Islam’s Natural Cultural Inhibitions For Intellectual Inquiry
We have often been told of the great scientific discoveries of the Islamic world and yet in this modern age there is no evidence of such scientific acumen. So I have attempted to find out more about this claim. Muslims have claimed that because of their rich heritage of scientific discoveries has led to today’s modern advancement into science and medicine. But during this age of scientific discoveries coincides with the Islamic age of their cruel conquest and expansion during the 7th and the 13th Centuries of other peoples and culture and their sciences, claiming that the advancement of science of their enemies was now theirs.
(1) Firstly, in the early days, the Greeks were more advanced in their discoveries than any other peoples, and it was the Jews and the Christians who translated much of the Greek literature into Arab, which was carefully preserved by the Muslims who then claimed it as their discoveries and works.
(2) Secondly, many of the discoveries claimed by Muslims were actually concepts that were borrowed from cultures conquered or occupied by the Muslims. For example, the mathematical concent of “zero” was borrowed from the more advanced Hindus but attributed to Muslims who may have introduced it to the West.
Conquered nations contributed much to the knowledge and science of the Muslims. These conquered nations were eventually assimilated by the Muslim conquerers and decimated by conversion into Islam. Once converted to Islam, the pressures of Islamic codes eventually inhibit those converted to curtail their inquiring minds for fear of offending Islam and accused of being apostates (traitors) of Islam. For soon converts will learn the following:
“Allah has hated you for asking too many questions about religion
Qur’an 5:101 “Believers, ask not questions about things which
if made plain to you may cause you trouble when the Qur’an is revealed.
Some people before you asked questions, and on that account lost their
Maududi, in his commentary, The Meaning of
the Qur’an, explains: “The Prophet forbade people to ask questions or to
pry into such things.”
Volume 2, Book 24, Number 555:
clerk of Al-Mughira bin Shu’ba narrated, “Muawiya wrote to Al-Mughira
bin Shu’ba: Write to me something which you have heard from the Prophet
“So Al-Mughira wrote: I heard the Prophet saying, “Allah has
hated for you three things:
1. Vain talks, (useless talk) that you talk too much or about others.
2. Wasting of wealth (by extravagance)
3. And asking too many questions (in disputed religious matters) or asking others for something (except in great need).”
Hence the following observation: The Muslim concentration within a population is proportional to the decline of scientific achievement. 
The Closing of the Gates of Ijtihad is totally in keeping with Quran 5:101 and the Hadith.
“The Closed Gate of Ijtihad:
The first view to be discussed is of those who believe the gate of
Ijtihad was closed. It is suggested that in the later period of Islamic
History, the question of who is qualified to conduct Ijtihad was raised
such that by the middle of the fourth/tenth century the idea that only
the great scholars of the past held this authority began to gain
popularity within Islamic scholarly circles. This has been argued as the
point at which closure of the gate began, essentially suggesting that
by scholarly consensus, this position was adopted.
Further notions that
are argued to have contributed to this phenomenon include the idea that
the scholars at the beginning of the fourth century had attained such a
level of immutable consensus that further Ijtihad was unnecessary and
also that the required qualifications for Ijtihad ‘were set so high that
they were humanly impossible to fulfil.’
Several modern Western academics have opined that the gate of Ijtihad
had been closed, some suggesting it is both in theory and in practice
and irreversible. These scholars tend to accept this, although no
argument or debate surrounding the closure is mentioned.
Various causes are alleged as resulting in the so-called closure.
JND Anderson, among others, claimed that it was around the third/ninth
century that the closure occurred, replacing Ijtihad with Taqlid, or the following of the opinions of the previous Mujtahids,
supported by L E Brown’s statement that ‘it began to be believed that
the four great lawyers in Islam had said the last word…so the doors of
progress was closed and Islamic Law became fossilised.’
H A R Gibb suggests that it was upon the establishment of doctrines in
theology and philosophy that were deemed unalterable that the gate was
narrowed down until closed ‘never again to be reopened’ as scholars ‘feared individual reinterpretation.’
Thus, it was allegedly from the desire to immortalise particular
principles that the scholarly community sought to stem the flow of
conjecture by closing the gate.” 
