Today Islam and Muslims are looked at as backwards people. People with no drive for learning anything other than what is in the Qur’an and Hadith. However, about 1000 years ago, Islam was in it’s hey day.
From the years 800-1200, it was the areas dominated by Muslims that were thriving, whereas Europe was in its era of “Late Antiquity”, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages.
During this time, ancient Greek manuscripts – which had a wealth of wisdom at the time – were preserved by people living on the Islamic side of the world. Muslims today like to point to that era and say it was Islam that made them do it, but was it?
There is nothing in Islam that says “defend the works of Aristotle, Socrates, and Pythagoras”. In fact, when you read the Qur’an, it commands you to follow Islam and do whatever Mohammad says. If you look through the Hadith, it is the same message. It’s a very simplistic way at looking at life.
It also must be pointed out that this era ENDED. And it ended 1000 years ago. If it were really Islam that had led to the preservation and expanding upon the works of the ancients, then the Islamic world would still be as dominant and open minded today as it apparently was back then for its time.
My take on it is that there were certain people in the early era of Islam who were open minded and inquisitive and realized the power of those ancient writings. Not the ancient writings of the Qur’an – they may have been Muslim but they knew that all there is to know is not in the Qur’an and Hadith – and decided to do the math and science that was required to come up with great discoveries.
To say that Islam came up with Algebra is to say that because the internet was devised by a country mainly comprised of Christians, the internet was invented BECAUSE of Christianity. Both arguments are absurd and serve nothing other than the ego of the people who belong to those faiths.