What are the fruits of Islam?


#1

I am curious to what Islam has actually offered to society? What are the fruits of the religion? What has society gained? How has society benefited?

Thank you and God bless,
Jon


#2

During the 11th and 12th century, Arab Muslims revived the Greek and Arabic thought of the philosophers and brought it to Western Europe. Because of this, theology in the west started to follow the thought of Aristotle, and began to formulate and emphasize certain doctrines. I guess from an eastern perspective, this has only complicated things…:frowning:

Prayers and petitions,
Alexius:cool:


#3

Thanks Alexius. Can you go on a little further with this? Specific examples?

God bless,
Jon


#4

Sure:) !

The rise of universities in the west in the thirteenth century is one example. People saw the advantages of gaining a higher education. Between the Carolingian reforms of Charlemagne and the Greek reveval brought by the Arab Muslims, these universities were build as fast as ever. Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, sought to have the most brilliant of clerics in his service, yet he found very few literate ones. He summoned a famous learned monastic, Alcuin of York, from the British Isles. Charlemagne set up a palace school where children would study Latin, simple reckoning, the Psalms and chanting of the liturgy. He ordained that no one could be a priest unless they had some familiarity with the creed, the Gospels, certain devotional practices and they must be able to write.

Now that you have the set up for what the Arabs would soon bring in, you’ll have to wait for part II tomorrow night since I need to get to bed. Sorry…:frowning:

Prayers and petitions,
Alexius:cool:


#5

As far as I can tell, the fruits of Islam are very closely related to pineapple grenades. :wink:


#6

I’m a mathematician. The Arabs made some contributions to the advance of mathematics. Algebra actually gets its name from an Arabic word or phrase which would translate as “the restoration of broken parts”.

These Arabs happened to be Muslims, but you would find me very hard pressed to believe that their discoveries had much to do with the philosophy they derived from their religion. Most of those from the Muslim world who are recognized as contributors to the general body of world knowledge did so at great peril to their lives, and many lost them because of it.

As for the above quote, I just wanted to point out that I don’t think that its technically correct to say that the Arabs started a revival. My understanding is that the books were brought back to Western Europe by European diplomats and intellectuals who traveled to Baghdad for knowledge. Baghdad was a world center for knowledge largely because of the actions of one of the ancient Caliphs. For quite a long time, many years ago, there was a struggle over Alexandria. The city changed hands between the Christians and the Muslims a number of times. Every time the Muslims entered the city, they burned the library to the ground. Most of the ancient works were lost. For much of them, these were the only copies which the world had, so they are forever gone. One of the Caliphs during this time did not believe that a book was necessarily evil simply because it was not the Quran. He ordered his generals to gather what scrolls they could and send them back to Baghdad. This is where we get a significant amount of knowledge about ancient Greek writings.

As for Arabic philosophic thought, I hardly know what is meant. So far as I know, there is no ancient Arabic philosophic school of thought which predates Islam. Everything in that region of the world was passed by oral tradition and we know very little about it. Everything ante-Muhammad could hardly be seen as containing the depth and exploration of the other world philosophers. Aristotle, Plato, Lao Tzu, Confucious - I don’t know of a single Muslim philosopher who has contributed anything to the world that would be on a par with the contributions of men like this. And I didn’t even mention the Christ.


#7

I don’t see how this can go anywhere. Arguements, maybe.

As noted above, developing a new math formula doesn’t have much to do with one’s religion. Even if Universities could be attributed to Arab muslims (which is highly debatable), I don’t see how their religion has much to do with it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m usually the first one to jump on the band wagon and say that the muslim religion has done nothing good for this world. But this line of questioning is problematic at best. Any developments mentioned would have to be directly linked to the muslim religion, and not the country of origin.

It’s like saying that because the U.S. was the first to put a man on the moon, it’s a Christian triumph. Doesn’t work.


#8

If one develops a new mathematical formula for the greater glory of God and the understanding of his creation, it most definitely does have something to do with one’s religion. Just as many, if not most, of the learned of medieval Europe were monks, so too were the scholars of the Middle East deeply religious.

The revival of learning centuries after the fall of Rome is directly attributable to Muslims. The university at Al Karaouine in Morocco was founded in 859, and is generally considered the oldest Western university.