(3) There have been exceptions, of course. The Persian scientist and philosopher, al-Razi has often been held up today as proof of Muslim accomplishments, but Muslims have omitted to say that al-Razi had renounced Islam and was renounced as a blasphemer. Whether his visions and concepts were more thann likely the result of his following his own un-Islamic beliefs rather than that he was the son of Persia? More than likely he would not have produced his brillianced had he been confined by the ideologies of Islam. al-Razi was a non-Muslim Persian.
(4) I have often wondered why, if Allah is so unique, so omnipotent, so omniscient, that he needed to palgiarise the Bible for most of his fundamental ideas, garnishing it with some particular Mohammadan twist to put a personal stamp on it. But to me it is quite apparent that it is no coincidence that much of Genesis, and other verses in the Bible were used by Mohammad (or the scribes who wrote the Quran) to construct his Quran. It was the only available chronological and logical explaination available at that time. 
But in order to visualise the chronological order, some dates are required:
Adam (pbuh), the first man on earth, lived 5,800 years ago
As per the genealogy of jesus christ given in the bible, from jesus through abraham (pbuh) to the first man on earth i.e. Adam (pbuh), adam appeared on the earth approximately 5800 years ago:
- 1948 years between adam (pbuh) and abraham (pbuh)
- Approximately 1800 years between abraham (pbuh) and jesus (pbuh)
- Moses b.1393 BC – d. 1272 BC. He saw Burning Bush 1314 BC 3327 years ago
- 2000 years from jesus (pbuh) till today
- Muhammad b.570AD – d. 632 AD. About 1400 years ago
These figures are further confused by the fact that the jewish calendar is currently on or about 5800 years old.
There is sufficient evidence from archaeological and anthropological sources to suggest that the first human being on earth was present tens of thousands of years ago and not merely 5,800 years ago as is suggested by the bible.
The qur’an too speaks about adam (pbuh) as the first man on earth but it does not suggest any date or period of his life on earth, unlike the bible – what the bible says in this regard is totally incompatible with science. 
Christianity and Islam based their concepts of the creation of the world on the concepts of Genesis of the Old Testament. Today, these concepts of “creation” have been largely dismissed by the Scientific concepts of “evolution.” Genesis is now in the realms of mythythology. However this is not acceptable to the faithful for it dismisses the whole concept of “creation” hence the whole reason for faith.
But for the liberal thinker, it is difficult to compromise the many discrepancies contained in the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran with the knowledge that is now available to all such as that proven through archaelogy, anthropology, carbon dating, history, modern physics, modern astronomy and cosmology and the discovery of new ancient documents that contradicts current beliefs.
” And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
But the Quran has added the following:
He Who has created all things in the best possible way. He commenced the creation of man from clay; then He made his progeny from an extract of discarded fluid. (Qur’an, 32:7-8)
He has created both sexes, male and female from a drop of semen which has been ejected. (Qur’an, 53:45-46)
Was he not a drop of ejaculated sperm, then a blood-clot which He created and shaped, making from it both sexes, male and female? (Qur’an, 75:37-39) 
So from the time of Moses when God made man from Dust and His Breadth of Life, to the perception that Allah created mad from Mud and “a drop of sperm or a clot of blood,” 1946 years had elapsed. That surely must have been some progress in man’s knowledge of conception of a human life and probably the first steps towards accepting evolution and genetics, the recognition of sperm and a clot of blood (not yet the ovum) creating life. This is certainly an advancement from the Torah and the Bible.
Yet, Islam continued to adopt the custom of “female genital mutilation” (fgm) from the time of Muhammad through to the present day. And what was this custom for?
- Sociological. Identification with the cultural traditions, as a rite of passage of girls into womanhood, and for the maintenance of social cohesion;
- Psychological. Reduction of sensitive tissue and thus to curb sexual pleasure in order to maintain chastity and virginity, to guarantee women’s fidelity, and even to increase male sexual pleasure;
Muhammad was obsessed with chastity, and fidelity, and was very possessive of his women. He said:
THE PRACTICE OF CIRCUMCISION IN ISLAM COMES FROM THE HADITH, SHARIAH LAW AND THE CONSENSUS OF ISLAMIC COMMUNITIES.
