Saturday, September 4, 2010
Arab achievement since the Prophet Mohammed
Once hailed as the most important library in the known world, the Library at Alexandria said to have been accidentally burned by Julius Ceaser, was an accomplishment the Arab world could be proud of.
The Library of Alexandria as a research institution
"The Ancient Library of Alexandria.According to the earliest source of information, the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas, the library was initially organized by Demetrius of Phaleron, a student of Aristotle, under the reign of Ptolemy Soter (ca.367 BCE—ca.283 BCE).
Built in the Brucheion (Royal Quarter) in the style of Aristotle's Lyceum, adjacent to and in service of the Musaeum (a Greek Temple or "House of Muses", hence the term "museum"), the library comprised a Peripatos walk, gardens, a room for shared dining, a reading room, lecture halls and meeting rooms. However, the exact layout is not known. This model's influence may still be seen today in the layout of university campuses. The library itself is known to have had an acquisitions department (possibly built near the stacks, or for utility closer to the harbour), and a cataloguing department. The hall contained shelves for the collections of scrolls (as the books were at this time on papyrus scrolls), known as bibliothekai (βιβλιοθῆκαι). It was rumored that carved into the wall above the shelves, a famous inscription read: The place of the cure of the soul.
The first known library of its kind to gather a serious collection of books from beyond its country's borders, the Library at Alexandria was charged with collecting all the world's knowledge. It did so through an aggressive and well-funded royal mandate involving trips to the book fairs of Rhodes and Athens and a (potentially apocryphal or exaggerated) policy of pulling the books off every ship that came into port. They kept the original texts and made copies to send back to their owners. This detail is informed by the fact that Alexandria, because of its man-made bidirectional port between the mainland and the Pharos island, welcomed trade from the East and West, and soon found itself the international hub for trade, as well as the leading producer of papyrus and, soon enough, books.
Other than collecting works from the past, the library was also home to a host of international scholars, well-patronized by the Ptolemaic dynasty with travel, lodging and stipends for their whole families. As a research institution, the library filled its stacks with new works in mathematics, astronomy, physics, natural sciences and other subjects. It was at the Library of Alexandria that the scientific method was first conceived and put into practice, and its empirical standards applied in one of the first and certainly strongest homes for serious textual criticism. As the same text often existed in several different versions, comparative textual criticism was crucial for ensuring their veracity. Once ascertained, canonical copies would then be made for scholars, royalty and wealthy bibliophiles the world over, this commerce bringing income to the library. The editors at the Library of Alexandria are especially well known for their work on Homeric texts. The more famous editors generally also held the title of head librarian. These included, among others,
Zenodotus (early third century BCE)
Callimachus, (early third century BCE), the first bibliographer and developer of the Pinakes - the first library catalog.
Apollonius of Rhodes (mid-third century BCE)
Eratosthenes (late third century BCE)
Aristophanes of Byzantium (early second century BCE)
Aristarchus of Samothrace (late second century BCE).
It is now impossible to determine the collection's size in any era with any certainty. Papyrus scrolls comprised the collection, and although parchment codices were used after 300 BCE, the Alexandrian Library is never documented as having switched to parchment, perhaps because of its strong links to the papyrus trade. (The Library of Alexandria in fact had an indirect cause in the creation of writing parchment - due to the library's critical need for papyrus, little was exported and thus an alternate source of copy material became essential.)
A single piece of writing might occupy several scrolls, and this division into self-contained "books" was a major aspect of editorial work. King Ptolemy II Philadelphus (309–246 BCE) is said to have set 500,000 scrolls as an objective for the library. Mark Antony supposedly gave Cleopatra over 200,000 scrolls (taken from the great Library of Pergamum) for the library as a wedding gift, but this is regarded by some historians as a propagandist claim meant to show Antony's allegiance to Egypt rather than Rome. No index of the library survives, and it is not possible to know with certainty how large and how diverse the collection may have been. For example, it is likely that even if the Library of Alexandria had hundreds of thousands of scrolls (and thus perhaps tens of thousands of individual works), some of these would have been duplicate copies or alternate versions of the same texts.
A possibly apocryphal or exaggerated story concerns how the library's collection grew so large. By decree of Ptolemy III of Egypt, all visitors to the city were required to surrender all books and scrolls, as well as any form of written media in any language in their possession which, according to Galen, were listed under the heading "books of the ships". Official scribes then swiftly copied these writings, some copies proving so precise that the originals were put into the library, and the copies delivered to the unsuspecting owners. This process also helped to create a reservoir of books in the relatively new city.
According to Galen, Ptolemy III requested permission from the Athenians to borrow the original scripts of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, for which the Athenians demanded the enormous amount of fifteen talents as guarantee. Ptolemy happily paid the fee but kept the original scripts for the library. This story may also be constructed erroneously to show the power of Alexandria over Athens during the Ptolemaic dynasty." Photo and text from Wikipedia
Imagine for a moment the advances in medicine, engineering and the sciences if the library had not burned!
Indeed, the Code of Hammurabi, predated the Ten Commandments and was one of the first ordinances of man living together with his brother.
And since the life of the Prophet Mohammed, what great accomplishments in the above mentioned fields have taken place in the Arab world?
"There is no compulsion in Islam."
—The Prophet Muhammad from the Qur'an, 2:256
Well, there has been the perfection and practice of the art of prevarication! The art of the lie!
