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Influence of Islamic Civilization on our modern world ...

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 07-Jul-2012, 12:02 PM
Auzer's Avatar Auzer Auzer is offline
 
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Re: Influence of Islamic Civilization on our modern world ...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyani Jarnail Singh View Post
ARE those Islamic Scholars really respected as solid Muslims by those in control of islam Today ?? i think NOT..IF any one of those Islamic Scholars were to be found in say Saudi Arabia..He would be Caught and Prosecuted as a Heretic/apostate or worse beheaded instead of being glorified....IT was a Totally DIFFERENT ISLAM that existed during the Golden Age of Islam....Todays Islam is not shining at all...juts look at Al Qaida.... suicide bombers and all....very Backward type of religious teachings being propagated all over..
Exactly my point...
"Modern Islam" or Islam after 18th century isn't what it used to be....

Today's Saudi Islam is not Islam but Islam mixed with tribal traditions of Arabia. Islam during 'Golden-Age' is the Islam in its true essence..Even then , there were many problems , but since Islam was a relatively new religion--it was very close to what Prophet revealed.

Today , Islamic societies all around the world are riddled with political instability , wars , dictatorships , sectarian divide , and what not?

Quote:
Lets have an article about the PRODUCTS of MODERN ISLAM...scientists, astronomers whatever >?? How many ???
How many? Well MANY! but its all in the Western world... Muslims , just like Indians , come to the West and when provided with the favorable environment , they perform exceptionally well.... Its about political stability and economic prosperity--once these two critical variables get abundant in the Islamic World , I'm pretty sure that Muslims will start performing better... To be ahead or up-to-date in Knowledge is a religious command in Islam...and Muslims will act on it..even if in a small numbers..but surely they will.



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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-Jul-2012, 15:04 PM
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Re: Influence of Islamic Civilization on our modern world ...

Quote:
How come? Numbers "originated" in India...but our numeral system was developed by Arabs.. Putting '0' at the bottom and '9' at the top... Our numbers are written in Arabic and not in Sanskrit...why? Because Arabs took numbers from India and developed our numeral system , not Indians. Secondly , Arabs never took others' credit. They themselves called numbers as "Hindsa" ...meaning "From India" ... so they recognized numbers' relation to India.
Do you know that Aryabhatta gave correct value of Pi (TT) upto 4 decimal places in fifth centuary i.e before advant of Islam. How come that be done if number systems were not developed? He also calculated length of 1 year.

[QUOTE]Secondly , no one "invented" Algebra. Algebra doesn't have 'one' definite origin. Babylonians , Greeks , Indians , Arabs etc etc ALL contributed to the vast branch of Mathematics , known as "Algebra" ... 'Algebra' , or "problem solving" , is in human instinct. Originally , 'Algebra' or 'Problem solving' , is in use for 4000 years...It was started by Babylonians , as far as our present history goes...

I am copying thid from wikipedia. It also available at various other places.

The method known as "Modus Indorum" or the method of the Indians have become our algebra today. This algebra came along with the Hindu Number system to Arabia and then migrated to Europe. The earliest known Indian mathematical documents are dated to around the middle of the first millennium BCE (around the 6th century BCE).[40]

The recurring themes in Indian mathematics are, among others, determinate and indeterminate linear and quadratic equations, simple mensuration, and Pythagorean triples.[41]

Auzer ji. There is book called Aryabhatta named by the author on himself where these calculations can be found. Arabs must have made further development in this subject but the basis of modern algebra, trigonometry and arthimetics lie with India.

Try google for further reading.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 07-Jul-2012, 15:52 PM
Auzer's Avatar Auzer Auzer is offline
 
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Re: Influence of Islamic Civilization on our modern world ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Searching View Post
Do you know that Aryabhatta gave correct value of Pi (TT) upto 4 decimal places in fifth centuary i.e before advant of Islam. How come that be done if number systems were not developed? He also calculated length of 1 year.
Well no one is saying that number systems weren't developed..but... the numeral system Arabs developed is what our PRESENT numeric system is... Greeks also calculated the value of 'Pi' ..Well , the 'Pi' is itself a word came to us from Greeks..So how come Greeks were able to calculate it, to some extent? Different numeric systems existed..like Roman Numerals etc...but they all had limits to their operations...It was Arabic Numerals that revolutionized Mathematics and took it to the 'infinity' ..You can add Arabic Numerals (1-9) infinite number of times..try adding Roman Numerals sometime..you would get stuck!... Even today , we write our numbers as ARABIC numbers 1, 2 , 3 , 4 etc ..and NOT as Sanskrit numbers...

