“…so what did the Muslims ever do for us?”

Posted February 19th, 2010 by admin and filed in General, Remembrance

We all know the Romans were good at building water and drainage systems. That our American cousins, The Wright Brothers, were the first to take to the air in their flying machine. And as for the British: masters of time piece and the makers of a good cup of tea.


Last week, we went to visit the “1001 Inventions” exhibition organised by the Jameel Foundation: An insight to Islamic historical inventions and discoveries during the “Dark ages” or as it should be known “The Golden Ages”.

It seems the mists of time have some interesting hidden treasures about our Muslim ancestry. In fact, the western inventions we take for granted today were actually pioneered and developed long before the Europeans created their porcelain throne.

“Interesting”, I hear you say.

The exhibition shows Islamic origins of modern day technologies such as the camera, the clock, and yep the flying machine.

In fact the Muslims were also pretty good at medicine too: being able to hypothesis and prove blood capillary actions. They also performed cutting edge eye surgery research. You’ll be also interested to learn, that free health care, triage diagnosis and patient after care were not developed by the NHS…. unless there was a health service in the middle ages and it was in the middle east.

“Oh yeah…”, I hear you cynically say

Here are a few other things we learnt:

The elephant clock: the first way of telling the time, with parts made up of all the major cultures; Greek, Indian, Chinese, invented by 12th century muslim inventor Al-Jazari, a Muslim

In 9th century Spain, Muslim inventor Abbas ibn Firnas designed a flying machine, hundreds of years before da Vinci drew plans of his own and more than a thousand years after the Wright Brothers.

Beautifully displayed, with interactive games, and a presentation with outstanding sound, the Science Museum’s “1001 Inventions” showed us what Muslims are capable of.

It’s mind-blowing to see that some of the most complex inventions didn’t come from only the Greeks and Romans, but from us, the Muslims. To reiterate, what was called the dark ages, should be rightly renamed as “The Golden Ages”.

From the first clock, to treating cataracts, to inventing a mathematical essence, the Muslims of the “Golden ages”, through Allah’s will, invented groundbreaking discoveries, all of which today’s life would be, in no way, the same without.
Leaving this exhibition, ready to send picture messages to my friends, I looked at my camera in awe, realizing that us, the Muslims invented the camera and the basic tool for today’s cineplexes and multiplexes.

Seeing all these major developments, it takes a while for us to realize that Allah’s will was that these Muslims changed the world. Masha’Allah – What a will of Allah!

I felt a sense of being enormously inspired. David C Mccullough said; “History is who we are and why we are the way we are” – This exhibition didn’t melodramatically “change my life”, but it made me realize that the Muslim Ummah has far more potential than we take into consideration, and that we should aspire to aim high, as these people did, and that we, one day could change the world, in a different, but significant way.

Rabbi Zidni Ilman Naafi’an – Oh my Lord, increase me in beneficial knowledge. And Allah knows best.

“OK, so apart from, medicine, aviation, mathematics, what else did the Muslim do for us?”

Did I also mention they also invented soap!

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