Muslim Heritage: A Scholarly Perspective
FSTC Research Associate Kaleem Hussain delivered on 17th April 2008 a lecture on "Muslim Heritage: A Scholarly Perspective" at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education (MIHE) in Leicester. The lecture was presented during the monthly lunch hour sessions at MIHE, where many community representatives and residents are in attendance along with students from the Markfield Institute. The presentation focused on the range of projects that FSTC is involved in along with the "Muslim Heritage Interview Series" project that Kaleem Hussain has been working on representing the milestones in Muslim scholarship and innovation from a classical and contemporary perspective. We reproduce in this article a brief summary of the themes touched on during the lecture.
Figure 1: Kaleem Hussain during the lecture.
1001 Inventions Initiative
I began my lecture presentation by explaining to the audience how the history of science and civilisation is taught by many educational systems today. We learn about the Greeks, the Romans, the Renaissance, Industrial Revolution and Modern Day Civilisation and we are in the main led to believe that the periods from around the 5th to the 16th centuries were periods of intellectual darkness with very little advancement. This period a whole is commonly termed as the "Dark Ages." Such a perceived understanding of the history of science and civilisation is far from the reality of what was actually taking place in history. In the 5th century CE, we were witnessing the development of Roman, Chinese and Indian Civilisations and during the period of what is termed the "Dark Ages", the Muslim world had witnessed one of the greatest intellectual revolutions in history, where advancements were made in so many different fields from around 650 CE until the 17th century at least. I explained that one of the main aims of the lecture presentation was to dispel the myth of what is termed the "Dark Ages" and to touch on some of the wonderful contributions Muslim have made to our heritage from a classical and contemporary perspective.
Figure 2: Front cover of 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World (Mancheter: FSTC, 2006).
The lecture presentation then moved on to focus on the aims of the 1001 Inventions Exhibition along with the range of projects that the FSTC is involved in. The 1001 Inventions initiative is a ground breaking global educational initiative exploring the Muslim contributions to building the foundations of Modern Civilisation. It is a unique UK based educational project that reveals the rich heritage that the Muslim community share with other communities in the UK, Europe and across the world. Being a non-religious and non-political project seeking to allow positive aspects of progress in science and technology to act as a bridge in understanding the interdependence of communities throughout human history, the lecturer explained in more detail the various projects included in the initiative. In particular, 1001 Inventions consists of a UK and world wide travelling exhibition, a colourful easy to read book, a dedicated website (www.1001inventions.com) and a themed collection of educational posters complementing a secondary school teachers' pack and curriculum enrichment programme. Such an endeavour is important to fill the gap created by the lack of appreciation of this rich period of history in our National Curriculum in the UK and that the Teacher's Pack has been devised to raise awareness about this rich aspect of our historical Civilisation by providing support for teachers and the classroom environment. Another area of our activity is dedicated to the International Book for Schools Project, aimed at getting sponsorship and donations to distribute 1,000,000 + copies of the 1001 inventions book to various institutions internationally including schools, universities and libraries. The exhibition itself includes over 40 interactive, sensory and static exhibits where one is able to explore seven different zones to discover these: home, school, market, hospital, town, world and universe.
Muslim Heritage Interview Series
The core of the lecture presentation was devoted to the 'Muslim Heritage Interview Series' on which the author has been recently working on at FSTC. The project was developed in tandem with the 1001 Inventions Exhibition which took place in Birmingham, England in 2006. I had the privilege of being able to interview a wide range of distinguished authorities on various themes related to Muslim Heritage for a local radio station whilst the 1001 Inventions Exhibition was taking place in Birmingham. The interviews aimed to give full justice and credence to the topics covered by the specialists on the radio show. A written transcription should be produced in order for those that were unable to listen to the interviews on the radio show can benefit from the words of wisdom the specialists put forward on topics such as Art, Science, Astronomy, Agriculture, Education, Tourism and Islamic Spirituality. One of the primary aims of the interviews and the project at large was to show the wonderful contributions Muslims have made to our heritage and Civilisation historically, but also to demonstrate how such contributions are still taking place today in a range of fields by interviewing the specialists who are very much active and participating in those very fields.
The lecture presentation then moved on to touch briefly on some of the specialists whom were interviewed and to present their comments and observations on the various themes.
Interview of Professor Salim Al-Hassani
The first person I had the honour of interviewing was Professor Salim Al-Hassani who is the honorary Chairman of FSTC. I explained to the audience the many topics that were discussed during this interview. Professor Salim Al-Hassani explained that the term '1001' does not mean that there are only 1001 inventions which Muslim scholars developed, but that the term aimed to counter perceptions of Muslims which emanate from the famous the tales of '1001 Arabian Nights'. He explained that the Muslim Heritage project is about the Muslim heritage in our world, that is a concerted effort to bring the inventions and discoveries of classical Islamic civilisation and connect to present day life. During the interview, Professor Al-Hassani talked about the range of fields in which M
by: FSTC Limited
MSIM Presentation by: FSTC Limited
Professor Salim Al-Hassani's highly visual and compelling presentation will assess some of the Muslim contribution to civilisation using graphical simulations and some 3D animations of early Muslim inventions.
Lecture: Great Men and Women of Science in Muslim Heritage by: FSTC Ltd
Evening lecture with Professor Salim Al-Hassani. Tuesday 21 November 2006, 6pm-8pm
Int. Conf. A Shared Legacy: Islamic Science East and West. Barcelona, 11-14 April by: FSTC Limited
The International Union of The History and Philosophy of Science - Commission on History of Science & Technology in Islamic Societies organizes an important conference.
