How the Islamic Golden Age Saved Europe

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How the Islamic Golden Age helped save Europe

The Golden Age of Islam is characterized as being a period of great achievement, in the fields of science, mathematics, education, medicine, and art. Strides and discoveries made in these fields would later change Europe and the world forever. During the time of this tremendous period of growth, stretching from 750-1258 AD during the rule of Abbasid Empire, Europe was in what is commonly known as “The Dark Ages.” A period characterized by plague and barbarism. Europe had taken a step back technologically from the days of Ancient Rome. The political and economic instability that resulted from the feudalistic structure caused competition and friction among other large land owners, known as Lords. The small decentralized rule and constant shifting of alliances made an environment too unstable to support a large flowering of knowledge. The religious attitude and power also played into the stifling of achievements. The Catholic Church of Western Europe was the supreme authority. Any ideas that seemed questionable or went against church doctrine was viewed as heretical and forbidden. Literacy was another problem in the way of progression. Most people were illiterate at the time with the exception of nobles and church clergy, such as monks. The few books that were available were usually religious texts, such as the Bible, which the common person couldn’t read anyway. The contrast of those of Europe and the Islamic world are striking. The environment that was present during Abbasid rule favored conditions that would allow for intellectual growth. The Abbasids were influenced by Qur'anic verses and Hadiths that stressed the importance of knowledge. Hasan al-Basri, an early Islamic preacher from the 7th century, is quoted to have said “the ink of a scholar is more holy than the blood of a martyr.”[1] During the rule of the Abbasids, knowledge is of very high importance. The openness of other cultures...
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