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Islamic Roots of Western Civilisation

 

If the case for the Judeo-Christian roots of Western civilisation is a strong one, then the exclusion of Islam from that matrix is baffling and inexplicable. The Prophet of Islam was born only 500 years after Jesus, who although rejected by the Jews, is of course revered in Islam as the ‘Spirit of God’ (ruh Allah) and as a mighty messenger of the Almighty (rasul Allah).

Muslims also accept and revere Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon and John the Baptist as Divinely-inspired emissaries (anbiya) even though the Jews deny the message of the Arabian Prophet. Of the three Abrahamic religions, only Islam unconditionally accepts and reveres the seminal figures of Judaism and Christianity whilst the latter not only reject each other, they have also repudiated the claims of Islam and its Prophet. As such, claim of Islam to be the most open, inclusive and unifying religion is certainly credible.

Historically speaking, Christianity found acceptance in the Western world incrementally whilst Judaism was always reviled across Europe throughout the medieval and up to the modern period, and Islam of course became a part and parcel of the European landscape from the early part of the eighth century, yet the case for the Judeo-Christian roots of Western civilisation is frequently invoked but done so at the exclusion of Islam. This never made any sense to me, both historically and culturally.

Indeed, Muslim contribution to mathematics, science, engineering, philosophy, theology, poetry and literature dominated Europe for more than a millennium, leaving their indelible marks on Western thought, culture and heritage forever, but standard textbooks on European history and culture always overlook and ignore this aspect of our Western heritage. Why?

Written by Muhammad Mojlum Khan, based on the book ‘Great Muslims of the West’, available at www.kubepublishing.com

 

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