Civilization

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  • Topic: Islam, Islamic Golden Age, Muhammad
  • Pages : 12 (4216 words )
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  • Published : May 2, 2013
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Factors that Aided Islamic Civilization
Civilization (or civilization) is a sometimes controversial term that has been used in several related ways. Primarily, the term has been used to refer to the material and instrumental side of human cultures that are complex in terms of technology, science, and division of labor. Such civilizations are generally hierarchical and urbanized. In a classical context, people were called "civilized" to set them apart from barbarians, savages, and primitive peoples while in a modern-day context, "civilized peoples" have been contrasted with indigenous peoples or tribal societies. Use of "civilization" and related concepts are controversial because they may imply superiority and inferiority, and may imply directionality to social changes that may or may not be realistic or desirable. After the death of Prophet Muhammad in 632, the caliphs who became leaders of the Muslims took the responsibility of spreading Islamic teachings to nearby and far away people. For about a hundred years, Islam has spread across the world. The Muslims fought wars called Jihad which contributed to the quick spread of Islamic civilization. Some of the factors that promoted the growth of Islamic civilization are discussed below. Humanitarian Factors

Seventh-century Arabian society suffered under frequent intertribal conflicts. Muhammad opposed this by creating a group that would transcend tribal affiliation and forge new compacts with other religious communities. The first Muslim community drew from every sector of Arabian society: elites prayed shoulder to shoulder with former slaves. Arabs, Persians, Abyssinians and Egyptians were drawn to the Islamic teaching that superiority is based on piety, not on family lineage or ethnicity. Non-Arabs were given positions of authority, such as Bilal ibn Rabah, the first person to issue the call to prayer and a former Abyssinian slave. Christians and Jews also converted, including Safiyah bint Huyyay, one of the Prophet Muhammad's wives. Welcoming people from all walks of life helped expand the Muslim community, and brought a wealth of experience and connections. The Muslim community used ties with different tribes and faith communities for defense, diplomacy and commerce. Social Mobility in Muslim Lands

The message of equality in Islam provided an unusual social mobility in some Muslim lands. Iltutmish arrived in Delhi a slave in the thirteenth century and became a sultan. 'Izz al Din Aybak was a Mamluk slave in Egypt at this time, and ruled Egypt for seven years. While not every slave would become a sultan, Islam encouraged fair treatment of minorities. Islam formed the basis of policies that would limit mistreatment of minorities in Muslim countries. While not uniformly positive, Muslim lands often welcomed Jews and Christians, and they held positions of authority in Muslim countries for centuries. ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE SCIENCES

Muslim society, for several centuries, surpassed all others in scientific and technological discoveries. In mathematics, thinkers made major corrections in the theories learned from the ancient Greeks. In chemistry, they created the objective experiment. al-Razi classified all material substances into three categories: animal, vegetable, mineral. Al-Biruni calculated the exact specific weight of 18 major minerals. Sophisticated, improved astronomical instruments, such as the astrolabe, were used for mapping the heavens. Much of the Muslim achievement had practical application. In medicine, improved hospitals and formal courses of studies accompanied important experimental work. Traders and craftsmen introduced machines and techniques originating in China for papermaking, silk weaving, and ceramic firing. Scholars made some of the world's best maps.

In medieval Islam, the sciences, which included philosophy, were viewed holistically. The individual scientific disciplines were approached in terms of their...
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