Quotes on Islamic Civilization

Bertrand Russell

Our use of phrase ‘The Dark ages’ to cover the period from 699 to 1,000 marks our undue concentration on Western Europe… From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished. What was lost to christendom at this time was not lost to civilization, but quite the contrary… To us it seems that West-European civilization is civilization, but this is a narrow view. 

Bertrand Russell in ‘History of Western Philosophy,’ London, 1948, p. 419.



Phillip Hitti

Finally how can one forget that at the same time the Mogul Empire of India (1526-1857 C.E.) was giving the world the Taj Mahal (completed in 1648 C.E.) the architectural beauty of which has never been surpassed, and the ‘Akbar Nameh’ of Abul Fazl: “That extraordinary work full of life ideas and learning where every aspect of life is examined listed and classified, and where progress continually dazzles the eye, is a document of which Oriental civilization may justly be proud. The men whose genius finds its expression in this book were far in advance of their age in the practical art of government, and they were perhaps in advance of it in their speculations about religious philosophy. 

Those poets those philosophers knew how to deal with the world or matter. They observe, classify, calculate and experiment. All the ideas that occur to them are tested against facts. They express them with eloquence but they also support them with statistics.”…the principles of tolerance, justice and humanity which prevailed during the long reign of Akbar.

Phillip Hitti in ‘Short History of the Arabs.’



Napoleon Bonaparte

I hope the time is not far off hen I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur’an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness. 

Quoted in Christian Cherfils’ Bonaparte Et Islam, Paris, 1914



William Drape

During the period of the Caliphs the learned men of the Christians and the Jews were not only held in great esteem but were appointed to posts of great responsibility, and were promoted to the high ranking job in the government….He (Caliph Haroon Rasheed) never considered to which country a learned person belonged nor his faith and belief, but only his excellence in the field of learning.



Sarojini Naidu

It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: ‘God alone is great’… 

S. Naidu, Ideals of Islam, Vide Speeches & Writings, Madras, 1918



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