Al Karaouine was built around a mosque, and first taught religion, philosophy, and politics, later expanding to mathematics, the sciences, rhetoric, and arts. It was a religious institution, comparable to modern Catholic universities except even more so. Al-Azhar in Cairo, another ancient university (and still operating!), began as a school of theology. Religious instruction was and is required for Muslim students; religion and philosophy would be core subjects just as much as language and math, not an extra option as they are in the US.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m usually the first one to jump on the band wagon and say that the muslim religion has done nothing good for this world. But this line of questioning is problematic at best. Any developments mentioned would have to be directly linked to the muslim religion, and not the country of origin.

Quite the double standard there – anything bad that comes out of the Middle East must be the fault of Islam, yet anything bad coming out of primarily Christian areas like the US or Europe has nothing at all to do with Christianity?

Eliasaph99 mentioned the saving of many texts from the Muslim destruction of the Alexandrine Library by a caliph – a Muslim religious official. He did not mention the fact that of the four times the Library is thought to have been destroyed, the third time was at the direct decree of the Christian bishop Theophilus (and to be fair, it is irrelevant to this topic – just interesting) – nor that all of those four burnings are of disputed validity.

It’s like saying that because the U.S. was the first to put a man on the moon, it’s a Christian triumph. Doesn’t work.

That would be because the US isn’t a Christian nation; it has not established Christianity as its official religion. Most of the Middle East does have an official religion – Islam.


#9

The first statement is simply not true. Your statement would require that learning stopped, but it never did. The “Dark Ages” are a fiction that never occurred. The knowledge accrued by the West was destroyed by Muslim invaders, so our advance suffered a setback, yet the accumulation of knowledge did not stop.

Every monastery was an institution of learning. Do you forget that the monastery’s were where the scribes lived who copied the Holy Scriptures down through the generations? Although they could not properly be called universities, they were certainly repositories of knowledge.

As for the university you have mentioned, I have never heard of it and doubt the veracity of your claim. My understanding is that the oldest university in the West is the University of Coimbra in Portugal. I have been there and seen it myself.

As for calling a Caliph a religious official, I’m not really sure what to make of that. It’s partially true, because Islam is a strange hybrid politico-religious system, but the Caliph was not expected to be a religious scholar. He was a warlord, perhaps an emperor, and his job was to push the borders of his empire outwards. Simply because one Caliph showed some reasonability is no reason to go lauding all of Islamdom as if it had done the world a great favor. They conquered and burned and pillaged Christian lands without remorse. They destroyed our Churches, murdered our people and still squat on the same blood stained soil today insisting that it’s rightfully theirs. They’re wrong.


#10

If you read my post you’ll see I mentioned that most of the medieval European scholars were monks :wink:

I don’t believe I mentioned the Dark Ages. The fall of Rome and the resultant setbacks in learning and technology are not fictions, however – nor did the empire fall to Muslim conquerors, but to Huns and other tribes.

The fall of Rome did not result in a dead stop for learning, true – but progress was pretty slow until contact with the East. It’s then that things really started to take off.

As for the university you have mentioned, I have never heard of it and doubt the veracity of your claim. My understanding is that the oldest university in the West is the University of Coimbra in Portugal. I have been there and seen it myself.

The University of Coimbra was founded in 1290, over four centuries after Al Karaouine. It’s old, and it’s the oldest in Portugal, but it isn’t the oldest in the world. I realize wikipedia isn’t exactly a guaranteed source, but you can look up Al Karaouine and Al-Azhar there.

As for calling a Caliph a religious official, I’m not really sure what to make of that. It’s partially true, because Islam is a strange hybrid politico-religious system, but the Caliph was not expected to be a religious scholar. He was a warlord, perhaps an emperor, and his job was to push the borders of his empire outwards. Simply because one Caliph showed some reasonability is no reason to go lauding all of Islamdom as if it had done the world a great favor.

The caliphate was both a religious and a political office. In the Middle East, many governments have been Islamic theocracies. Of course the caliphs are human – some of them were good, some of them were mistaken, some of them were evil. Hardly unexpected. But that caliph did far more for civilization than did Theodosius of Alexandria.

They conquered and burned and pillaged Christian lands without remorse. They destroyed our Churches, murdered our people and still squat on the same blood stained soil today insisting that it’s rightfully theirs. They’re wrong.

