Illuminating the Dark Ages: The Role and Contribution of Muslim Civilisation

Published Date: 
27 March 2013

National Conference for Islam and Medicine (NCIM): Abstract talk at King’s College, London, presented in March 2013 by Professor Mohamed El-Gomati OBE, Chairman of the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation (FSTC)

National Conference for Islam and Medicine (NCIM)

The period between 600-1600 CE, following the collapse of the Roman Empire, is commonly referred to as the ‘Dark Ages’. It is often regarded as a time of intellectual idleness and economic regression – an understanding that has regrettably become all too commonplace, finding its way into educational curricula all over the world.

We are repeatedly told, despite evidence to the contrary, that civilisation had taken a nose dive, and that after the Greeks and the Romans, all knowledge, science and technology had stagnated or worse still entirely disappeared. We are then expected to believe that in the 13th century, the Renaissance era magically rose out of the ashes! This account is based on a fallacy, attributing centuries of progress, scientific achievements, innovation and technological advances solely to the great scientists and technologists of Western Europe.

Dark Ages?

It is this narrative that is challenged and refuted through a number of initiatives led by the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) – a global network of historians, scientists and academics. The talk will give an overview of the work undertaken by the FSTC; the culmination of a decade of rigorous research by over fifty international academics dedicated to uncovering over a thousand years of heritage from Muslim civilisation and their impact on the modern world.

Muslim civilisation are testament to how men and women of different faiths and cultures worked together in what were predominantly the classical Muslim civilisation, building upon the achievements of other ancient civilisations, to improve mankind’s quality of life. This account attempts to give coverage and insight to one of several non-European civilisation that deserves to be credited with its role and contribution. It is my hope to impart some knowledge on a subject and focus of research, one that is increasingly gaining recognition amongst many leading historians and respectable academic circles.

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