There is absolutely no doubt about great minds of great land of Indian/Pakistan (Subcontinent) ... The absolute genius of people of Indus is undeniable..but please , it is not a wise idea to challenge historically accepted facts just by citing few wiki lines...There is a clear relation of our present numerals to Indian land..but let us not forget the contributions of Arabs , Persians too...

Lets call in "Indian-Arab numerals" or "Arab-Indian numerals" ... alright?



Quote:
I am copying thid from wikipedia. It also available at various other places.

The method known as "Modus Indorum" or the method of the Indians have become our algebra today. This algebra came along with the Hindu Number system to Arabia and then migrated to Europe. The earliest known Indian mathematical documents are dated to around the middle of the first millennium BCE (around the 6th century BCE).[40]
Wikipedia edited by Indians in favor of India is never really a good source.

Does the bold words tell you anything? Even many Indians would call this bias as Indians always refer to numbers as "Indian numbers" and not some "Hindu numbers" ...The editor of this article is probably a zealous young teenager from Nationalistic Republic of India. Very understandable.

Quote:
Auzer ji. There is book called Aryabhatta named by the author on himself where these calculations can be found. Arabs must have made further development in this subject but the basis of modern algebra, trigonometry and arthimetics lie with India.
No one is denying the fact that Aryabhatta was a great Mathematician...

Quote:
Try google for further reading.
Google isn't a good source.... I prefer reading Books Google can give you EVERY opinion...you can find opinions that support YOUR point of view...and this isn't right , I guess. Google becomes too subjective due to its massive size......
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 07-Jul-2012, 16:12 PM
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Re: Influence of Islamic Civilization on our modern world ...

very true observations.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 07-Jul-2012, 18:31 PM
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Re: Influence of Islamic Civilization on our modern world ...

Brother Auzer ji

LOL I never said that you were pushing myths about Islamic civilisation, I said that you were "discounting" them (proving them false). You have misunderstood me

My point was though the Dark Ages idea is a myth. Its also been discounted by modern historians, although sadly that hasn't filtered down yet to the public, or so it seems. Its an enlightenment falsehood made up by the likes of Voltaire and Gibbons as propaganda for their minority of atheists and secularists in Europe - trying to claim that with them a new age of freedom was dawning free of the constraints and shackles of religion. It was a pious myth, manufactured for obvious intent, that has now been disproved.

I don't want to turn a thread about Islam into one about Christianity but, if you ask me, then I will oblige.

Well there is two questions here - the Dark Ages "myth" and the Renaissance and Scientific revolution being "secular".

I'll focus on the first one for a couple of posts over a few days (I'm busy but I'll fit it in).

First sociologist Rodney Stark. I'll present in this post a summary of his findings and then elucidate on them in my next post, with quotes and references etc.:


Quote:
Stark summarises some of the magnificent technological and scientific advances during this period:

-The invention of the collar and harness for horses and oxen that enabled the drawing of very heavy wagons, with substantial increases in speed.

-The invention (eighth century) of iron horseshoes that protected the feet of horses but greatly improved their traction in difficult conditions.

-The development of a harness that allowed horses and oxen to be harnessed in seried pairs, rather than abreast (tenth century). In the ninth century the swivel axel was developed that made large transport carts much more manoeuvrable. These transportation advances all served to make Roman roads ineffective, inadequate and obsolete: they had to be picked apart and new roads laid. (The Enlightenment narrative interpreted this breaking down of Roman roads to be an evidence of Dark Age barbarism!)

-Food production rose dramatically due to the invention of the horse drawn furrow plough, with adjustable cutting and plowing depths, complete with retractable wheels facilitating easy transportation. This enabled a farming revolution in the heavy soils of mid and northern Europe.

-The exploitation of hydraulic energy. Someone in the Middle Ages invented water powered mills; the technology spread rapidly all over Europe. The Domesday Book (1086) reported that there were at least 5,624 water powered mills operating in England--about one for every 54 families. In the thirteenth century it was recorded that along the Seine, in one section about a mile long, there were 78 mills operating--an average of one mill for every seventy feet of river. In the same century, hydraulic powered sawmills were operating--often being driven by water chutes cascading down from purpose built dams. But not just sawmills: hydraulic power was used for turning lathes, griding knives and swords, fulling (pounding) cloth, hammering metal and drawing wire, and pulping rags to make paper.

