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.
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.
by: Quoted N. Daniel Paul Tannery said of geometry of the eleventh century in Europe: "This is not a chapter in the history of science; it is a study in ignorance." Its level, he said, was equivalent to that in Greece before Pythagoras.
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.
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.
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.
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