print version link (opens new window) Science in Islam

Spread & Legacy of Islam

The spread of Islam

IIslam provided a unifying cultural and political framework for an expanding Muslim empire. After the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632, religious and political leadership was transferred to a newly established caliphate. Islam spread rapidly eastward into Iraq, Persia, India and even China, and westward into Syria, Egypt and North Africa, and finally parts of southern Europe.

At its zenith covering a period of about three hundred years from about 750 to 1050, Muslim scholars and scientists made great advances building on the achievements of previous civilisations including those of ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and India.

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Page last modified: 05 February 2013


TThe central quest of Muslim scientists was aimed at spiritual perfection as described by the Qur’an. In this sense Islamic science was an attempt to comprehend all the orders of reality in the material and spiritual worlds as part of a divine unity.

The application of Muslim scholars to the translation of ancient texts, especially those of the ancient Greeks, combined with further developments provided a rich cultural legacy which was transmitted into medieval Europe via Moorish Spain.

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