And on the subject of paper,
Jean Gimpel noted that paper, "which was manufactured by hand and foot for a thousand years or so following its invention by the Chinese and adoption by the Arabs, was manufactured mechanically as soon as it reached medieval Europe in the thirteenth century. . . . Paper had travelled around the world, but no culture or civilization on its route had tried to mechanize its manufacture" until medieval Europeans did so. Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason, p.39.
-Wind energy was quickly exploited as well. Windpower was harnessed to mill, grind, and to pump water. Large areas of what are now Belgium and the Netherlands were under sea during Roman times. Advanced medieval technology pumped the water off and began to farm the land.
By late in the twelfth century, Europe was becoming so crowded with windmills that owners began to file lawsuits against one another for blocking their wind. Ibid, p.40.
-One of the most spectacular technological inventions which hugely increased human knowledge and productivity was the eyeglass. They were invented around 1284 in northern Italy and had a dramatic effect upon productivity--something we take for granted today.
Without glasses, large numbers of medieval craft workers were washed up at forty. With glasses, not only could most of these people continue but because of their experience, their most productive years still lay ahead. Not only that but many tasks are greatly facilitated by use of magnifiers, even by persons with fine eyesight. These tasks were often beyond ancient craftspeople. No wonder glasses spread with amazing speed. Within a century after their invention, the mass production of eyeglasses occupied plants in both Florence and Venice, turning out tens of thousands of eyeglasses a year. Ibid, p.44.
-Finally, we could not fail to mention the dependable, mechanical clock--another thirteenth century invention.
Sometime during the thirteenth century, someone somewhere in Europe invented a dependable mechanical clock. Soon, Europe was the only society where people really knew what time it was. As Lewis Mumford remarked, "the clock, not the steam engine, is the key machine of the industrial age," because it made possible precise scheduling and coordination of activities. . . . Like eyeglasses, for centuries mechanical clocks existed only in the West. Ibid, p. 44.

Capitalism and ideals of freedom developed in the "dark ages":


Quote:
In his book "The Victory of Reason," Rodney Stark contends that "despotic states produce universal avarice" (71). He names the Roman Empire a despotic state, contending that the domination of the Roman Empire stifled productive trading between cultures and it was only after the fall of Rome that true capitalistic trade developed, mainly as an extension of Christian scholasticism and reason.
The rise of the Middle Ages was concurrent with the rise of Christendom. In this new era, men such as Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, and others perpetrated a new kind of thought: that reason and deduction could lead to truth. They also subscribed to the idea that history is not cyclical, but its progressively marching forward. These two sentiments, Stark states, were directly responsible for the growth of trade, which led to capitalism.
Trade began mostly with the monasteries. Stark says, "The early form of religious capitalism that developed in monasteries was based primarily on agricultural production and money-lending." The Cluny Monastery soon produced more than what was needed for self-sustenance, and so began to market their products to the masses. This lead to a huge influx of liquid wealth and so they began to lend the money out at interest, foreclosing if the debt could not be paid on time. This established a principle rule of capitalism: that wealth should be reinvested (in the monk's case, loaned) in order to garner compound interest and greater profit.
The political chaos in Western Europe after the fall of Rome soon subsided into a somewhat more organized political system, with minor kingdoms and governments all over Europe. This led to a greater amount of freedom, which encouraged technological achievement and encouraged people to labor for their own gain. This progressive and individualized system created economic specialization where different city-states expanded on the monk's concepts and introduced trade.
When looking at the success of capitalistic ventures in Italy, including Flanders, Milan and Venice, it is important to note that the majority of businessman and craftsmen were basically educated. This education was a direct result of Christian theology, where Christian influential leaders encouraged literacy and knowledge in the populace.
The knowledge of the people, coupled with the monk's example of early capitalism and the economic divisions of the continent, were mainly due to Christianity and lead to the birth of capitalism.
There are two other ideas from Christianity that vastly influenced the development of capitalism.
The first is private property. Capitalism depends on the right of the individual to make personal decisions about his/her wealth. Led by men like Thomas Aquinas, the church recognized that private ownership is both legitimate and necessary. Aquinas came to this conclusion by reasoning through the premise of natural law. With this foundation firmly in place, businessmen could buy, sell, and exchange their property at their leisure, instigating various forms of trade.
The second idea was that of moral and individual equality. Capitalism makes no distinction between social status of privilege, but merely on the quantity of wealth. The Apostle Paul argued "there is neither Greek or Jew, slave or free, etc." This was quite different from Roman times, when Constantinus proclaimed: "Let no one ... aspire to any rank who is [of] [sic] the lower merchants ..." Christianity's eventual fight against slavery revealed their dedication to the reasoning that all people were created by God.
The domineering of Rome hampered the growth, according to Stark, of technological progress, individualism, and capitalist business practices. Capitalism would not be possible in Rome. But Christianity's faith and reason and the progress of civilization led to the perfect breeding ground for capitalism in the Middle Ages. Investment, specialty of labor, mass education, property rights and individual equality, all fundamental ideas of capitalism, owe their origins to Christian scholastic thought. The awe-inspiring garb, architecture and superficial achievements of Rome stand as a testament not its progress, but to it ability to extort wealth. Capitalism took that wealth and used it for the benefit of everyone.

