Why Do Some People Claim That the Islamic Golden Age Never Occurred and Muslims Stole Their Achievements?
The Golden Age, a time when a country, region, culture, or even an art form can stand in the spotlight for centuries. This is a time where people, places, things, or ideas gain documentation of historical relevance, and those involved in intellectual breakthroughs are praised for their contributions to the vast knowledge of the world, and often, humanity as a whole will lead more fulfilling lives because of it. This defining era throughout history has provided the world with groundbreaking knowledge that makes progression possible. It sounds poetic; almost like a fairytale. However, like all things golden, upon closer examination, a tarnish can be found. So why is it that the Islamic Golden Age is met with so much controversy?
According to an unknown author for www.islamichistory.org, “The Islamic Golden Age is traditionally dated from the mid-7th century to the mid-13th century, at which Muslim rulers established one of the largest empires in history” (IslamicHistory). The wordsmithing abilities of this author gives the perception of an era of unbelievable historical markings that one would expect to find in textbooks, encyclopedias, and any other well documented, creditable publication. The writer also states that, ”In Baghdad, they (Islam) established the ‘House of Wisdom’ where scholars, both Muslim, and non-Muslim, sought to gather and translate the world’s knowledge into Arabic in the ‘Translation Movement.” Again, the wording of the author makes this movement appear to be peaceful, harmonious, and voluntary.
However, Dr. Bill Warner PhD, President of the Center for the Study of Political Islam, shares a different view in his podcast posted on www.politicalislam.com on July 1, 2014. According to Dr. Warner, “Islam was constantly attacking Europe” ( 2:13). In the five minute, thirteen second podcast, Dr. Warner shares his “dynamic battle map,” (2:30) which updates in twenty year increments, with viewers. At 2:30 into the podcast, Dr. Warner states, “Notice that Islam is projecting force from Baghdad in Iraq across the Mediterranean.” Dr. Warner also shares the fact that during these battles, Islam “Captured over a million Europeans and brought them into the slave quarters of Islam.” Therefore, this coming together of scholars was not a voluntary gathering for the greater good of the world like our unidentified author claims.
Finally, Dr. Warner shares with podcast viewers that, not only was the mass translations of the world’s knowledge involuntary, the documents translated during this “Golden Age” were stolen documents, and the translation of these documents was basically plagiarism. We also learn that the assumption that Islam preserved much of the intellectual property of the world is also false. In fact, “Only 10% was preserved, and the other 90% was destroyed.” Another contradiction between the two sources is that art and literature were both a product of the Islamic Golden Age. Dr. Warner contradicts this by informing us that no art or literature was preserved at all. However, Dr. Warner does give credit where credit is due by stating that “The only area where Islam actually contributed to the knowledge of the world were in the areas of Geography, star maps, and Mathematics. However, even these progressions in these areas of study was very limited as to what actually occurred during the Golden Age.”
In conclusion, the Islamic Golden Age is met with such controversy and denial simply because there is no definitive, and creditable sources to validate this Islamic claim. The very idea of scientific progression during the Islamic Golden Age is a contradiction simply because the only scientific philosophy to emerge during this era was the proclamation that Cause and Effect didn’t exist, and neither did Natural law. These two concepts are the very foundation of scientific study. Also, one would believe that you can find information about anything in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Surprisingly, if one was to visit www.britannica.com in search of knowledge of the Islamic Golden Age, it cannot be found. In depth research on a professional level must be performed in order to validate even a small portion of the claims made. Therefore, until adequate documentation can be obtained and validated, the Islamic Golden Age will continue to meet controversy, as it should.
Author Unknown. “Islamic Golden Age.”
Warner, Bill Dr. PhD. “The Not So Golden Age of Islam.”
Various Contributors. Encyclopedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/search?query=Islamic%20Golden%20Age
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