What Others Say About Islamic Civilization
Napolean Bonaparte as Quoted in Christian Cherfils, 'Bonaparte et Islam,' Pedone Ed., Paris, France, 1914, pp. 105, 125.
Original References: "Correspondance de Napoléon Ier Tome V pièce n° 4287 du 17/07/1799; profession de foi, voir aussi pièce n° 3148. Also, Journal inédit de Ste Hélène, de 1815 à 1818" du Gal Baron Gourgaud -2 tomes- Ed. Flammarion.
"Moses has revealed the existence of God to his nation. Jesus Christ to the Roman world, Muhammad to the old continent...
"Arabia was idolatrous when, six centuries after Jesus, Muhammad introduced the worship of the God of Abraham, of Ishmael, of Moses, and Jesus.... Muhammad declared that there was none but one God who had no father, no son and that the trinity imported the idea of idolatry...
"I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur'an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness."
[Note: Some Muslim historians have suggested that Asad bin Al Furat, the commander of Muslim forces in Sicily [see 827 CE in Muslim History], is the progenitor of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). Asad's descendants were known as 'Banu Furat'; for other such names see 1031 CE. One of Napoleon's brother-in-law was Joachim Murat.]
Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.
"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."
"I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."
"I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today."
"The Islamic teachings have left great traditions for equitable and gentle dealings and behavior, and inspire people with nobility and tolerance. These are human teachings of the highest order and at the same time practicable. These teachings brought into existence a society in which hard-heartedness and collective oppression and injustice were the least as compared with all other societies preceding it....Islam is replete with gentleness, courtesy, and fraternity."
Edward Montet, 'La Propagande Chretienne et ses Adversaries Musulmans,' Paris 1890. (Also in T.W. Arnold in 'The Preaching of Islam,' London 1913.)
"Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this term considered etymologically and historically....the teachings of the Prophet, the Qur'an has invariably kept its place as the fundamental starting point, and the dogma of unity of God has always been proclaimed therein with a grandeur a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam....A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and consequently so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the consciences of men."
Simon Ockley in 'History of the Saracens'.
"A rugged, strife-torn and mountaineering people...were suddenly turned into an indomitable Arab force, which achieved a series of splendid victories unparalleled in the history of nations, for in the short space of ninety years that mighty range of Muslim conquest embraced a wider extent of territory than Rome had mastered in the course of eight hundred."
Phillip Hitti in 'Short History of the Arabs.'
"During all the first part of the Middle Ages, no other people made as important a contribution to human progress as did the Muslims, if we take this term to mean all those whose mother-tongue was Arabic, and not merely those living in the Arabian peninsula. For centuries, Arabic was the language of learning, culture and intellectual progress for the whole of the civilized world with the exception of the Far East. From the IXth to the XIIth century there were more philosophical, medical, historical, religiuos, astronomical and geographical works written in Arabic than in any other human tongue."
Marcel Clerget in 'La Turquie, Passe et Present,' Paris, 1938.
"Many proofs of high cultural level of the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent are to be found in the development of science and law; in the flowering of literary works in Arabic, Persian and Turkish; in the contemporary monuments in Istanbul, Bursa, and Edirne; in the boom in luxury industries; in the sumptuous life of the court and high dignitaries, and last but not least in its religious tolerance. All the various influences - notably Turkish, Byzantine and Italian mingle together and help to make this the most brilliant epoch of the Ottomans."
Thomas Arnold in 'The Call to Islam.'
"We have never heard about any attempt to compel Non-Muslim parties to adopt Islam or about any organized persecution aiming at exterminating Christianity. If the Caliphs had chosen one of these plans, they would have wiped out Christianity as easily as what happened to Islam during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain; by the same method which Louis XIV followed to make Protestantism a creed whose followers were to be sentenced to death; or with the same ease of keeping the Jews away from Britain for a period of three hundred fifty years."
Michael the Elder (Great) as Quoted in 'Michael the Elder, Chronique de Michael Syrien, Patriarche Jacobite d' Antioche,' J.B. Chabot, Editor, Vol. II, Paris, 1901.
"This is why the God of vengeance, who alone is all-powerful, and changes the empire of mortals as He will, giving it to whomsoever He will, and uplifting the humble beholding the wickedness of the Romans who throughout their dominions, cruelly plundered our churches and our monasteries and condemned us without pity, brought from the region of the south the sons of Ishmael, to deliver us through them from the hands of the Romans. And if in truth we have suffered some loss, because the Catholic churches, that had been taken away from us and given to the Chalcedonians, remained in their possession; ...nevertheless it was no slight advantage for us to be delivered from the cruelty of the Romans, their wickedness, their wrath and cruel zeal against us, and to find ourselves at people. (Michael the Elder, Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch wrote this text in the latter part of the twelfth century, after five centuries of Muslim rule in that region.
James Addison in 'The Christian Approach to the Muslim,' p. 35.
"Despite the growth of antagonism, Muslim rulers seldom made their Christian subjects suffer for the Crusades. When the Muslims finally resumed the full control of Palestine the Christians were given their former status as dhimmis. The Coptic Church, too had little cause for complaint under Saladin's (Salahuddin) strong government, and during the time of the earlier Mameluke sultans who succeeded him the Copts experienced more enlightened justice than they had hitherto known. The only effect of the Crusaders upon Egyptian Christians was to keep them for a while from pilgrimage to Jerusalem, for as long as the Frank were in charge heretics were forbidden access to the shrines. Not until the Moslem victories could they enjoy their rights as Christians."
Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall in his 1927 Lecture on 'Tolerance in Islam,' Madras, India.
"In the eyes of history, religious toleration is the highest evidence of culture in a people....It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant, and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance and other evidences of the highest culture. Before the coming of Islam it (tolerance) had never been preached as an essential part of religion...
"If Europe had known as much of Islam, as Muslims knew of Christendom, in those days, those mad, adventurous, occasionally chivalrous and heroic, but utterly fanatical outbreak known as the Crusades could not have taken place, for they were based on a complete misapprehension...
"Innumerable monasteries, with a wealth of treasure of which the worth has been calculated at not less than a hundred millions sterling, enjoyed the benefit of the Holy Prophet's (Muhammad's) Charter to the monks of Sinai and were religiously respected by the Muslims. The various sects of Christians were represented in the Council of the Empire by their patriarchs, on the provincial and district council by their bishops, in the village council by their priests, whose word was always taken without question on things which were the sole concern of their community...
"The tolerance within the body of Islam was, and is, something without parallel in history; class and race and color ceasing altogether to be barriers."