Early Muslims, progress and settlement in far away lands.

The injunction of Islam to seek knowledge was taken seriously by the Umma. Muslims quite early in their history started to excel in science, philosophy, medicine and other fields. Here are a few names. Jabir Ibn Haiyan (722-800) known as Geber In Europe, is regarded as the father of chemistry. Al-Khwārizmī (780-860) known as Algorithmi* in Europe, invented Algebra and Algorithm. Al-Kindi (800-873) was a philosopher and a mathematician. On appointment by the Abbasides Caliph, he headed a team of translators who translated Greek Classics, works of science and medicine, from Galen into Arabic (from Arabic these works were translated into Latin and other European languages).

Al Farabi (870-952) a philosopher, a scientist and a sociologist.
There were no contemporaries in Europe; it was in the dark ages. People like Dante**(1265-1321), Leonardo de Vinci (1452-1519), Shakespeare (1564-1616) and others came a few centuries later. The Renaissance began in Italy in the late 13th century and in the rest of Europe in the mid 14th century.
Muslims spread out to far away lands* of China and India(Malabar coast) in the 7th century, soon after the death of the Prophet(pbuh) in 632. The Prophet (SAWS) was born in 570 and the Hijrat (the migration to Madina) took place in 622, the start of the Muslim calendar.

As early as 710, Muslims started to reach Al Andaluse (Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar etc.). An era began when Muslim rule started in Cordoba in 756 and ended in 1492 when Granada surrendered. Blood shed and a wholesale expulsion of Muslims from Andalusia took place. Those who remained were forced to convert. Jews also met the same fate and they settled in several Muslim Countries.
The Muslim rule in Spain** was a period of learning and enlightenment. Big advances were made in science, medicine, governance, architecture and other fields. The introduction of paper making from China in 751 led to an explosion in the number of books written and collected. It reinforced the culture of books in the Muslin world. In th 9th century the library of Cordoba had 500,000 books in a city of over 200,000* inhabitants. In contrast the largest library in Europe, Paris and in the monastery of St. Gaul (Switzerland) had only a few hundred. Cordoba was not unique, libraries in Cities such as Baghdad*, Damascus, Cairo, Bokhara and other cities also had huge collections of books and manuscripts. The first paper mill started in Samarkand in the 8th century. Baghdad and other cities, including those in Spain followed. In Europe, manuscript on paper, probably from Spain, appeared in the 11th century. Khaliq

Sources used, articles and websites.

*An article “Science the Islamic Legacy” April/May issue of Aramco world 1982.
University of Georgia. http://www.uga.edu/sufism. by A. Godlas is a comprehensive site on Islam and Sufism.
Stanford University. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arabic-islamic-mind/

Princeton University. https://www.princeton.edu/~humcomp/scholars.html. It has all Muslim scholars of the Golden age of Islam in one place.

Oxford Encyclopedia of Islamic world. It costs $200US annually to use all other websites are free..

Wikipedia is a quick reference site, but material should be checked in academic websites before using it.
Please note that by 9th century Muslims had settled in Albania, Hungary , Bulgaria and several other East European countries.

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I also have another blog with the same contents Called "Islam and Sufism an introduction" at islamsufismbasic.blogspot.com.

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