Illuminating the Dark Ages: The Role and Contribution of Muslim Civilisation
National Conference for Islam and Medicine (NCIM): Abstract talk at King's College, London, presented in March 2013 by Professor Mohamed El-Gomati OBE, Chairman of the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation (FSTC)
The period between 600-1600 CE, following the collapse of the Roman Empire, is commonly referred to as the ‘Dark Ages'. It is often regarded as a time of intellectual idleness and economic regression – an understanding that has regrettably become all too commonplace, finding its way into educational curricula all over the world.
We are repeatedly told, despite evidence to the contrary, that civilisation had taken a nose dive, and that after the Greeks and the Romans, all knowledge, science and technology had stagnated or worse still entirely disappeared. We are then expected to believe that in the 13th century, the Renaissance era magically rose out of the ashes! This account is based on a fallacy, attributing centuries of progress, scientific achievements, innovation and technological advances solely to the great scientists and technologists of Western Europe.
It is this narrative that is challenged and refuted through a number of initiatives led by the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) – a global network of historians, scientists and academics. The talk will give an overview of the work undertaken by the FSTC; the culmination of a decade of rigorous research by over fifty international academics dedicated to uncovering over a thousand years of heritage from Muslim civilisation and their impact on the modern world.
Muslim civilisation are testament to how men and women of different faiths and cultures worked together in what were predominantly the classical Muslim civilisation, building upon the achievements of other ancient civilisations, to improve mankind's quality of life. This account attempts to give coverage and insight to one of several non-European civilisation that deserves to be credited with its role and contribution. It is my hope to impart some knowledge on a subject and focus of research, one that is increasingly gaining recognition amongst many leading historians and respectable academic circles.
Related Articles: The fallacy of the 'Dark Ages'by: FSTC Limited There is a major fallacy in the concept of the 'Dark Ages'. That period coincides exactly with the Muslim apogee. In the midst of Europe's darkness, almost immediately after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Muslim civilisation came into being.
Distortions in Western Scienceby: FSTC Limited The centuries termed as the 'Dark Ages' are the missing centuries in history. It is not as one would think that there is nothing about such centuries; as that is far from the truth.
Aspects of Influence of Muslim Science on the Westby: FSTC Limited To go through the Islamic impact on modern science and civilisation in detail demands so vast a book that nobody has written yet. Just some overall observations and points are raised here by the author.
The Impact of Translations of Muslim Sciences on the Westby: FSTC Limited Scholars from all Christian lands rushed to translate Muslim science, and thus start the scientific awakening of Europe. Many of course were Spaniards: John of Seville, Hugh of Santalla, and those working under the patronage of King Alfonso.
Transfer of Islamic Technology to the Westby: FSTC Limited The article covers the avenues which led to the transfer of the Islamic knowledge, from Al Andalus, Sicily and Byzantium to the Wars (crusades on the Islamic World), as well as commercial relations and also the translation of Arabic works.
The Appreciation of Arabic Science and Technology in the Middle Agesby: Prof. Charles Burnett This article describes the appreciation of Arabic science and technology in the Middle Ages through the example of Adelard of Bath, an English scholar of the early 12th century, one of the first scholars that personify Arabic-Latin intercultural transmission that paved the way to the introduction of Arabic learning in premodern Europe.
Exploring the Cultural Roots of Science for Social Changeby: FSTC Team Today 7th March is a World Science Day – To appreciate/celebrate the achievements of all cultures, we would like to share with you an inaugural lecture given by the President of FSTC, Prof Salim Al-Hassani at the National Geographic Museum, Washington DC. The duration of the video is 20 minutes