I sent two letters to Lord Nazir. he did not even bother to respond to me.
His Excellency Lord NazirHouse of Lords,London, England, UK Cc; Queen Elizabeth, Queen of England, Lord Chancellor of House of Lords
SUBJECT: Correcting you comment and refuting the Urban myth that the “West was building universities while “we” were building Taj Mahals.”
Dear Lord Nazir: As Salam Alaikum! You are a voice of reason and sanity. I am proud of your accomplishments, and like to listen to you defending Islam and Muslims in the UK. You are an asset to the community. I was however astonished by your comment on ARY TV Network that “while the West was making universities, ‘they’ were building the Taj Mahal and “mahalaat”. The sad truth is that even Lords do not read Islamic history. Perhaps a lesson in Islamic and Subcontinental history may be in order.
- THE FIRST WORD OF THE QURAN IS “IQRA”—“read/Recite”. Our prophet set up an example of reading and writing. Captured soldiers could win their freedom if they imparted their knowledge to a Muslim. Our prophet also said “Go to China if you have to learn”.
- ORIGINS OF THE WORD COLLEGIATE: The world “Collegiate” comes from the Arabic word “kulliat”. The same word of “completeness is translated as “university”. The Crusades returning from the holy land saw Muslim universities and colleges (kulliat) and set up Oxford.
- AL AZHAR WAS SHINING CITY ON HILL WHEN LONDON WAS A SHANTY TOWN: Al-Azhar university was a shining model on the hill when. London and Paris were shanty-towns in the 15th century, whereas Cordoba, Cairo, Lahore, Delhi and Agra were huge cosmopolitan centers of excellence where art, music, literature, libraries flourished.
- BUILDING MAGNIFICENT BUILDING REQUIRES TRAINED ENGINEERS, PRODUCTION PLANNING, ARCHITECTS: Building the Taj requires architects, construction engineers, skilled laborers, architects, landscapers, material engineers, designers, artists. Where does the Lord think they came from? Certainly they did not arrive from the sky. They learned their skills somewhere, and someone trained them. All this knowledge existed in the Mughal empire and it was replicated all over the empire. There were centers of knowledge, and training all over the Subcontinent which imparted the following knowledge:
I. Architects (who drew the vision of the Rest House ‘sarais’, Roads, houses, Taj, mosques, bridges, mosques etc.)
II. Designers and sketchers who created the vision of the houses, Taj, mosques, bridges, mosques etc.)
III. Financial Planners who managed the cost of the projects IV. Taxation Experts who received taxes into the treasury V. Land Acquisitions experts and Surveyors
VI. Risk Mitigation Experts (who design the minarets so that they would not fall on the dome etc. etc.)
VII. Quality Control Experts
VIII. Painters & Artists
IX. Landscaping Experts
X. Hydraulic Experts
XII. Musical Experts
XIII. Art experts
XIV. Construction experts
XVI. Road building
XVII. Postal Service
XVIII. Patwari and Taxation System
XIX. Construction of Military Forts
XX. Military Sciences
XXI. Religious Sciences
XXII. Medical Sciences
XXIII. Silk production experts
XXIV. Marble and material Engineers
XXV. Transportation experts
XXVI. Warehousing experts
XXVII. Cement experts
XXVIII. Simulation experts
XXIX. Prototype builders.
XXXII. Agri-business experts
XXXIII. Canal designers, and architects and diggers.
XXXIV. Dam builders These professionals were tutored, trained organized and taught in universities and institutions. The professionals did not arrive in the Subcontinent with Lord Clive. They were there way before
- COLONIALISM DESTROYED THE CENTERS OF LEARNING IN BENGAL AND THE REST OF INDIA
- DEVANAGRI SCRIPT MADE MUSLIMS ILLITERATE: In 1940 the Devanagri script was imposed on the entire subcontinent. It rendered all the Muslims illiterate in one stroke and in one day. They never recovered from this. The landowners were agriculture experts.
- INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION-ANCIENT PAKISTAN WAS ADVANCED: was the most advanced Civilization on earth and existed 5000 to 9000 years ago. It existed on the banks of the Indus, or modern Pakistan (See Indus Saga by Aitizaz Ahsan)
- THE GREEKS FOUND ANCIENT PAKISTAN AS AN ADVANCED SOCIETY: Taxila (Urdu: ??????, Sanskrit: ???????? Tak?a?il?, Pali:Takkasil?) is an important archaeological site in Pakistan containing the ruins of the Gandh?ran city of Takshashila (also Takkasila or Taxila) an important Vedic/Hindu and Buddhist centre of learning from the 6th century BCE to the 5th century CE.  In 1980, Taxila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site with multiple locations.
- MULTAN WAS ONLY ONE OF THE HUNDREDS OF CENTERS OF LEARNING DURING THE MUGHAL ERA: Multan which was a great center of learning during Mughal reign.
- FARANGI MAHAL WAS A CENTER OF LEARNING FOR SIX HUNDRED YEARS I LUCKNOW INDIA: Farangi Mahal imparted knowledge in logic, medicine, philosophy, literature, and religious sciences.
- VARNASI WAS A CENTER OF LEARNING FOR 200 YEARS: Varanasi has been a center of pilgrimage and learning for over 2000 years and
- Legend has it that centuries ago, to the south of Raj Ghat, there was a forest at the confluence of five streams with the Ganga. There were ashrams in the forest that were centers of learning, presided over by learned sages or rishis, who encouraged the development of new schools of thought. . The tradition of scholarship has continued into the present times. In 1916, the rationalist leader and educationist Madan Mohan Malviya laid the foundation of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), aiming for a synthesis of ancient Indian culture and modern science.
- A few years later, in 1921, the Kashi Vidyapeeth was established in the city with the encouragement of Mahatma Gandhi. Earlier, in 1791, the British colonial rulers set up the prestigious Sanskrit College here
- The Cholas’ rival of the Western Chalukya Empire also rose to power by the end of the century. In this century the Turkish Seljuk dynasty comes to power in the Middle East over the now fragmented Abbasid realm, while the first of the Crusades were waged towards the close of the century.
- AL-AZHAR UNIVERSITY THE FIRST UNIVERSITY OF THE WORLD: It was built by the Shi’a Fatimid Caliphate (909-1171) who established Cairo as their capital. It is connected to Al-Azhar mosque in Old Cairo, Al-Azhar ( in Arabic: the most flourished and shining) was so called either because it was surrounded by great glittering places, or as a hopeful disposition, or after the name of Sayeda Fatima Al-Zahra’, daughter of Muhammad. The mosque was built in two years from 969 AD, the year in which its foundation was laid. The school of theology (Madrasah) connected with it was founded in 988 AD. Studies began in Al-Azhar in Ramadan by October 975 AD, when Chief Justice Abul Hasan Ali Ibn Al-No’man started teaching the book “Al-Ikhtisar”, on the Shiite Jurisprudence. It became a Sunni school towards the end of the Middle Ages, an orientation it retains to this day.
- MUSLIMS PROVIDED THE SEEDS OF THE RENAISSANCE: It is commonly believed that the Renaissance, the rediscovery of the treasures of classical antiquity, took place in the fifteenth century AD…this conception is misleading. The `renaissance began in the Dark Ages with the translation of Greek works into Syrian and Arabic…the original works were known to but a few, and since then many of them have been lost. The part played by the Syrians in the east may be compared to that the Arabs and the Jews played in western Europe. 12 David Diringer, The Book Before Printing : Ancient, Medieval and Oriental (NY: Dover, 1982), 302.