The Hadith Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband. (Sunan Abu-Dawud: Book 41, Number 5251, Hasan)
Sciences in Medieval Islam
Science in the medieval Islamic world, also known as Islamic science or Arabic science, is the science developed and practised in the Islamic world during the Islamic Golden Age (c.750 CE – c.1258 CE). During this time, Indian, Asyriac, Iranian and especially Greek knowledge was translated into Arabic. These translations became a wellspring for scientific advances, by scientists from the Islamic civilization, during the Middle Ages.
Scientists within the Islamic civilization were of diverse ethnicities. Most were Persians, Arabs, Moors, Assyrians, and Egyptians. They were also from diverse religious backgrounds. (Some)
Mostwere Muslims, but there were also some Christians, Jews, and irreligious peoples. (It is clear that scientific knowledge translated into Arab were then considered as part of the Arab inheritance. Also any sceintific achievements attained by non-Muslim but living on Islamic lands is also considered as Islamic discoveries. The link at the end of this section will list some of the achievements of different scientists and their works.)
The views of historians and scholars
On the impact of medieval Islamic science
There are several different views on Islamic science among historians of science.
- The traditionalist view, as exemplified by Bertrand Russell, holds that Islamic science, while admirable in many technical ways, lacked the intellectual energy required for innovation and was chiefly important as a preserver of ancient knowledge and transmitter to medieval Europe.
- The revisionist view, as exemplified by Abdus Salam,George Saliba and John M. Hobson holds that a Muslim scientific revolution occurred during the Middle Ages,
- Scholars such as Donald Routledge Hill and Ahmad Y Hassan express the view that Islam was the driving force behind the Muslim achievements,
- According to Dallal, science in medieval Islam was “practiced on a scale unprecedented in earlier human history or even contemporary human history”.
- Toby E. Huff takes the view that, although Islamic science did produce a number of innovations, it did not lead to the Scientific Revolution.
- Will Durant,Fielding H. Garrison,Hossein Nasr and Bernard Lewis held that Muslim scientists helped in laying the foundations for an experimental science with their contributions to the scientific method and their empirical, experimental and quantitative approach to scientific inquiry. 
The Myths in Islam
Islam Means ‘Peace’
Islam respects Women as Equals
Jihad Means ‘Inner Struggle’
Islam is a Religion of Peace
Islam is Tolerant of Other Religions
Islam Facilitated a ‘Golden Age’ of Scientific Discovery
Islam is Opposed to Slavery
Islam is Incompatible with Terrorism
Islam is a Democracy
The Quran is the Muslim Counterpart to the Bible
Refer to Reference 
When I am told that the Islamic culture has produced some of the greatest culture and scientific innovations that laid the foundations to modern science, I always ask, “Tell me more about these scientific innovations that has influenced the modern world.” Strangely I always recieve silence in response.
Despite the rhetoric that Islamic science and culture has contributed to the Western civilisation, I find little evidence that Islamic science, astronomy, cosmology, engineering, medicine, or any other has made ANY impression on modern Western sceince and its development. So I must conclude that the propagation of these myths is simply to bolster the esteem of the followers of Islam and to misinform the gullible.
The reason is many fold, but Bertrand Russell probably has hit the nail on the head by saying, “Islamic science, while admirable in many technical ways, lacked the intellectual energy required for innovation and was chiefly important as a preserver of ancient knowledge and transmitter to medieval Europe.” Or Toby E. Huff’s observation, “although Islamic science did produce a number of innovations, it did not lead to the Scientific Revolution.” And the reasons are manyfold and can be discussed at length, but fundamentally it is that Islam as a culture, discourages “the inquiring mind” as mention and illustrated at the beginning of this article. There are many other reasons that can be speculated upon and discussed at some other time.
 Closing the Gates of Ijtihad: http://abdullahhasan.net/?p=647
 The Myths of Islamic Scientific achievements: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Myths-of-Islam.htm
 Muhammad’s Plagiarism: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muhammads_Plagiarism
 Miracles of the Quran: http://www.miraclesofthequran.com/scientific_57.html
 Islamic Science: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_in_the_medieval_Islamic_world
 The Myths in Islam: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Myths-of-Islam.htm