Muslims was a worldwide power found simply on faith.
- Election of A Leader: After the death of Prophet Muhammad, in 632 AD, Muslims elected Abu Bakr to be their leader and the Head of the Islamic State. Except for the Roman Empire, no one in the world had, at that time heard of electing a Head of State. That was democracy.
- Water Purification & Distribution: Tunisia, North Africa – Muslims designed an ingenious water purification system using two water basins and gravity to filter clean water from one basin to the other. They built a distribution system so that the cities had clean running water. This was hundreds of years before anyone in Europe thought of having running water in the cities.
- Baghdad: 200 years after Prophet Muhammad’s death, the borders of the Islamic empire stretched from Spain to India. It took nearly a year to travel from one end of its borders to the other. At its heart was the fabled city of Baghdad. It had exquisite neighbor- hoods filled with parks on both sides of the river. It was a city of learning, filled with the best scholars, the best thinkers, and the best artists. People from all over the empire came there looking for solutions to their staggering scientific and engineering problems. Baghdad’s renowned House of Wisdom and its public libraries attracted Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars from all over the world. Muslim scholars embraced the ideas of Aristotle and Plato, writers that Christian world considered blasphemous. Renaissance had its true beginning during this period. It was during this period that Muslims began to challenge the earlier knowledge. Spirit of scientific investigation and search to develop new solutions was everywhere. System of Arabic numerals, Algebra, Trigonometry, engineering, Astronomy, and countless other disciplines trace their roots to this era.
- At the time when Europeans were praying to the bones of their saints to cure their illnesses, Muslims determined that tiny organisms transmitted disease from one person to another. They concluded that a sick person should be quarantined to protect the rest of the community from germs. This is the beginning of the modern hospital. Separate wards for patients suffering from different diseases were established. They even studied mental illness. Their study of anatomy was so advanced that their discoveries remained unchallenged for the next 600 years.
- The father of optics was a Muslim named Ibn Al-Hatem. He produced the first treatise as to how the eye sees. A thousand years before the European doctors attempted, Muslim doctors were surgically removing the cataracts.
- For all this knowledge to be copied and communicated throughout the vast empire, there was a new invention, paper. Around 750 AD, when Muslims reached Central Asia, they found paper. Within 50 years, it was all over their empire, including Spain. From there, Europeans learned to make paper. Scribes were writing books on paper. Baghdad had streets of booksellers, some with as many as a hundred shops selling books. This was at a time when in Europe, a monastery would be lucky if it had five or ten books.
- During the dark ages, Cordoba in Spain was the most sophisticated metropolis in Europe. It had roads, lights, libraries, hospitals, palaces, running water, and people lived in big houses. The Great Mosque of Cordoba is now the famous Roman Catholic Cathedral. What is now its steeple was once a minaret. A Christian nun in the 10th century called this mosque the “Ornament of The World”. Al-Hambra is the best remaining example of what a Muslim palace looked like. In the 10th century, here the Muslim elite enjoyed the good life, while Europeans struggled thru the “Dark Ages”.