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Did muslim "inventors" learn from their ancestors?

Reader comment on item: Finding Allah in Unlikely Places
in response to reader comment: Dear Peter

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Aug 19, 2012 at 01:40

Dear Dr Pipes:

The reader AAA challenges the readers to provide one valid reference with proof that muslims inherited their scientific achievements from their non-muslim predecessors. Here is one: Persian philosopher Al-Khwarithmi is widely believed in the western world as the inventor of Algebra and the, so called, Indo-Arabic numeral sustem. In fact, Al-Khwarithmi was a translator of the original Indian authors work to Arabic. When Al-Khwarithmi's writings were translated from Arabic to Latin, it was mistakingly believed that he invented what was given in his books. Here is an exact quote from a wikipedia article, "In Renaissance Europe, he was considered the original inventor of algebra, although we now know that his work is based on older Indian or Greek sources."

I have a lot of respect for Al-Khwarithmi because he must have indeed been a great thinker, tranlator, and inventor but he exactly examplifies the points that he was a part of very early history of Islam (about 800CE) and he inherited from the surrounding cultures. Taxila that was eventually destroyed by Islamic invaders was only about 1200 miles from where Al-Khwarithmi might have lived/worked. Islamization of Persia was still going on in the 8th and 9th centuries and the cultural heritage of pre-Islamic cultures might have still be alive and well when Al-Khwarithmi lived. Like all other Islamic countries Iran is 98% Islamic. But in the times of Al-Khwarithmi it may have been 50% Islamic (or some such) and the then Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Christian communities might still not be fully extinct.

Hope AAA admits this proof.

Submitting....

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