The first culture to abolish slavery was "Dark Age" Europe when one could not enslave a fellow European Christian

In the next post I'm going to dwell on the slavery aspect - moral advancement, which you haven't touched upon yet in this thread (only technological).

And then I'm going to elucidate some more from historians on the points above and then talk about the myth of "secularism" in the foundation of the scientific revolution.

Mind you I will not be claiming that because of the strong Christian faith of most of these innovaters and scientists of the Scientific Revolution that this makes their works a "Christian achievement". That is too simplistic and actually wrong - a person's achievements in my opinion stand on their own irrespective of their faith. However their Christian faith was instrumental to their desire to innovate in this regard and was a powerful impulse.

I will also be looking into the difference between Al-Ghazzali in the Islamic world and Saint Thomas Aquinas in "dark age" Europe - the latter who embraced the works and learning of Ancient Greek philosophers and the former who essentially, around the year 1111, closed the Muslim mind to ancient "pagan" learning because he declared it to be "un-Islamic" and so of no use. This decision drastically changed Islamic civilisation for the worse. It never used Greek philosophy again and this lead to the eventual crumbling of the social fabric of the Islamic world after a fleeting but truly golden age in the ninth century. The extent to which Islam itself caused that ninth century Golden Age is debated just as the extent to which Christianity had to the European Renaissance and the Spanish Golden Age. Some historians call the "Islamic" Golden Age the "North African, Persian and Spanish" etc. Golden Age - meaning that the Arab Empires through conquering brought together vast areas of people and cultures but Islam had little to do with actual innovation and actually helped the demise of innovation when the free-thinking Mutazili Muslims were declared heretics and Orthodoxy was imposed. Others maintain that the intellectual, more free atmosphere of Islamic thought in this time - compared to the time of Ghazzali in the 1000s and ever after - was essential to the achievements of this era.

I'm not going to engage in this side of the debate though - I leave that too brothers Auzer ji and Searching ji.

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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 07-Jul-2012, 19:18 PM
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Re: Influence of Islamic Civilization on our modern world ...

Slavery:


What is technological advancement without moral advancement?


The Catholic Church had all but eradicated slavery from the Christian populations of Europe by the 1100s. The Catholic Church kept a consistent campaign against race based slavery from 1400s until the 1890s.


"...The Roman Catholic Church, as an institution, sustained a legal opposition toward slavery. Beginning in the fifteenth century, [particularly], Popes expressed their position in different papal bulls and letters to monarchs..."

- The Historical encyclopedia of world slavery, Volume 1; Volume 7
By Junius P. Rodriguez



Vouthon's Catholic Church and slavery timeline


* Jesus Christ (the big man Himself ):


"...And the Lord said: Go out, those who wish to do so, from your bonds..."

- Saint Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 6.44


* c.185-254: Origen says that he favours the Jewish practice of freeing all slaves after seven years.


* c.335-394: Gregory of Nyssa opposes slavery outright:


"...When someone claims God's property as his own and assigns dominion to his own race, so as to consider himself the lord of men and women, is he not through pride overstepping his own nature and imagining that he is different from those under him?...You condemn human beings - whose nature is free and who possess free will - to slavery
and you make laws in opposition to God, overturning his law for human nature. As though resisting and fighting against divine decrees, you bring under the yoke of slavery one who was made specifically to be the lord of the earth and appointed ruler by the Creator...Irrational animals are the only slaves of human beings...But in dividing human nature into slaves and lords you have caused it to be enslaved to itself and to own itself...He who knew human nature rightly said that the whole world was not worth being given in exchange for a human soul. Therefore, whenever a human being is for sale, nothing less than the Lord of the Earth is led to the marketplace...'I got me slave-girls and slaves.' For what price, tell me? What did you find in existence worth as much as this human nature? What price did you put on rationality? How many obols did you reckon the equivalent of the likeness of God? How many staters did you get for selling that being shaped by God? God said, Let us make man in our own image and likeness. If he is in the likeness of God, and rules the whole earth, and has been granted authority over everything on earth from God, who is his buyer, tell me? Who is his seller? To God alone belongs this power; or, rather, not even to God himself. For his gracious gifts, it says, are irrevocable. God would not therefore reduce the human race to slavery, since he himself, when we had been enslaved to sin, spontaneously recalled us to freedom. But if God does not enslave what is free, who is he that sets his own power above God's?..."

