Channel: Jamal Badawi
merciful The creating and sustaining of universe, peace and blessings of public servant and Mr. Mohammed forever mean. Today we have our 10th program in our series dealing with the economic system of Islam. We'll be continuing with their topic of Muslim contributions to civilization. More specifically we'll be looking at the fields of geography, agricultural industry, and commerce. I'm your host, Tamar Rashid. And I have joining me on the program as usual. Dr. Gabor battery. Brother Jamal Assalamualaikum. Welcome to another episode of black horizons, Assam focus. Mr. Allah.
We always take a few minutes at the beginning of our program to highlight the main points that we touch on in our previous program. Could I ask you to quickly summarize the main points that we talked about? Last week, we were dealing with the field of medicine. Okay. We talked a little bit about the contribution of Muslim medicine. And first, we tried to show the relationship between Islamic teaching and interest in medicine and how they are intertwined. We also reviewed the contribution some of the major contributions of Muslim physicians
to medicine all the way from the eighth century down to nearly 13th century, and indicated how the works of many famous names such as other spin classes, and other classes became or can continue to be very crucial person references for medicine.
In some cases, as not as the 18th century,
we talked a little bit was the entire saga, the hospitals, how they were run, and how the physical physical care and hygiene conditions were very comparable to what you might consider as, as the standard of today. In addition to that, you can also add just a little bit of remarks on the topic, that they used to have very ridiculous standards also for who practices medicine. In fact, it's said that,
in the beginning of the 11th century, a patient died in a bed, which is now in Iraq, as a result of a mistake by a physician and declared if at that time order that all physicians should be re examined. And it is noted that as many as 860, medical doctors were re examined. And since that became a tradition in many
College of Medicine in Baghdad, Cairo, Cordova and other places, to have very rigorous rigorous examinations for doctors before they practiced medicine.
And in fact, even within Islamic law, they developed a whole body of literature dealing with the responsibility of the doctors in case of, of a mistake. Dealing with subjects such as what is the responsibility of the doctor to practice medicine, if he's the only one available that's becomes a very second duty that he cannot say it's my route, it's a duty if he's the only one relevant to to look after people who are sick. The fact that the person should be qualified and that goes back to the days of the Prophet when prophetic tradition even so that the person who treats others without being capable, he's responsible for his deeds. It depends on the intention that the doctors really
intended hurt, whether he followed the normal standard practices of medicine, and whether he took the permission of the patient. So in the law, medicine was an issue which was also
part of the study of medicine.
Coming to today's program, and the contributions of the Muslim community to the field of geography.
Could you perhaps explain for us how contributions in this particular area of geography were related to the teachings of Islam, similar to the development also of medicine and for that matter, astronomy and mathematics Also, if you find that somehow related to the systemic teaching, for example, a Muslim have to pray five times every day, with the first directing towards the Kaaba, the holy Kaaba
How was the first time was to worship Gods it was by COVID Abrahamic which is known earlier.
Well, that requires the ability to find directions and that requires mathematics as much as we have some knowledge of geography to
every Muslim is required once in a lifetime if is able to, to go to Mecca, for pilgrimage, and that requires knowledge of astronomy to lead him on the desert lands as long as you have today. He would have to know something else about geography so that he wouldn't get lost on the way. So Islamic teaching, provided the impetus and investment for people to try and understand this themes. Another aspect is that Islam, by its nature is directed towards the entire mankind, it's a universal faith of God. And Muslims have the duty to carry the message of Islam to other parts of the world. Many Muslims feeling this sense of duty, after birth, as Muslims and clubs invite us to Islam when they
visited so many parts of the world.
Some historians say that the first to write about China, where Western geographers as early as the ninth century,
it was narrated the previous program how Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him.
encourage people to learn and seek knowledge, even if you have to travel to China. And how the Quran itself even encourages people to sort of love to work in the expanse of the earth, which are to learn and explore. And that, of course, provided this embarrassment to try to find out and explore the world around them. In fact, it's not an exaggeration to say that at least,
Muslims contributed a great deal to what led to the discovery of the new earth or Americas, if not even preceding Columbus. And the latter point, which I'm sure is true, the curiosity of our viewers, could you perhaps elaborate a little bit on that and explain when
French author wrote to his book about
one great famous authors
in English, as well as the book is called avarice and other racism.
