Azizi Khalid

March 12, 2021

Spiritual Civilisation


Islam moulded one of the most significant civilisation history has ever seen. Within a hundred years it spanned much of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. From the 7th century right until the 12th century, the Islamic world was the centre of the universe; from centres of learning to scientific advancement, to medicine to architecture to music to poetry to hygiene (the English word soap is borrowed from the Arabic word ‘sabun’) and everything in between.

The Islamic civilisation was a civilisation shaped by the Quran. Its impetus was spiritual. The zeal by which Muslims search knowledge was driven by the Quran whose first word revealed was ‘iqra’ (read) and the second revelation was ‘al-qalam wa ma yasturun’ (the pen and it they write). Although the Muslims borrowed heavily from ancient Greeks and others, the Quran always acted as the spiritual compass; to determine what is useful and what is not.

In order to preserve the recitation and understanding of the Quran, Muslims studied and developed linguistic sciences such as grammar, semantics, rhetoric, logic, calligraphy, phonetics, vocalisation, melody, manuscript and book-making. The preservation of the Quran brought forth two kinds of fine art; calligraphy and architecture. The first was to ‘house’ the Quran in beautiful writing, and the second is to ‘house’ the Quran in beautiful space.

Since determining time is vital to prayer and fasting, Muslims studied and developed further the sciences of astronomy, mathematics, geometry and other disciplines. Hajj requires travel which inspired the study of cartography, medicine, legal theories for trade, written documentation and many others.

In short, Islamic civilisation was shaped by the Quran. It was material progress for spiritual growth. Every scientific discovery and breakthrough was done to draw us closer to the Divine. Every knowledge and advancement has to be beneficial.

This was the strength of the Islamic civilisation.

Azizi Khalid
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