- Saint Gregory of Nyssa (Homilies on Ecclesiastes)


* Circa 400: St. Augustine speaks of the granting of freedom to slaves as a great religious virtue, and declares the Christian law against regarding God's rational creation as property.


* 400-425: Acacius of Amida opposes slavery


* 415-493: Saint Patrick, himself a former slave, argues for the abolition of slavery. He particularly is appalled by the treatment of female captives. The Letter to Coroticus is addressed to an Irish chieftan who had taken some of Patrick's converts into slavery. When Coroticus fails to respond to a plea to to set the captives free, Patrick responds by excommunicating Coroticus. Patrick proclaims that one cannot be a Christian and own slaves. The suffering of women slaves moved Patrick deeply; he remarked on their courage and tenacity. He tells us that "slavery is in and of itself horrific". Patrick so rejected the practice of slavery that he calls for Coroticus and his soldiers to make reparations and do penance.


"...Wherefore, then I plead with you earnestly, ye holy and humble of heart, it is not permissible to court the favour of such people, nor to take food or drink with them, not even to accept alms, until they make reparation to God in hardships, through penance, with shedding of tears, and set free the baptized servants of God and handmaids of Christ, for whom he died and was crucified...Where, then, will Coroticus with his criminals, rebels against Christ, where will they see themselves, they who distribute baptized women as prizes - for a miserable temporal kingdom, which will pass away in a moment?..."

- Saint Patrick (415-493), Letter to Coroticus


"...But the greatest is the suffering of those women who live in slavery. All the time they have to endure terror and threats. But the Lord gave His grace to many of His maidens; for though they are forbidden to do so, many of them follow Him bravely..."

- Saint Patrick (415-493), Confession


* 500s: While in power Pope Gregory the Great attempts to repress slave-dealing. He wrote: "Since our Redeemer, the Author of all life, deigned to take human flesh, that by the power of His Godhood the chains by which we were held in bondage being broken, He might restore us to our first state of liberty, it is most fitting that men by the concession of manumission should restore to the freedom in which they were born those whom nature sent free into the world, but who have been condemned to the yoke of slavery by the law of nations".


* 588-650 - Saint Eligius uses his vast wealth to purchase British and Saxon slaves in groups of 50 and 100 in order to set them free.


* Circa 610: St. Isidore of Seville writes:


"...I can hardly credit that a friend of Christ, who has experienced that grace, which bestowed freedom on all, would still own slaves...God has made no difference between the soul of the slave and that of the freedman..."

- Saint Isidore of Seville (c. 560 – 4 April 636)


* 626 – 680: Saint Bathilde (wife of King Clovis II) becomes famous for her campaign to stop slave-trading and free all slaves

* 851: Saint Anskar begins his efforts to halt the Viking slave trade

* 1000s: Church teaches that no Christians are allowed to be slaves to other Christians. That the Church willingly baptized slaves is claimed as proof that they have souls, and so both kings and bishops—including William the Conqueror (1027-1087) and Saints Wulfstan (1009-1095) and Saint Anselm (1033-1109)—forbid the enslavement of Christians. The Protestant Rodney Stark wrtites, "Since, except for small settlements of Jews, and the Vikings in the north, everyone was at least nominally a Christian, that effectively abolished slavery in medieval Europe, except at the southern and eastern interfaces with Islam where both sides enslaved one another's prisoners. But even this was sometimes condemned: in the tenth century, bishops in Venice did public penance for past involvement in the Moorish slave trade and sought to prevent all Venetians from involvement in slavery".


* 1167: Pope Alexander III condemns slavery and declares it unnatural:


"...Christian men ought to be exempt from slavery, [moreover] nature having made no slaves, all men have an equal right to liberty..."

- Pope Alexander III, Papal Bull (concerning the Muslim King of Valencia's enslavement of captives), 1167



*1100s: According to the historian James Bowden, "[By this time] mainly by the voice of the Church, slavery had been extinguished in western Europe". For the first time in history we have basically an entire continent where no European is permitted to enslave another European.