Roy. Soc. Arts Lecture Manchester by: FSTC Limited
The RSA is delighted to announce a lecture in Manchester by Professor Salim Al-Hassani which will showcase some of the fascinating inventions of this period and explore their relevance to today's world and society.
Lecture: Islam, Modernity and the Enlightenment: A New Perspective by: FSTC Limited
The Council for Arab-British Understanding, in collaboration with the Foundation for Science, Civilisation and Technology, hosts: ‘Islam, Modernity and the Enlightenment: A New Perspective' by Samer Akkach. Thursday 3rd May 2007, 6:30pm
Video Stream of George Saliba’s Lecture by: FSTC Limited
In May 2007, George Saliba, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science at Columbia University, gave a lecture on "Arabic Islamic Science and the Making of the Renaissance" at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. The video streaming of this important lecture can be viewed here online.
New Lectures at Thinktank, Birmingham's Museum of Science by: FTSC Limited
1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World launched at Thinktank, Birmingham's Museum of Science, at Millennium Point on 24th May as part of a UK-wide tour.
The Clock of Civilisations by: FSTC Limited
A fascinating presentation on the 800 years old Elephant clock of Al-Jazari which reflects the contributions of Greek, Egyptian, Indian, Chinese and Muslim civilisations.
The First Regional Event on Knowledge-Based Economy by: FSTC Limited
The First Regional Event on the Knowledge-Based Economy
Science under Islam: A Reflection on Past Brilliancy and Future Revival by: Dr. Salim Ayduz
This is a review of a book by Sayyed Misbah Deen, Emeritus Professor of Computer Science (Keele University), describing the adventure of science and technology in Islam from four standpoints: the rise of science and technology in the Islamic Golden Age.
Credo of an Eminent Scholar: Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu's Lecture in Padua by: FSTC Limited
This article reproduces the lecture pronounced by Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, on the occasion of the presentation to him of the title of Doctorate honoris causa
by the University of Padua in Italy on 11 December 2006.
Muslim Heritage in the Knowledge-Economy Conference in Jeddah by: FSTC Limited
During "The First Regional Conference on the Knowledge Economy" in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, January 12-13, 2008, attended by over 300 experts and professionals as well as several VIPs, Professor Salim Al-Hassani delivered a key note speech in which he presented the touring exhibition "1001 Inventions" and the work undertaken by the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) to promote Muslim Heritage.
Muslim Heritage in the World Conference on Intellectual Capital by: FSTC Limited
In the frame of the forthcoming of The World Conference on Intellectual Capital for Communities, Professor Salim Al-Hassani, FSTC Chairman of the Board, presents a keynote lecture on the theme: Innovation in the Islamic World: what can we learn from the past, to design the future.
Lecture at Liverpool Athenaeum by: FSTC Limited
Professor Al-Hassani gave a lecture to the Liverpool Athenaeum
at their prestigious library on 28 February 2008. Here His Honour Judge John Roberts, current President of the club, is seen presenting Professor Al-Hassani with a copy of Liverpool 800, a new book on the history of Liverpool in celebration of the city's 800th anniversary and receiving a copy of the 1001i book for the Athenaeum library. The Liverpool Athenaeum has a distinguished membership of proprietors drawn from every walk of life across the city of Liverpool and the North West of England.
Presentation on The Muslims' Great Contributions during the Golden Age of the Islamic Civilization by: FSTC Limited
Prof. Salim Al Hassani, A Muslim Scholar and the chief editor of "1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World"
will be delivers his presentation for the second time on "The Muslims' Great Contributions during the Golden Age of the Islamic Civilization" Wednesday, 5th of March 2008 @ 12:00pm
. Prince Bandar Ben Sultan Auditorium.
Innovation in the Islamic World: Learning from the Past to Design the Future by: FSTC Limited
The seat of the World Bank in Paris hosted on May 22-23, 2008 an important meeting: the fourth edition of The World Conference on Intellectual Capital for Communities.
The conference was attended by eminent scholars and leaders, among whom Professor Salim Al-Hassani, FSTC Chairman of the Board, who presented a keynote lecture on Innovation in the Islamic World: Learning from the Past to Design the Future.
We present hereafter the abstract of this lecture to share with our readers this illuminating concept of assessing the value of Muslim Heritage as intellectual capital in a historical perspective. The complete text of the lecture will be published in the proceeddings of the meeting.
The Islamic Art in the Louvre Museum in Paris by: FSTC Limited
The first stone was laid on July 16, 2008 at the Louvre's new Arts of Islam gallery. With this initiative, France's famous Museum is readying to receive its groundbreaking Islamic section that will showcase the world's most comprehensive Islamic art collection.
Promoting Science-based Cultural Dialogue among Civilizations by: Professor Roshdi Rashed
Science and Rationalism in 9th Century Baghdad by: FSTC Limited
Text of the Lecture of Professor Jim Al-Khalili in the Conference Muslim Heritage in our World: Social Cohesion
marking the 1001 Inventions
Exhibition at the House of Parliament, 15th of October 2008, Church House, London, UK.
HRH Prince Charles by: FSTC Limited
Prince Charles, Heir to the British Monarchy in a recent public speech.
Muslim Heritage in our World: Social Cohesion (1001 Inventions in UK Parliament) by: FSTC Limited
Between 13 and 17 October 2008, the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) organised two major events in London: a scaled down version of the "1001 Inventions Exhibition" at the House of Parliament (13-17 October) and a conference on "Muslim Heritage in our World: Social Cohesion" at Hoare Memorial Hall, Church House, Westminster (15 October 2008). Here follows a short report on the conference illustrated with photos from both events.