And he mentioned them that were about a letter
that was written by Christopher Columbus in Haiti, dated October 14 98. In that letters, Columbus admits that one of the sources that lead him to theorize that there's a new world was the writing of Adam Torres or ever see, this is just an adaptation of Avarice or ignorance, the Muslim scientist, philosopher of the 20th century.
he considered that as one of the impetus or the investments for him to seek this knowledge. Some authors, however, claim even that it is quite possible that Muslims came and discovered the Americas before Columbus.
In fact, it was found that some tribes that that's, you know, indigenous tribes before Columbus, in New Mexico, have many Arabic words in English, then wizards, and that
some believe that some tribes used to speak Arabic, actually in Mexico, which comes back from Muslim background. But the nice to be said, is what Columbus himself admits, that was Muslim writing that led him to, to the new world, if not actually Muslim, coming to numbers. And the monstrosity, so perhaps is that Muslims realize that this is a spheres around? And that was called question, again, in how Columbus
made his trip to America. And I'm sure when you mentioned the mission, the fact that they contribute to the discovery that they took the curiosity of our viewers, but I'm probably
even more curious about the mental side that Muslims have been to America, perhaps even before, even before Congress is a possibility. Is there any Is there any evidence to substantiate that that to substantiate that point? And how far back did the Muslims make this discovery on the barest Islam?
when it appears that this even took place before even the ninth century?
First some quotations and references to the Quran that seemed to imply the birth is round and one would not be too far off assuming that some Muslims at least if not all, some could understand or get some hints from this references and
In chapter 79 verses in the Quran, it talks about the earth and it says, well look at the hair. The earth after that got the hair, the hair was interpreted most commonly to mean, and maybe expanse or spread it out so that we can easily work on it. In fact, if you refer to the Arabic English lexicon,
by Edward w name indicates that the hat also means through or casts, in turn, or not as propelled, as the stones cast away. And that's an interesting reference, as the stone is cast away something
which might give a hint of the origin of the earth being possibly part of a heavenly body that just part of that spirit that decide that we will talk about something like a stone which is propellant. When you're really talking about something that cannot be fluffy, it's just about something which is
you know, more round, rounded
in nature, but there are certain verses in the Quran but even more obvious than that, which some people sometimes misunderstood in the past awesome.
In several references in the Quran, it talks about the earth being mega mega
Like for example, in chapter 15, verse v 15, verse 19, and chapter 15, verse seven, none of this the term method or method is used
shadow indicates that this versus In fact, there's a clear evidence and a clear hint that this is wrong. Why? Because it means that women go to the North Pole, the South Pole, alternate cursor anywhere in the world, there's stem
spread out before you now if the earth was a squared, or
or anything of that sort, then you work and you reach the edge
to the point that the fact that the Quran says that there is always a spirit before you regardless where you go, it means that it's got to be selected around spirit.
In the Quran, also in chapter 36, a very strange expression is used, you come with Allahu Allah Nana Maha God, you can't wish might have.
Now read your cover in Arabic means something like wrapping something around a bowl.
It talks also about the the money that none of them proceeds the other, which again gives a hint that bill and Knight can exist simultaneously. But they cannot perceive each other because of this cycle of the minute. And all of these references seem to be a hint for me. The bursary is round. But whether this teaching was interpreted as such, or did influence the thinking of Muslim scientist. So first offer that as early as the ninth century during the caliphate of moon
that made a geodetic measurement. That's measurement using also astronomy principles.
He made that measurement of the earth. And he gave its circumference notice the term the circumference of the Earth at 25,000 miles. So interesting remarks here. So when he's talking about the circumference of the Earth, then he's talking about
The other interesting thing also, is that the information that he gave
was very, very close. It's just a neighbor about a couple of 100 miles off from measurements that is done with the most sophisticated
scientific tools available to us.
In addition to this, we find that
in contrast, I should
we find that according to Draper,
Europe, at the time when Europe was insistent that the earth is flat, and Muslims were already teaching their students geography and the schools using the globes as an illustration of the stitching.