- CORDOBA WAS SHINING CITY ON THE HILL WHEN LONDON WAS A SHANTY TOWN: Among European cities, Córdoba under the Caliphate, with a population of perhaps 500,000, eventually overtook Constantinople as the largest and most prosperous city in Europe. Within the Islamic world, Córdoba was one of the leading cultural centers. The work of its most important philosophers and scientists (notably Abulcasis and Averroes) had a major influence on the intellectual life of medieval Europe. Muslims and non-Muslims often came from abroad to study in the famous libraries and universities of al-Andalus. The most noted of these was Michael Scot, who took the works of Ibn Rushd (“Averroes”) and Ibn Sina (“Avicenna”) to Italy. This transmission was to have a significant impact on the formation of the European Renaissance.
- IQBAL WRITES ABOUT ANDALUSIA IN 1932: In 1932, after attending the Third Round Table Conference held in London to discuss a future constitution for British India, the Urdu poet Sir Muhammad Iqbal visited Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Cordoba, and Seville. This visit inspired six poems including his ode Masjid-e-Qartaba in praise of the Mosque of Cordoba. Iqbal exclaimed¹ “Ka‘ba of the friends of art! Majesty of the revealed faiths! Through whom the Andalusian land is revered as a shrine”Many modern Muslim writers-Iqbal himself as well as Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan, the Chairman of the Muslim delegation to the Third Round Table Conference and later President of the League of Nations-were deeply nostalgic about al-Andalus and mourned its loss to the Christian Reconquista. But in these stanzas Iqbal seems to look beyond. Not only is he swept away by the artistic beauty of the physical elements of the mosque, but he peers behind its walls into the social, spiritual, intellectual, literary, aesthetic, and indeed political fabric of the peoples of this land. It is their aspirations and ideals which make this Mosque a symbol of the majesty of all the revealed faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. What were these ideals and aspirations? The answer, of course lies in the spirit of tolerance and open-mindedness of the peoples of this land. Iqbal and his contemporaries wrote amidst the gathering winds of discord and hate against neighbours of different colours, ethnicities, or faiths. In Andalusia they saw an example to be studied and emulated.² Today, this example is even more relevant as the monotheistic faiths, gripped by extremists, are caught in a downward spiral of suspicion and mutual recrimination. http://easynash.blogspot.com/2007/06/191andalusia-harmony-of-three.html
- PAKISTAN’S MODERN NUCLEAR AND MISSILE PROGRAM WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE PAKISTANI UNIVERSITIES.
- PAKISTANI MUSIC IS SECOND TO NONE: Pakistani musicians have always setup centers of learning and expanded the horizons.
- PAKISTANI CALLIGRAPHY & PAINTING: The centers of learning in Pakistan have carried on for centuries. How could they be developed without universities, centers of learning and colleges.
- MUSLIM ARCHITECTURE WAS COPIED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF SYNAGOGUES, OUR CAPITOL BUILDING GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE
- EMPEROR JEHANGIR WAS THE RICHEST MAN ON THIS EARTH
I am shocked you made the statement, and want it retracted. Please do not make it again. Here is an article that you may want to read. Best Regards & Was Salaam Moin Ansari Attachments: Article on Muslim Spain and Ref. List of Books proving my point
Muslim Spain and European Culture
©1995-2000 Dean Derhak
When you think of European culture, one of the first things that may come to your mind is the renaissance. Many of the roots of European culture can be traced back to that glorious time of art, science, commerce and architecture. But did you know that long before the renaissance there was a place of humanistic beauty in Muslim Spain? Not only was it artistic, scientific and commercial, but it also exhibited incredible tolerance, imagination and poetry. Moors, as the Spaniards call the Muslims, populated Spain for nearly 700 years. As you’ll see, it was their civilization that enlightened Europe and brought it out of the dark ages to usher in the renaissance. Many of their cultural and intellectual influences still live with us today.
