Top positive review
54 people found this helpful
Shockingly Brilliant and Absorbing!!
on 19 January 2008
A brilliantly compiled and gripping encyclopedia of knowledge, which will have the reader wanting to know more. This book is essential reading for students and for those seeking to understand Islam and the Muslim peoples. A must read in my humble opinion for anyone who is interested in history, science and culture. I just could not put it down! Informative would be an understatement.. It's got quality written all over it. Made from quality glossy paper, it's definitely worth the price I paid for it, and I intend to buy more copies for my family and friends. It's beautifully illustrated, full of wonderful photographs, maps and diagrams. It's main theme and core is highlighting Muslim Scientists, Thinkers and Artists, and their contributions in our world. Its simple layout makes it a most enjoyable read. What really intrigued me was that `The Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC)' has authenticated, and published this book.
It contains an ocean of facts, especially things we take for granted in our daily lives:
Who would have thought that it was through early Muslim advancements in science and culture that went on to lay the foundations/cornerstones of the European Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and modern Western society.
Who would have thought it was in translation from Arabic, not the original Greek, that knowledge of Greek philosophy became prominent in Christian thought.
Who would have thought that Western mathematics are based on Arabic numerals and calculations. Never!! I hear you all shout? Sadly I thought the same.. Truth can be stranger than fiction, and very hard to stomach.
Who would have thought that `Coffee' is actually a Muslim discovery, and the word is derived from the Arabic word Al-Qawah (Café).
Who would have thought that the word `Checkmate' is actually Persian in origin and a corruption of Shah Mat (The king is dead).
Who would have thought that paper and gun powder was brought to Europe by Muslims via the Muslim lands.
Who would have thought that the first Libraries, Hospitals and Universities were created by the Muslims.
Who would have thought that it was the Muslims who first brought and cultivated in Europe many crops and fruits from far lands as China and India, ranging from oranges, bananas, rice, cotton, sugar cane, silk and spices.
Unbelievably, the list goes on!
This book I am not ashamed to admit has managed to remove many prejudices that I held previously against Islam and its contribution to human life and the world. It has given me a whole new outlook to Islam, and has brought about a sense of respect, admiration and gratitude to all those great Muslim contributions that have brought about the quality of life that most of us take for granted. After reading this book, I'm sure most people like me will be convinced that Western civilization owes a huge dept to the Islamic culture. Without their contribution, sacrifices and efforts, we in the West would probably still be living in the dark ages.