Rabia Al Basri (717-808) Every one prays..

“Everyone prays to You from fear of the Fire;
And if You do not put them in the Fire,
This is their reward.
Or they pray to You for the Garden(Heaven),
Full of fruits and flowers.
And that is their prize.
But I do not pray to You like this,
For I am not afraid of the Fire,
And I do not ask You for the Garden.
But all I want is the Essence of Your Love”,

Rabia Al Adawiyya and her contemporaries.

In this and in next several posts I will introduce a few scholars of the *Golden age of Islam (8th to 13th century), and will give a short overview and a sample of their work

Rabia al Basri (717-810) was an early scholar and a Sufi. Her contemporaries included Jabir Ibn Haiyan*(722-800) known as Geber In Europe, who is regarded as the father of chemistry. Al-Khwārizmī* (780-860) known as Algorithm* 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).

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.

Here is a selection from Rabia Al Basri.

“Eyes are at rest, the stars are setting.

 Hushed are the stirrings of birds in their nests,

 …You are the Just who knows no change,

 The Balance that can never swerve,

 The Eternal which never passes away.

 The doors of Kings are bolted now and guarded by soldiers.

 Your Door is open to all who call upon You




Dante in his “Devine comedy” disrespects our Prophet even though some of its themes are borrowed from Muslim sources. See professor Miguel Asin Palacios, a Spanish scholar and a Catholic priest “La Escatologiamusulmana en la Divina Comedia” (Islamic eschatology in the Devine Comedy)published in 1919. See also”The Uncanonical Dante. The Devine Comedy and Islamic philosophy” by Paul A Canter of University of Virginia.

Thomas Aquinas (St. Thomas 1225-1274) was an important theologian of the 13th century. In his famous book  “Summa Contra Gentiles” he is critical of Islam and our Prophet. But he quotes Ibn Rushd (Averroes 1126-1199) a great Muslim philosopher many times and refer to him as “commentator”.