You guys did the same to them, except they managed to keep you kicked out of more bloodsoaked land than you managed to keep from them. Don’t be so bitter about it. It’s like trying to figure out who’s dirtier after you’ve both been rolling around fighting in a dungheap. You can argue all you like, but you’re still covered in it.

And interestingly enough, Arabs are Semites – they’re the original inhabitants of that region. Remember Jerusalem was once Jebus before a certain other Semite tribe invaded. The Arabs have been there for millennia, have built cities and civilizations and seen others rise and fall. Who are you to tell them they don’t belong there?


#11

I believe that this has gotten a little off topic.

The question is what are the fruits of Islam. Many people are giving achievements of Muslims, but this in no way reflects the religious beliefs.

Christians gave us men on the moon. This does not mean that it is a fruit of Christianity.

True Fruits of Christianity are
respect for all people, ethical treatment of women, peacefulness, charity for the weak and sick, Love thy neighbor, Respect for moral behavior. Forgiveness of sins, alms for the poor, etc.

This is what we sould be talking about with islam. NOT the achievements of Muslims.


#12

But how do you decide which behaviors of Christians or Muslims count as “fruit”?

I see no way to adjudicate this reasonably. Such discussions always boil down to this: each side wants to claim the virtues of their own adherents as “fruit” and discount their faults as irrelevant, while applying the opposite approach to the other side.

This doesn’t get us anywhere.

Edwin


#13

Oh damn, I’m stumped for the first time. :smiley: actually not killing babies would be desirable, but weigh that up with other forms of killing and the fruit goes sour.

Anyway do Muslims point to fruits, I’m not well read on their faith ?

Bishop Fulton Sheen makes some interesting points on EWTN.


#14

I am not a scholar on Islam, but I do believe that these are parts of Islam.

Charity is to be paided by every Muslim. so this is a good thing, but I ask a muslim to comment on the below parts of Islam. I may be wrong or mislead, so please do nat take tis as an attack.

Dhimmi is a tax to be placed on non-muslims in muslims lands.

Non-muslims are considered inferior to Muslims and no muslim can leave islam under penalty of death.

Islam views the world as two parts. “the house of Isalm” and the “house of war,” which is any non-mislim ruled society.

The verse of the sword is last known revelation to muhammed and is thus considered the most true since it came last. It tells Muslims to kill non-muslims if they don’t convert.

The only sure way for a Muslim to get to paridise is to kill non-muslims or be killed trying to kill non-muslims.

No government is considered proper unless it is under Sharia law, which is strict islamic law from the Koran.

Muhammed is considered to be the standard for all muslims to follow. He decapitated enemies, sold women and children into slavery, robbed meccan carvans to finance his movement, cut of opponents limbs and let them bleed to death, married a 6 year old girl, etc.

Jihad is not simply private struggle, but also literal conflict against non-muslims. When muhammed had Jihad he would fight and then after battle have self Jihad.

Strict Islam does allow for other religion in their countries, but does not allow them to build new churches, repair old churches, have religious school to train leaders of other faiths, and make those of other faiths second class citizens and they have to pay dhimmi (a tax to Muslims).

All people are not equal according to Islam, only Muslims are equal.

Islam forbids lie except if it is no a non-muslim or it is to spread islam and win battles.

The peaceful verses in the Koran were given to Mohammed in mecca where he had no power. Once in Medina, Muhammed became a warlord and the Koran became very uncompromising and violent. Also, the later the verse given to Mohammed, the more authority it has since it came later and since some verses in the koran contradict the later verses become authoratative. So the most important verse in the koran are the violent and hatefull ones.

If I am wrong please let me know. I have studied Islam, but am certainly not an expert.


#15

I have studied the Islamic religion (although I’m not an expert) and I have also read most of the Koran. One point I wanted to make is that the fruits of the spirit (in Christianity) are as follows: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Note also that these characteristics are to be exhibited not only toward other Christians, but to our neighbors, everyone in general.