If indeed, "there is no compulsion in Islam," why do today's Muslim imams teach submission or dhimmitude and death?
Why does Islam teach and perfect the art of ingratitude and returning evil for good?
In a very complimentary piece by lucidcafe.com, we see this about the Prophet;
Muhammad was born around the year 570 in the city of Mecca, Arabia. His name means "highly praised." Muhammad's full name was Abu al-Qasim Muhammad Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Abd al-Muttalib Ibn Hashim. He was the last prophet of the religion of Islam.
Muhammad's father, Abdallah, died several weeks before his birth and his mother, Aminah, died when he was six years old. He was raised by his paternal grandfather, 'Abd al Muttalib, until the age of eight, and after his grandfather's death by Abu Talib, his paternal uncle. Under the guardianship of Abu Talib, Muhammad began to earn a living as a businessman and a trader.
The tradition of Islam claims that in the year 610, Muhammad, while on a retreat to Mount Hira for meditation during the month of Ramadan, received his first revelation from the Archangel Gabriel. Gabriel said to Muhammad: "Iqraa," meaning "read" or "recite." He replied, "I cannot read." Gabriel embraced Muhammad and after releasing him repeated: "Iqraa." Muhammad's answer was the same as before. Gabriel repeated the embrace, asking Muhammad to repeat after him and said: "Recite in the name of your Lord who created! He created man from that which clings. Recite; and thy Lord is most Bountiful, He who has taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not."
The Angel Gabriel visited the Muhammad many times over a period of twenty-three years. Gabriel taught Muhammad the verses and he instructed his scribes to record them. All the revealed verses are compiled in the Qur'an. The Prophet's sayings and actions are recorded separately in collections known as Hadith. Muslims believe that Muhammad was a messenger of Allah (Arabic for The One and Only God) and last of the prophets sent by Allah to guide man to the right path.
The Prophet's mission was to restore the worship of the One True God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, as taught by Prophet Abraham and all Prophets of God, and to demonstrate the laws of moral, ethical, legal, and social conduct. Islam means peace by submission and obedience to the Will and Commandments of God. Those who accept Islam are called Muslims, meaning those who have accepted the message of peace by submission to God.
The Qur'an provides insight into the missions, struggles and communities of twenty-five Prophets, the first of which is Adam. The Qur'an mentions four previously revealed Scriptures: Suhoof (Pages) of Abraham, Taurat ('Torah') as revealed to Moses, Zuboor ('Psalms') as revealed to David, and Injeel ('Evangel') as revealed to Jesus. Islam requires belief in all the prophets and revealed scriptures as part of its Articles of Faith.
Muhammad's first few followers were his cousin, Ali, his servant, Zayd ibn Harithah, his friend, Abu Bakr and his wife and daughters. They all accepted Islam by testifying that: "There is no Deity (worthy of worship) except Allah (The One True God) and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." By the end of his life, Muhammad had several hundred thousand followers.
Before he died in 632, Muhammad had established the religious practices known as "the five pillars of Islam." They are declaring the oneness of Allah and his messenger Muhammad; praying five times a day; fasting during the month of Ramadan; giving to charity; and making the pilgrimage to Mecca. Some Muslims recognize a sixth pillar in the Islamic jihad that can be an armed conflict in defence of Islam (known as the lesser jihad); and improving one's spiritual being (called the greater jihad).
Muhammad is the model of Qur'anic behavior for Muslims. They mention his name by adding "peace be upon him," a phrase used with the name of all the prophets. Muslims try to follow the Qur'an and the Prophet's example in every detail."
What we see here is the very art of contradiction! A man who was illiterate is claiming to have studied the writings of the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospels of Jesus Christ!
He also claims to promote the worship of the "One true God" whose Arab name is Allah. However, as most devout Muslims will tell you, Allah is not the Jehovah God worshipped by Christians and Jews. Allah is a construct of the mind of the Prophet period.
The Qu'ran says that Allah is the "master deceiver" and the bible asks, "Is God a man that he should lie?"
Melek Dovid(King David) spoke of the life and death of Jesus and yet devout Christians are called "infadel dogs" by Muslims.
"Indafel" means, literally one with no faith. The Latin, "fidelis" literally means faithful and many Christians and Jews, and indeed leaders of those FAITHS, have died for their faith. And yet we are labeled "infadel dogs" by leaders of Islam who regularly send women, children and the mentally defective into battle to become myrtars! Masters of contradiction indeed!
The Arab world today is virtually devoid of breakthroughs in engineering, medicine and the sciences. Mostly American technology and engineering has made a minority of the Arab world filthy rich in oil money while the majority live in abject poverty!
Palestinian officials recently asked the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture how to make their agricultural practices in Gaza as productive as they were when the Israelis were farming there. I chuckle at this since it's a well-known fact that Palestinian terrorists of Hamas have dug up irrigation pipe to use in the manufacture of rockets to fire into Israel.
So I guess since Mohammed, the Arab world has produced little in any of the fields of endeavor mentioned above! They have, however, produced death, child myrtars, destruction and the slaughter of the innocent!
Sadly, we are not much to talk of the slaughter of the innocent. American abortuaries have butchered close to 50 million innocent babies since the practice was legalized!
As I shall not submit to standing silent while American abortionists murder innocent children, I shall also not submit to Islam!
Please visit www.barenakedislam.com