* 1200s: "...Saint Thomas Aquinas deduced that slavery was a sin, and a series of popes upheld his position. It is significant that in Aquinas's day, slavery was a thing of the past or of distant lands. Consequently, he gave very little attention to the subject per se, paying more attention to serfdom, which he held to be repugnant.However, in his overall analysis of morality in human relationships, Aquinas placed slavery in opposition to natural law, deducing that all "rational creatures" are entitled to justice. Hence he found no natural basis for the enslavement of one person rather than another, "thus removing any possible justification for slavery based on race or religion." Right reason, not coercion, is the moral basis of authority, for "one man is not by nature ordained to another as an end." Here Aquinas distinguished two forms of "subjection" or authority, just and unjust. The former exists when leaders work for the advantage and benefit of their subjects. The unjust form of subjection "is that of slavery, in which the ruler manages the subject for his own [the ruler's] advantage." Based on the immense authority vested in Aquinas by the Church, the official view came to be that slavery is sinful..." - Rodney Stark


* 1400s: Unable now, because of the Church, to enslave fellow Christian Europeans, the emerging Spanish and Portugese Empires look abroad to find slaves in other countries. Thus begins the new "racial", "chattel" slave trade of Africans and natives from around the world. The Church condemns this from the very beginning.


* 1435: Pope Eugene IV condemns the enslavement of native peoples in the newly colonized Canary Islands. His bull Sicut Dudum rebuked European enslavers and commanded that:


“...All and each of the faithful of each sex, within the space of fifteen days of the publication of these letters in the place where they live, that they restore to their earlier liberty all and each person of either sex who were once residents of the Canary Islands … who have been made subject to slavery. These people are to be totally and perpetually free and are to be let go without the exaction or reception of any money..."
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/islam/38750-influence-islamic-civilization-our-modern-world.html


* 1462: Pope Pius II (1405-1464) announces in a papal encyclical that slavery is a 'great misfortune' and a 'great crime' - meaning that it was not a natural condition for mankind - and encourages individual Catholics to release their slaves.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=38750


* 1464 - 1448: Rodney Stark: "...Pope Pius II (1458 to 1464) and Pope Sixtus IV (1471 to 1484) followed with additional bulls condemning enslavement of the Canary Islanders, which, obviously, had continued. What this episode displays is the weakness of papal authority at this time, not the indifference of the Church to the sin of slavery..."


* 1519: Bartholomew De Las Casas, a Dominican, now being considered for sainthood, argues against slavery and becomes "The Defender of the Native Americans":


"...No one may be deprived of his liberty nor may any person be enslaved....”


* 1514: James Bowden writes: "The rapid development of this atrocious system, under the fostering influences of Spanish and Portugese avarice and cruelty, did not pass without strong and decided censure. It was emphatically denounced by the highest authorities in the Catholic Church and at times by the most powerful men in the state. Pope Leo X declared against slavery at a very early stage of its existence, and he did so under somewhat extraordinary circumstances. The Dominicans, an order of the Church who witnessed the horrors of this cruel bondage, held that it was utterly repugnant to the Gospel, and pleaded for its entire abolition. Another order of the church took a different view and eventually an appeal was made by the contending parties to the Pope, as head of the Church. His reply was a memorable one..."


And this was his reply:


"Not only the Christian religion, but nature herself, cries out against slavery"

- Pope Leo X, 1514


* 1537: Pope Paul III Pope Paul in the bull Sublimis Deus described the enslavers as allies of the devil and declared attempts to justify such slavery "null and void." Accompanying the bull was another document, Pastorale Officium, which attached a latae sententiae excommunication remittable only by the pope himself for those who attempted to enslave the Indians or steal their goods.


Pope Paul III wrote:


"...The exalted God loved the human race so much that He created man in such a condition that he was not only a sharer in good as are other creatures, but also that he would be able to reach and see face to face the inaccessible and invisible Supreme Good...Seeing this and envying it, the enemy of the human race, who always opposes all good men so that the race may perish, has thought up a way, unheard of before now, by which he might impede the saving word of God from being preached to the nations. He (Satan) has stirred up some of his allies who, desiring to satisfy their own avarice, are presuming to assert far and wide that the Indians...be reduced to our service like brute animals, under the pretext that they are lacking the Catholic faith. And they reduce them to slavery, treating them with afflictions they would scarcely use with brute animals... by our Apostolic Authority decree and declare by these present letters that the same Indians and all other peoples - even though they are outside the faith - ...should not be deprived of their liberty... Rather they are to be able to use and enjoy this liberty and this ownership of property freely and licitly, and are not to be reduced to slavery and that whatever happens to the contrary is to be considered null and void. ..." [Ibid., pp.79-81 with original critical Latin text]


Pope Paul not only condemned the slavery of Indians but also "all other peoples." Furthermore they are to have complete liberty "even though they are outside the faith", not Catholics. The Protestant historian James Bowden writes: "In two separate briefs, Pope Paul III imprecated a curse on any Europeans who should enslave the Indians or any other class of men".


