History of Islam and Western Civilization in Short Batches

The book is A Short History of the Arab Peoples by Sir John Glubb, copyright 1969. This short volume of 300 pages is an executive summary of a four volume more detailed work by this author on the subject.

The people that we call "Arabs" today are not a uniform ethnic race but a multi-ethnic compilation of peoples from various parts of the region from eastern Europe to western Asia, from Greece and Turkey to India and western China. From North Africa, the Berbers of the Atlas Mountains to the Arabic, Roman-Greco peoples of Damascus, of Syria.

Like a "pride" of lions, the collective name in Arabic for a "group of tents" is an "Arab," referring to the nomadic tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, now known as Saudi Arabia. And these nomads were the lions of their time, conquering and establishing a vast empire from the Atlantic to the borders of China, north of Tibet, by the end of the 7th century. Though multi-ethnic, these peoples mostly adopted the Arabic language which leads to our confusion of referring to all of them as Arabs today.

The Arabic Empire succeeded the ancient Roman, Greek and Persian empires, absorbing their culture, science, art and literature -- and taking it to a higher level -- before succumbing to the European onslaught following the infringement of the Crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries. Modern Europe and the Western civilization of today, began from that enhanced knowledge and culture passed on to them from the Golden Ages of the Arabic Empires while Europe was still in the Dark Ages.

For example, imagine doing long division with Roman Numerals, rather than the arabic numerals and system of 10's that we received from the Arabic progress of that time. Sorry students, they invented Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry too.

Watch for another installment to this story in the coming weeks.

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