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So called Islamic science - to Mu'een Ud Deen et.al.

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Submitted by faqi (United States), Mar 9, 2006 at 22:44

Bernard Lewis explains in his book What Went Wrong? the Moslem Empire inherited "the knowledge and skills of the ancient Middle east, of Greece, Rome, Persia, & India, and added to them new and important innovations from outside, such as the manufacture of paper from China and decimal positional numbering & the use of zero from Hindus in India." The decimal numbers were thus transmitted to the West, where they are still mistakenly known as "Arabic" numbers, honoring not their inventors but their transmitters.

The Islamic belief in a golden age is a historical misconception The so-called Golden Age Islamic civilization, obviously, looks very pleasing when you compare it to the European Dark Ages. This does not necessarily mean that the Islamic civilization was a great civilization. This simply means that the Islamic civilization was not as bad Europe's at that time.

Here are a few true examples to illustrate how Muslims of that era did so little to improve human life, even though, they controlled a large portion of the global power and wealth for almost a millennium from savage conquests of the then known world.

The earliest known treatise on Algebra is credited to Diophantus of Alexandria in 3rd century A.D. However, it was a Persian named Kharazmi , who for the first time used the Arabic language (the official language of the time) to write a book called Algebra. What did Muslims do with Algebra? The answer is that they just wrote down calculations in place of using the abacus. Despite having the knowledge of Algebra for centuries they did not achieve any significant accomplishments towards improving the quality of life.

But when the West got hold of Algebra, it was Isaac Newton of England and Libnitz from Germany who invented and developed Calculus out of Algebra. With newly invented Calculus and its mathematical outcomes, the secular West managed to send Man to the Moon; space crafts to distant planets, and space probes beyond our solar system. Over the centuries, it was the West that came up with Linear Algebra and its pattern in Graphs, Matrices, and Subspaces.
Again it the Persian Kharazmi who managed to come up with Algorithms. The men of the Islamic civilization had access to many global resources yet what they accomplished over the millennia with Algorithm was literally "NOTHING". In contrast, when Algorithm was introduced to the West they invented electronics, digital computing, computers, robots, and the almighty Internet.

What the Muslims did was to use mathematics as a tool to keep Muslim scientists busy counting and writing numbers to replace the abacus, and writing mathematical formulas to please their Caliphs. In reality, what the secular West did with mathematics was to find the mysteries of our universe by inventing Quantum Mechanics, General Relativity, Special Relativity, cosmology and modern astronomy.

Also, there is a big misconception that Muslims invented Chemistry (Alchemy). Having their hands on chemistry, Muslims did not do much with it either. Nevertheless, in the West, chemistry was used to discover over 100 chemical elements which make up everything in this universe, including us. Furthermore, it was the West which came up with organic chemistry and the science of Pharmaceuticals with its miraculous drugs and medications to cure many diseases. (Where do we find Muslim research labs)

Also, Muslims inventing glass is another fallacy . Glass was invented around 3000 BC during the Bronze Age. Modern glass originated in Alexandria during the Ptolemaic period(Greek), in which slices of colored glass were used to create decorative patterns.Long before the Islamic conquest of Coptic Egypt. However, during the 15th century, in Venice, Italy was the first to invent clear glass called cristallo and was exported throughout the world. In 1675, glass maker George Ravenscroft invented lead crystal glass by adding lead oxide to Venetian glass.

It was 1902, it was Irving W. Colburn who invented and patented the sheet glass drawing machine, making the mass production of sheet glass possible for use in windows. In 1904, a patent for a "glass shaping machine" was granted to Michael Owen that paved the way to the mass production of bottles, jars, etc.

What Muslims did during the Golden Age with glass pieces was to decorate their mosques and shrines to please their Caliphs and the nonexistent Allah. Again, when the secular West got hold of glass, they invented the lens to improve the visually impaired. Antony van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope to see and explore the micro-universe. Consequently, the West invented microbiology (Thanks to Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch) and established modern medicine. At the same time, they used glass to invent the telescope to explore the macro-universe (Thanks to Galileo Galilee) and to see that our universe is expanding (Thanks to Hubble).

The fact is that, Muslims had their chance for a millennium to contribute towards improving the human condition on earth. Yet they did nothing, except to adorn their mosques and shrine and wage incessant wars on the un-believers. Since the great Renaissance, the secular West seized upon its chance to shape the world and improve the lot of mankind.

Within a couple of centuries, after the West launched the industrial revolution with its great outcomes of our modern life. Just think about life without electricity, automobiles, telephone, trains, ocean going liners,textiles, sewing and weaving machines. Try to imagine a world without these machines and all the other machinery we take for granted. None of these were invented by Muslims

These are facts one cannot dispute, to say Islam had anything to do with this is fallacious. Without Western ingenuity and creativity the Islamic countries would still be in the dark ages. Its not surprising, when its followers were brought up to believe that "paradise is under the shade of the sword". What do you expect from a civilization that eulogize martyrdom and celebrate death with no respect for life on Earth? Moreover, what do you expect from a society whose spiritual leader (Khomeini) once said: "Economy is for the donkey"? Or, what do you expect from a society that dresses up a toddler as suicide bomber and take pride in their own ignorance? These are the principles pursued by the so-called Golden Islamic civilization.
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