Quotations on Islamic Civilization
The quotations on this page
Following is a list of philosophers and
historians who wrote on the Islamic civilization.
George Bernard Shaw
Carra de Vaux
Michael the Elder (Great)
John Bagot Glubb
Napolean Bonaparte as Quoted in Christian
Cherfils, ‘Bonaparte et Islam,’ Pedone Ed., Paris,
France, 1914, pp. 105, 125.
Original References: "Correspondance de Napoléon
Ier Tome V pièce n° 4287 du 17/07/1799..."
"Moses has revealed the existence of
God to his nation. Jesus Christ to the Roman world, Muhammad
to the old continent...
"Arabia was idolatrous when, six centuries after Jesus,
Muhammad introduced the worship of the God of Abraham, of Ishmael,
of Moses, and Jesus. The Ariyans and some other sects had disturbed
the tranquility of the east by agitating the question of the
nature of the Father, the son, and the Holy Ghost. Muhammad
declared that there was none but one God who had no father,
no son and that the trinity imported the idea of idolatry...
"I hope the time is not far off when I shall
be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries
and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur'an
which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness."
Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine
Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.
"If any religion had the chance of
ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years,
it could be Islam."
"I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation
because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which
appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing
phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age.
I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far
from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."
"I believe that if a man like him were to
assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed
in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much
needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith
of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow
as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today."
Bertrand Russell in ‘History of
Western Philosophy,’ London, 1948, p. 419.
"Our use of phrase 'The Dark ages'
to cover the period from 699 to 1,000 marks our undue concentration
on Western Europe...
"From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam
flourished. What was lost to christendom at this time was not
lost to civilization, but quite the contrary...
"To us it seems that West-European civilization
is civilization, but this is a narrow view."
"The Islamic teachings have left great
traditions for equitable and gentle dealings and behavior, and
inspire people with nobility and tolerance. These are human
teachings of the highest order and at the same time practicable.
These teachings brought into existence a society in which hard-heartedness
and collective oppression and injustice were the least as compared
with all other societies preceding it....Islam is replete with
gentleness, courtesy, and fraternity."
Dr. William Draper in 'History of Intellectual
Development of Europe'
"During the period of the Caliphs
the learned men of the Christians and the Jews were not only
held in great esteem but were appointed to posts of great responsibility,
and were promoted to the high ranking job in the government....He
(Caliph Haroon Rasheed) never considered to which country a
learned person belonged nor his faith and belief, but only his
excellence in the field of learning."
Thomas Carlyle in ‘Heroes, Hero
Worship, and the Heroic in History,’ Lecture 2, Friday,
8th May 1840.
"As there is no danger of our becoming,
any of us, Mahometans (i.e. Muslim), I mean to say all the good
of him I justly can...
"When Pococke inquired of Grotius, where the proof was
of that story of the pigeon, trained to pick peas from Mahomet's
(Muhammad's) ear, and pass for an angel dictating to him? Grotius
answered that there was no proof!...
"A poor, hard-toiling, ill-provided man;
careless of what vulgar men toil for. Not a bad man, I should
say; Something better in him than hunger of any sort, -- or
these wild arab men, fighting and jostling three-and-twenty
years at his hand, in close contact with him always, would not
revered him so! They were wild men bursting ever and anon into
quarrel, into all kinds of fierce sincerity; without right worth
and manhood, no man could have commanded them. They called him
prophet you say? Why he stood there face to face with them;
bare, not enshrined in any mystry; visibly clouting his own
cloak, cobbling his own shoes; fighting, counselling, ordering
in the midst of them: they must have seen what kind of man he
was, let him be called what you like! No emperor with his tiaras
was obeyed as this man in a cloak of his own clouting. During
three-and-twenty years of rough actual trial. I find something
of a veritable Hero necessary for that, of itself...
"These Arabs, the man Mahomet, and that
one century, - is it not as if a spark had fallen, one spark,
on a world of what proves explosive powder, blazes heaven-high
from Delhi to Granada! I said, the Great man was always as lightning
out of Heaven; the rest of men waited for him like fuel, and
then they too would flame..."