* 1591: Pope Gregory XIV condemns slavery in the Bull, "Cum Sicuti"


* 1639: Pope Urban VIII (1623 to 1644), at the request of the Jesuits of Paraguay, issues a bull Commissum nobis reaffirming the ruling by "our predecessor Paul III" that those who reduced others to slavery were subject to excommunication.


* 1686: the Congregation of the Holy Office (the Roman Inquisition now 'Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith') takes up the matter. On March 20, 1686, it ruled in the form of questions and answers:


It is asked:

Whether it is permitted to capture by force and deceit Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one?

Answer: no.

Whether it is permitted to buy, sell or make contracts in their respect Blacks or other natives who have harmed no one and been made captives by force of deceit?

Answer: no.

Whether the possessors of Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one and been captured by force or deceit, are not held to set them free?

Answer: yes.

Whether the captors, buyers and possessors of Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one and who have been captured by force or deceit are not held to make compensation to them?

Answer: yes


* 1741: Benedict XIV condemns slavery and the slave trade in the bull Immensa Pastorum


* 1815: Pope Pius VII - At the Congress of Vienna after the Napoleonic Wars, the pope demanded of the victorious Congress powers the immediate suppression of the slave trade and the outlawing of slavery itself.


* 1839: Pope Gregory XVI's 1839 bull, In Supremo, reiterated papal opposition to enslaving "Indians, blacks, or other such people" and forbade "any ecclesiastic or lay person from presuming to defend as permissible this trade in blacks under no matter what pretext or excuse". It clearly condemned slavery:


"...We, by apostolic authority, warn and strongly exhort in the Lord faithful Christians of every condition that no one in the future dare bother unjustly, despoil of their possessions, or reduce to slavery Indians, Blacks or other such peoples..."


* In the Bull of Canonization of the Jesuit Peter Claver, named the "Slave of the slaves", one of the most illustrious adversaries of slavery, Pius IX spoke of the "supreme villainy" (summum nefas) of the slave trade.


* In 1888 and again in 1890, Pope Leo XIII forcefully condemned slavery and sought its elimination where it persisted in parts of South America and Africa.


He wrote:


"...The maternal love of the Catholic Church embraces all people. As you know, venerable brother, the Church from the beginning sought to completely eliminate slavery, whose wretched yoke has oppressed many people. It is the industrious guardian of the teachings of its Founder [Jesus] who, by His words and those of the apostles, taught men the fraternal necessity which unites the whole world. From Him we recall that everybody has sprung from the same source, was redeemed by the same ransom, and is called to the same eternal happiness. He assumed the neglected cause of the slaves and showed Himself the strong champion of freedom. Insofar as time and circumstances allowed, He gradually and moderately accomplished His goal. Of course, pressing constantly with prudence and planning, He showed what He was striving for in the name of religion, justice, and humanity. In this way He put national prosperity and civilization in general into His debt. This zeal of the Church for liberating the slaves has not languished with the passage of time; on the contrary, the more it bore fruit, the more eagerly it glowed... St. Gregory the Great, Hadrian I, Alexander III, Innocent III, Gregory IX, Pius II, Leo X, Paul III, Urban VIII, Benedict XIV, Pius VII, and Gregory XVI stand out. They applied every effort to eliminate the institution of slavery wherever it existed. They also took care lest the seeds of slavery return to those places from which this evil institution had been cut away..."

- Pope Leo XIII, CATHOLICAE ECCLESIAE, 1890



* 1965 Pope Paul VI wrote in Gaudium et Spes, “Whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery . . . the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed . . . they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator."

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Re: Influence of Islamic Civilization on our modern world ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzer View Post
Thanks for the post brother!

And oh yes! Sufi mystic poets are just amazing. Even though I read their poetry in "English" , I still enjoy it...I wonder how lucky are those people who read their poetry in its pure form (in the language those poet spoke) ...

