The Muslim empire emerged as the largest and the most civilized empire ever known in the history. They had the power of mind-blowing ideas, not swords. Holy city of Mecca was the heart of the Muslim empire and was the central feature of devotion of Islam, as Muslims from all over the empire embarked on journeys to Mecca. Soon the ideas and cultures of the Muslims traveled back and forth the empire openly. Leading to the growth of trade because of its favorable geographical position.
Within the two centuries, Muslim Empire spread from Spain to the edge of India.
Within the immense empire, the most fabulous city of the wealth was Baghdad. Baghdad saw the magnificent architectural growth as exquisite mosques, palaces, bazaars and gardens were built. Eight century onwards, Baghdad was known as the center of learning as Baghdad’s house of wisdom compelled scholars of diverse religions, from all over the world to unite under the same roof. Before long, first international scientific venture in history was brought by the Baghdad scholars.
It was the scholars of Baghdad who developed the Arabic numerals, converted Greek writings into Arabic, emerging it as a language of learning, invented the ideas of algebra, trigonometry, astronomy and engineering.
However, it was the field of Medicine where Baghdad Muslims discovered remarkable theories. They proposed the theory that diseases were transmitted by many airborne organisms, directing to the study of germs. They also concluded that patients should be first treated in separate wards according to the nature of their disease, hence they were the pioneers of hospitals.
Muslims scholars did not just stop there. Ibn-al-Haythm- rightly known as father of optics- studied the physiology behind the human eye, lenses and laws of light – eventually leading to the invention of camera. As the horizon of knowledge expanded within Baghdad, the scholars felt obliged to share it with the rest of the world. This led to one of the greatest innovations of all time, paper. Therefore, the entire world owes to these great Muslim scholars for their reckless work in science and mathematics.
On the other end of the Muslim empire, in southern Spain, the city of Cordoba competed Baghdad as a Center of learning. Cordoba was regarded as the city of Lights because of its highly sophisticated infrastructure. The great palace which is now known as Great Roman Catholic Cathedral was back then the biggest mosque in Cordoba. Alhambra, an astonishing elegant palace, is the most famous example of Islamic architecture.
In eleventh century, Al-Hakim, recalled as a ‘madman’ by the historians, was the reason for collision between the Muslim and European world. He sabotaged the peaceful relations between the two nations by destroying a Holy Church, for reasons that are still unknown. Despite the fact that his son later rebuilt the church, anti-Muslims thoughts took birth. In 1095, Pope of Christians launched the first famous Crusade to rescue the endangered places in east, particularly Jerusalem.
This was an example of a merger between the religious and military forces. By 1097, Crusaders first attacked vulnerable Muslims of East. Muslims were taken by utter surprise, therefore they failed to face the enemy. In 1099, Crusaders finally entered Jerusalem where they exhibited horrendous massacres. Even the Christians were not pardoned. These barbarians then built huge and impenetrable castles to protect themselves from intruders. While they lived there, they violated the treaties and harassed the traders passing by their territory.
In the meantime, Islam spread and flourished. Mosques, houses and hospitals grew and Muslims were reunited by trade. They started “the suck” system which involved the use of cheques for afar payments. The system was based on trust and faith, and in no time Muslims became the greatest merchants. They not only became experts in that but they also made incomparable quality swords and developed their textile industry, which became the backbone of their economy. Europeans also bought their elegant and complicated patterned clothes.
After a period of hundred years, Muslims reached a turning point. Salah din, an extremely successful leader, with an army of 12,000 mounted warriors coaxed the Crusaders out of Jerusalem within three months. Salah din showed exemplary behavior towards the Christian inhabitants there. He gave them complete religious liberty. This made him the most famous Muslim leader. Shortly afterwards, other crusades followed. However, they were not as powerful as the first crusaders, therefore, they soon returned to their homes. They would be awed by Muslims’ magnificent merchandise and quality of goods.
As an end to everything is inevitable, Islam’s Golden Age also ended in the 13th century by the invasion of Mongols. Mongols displayed the most inhumane acts while rampaging over the cities of Islam. They made towers out of the skulls. In 1258, they set the heart of the Muslim empire, Baghdad, to fire killing 10000 Muslims there. However, Mongols later became Muslims and indeed the greatest Islamic leaders. From tremendous acts of destruction they became greatest patrons of art and letters in all Islamic history. Conclusively, Muslims faced troubles in their expansion like any other empire would have but their willpower to develop more and more, led to their triumphant discoveries making the entire world their debtors of knowledge.