Phillip Hitti in 'Short History of the
"During all the first part of the
Middle Ages, no other people made as important a contribution
to human progress as did the Arabs, if we take this term to
mean all those whose mother-tongue was Arabic, and not merely
those living in the Arabian peninsula. For centuries, Arabic
was the language of learning, culture and intellectual progress
for the whole of the civilized world with the exception of the
Far East. From the IXth to the XIIth century there were more
philosophical, medical, historical, religiuos, astronomical
and geographical works written in Arabic than in any other human
Carra de Vaux
Carra de Vaux in 'The Philosophers of
Islam,' Paris, 1921.
"Finally how can one forget that
at the same time the Mogul Empire of India (1526-1857 C.E.)
was giving the world the Taj Mahal (completed in 1648 C.E.)
the architectural beauty of which has never been surpassed,
and the ‘Akbar Nameh’ of Abul Fazl: "That extraordinary
work full of life ideas and learning where every aspect of life
is examined listed and classified, and where progress continually
dazzles the eye, is a document of which Oriental civilization
may justly be proud. The men whose genius finds its expression
in this book were far in advance of their age in the practical
art of government, and they were perhaps in advance of it in
their speculations about religious philosophy. Those poets those
philosophers knew how to deal with the world or matter. They
observe, classify, calculate and experiment. All the ideas that
occur to them are tested against facts. They express them with
eloquence but they also support them with statistics."...the
principles of tolerance, justice and humanity which prevailed
during the long reign of Akbar."
Marcel Clerget in 'La Turquie, Passe
et Present,' Paris, 1938.
"Many proofs of high cultural level
of the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent
are to be found in the development of science and law; in the
flowering of literary works in Arabic, Persian and Turkish;
in the contemporary monuments in Istanbul, Bursa, and Edirne;
in the boom in luxury industries; in the sumptuous life of the
court and high dignitaries, and last but not least in its religious
tolerance. All the various influences - notably Turkish, Byzantine
and Italian mingle together and help to make this the most brilliant
epoch of the Ottomans."
Michael the Elder (Great) as Quoted
in 'Michael the Elder, Chronique de Michael Syrien, Patriarche
Jacobite d’ Antioche,' J.B. Chabot, Editor, Vol. II, Paris,
"This is why the God of vengeance,
who alone is all-powerful, and changes the empire of mortals
as He will, giving it to whomsoever He will, and uplifting
the humble beholding the wickedness of the Romans who throughout
their dominions, cruelly plundered our churches and our monasteries
and condemned us without pity, brought from the region of
south the sons of Ishmael, to deliver us through them from
the hands of the Romans. And if in truth we have suffered
because the Catholic churches, that had been taken away from
us and given to the Chalcedonians, remained in their possession;
for when the cities submitted to the Arabs, they assigned to
each denomination the churches which they found it to be
possession of (and at that time the great churches of Emessa
and that of Harran had been taken away from us); nevertheless
it was no slight advantage for us to be delivered from the
cruelty of the Romans, their wickedness, their wrath and
against us, and to find ourselves at people. (Michael the Elder,
Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch wrote this text in the latter
part of the twelfth century, after five centuries of Muslim
rule in that region." Click
here for a relevant document sent to the monks of St. Catherine
Monastery in Mt. Sinai, 628 C.E.
Sir John Bagot Glubb
“Khalif (Caliph) Al-Ma'mun's period
of rule (813 - 833 C.E.) may be considered the 'golden age'
of science and learning. He had always been devoted to books
and to learned pursuits. His brilliant mind was interested in
every form of intellectual activity. Not only poetry but also
philosophy, theology, astronomy, medicine and law all occupied
“By Mamun's time medical schools were extremely active
in Baghdad. The first free public hospital was opened in Baghdad
during the Caliphate of Haroon-ar-Rashid. As the system developed,
physicians and surgeons were appointed who gave lectures to
medical students and issued diplomas to those who were considered
qualified to practice. The first hospital in Egypt was opened
in 872 AD and thereafter public hospitals sprang up all over
the empire from Spain and the Maghrib to Persia.”
On the Holocaust of Baghdad (1258 C.E.) Perpetrated
“The city was systematically looted, destroyed and burnt.
Eight hundred thousand persons are said to have been killed.
The Khalif Mustasim was sewn up in a sack and trampled to death
under the feet of Mongol horses.
“For five hundred years, Baghdad had been
a city of palaces, mosques, libraries and colleges. Its universities
and hospitals were the most up-to-date in the world. Nothing
now remained but heaps of rubble and a stench of decaying human