The same kind of conclusion was arrived at by another historian of science, George Sutton, and the second one in first part in page 44. He says in the cotton, needless to say that all the Arabic humans Muslim, geographers blue in the face of the earth, but that was one
this was definitely not really I guess,
The evidence provided so far was quite clear. But we will not explicitly define that in the writing of a great Muslim geographer by the name of adresi, who lived in the 12th century. And we caught him again.
He says that Earth is round, like a spheres. And waters adhere to it through a natural equilibrium, which suffers more than lessons.
Now, that's amazing, because it's not as a sphere. But we seem to have some understanding also of gravity.
Like some Western historians say that it might have not necessarily been the Newton's Apple that led him to the discovery of gravity that the concept was already known hundreds of years before
Now other other notable contributions to the field of geography besides the discovery that the earth is round. Well, there are seven, for example, in the in the ninth century, the center of the measurement of the circumference of the earth,
He ordered also the drawing of a very large map of the world. As far as we know, before, a great nothing official of the noncentral. He wrote also a book called Serato, or the face of the earth,
which contains several maps.
In the ninth century, also a very important work published under the talented and menelik one mosaddek, which means roads and provinces. That book according to their certain is quite an important source of historical topography of the caliphate.
And this book was translated as late as the 19th century. For example, in French
similar importance also is a book by an Jacobi of the ninth century. He called it carbon content of the book of countries, which according to certain again in the his first volume,
was full of topographical and economic details.
In the 10th century, there are many other famous geographers In fact, Sartre mentioned 10 of them, and just suffice to mention the most famous of them, and massarotti,
who is regarded by certain as one of the greatest geographers of all times, not just the Middle Ages, medieval times so called
and Sutton said that his work in geography can be regarded as an encyclopedia encyclopedia which is arranged in geographical order.
This kind of contribution continued long time afterwards, for example,
in the next 500 years, prominence of Muslim geographers was quite clear abdullatif of the 12th century
wrote a great deal about typography. And it recently, one you mentioned before also the potential left in Sicily, Muslim Sicily. And he was particularly good in the so called cartography or drunk of, of maps, and records and other famous authors wrote a book called the den or Dictionary of
cities, which according to Sachin, again, is an immense compilation of geographical facts listed in alphabetical orders.
Including works on physical geography, archaeology, and human geography isn't some of the things that many people regard as relatively more advanced, like mathematical geography.
We'll find that in the 13th century, a great Muslim geographer by the name of the pastor of adolescent America, she wrote a book called Gen and Nevada,
which included among other things, called mix of 130 different places in the world with shared understanding of both mathematics and
geography. And just to conclude about that last 30 seconds, certain jobs certainly the second volume for the first part, he says that knowledge even writers, has taken equal pains to explain the scientific methods. In instance, rather than just a glimpse of the subject.
Matter last several programs, we've concentrated mainly on the contribution to the fields of science, I'm sure that there have been contributions in other areas as well, for example, in the area history and sociology, political science, literature, that kind of thing. But in the remaining part of our program today, what I'd like to do is to examine the application of the progress and start first of all by asking you about its impact on the field of agriculture.
lecture will find that Muslims were able to describe many
plants. One single author, for example, in Holland, in the end of the 20th century was able to describe 535 different plants to explain the cultivation of several things, particular fruits.
Many people believe that the guardians of spin today and extremities impose a great deal to the Muslim civilization.
As we mentioned before, in other subjects, Islamic teaching was also connected with that, for example, many Muslim scientist on their way to pilgrimage to Mecca, of course, they have to travel on the road. And were able to study a lapse on the road, one of them by the name of Abdullah bass and modality, surprisingly, our best a botanist.
He used to go around the
coast of Africa and the Red Sea, on his way to pilgrimage and collect valuable information about different kinds of plants.
They were able also to apply that in a practical way in the area of irrigation, though, except in the midst of organic fertilizers. And, in fact, they improved a great deal also on the breed of cattle, they introduced the silkworm.
According to john Draper.
He also believes that many of the venerable thoughts that we have embarrassed in different parts were introduced actually, by Muslims that traveled around to take things from one place to the other. And human Chairman was the teachers. People also add the introduction of Africa in some places in Sicily, introduction of a sugar cane and virus
to Islamic civilization.
