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Intellectual Property of Islamic Civilization in Andalusia - Essay Example

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Intellectual Property of Islamic Civilization in Andalusia

In the 700 years that they have been in Europe, the Muslims of Al-Andalus produced a great civilisation that was far ahead and more advance than the rest of Europe at that time.
Many tribes, religions and races coexisted in al-Andalus, each contributing to the intellectual prosperity of Andalusia. Literacy in Islamic Iberia was far more widespread than any other country of the West. Today also, unlike other muslim inhabitants of elsewhere , the southern Spain which was known as Muslim Spain is far ahead and distinct in education and thinking.
The properity and peace of Andalusi is marked by intellectual advancement specially in field of education and translation works.In the 10th century, the city of Cordoba had 700 mosques, 60,000 palaces, and 70 libraries, the largest of which had up to 600,000 books. In comparison, the largest library in Christian Europe at the time had no more than 400 manuscripts, while the University of Paris library still had only 2,000 books later in the 14th century. In addition, as many as 60,000 treatises, poems, polemics and compilations were published each year in Al-Andalus. In comparison, modern Spain published 46,330 books per year as of 1996. The historian Said Al-Andalusi wrote that Caliph Abd-ar-Rahman III had collected libraries of books and granted patronage to scholars of medicine and "ancient sciences". Later, al-Mustansir (Al-Hakam II) went yet further, building a university and libraries in Crdoba. Crdoba became one of the world's leading centres of medicine and philosophical debate. "The subjects covered by the texts included medicine, astrology, astronomy pharmacology, psychology, physiology, zoology, biology, botany, mineralogy, optics, chemistry, physics, mathematics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, music, meteorology, geography, mechanics, hydrostatics, navigation and history." (Burke, 1985, p. 42)

Among numerous scholars of Aldusia included Abu Uthman Ibn Fathun, whose masterwork was the philosophical treatise "Tree of Wisdom". An outstanding scholar in astronomy and astrology was Maslamah Ibn Ahmad al-Majriti (died 1008), an intrepid traveller who journeyed all over the Islamic world and beyond, and who kept in touch with the Brethren of Purity. Indeed, it is said to have been he who brought the 51 "Epistles of the Brethren of Purity" to al-Andalus and who added the compendium to this work, although it is quite possible that it was added later by another scholar of the name al-Majriti. Another book attributed to al-Majriti is the Ghayat al-Hakim "The Aim of the Sage", a book which explored a synthesis of Platonism with Hermetic philosophy. Its use of incantations led the book to be widely dismissed in later years, although the Sufi communities kept studies of it.
A prominent follower of al-Majriti was the philosopher and geometer Abu al-Hakam al-Kirmani. A follower of his in turn was the great Abu Bakr Ibn al-Sayigh, usually known in the Arab world as Ibn Bajjah, "Avempace"
The Andalusian philosopher Averroes (1126-1198) is considered the father of secular thought in Europe and possibly the most important among them. He was the founder of the Averroism school of philosophy, and his works and commentaries had an impact on the ...Show more

Summary

Once considered as the centre of learning and a catalyst in bringinh the renaissance period in Europe, the civilization of Al-Andalusia has left its marks in the European culture in the form of cultural and intellectual imprints. Muslim Spain was under Andalusia was once the melting pot of various cultures, transactional point of trade and intellectuals of Europe and Middle East countries…
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