My views of Sufism are very positive. Sufism is what made Islam grow in South Asia etc... Sufi Islam holds great oceans of spirituality in it ...Its very peaceful ....

Many of the members are a of sub-continental origin.... do you guys know about some Punjabi Sufi poets? There are many , I heard.

cheerleader


“In the name of the Catholic World, I bow with respect before the memory of Rumi.”

- Pope John XXIII, Message to Turkey, 1958





My dear brother Auzer ji peacesignkaur

I am so pleased that you have such a positive view of Sufism.

The Sufi mystics of the Islamic world have been imensely important to my spiritual development. As you will know, the Guru Granth Sahib ji also contains the writings of some great Punjabi Sufis such as Baba Farid.

I have met Orthodox Sunni Muslims who have expressed great negativity towards Sufism and it always saddens me, since I feel that they are missing out on great, poetic literature that all Muslims should and deserve to take pride in.

The Sufi way of expressing the relationship between God and the human soul as lover and Beloved, the emphasis upon interior virtues as opposed to outward religious practices, the daring manner in which these mystics decry ritualistic perversions of religion, the emphasis above all on love and the experience of fana (self-annihilation) in God, as well as the recognition of the Presence of God in all things, has always struck me as the summit of literary genius and as ranking amongst the greatest corpus of sacred poetry ever penned by man.

Traditional Sunni and Shi'a Islam as practised by the ulema and scholars, with the notable exception of the mystically inclined Al-Ghazzali, has always frowned upon the ideas of union with God, fana, panentheistic tendecies (seeing God in all things) and gone rather more towards a wholly transcedent concept of Divinity, a God who is inexpressible and "other" and a radical understanding of God and creation as completely distinct, coupled with a stringent emphasis on ritualistic practices, the obeying of Shari'ah law, outward forms of prayer etc.

I have always admired the Sufis for maintaining their distinct understanding of Allah and creation right in the heart of the Islamic world, even with - at times - persecution (my favourite Sufi mystic Attar, was branded a heretic by the ulema and had to flee to another country).

Sufism was instrumental to the spread of Islam in South Asia as you say. It is sad to see it declining today when it has been so influential in Islamic history, despite its bordering at some times within heterodox fields (Although Sufis like Rumi expressed their dedication to Orthodox Islam).

May I ask which Sufi poet speaks to you the most?

It is difficult but I think that Attar is my favourite. The Conference of the Birds is just epic!

I also have a "thing" for the more heretical thinkers such as Omar Khayyam - that incredible poet who was the most read literary figure from the Islamic world during the late nineteenth and Edwardian eras in the Anglophone world. He wasn't a practising Muslim, in the sense that he did not feel obliged to allegiance himself with any established religion, however he wrote in the same style and spirituality of the greatest of the mainline Sufi poets of Islam and so is ranked among them.

Rumi is immensely popular today, however he has been abused to a certain extent by the New Age movement (and bogus translations of his writings by the likes of Coleman Barks who can't even read Persian!).

He has been popular with Catholics though for a long time, as one can see from Blessed Pope John XXIII's accolade of him at the start of this post.

Louis Massignon, a great Catholic priest and Islamologist of the early 20th century, was devoted to the more controversiaL Islamic mystic Al-Hallaj who was executed by means of crucifixtion, in the exact same manner as his hero Jesus (although of course Muslims don't believe Jesus was crucified), for declaring, "I am the Truth". Massignon expressed the hope that Al-Hallaj, despite being Sufi, would one day be canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint because of his great Christ-like qualities.

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Re: Influence of Islamic Civilization on our modern world ...

“...Tear down the mosque and temple too, break all that divides, but do not break the human heart, as it is there that God resides...”

- Shaykh Bulleh Shah (1680–1757), Punjabi Sufi poet
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Re: Influence of Islamic Civilization on our modern world ...

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Great clip, thanks Naben ji. I had a giggle at the disclaimer though, 'not for broadcast', God bless Youtube.

I think, if we take away religion from this equation, we're left with the fact that humans, when presented with the right environment (prosperity, political stability) are capable of revealing the most wonderful inventions. Humans. We're all blessed with the same basic anatomy, it's not like the Christian's brain is bigger and better than the Muslim's brain (or vice versa). But as Auzer ji said, when the environment is right, advancements occur. Different parts of the world have had different periods of stability. But it all together and we get 'the modern age'.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=38750
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=38750

Aren't humans just swell sometimes? cheerleader

(let's not start talking about the invention of weapons of mass destruction and torture devices though... with big brains comes great responsibility...)
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