Mohammad Asad

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The Spirit of West

Cont’d from previous issue

Whatever was best in the culture of old Greece and the later Hellenistic period the Arabs had revived in their learning and improved upon in the centuries that followed the establishment of the early Islamic Empire. I do not say that the absorption of Hellenistic thought was an undisputed benefit for the Arabs, and the Muslims at large, —because it was not. But for all the difficulties which this revived Hellenistic culture may have caused to the development of Muslims in a truly Islamic sense, it acted, through the Arabs, as an immense stimulus for Europe. The Middle Ages had laid waste Europe's productive forces. Sciences were stagnant, superstition reigned supreme, the social life was primitive and crude to an extent hardly conceivable to-day.