Way back during the eighth century, Europe was still knee-deep in the Medieval period. That’s not the only thing they were knee-deep in. In his book, “The Day The Universe Changed,” the historian James Burke describes how the typical European townspeople lived:
“The inhabitants threw all their refuse into the drains in the center of the narrow streets. The stench must have been overwhelming, though it appears to have gone virtually unnoticed. Mixed with excrement and urine would be the soiled reeds and straw used to cover the dirt floors. (p. 32)
This squalid society was organized under a feudal system and had little that would resemble a commercial economy. Along with other restrictions, the Catholic Church forbade the lending of money – which didn’t help get things booming much. “Anti-Semitism, previously rare, began to increase. Money lending, which was forbidden by the Church, was permitted under Jewish law.” (Burke, 1985, p. 32) Jews worked to develop a currency although they were heavily persecuted for it. Medieval Europe was a miserable lot, which ran high in illiteracy, superstition, barbarism and filth.
During this same time, Arabs entered Europe from the South. ABD AL-RAHMAN I, a survivor of a family of caliphs of the Arab empire, reached Spain in the mid-700′s. He became the first Caliph of Al-Andalus, the Moorish part of Spain, which occupied most of the Iberian Peninsula. He also set up the UMAYYAD Dynasty that ruled Al-Andalus for over three-hundred years. (Grolier, History of Spain). Al Andalus means, “the land of the vandals,” from which comes the modern name Andalusia.
At first, the land resembled the rest of Europe in all its squalor. But within two-hundred years the Moors had turned Al-Andalus into a bastion of culture, commerce and beauty. “Irrigation systems imported from Syria and Arabia turned the dry plains… into an agricultural cornucopia. Olives and wheat had always grown there. The Arabs added pomegranates, oranges, lemons, aubergines, artichokes, cumin, coriander, bananas, almonds, pams, henna, woad, madder, saffron, sugar-cane, cotton, rice, figs, grapes, peaches, apricots and rice.” (Burke, 1985, p. 37) By the beginning of the ninth century, Moorish Spain was the gem of Europe with its capital city, Cordova. With the establishment of Abdurrahman III – “the great caliphate of Cordova” – came the golden age of Al-Andalus. Cordova, in southern Spain, was the intellectual center of Europe. At a time when London was a tiny mud-hut village that “could not boast of a single streetlamp” (Digest, 1973, p. 622), in Cordova “there were half a million inhabitants, living in 113,000 houses. There were 700 mosques and 300 public baths spread throughout the city and its twenty-one suburbs. The streets were paved and lit.” (Burke, 1985, p. 38) The houses had marble balconies for summer and hot-air ducts under the mosaic floors for the winter. They were adorned with gardens with artificial fountains and orchards”. (Digest, 1973, p. 622) “Paper, a material still unknown to the west, was everywhere. There were bookshops and more than seventy libraries.” (Burke, 1985, p. 38).
“For there was nothing like it, at that epoch, in the rest of Europe. The best minds in that continent looked to Spain for everything which most clearly differentiates a human being from a tiger.” (Cleugh, 1953, p. 70)
During the end of the first millennium, Cordova was the intellectual well from which European humanity came to drink. Students from France and England traveled there to sit at the feet of Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars, to learn philosophy, science and medicine (Digest, 1973, p. 622). In the great library of Cordova alone, there were some 600,000 manuscripts (Burke, 1978, p. 122).
This rich and sophisticated society took a tolerant view towards other faiths. Tolerance was unheard of in the rest of Europe. But in Moorish Spain, “thousands of Jews and Christians lived in peace and harmony with their Muslim overlords.” (Burke, 1985, p. 38) The society had a literary rather than religious base. Economically their prosperity was unparalleled for centuries. The aristocracy promoted private land ownership and encouraged Jews in banking. There was little or no Muslim prostelyzing. Instead, non-believers simply paid an extra tax!
“Their society had become too sophisticated to be fanatical. Christians and Moslems, with Jews as their intermediaries and interpreters, lived side by side and fought, not each other, but other mixed communities.” (Cleugh, 1953, p. 71)http://www.xmission.com/~dderhak/index/moors.htm