Islam’s Golden Age

Tom Wallace

Today I want to look at the claim we hear saying that Islam has brought us many great scientific advances, that they have brought enlightenment to the world, that they have given us innovation and technology, and that we are indebted to the Muslims for these things. Today and tomorrow we are going to expose the truth, and the lie, in this claim.

Remember Obama’s first foreign tour? He went to Egypt a and Turkey. In Egypt he spoke to the Al-Azhar University and made the following statement:

As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.

We talk a lot about the last part of this statement at Fortress of Faith. Any idea that “Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality” is exposed as a lie by the 1,400 year history of Islam persecuting and killing anyone who dares differ with their ideology.

Let’s take look at the idea that we are in debt to Islam for scientific advances and enlightenment. We need to remember that Islam starts with Muhammad, and he died in the year 632 AD. At that time, most Muslims in the world, including Muhammad, couldn’t read or write. Written Arabic was not yet fully formulated. The Qur’an wasn’t written down until about 150 years after Muhammad, and it was written in a Kuffic script. During Muhammad’s time they used a Nabataean script. There were no vowels in the Arabic alphabet at this point. The earliest Qur’an should be without vowels, but what they claim to be the earliest Qur’an has vowels in it. This is how we know it could not have been written until about 150 years after Muhammad. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to figure these things out.

The point I want to make is, since Muhammad and most Muslims could not read or write, they didn’t have a society that produced books and other records. Muhammad was wealthy, so he was able to hire a scribe who did his reading and writing for him. Although there were some people who could read and write, but it was never pushed in the Islamic world.

The Abbasid Caliphate 750 – 1258 AD (508 Years)

About 100 to 130 years after Muhammad’s death we have the beginning of the Abbasid Caliphate. A caliphate is the empire, and the caliph is the ruler of the caliphate. He is the successor of Muhammad.

Al-Abbas, which is where we get the name “Abbasid,” moved the headquarters of the Caliphate from Syria to Persia. Persia had an advanced culture and educated people. Listen to what Caliph Al Ma’mum, whose Mother was Persian, said:

“The Persians ruled for a thousand years and did not need us Arabs even for a day. We have been ruling them for one or two centuries and cannot do without them for an hour.”

The Persian culture was well developed and enriched with knowledge. They had a written language and could read and write. When the caliphate was moved to Persia, there was an awakening for knowledge, and it launched them into was is referred to as the “Golden Age Of Islam.” It lasted intil about 833AD. This is where the Islamic apologists go when they try to sing the praises of Islam for their contributions to the world.

The Abbasid Caliphate lasted from about 750 to 1258 AD, but this “Golden Age” only lasted for about 70 years. I will talk more tomorrow about what brought an end to this age, but their embracing of critical thinking, scientific advancement, and other things that were unfamiliar to the Arab world was very short lived.

Fallacious Claims

President Obama gave Islam credit for a list of achievements. Toby Huff, a professor at Cambridge, said:

“In virtually every field of endeavor — in astronomy, alchemy, mathematics, medicine, optics and so forth — the Caliphate’s scientists were in the forefront of scientific advance.”

Here are some things he gives them credit for inventing or discovering:

                       The Invention or Discovery                                     Who Really Invented or Discovered It

Water Pumps

Egyptians 2000BC and Greeks 200 BC


China and Persia 6th Century

Paper-making from Linen

Chinese 1st Century


Chinese 7th Century

Ibn al Haytham father of Optics

Greeks – Eculid 300 BC

Al Khalili – First True Scientist (BBC 2015)

Greeks – Aristotle – Archimedes 200-300 BC

Earth’s Axis by Al-Battani

Chinese – Chou Li 1100 BC

Kerosene discovered by Razi (Bk – Kitab al-Asrar)

Chinese – 1500 BC

You can see from the above chart, that the claims are false. These scientific advances come from other cultures and nations. It is true that the Muslims used these things, but they did not invent or discover them.

The Golden Age of Islam only lasted for about 70 years, and we will look more into this tomorrow.



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