The introduction of bananas and other
flowers like lilac, Jasmine, turnips, Morning Glory verses were all things that Muslim have introduced in so many different places.
And in fact,
in Spain, for example, dealing with the Moorish Empire, Muslims were able to use artificial looks to raise fish for food. So, as far as agriculture is concerned, it's really one of the greatest areas of contribution which was benefit was not only limited to Muslims, but to various countries where they are settled for some time in the hammer publishing industry, embassy likewise Of course, if you have all this scientific development, chemistry in other fields and have this progress in agriculture, one would expect a parallel type of progress in industry to that among the most important things were the infection or the fabrics
and more particularly things like silk, cotton,
leather, for example, like in Cordoba,
mining, they will cope with the mining, metallurgy, manufacturing of glass particularly in similar manufacturing of steel, as in Damascus, and also in Toledo, many people still remember this, you know, to do that loads is a part of the of the Muslim efforts also,
because of the knowledge of soft chemistry, they were able to apply it not only in medicines, as we mentioned in the previous program, that they applied, but also in the extraction of instance, the house of roses.
But also because of the growth interest in learning, though diverted lots of attention to the manufacturing, or production of paper. Of course, you would not expect this great libraries and volumes without a local paper industry to go with it. It is merited, but the first factory to produce pepper pepper mill was established in Baghdad
towards the end of the eighth century 794.
And a historian also said that the term loom you know, the stream of data comes from the Spanish plasma is Ma, which is based on the libertarian roadmap, which in bundle.
Van Nanda, in his book Arab contribution to civilization gives an interesting story as how Muslims learned about printing, and he says that during the conquest of Samarkand in 707,
some of the world prisoners knew about printing so much
Instead of dealing with the rare captors as our people learn that from them and benefited everybody from them, and the status spreading, printing as well as
And however the extent of the involvement of the Muslim community in, in trade. Well, of course, the invention by the Muslims of the mariner camp campus, because of the knowledge of physics definitely reflects a great deal of interest in
many of the terms that we have in commerce today comes from Arabic terms
come from paratha.
necesitan is an Arabic word which means word, what has it, and you know, in India in the French language, it's magazine,
the same kind of derivation, some history and so that in one occasion, there was there as many as 850 commercial vessels, Muslim vessels back in the port of Canton, in China 850 at one time,
that shows the huge commercial movement that was going on.
Their progress in trade and commerce was quite wide, all the way from the the shores of China and India,
to Madagascar, Madagascar in Arabic and the African coast, from the Black Sea to the interior of Asia. There is no wonder then that you find some books even as old as the 10th century by a person about the principles of trade and commerce. So even writing on the subject was there as an evidence of the economic freedom under Islamic rule, we'll find that many people migrated from France to Muslim Spain because it was under Muslim rule. So there was more than many people migrated from Italy to Muslim Sicily, which was close close.
In fact, one contemporary economist
by the name of Camille castellina,
syrups little paper, which she presented in the sixth annual conference on history of economics in the University of Illinois in Champaign in May of 1979.
And she mentioned that the subject only is has not been explored enough and amazing evidence of Muslim styles in this area. Do you have a lot of time but could you perhaps share with us some of the some of he found out one very brief example she says that there's clear evidence that Muslims are quite advanced and they have a very good they have a very good system of money and banking,
some ancient coins that were found all the way from Scandinavia to Suriname, and she noted in that one of the kings of
Moshe, which was part of the inner part of Britain
have coins, world coins struck. And once on one side, it held the Muslim testimony I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah on the other side of the test his name alpha, or FFA, x r x. And she said that the banking among Muslims in the Muslim in the Muslim world June 11, and Islam not to be attained in the west for several years afterwards. The term check comes from the Arabic suck. And she mentioned surprisingly enough that there have been cases of Muslims have deepened in the past, using a very elaborate banking system even letter of credit rather than carrying cash or borrow from one place to the other.
That's very interesting information. We unfortunately don't have time to pursue this any further in today's program. We want to thank you for watching and I'll catch you back next week when we'll continue with our series. Thank you for watching us and welcome peace beyond you