When we take a look at Moslem society, whether they interact with one another or with us outsiders, are any of these traits evident? I have no doubt there are many Moslems out there who exhibit these traits with other Moslems but not with the outside world. The Koran makes no reference to fruits of the spirit (actually, Moslems have an incorrect view of the Trinity, so why even bother discussing fruits of the spirit?) and even if they do, the fruits are only applied when dealing with other Moslems. Actually, outsiders are not even allowed in a mosque (I’ve been to Morocco, so I know this for a fact). So how do Moslems exhibit the fruits of the spirit to outsiders? They don’t. They don’t witness, they don’t send money or food when a country like the US or Mexico, or any other Christian country has a natural disaster, there is simply no charity or kindness to the outside world.

When there’s a natural disaster anywhere in the world, Christian organizations are there, helping out, no matter what.
I think this is the best indication of the fruits of the spirit - just about any country with a Christian heritage will help out another country in distress. In contrast, the Red Crescent only helps out other Moslems in distress, if that.

If Moslems do understand what the fruits of the spirit are, it is a limited understanding and not in keeping with God’s command to love our neighbor as ourselves - our neighbor being everyone around you, no matter what church, mosque or temple they attend.

Peace.


#16

Right now the fruit of Islam is children.
And already in several European nations the most common baby name for a boy is Mohammed. So their numbers are only growing. They are fruitful and multiply. The west worries about whether we have enough money for the second or third child. By 2100 if they keep up at their present rates, there will be no French, Spanish or Belgians, just Muslims who occupy the countries previously called France, Spain and Belgium. But there will still be an England…whose capitol is Londunistan.


#17

This is true in general, but as for individual Muslims some are more or less like that than others - and to very large degrees. For example, even as a non-Muslim I have been inside a mosque and have seen Muslims who had problems with fundamental doctrines of Islam that they personally could not reconcile with their conscience.

The thing is that, you see these behaviors more in areas where Islam is in the minority - they cannot help but be influenced by the behavior of all the kafirs around them, even if it does technically go against what their religion tells them. So basically this type of charity to the outside world may be exhibited in some Muslims, but in their case it is DESPITE their religion rather than because of it.


#18

You know, the more I read the opinions of others here about Islam and Muslims, I realize that many of you may not have been as lucky as I am. Or maybe I should say I am lucky? I have been around Muslims my whole life. (I have met a few radicals though) I live in a Huge metropolitan melting pot, Right down the street from me there is a Muslim center. They donate a lot to charity here. I have seen the Syrians down the corner from me that own a gas station act very kind to some of the elderly that maybe do not have enough to pay for their items, or enough to put gas in their car. I have seen the elderly father (owner) sneak ice cream to some of the little kids that walk up there in the Texas heat of the summer. The children are christian as well and African American.

Someone mentioned Charity, I think the word they use is Zakat, it is the third Pillar of Islam. They may give more than is required if they wish, but most keep it a secret. To me something positive from it is the belief that all things belong to God, so whatever we have as far as material things we are actually holding it in trust. I am not a Muslim but I consider that a valuable thing. And I have seen it in action. It does not always have to be money, there are many poor, sick, and/or handicapped Muslims just like in any other part of society.

Some times I go to visit the elderly at the nursing homes around here, the condition of these forgotten people and some of the places they are put in is a sin itself IMO. One elderly mans face lit up several years back as he grabbed my arm and said…“I told you she would come, I told you my grandaughter would come!” A nurse took me aside and told me he was dropped off 7 years ago and has not had one single visit! Grrrrrr. He has since passed away but at the time I thought what harm could it do to be his grandaughter for a short while. Sorry, I digress. Anyway I met a school aged Muslim girl there at one of the homes. I still run into her from time to time. This is her charity, something she feels she can do. Her family is poor, she has no money. But she said in Islam they are taught that there are many ways to give if one is poor, they can also give of their time, even if one is not able to work or if they are bedridden they still are valuable and have something to offer. Her offering is cheering up the elderly, listening to their stories, makeing them feel like they matter. Even if someone only has a smile to give, then give it. That to me is a lesson that more people should learn.


#19

That’s a very nice sentiment, but does not reflect Islam as a whole. You are only focusing on anecdotal experiences, person to person experiences.

Can you honestly claim, and do you believe, that Islam generates peace, freedom, equality, charity and love among peoples in general?


#20

Maybe there aren’t any Muslims on this Forum. But the only fruits I have heard about are education and pineapple grenades. Ouch. Muslims, if you are here, speak now or for ever hold your peace.


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