MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA—It is widely known that Europeans translated many scientific books by Islamic scientists. According to the Chairman of the Council of the Muhammadiyah Special Branch (PCIM) of Saudi Arabia, Nur Fajri Romadhon, the translation took place after three significant events in the 11th century which Normandy conquered Sicily in 1060, Spain reconquered Toledo in 1085, and the First Crusade happened in 1096.
Some of the translated books were claimed to be original works. For instance, Gerardus Cremonensis translated the book Albucasis/Abul-Qasim Az-Zahrawi (d. 1031), and Constantinus Africanus (d. 1099) translated many books written by Ar-Razi/Razes (d. 925) and Ibnul Jazzar/Algizar (d. 979). The translations continued to be the references in many European universities until the 17th century.
“Europeans even established a translation center for the works of Muslim scientists. Unfortunately, some of these translated books were claimed as their own writings by some European scientists,” said Nur Fajri on Sunday (18/12).
Besides, many young Europeans were enthusiastic about learning Arabic and studying in Islamic areas. For example, Adelard of Bath (1080-1152), a pioneer of many math and sciences in Europe from England, studied in Andalusia and Syria; Leonardo Fibonacci (1180-1250) studied in Sicily and learned Mathematics in Syria and Algeria; and Pope Sylvester II (946-1003) was an Andalusian graduate. Europeans also began founding universities similar to schools in Islamic regions such as the University of Bologna in 1088 and the University of Oxford in 1096.
Nur Fajri encouraged all Muslims to learn Arabic. Learning Arabic is a must to understand the Qur’an, Hadith, and the books of Islamic scholars. It is also an honor because it has become one of the essential pillars of the advancement of world civilization today.
“This is not to make Muslims complacent with past history and neglect to work and study, nor to ignore languages other than Arabic,” said Nur Fajri.