Muslim Arabs all along have absorbed cultures form different territories they took over like the Roman Empire and Persian Empire. It would be good to mention that this civilization achieved many goals during their existence mainly in the topics of mathematics and astronomy. All in all the empire lasted from about 750 to 1258 A.D. Let us go through their history.
The Arabs had expanded in the seventh and eight centuries having as their center Damascus. A dynasty called Umayyad had established himself in this same city but due to their corrupt behavior they did not last too long in power. Soon later, in 750, came the Abbasid dynasty with a man called Abu al-Abbas, this dynasty brought many changes to the world of Islam such as distinction between Arab and non-Arab Muslims. Later, in 762, the establishment of the capital city was relocated to Baghdad. The new capital was better located for transportation purposes and also for commerce. The Abbasid dynasty was well reigned throughout the ninth century. Two important characters were Harun el-Rashed (786-809) and his son, al-Ma’mun (813-833) “who founded an astronomical observation and created a foundation for translating classical Greek works.”(p.171)
Since Arabs conquered many of the rich provinces from the old Roman Empire they themselves were also becoming very wealthy with Baghdad as the trade center for the Middle East and Europe. Unfortunately for the empire there was at some point an awful fight between two brothers for the succession to the caliphate. This obviously hurt the Abbasids because they lost many monuments and people lost property. Following this dilemma the empire broke apart into separate dynasties, a major one being in southern Spain with a leader named Abd-al-Rahman; this dynasty was probably the last of the Umayyads. Many other independent dynasties came along later such as one in Egypt. Even though the empire actually broke up the bond they still had together was the Quran and the Arabic language.
The Islamic civilization was the one who introduced Algebra in Mathematics and the one who perfected the astrolabe. They did discover a few concepts in chemistry and also developed medicine. Furthermore, they translated several works form ancient Greek philosophers and writers into Arabic and introduced it to people in Europe.
Achieving great success and introducing new ideas is what this civilization has really done I think. It seems like sometimes they might be forgotten but I think they had a pretty strong impact on countries at the time and they had the power before Europe really started to develop. Although Greeks, Persians and Romans influenced them to a certain extent they intelligently used it against their advantage and created a very well developed empire.
Spielvogel, Jackson J.;(1999) Western Civilization A brief history, Thomson Publishing Company, p. 172-174
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