from extremely selective history writing. It is due to the conflict (at that time and carried forward) that existed between the two worlds.
vii. By 1250 AD only Granada Spain was still Muslim held from the seizes by Christian Spain. Spain began to concentrate on cleaning the Muslim presence from Spain.
viii. Islamic Spain had built a culture that was the very pinnacle of civilized life in the West. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand wanted to insure that Islam would never enjoy such a relationship again.
ix. 1609 AD they began expelling the Muslims from Granada in southern Spain. They were just as much Iberian or Spanish by DNA as their countrymen from the north of Spain that were expelling them. Over 250,000 Muslims were expelled from Spain into North Africa.
[Judaism, Christianity and Islam prior to is said to have co-existed peacefully in Cordoba.]