Islam is a religion that is found in most part of the world. Its contribution to Medieval Europe has been said to be numerous in different areas such as law, education, technology, medicine, music, architecture and agriculture. However in this paper we will look at three contributions of Islamic culture to the west which are Islamic Sciences, education and architecture. It is clear that during the eleventh and thirteen centuries, Islamic civilization provided the Europeans with a lot of knowledge. They also gave a lot of knowledge in certain areas such as literature, aesthetics, theology and philosophy. It is also evident that Islamic civilization has had a great effect on the western civilization development
In Europe, Islam was able to develop its own sciences such as spherical trigonometry, chemistry, algebra and geology which at a later period got transmitted to the west. However it is clear that Islam was not recognized as from antiquity a simple knowledge transmitter. According to testimonies from crusaders the Islam developed medical sciences and most of these crusaders depended on the Arab doctors on various occasions. There was introduction of hospitals in the world of Islam which after some time spread to various parts of Europe during some of the crusades which were inspired by the hospitals in the Middle East. Due to the difficulties other communities in Europe found in studying the Arab language, books were translated in Latin language to make it easy for the dwellers in Europe. A good example translated was the medical works of The canon of Medicine which was printed all through Europe. The reason why I choose this contribution is because it helped spread medicine all over Europe especially the publishing of this book which was published thirty five times. This book helped the people of Europe understand the natural ways of diseases which are contagious, ways of medicine experimentation and clinical methods.
According to various researches the architecture of Gothic was highly influenced by the Islamic architecture. The pointed arch introduction in Europe according to a certain theory is said to coincide roughly with Islamic Sicily conquest. The carvings of decorative window openings and screens of carved stone are said to have had an influence in Gothic tracery. Particularly, in Spain there are certain individual motifs of decorations which are said to occur in Christian and Islamic sculpture and moldings. Architecture is a great contribution that Islam have contributed to Medieval west since it has helped Europe come up with mixed cultural designs and thus becoming a good attraction for the tourists. From the world of Islamic, Europe has been able to adopt a number of scientific institutions, legal institutions and educational institutions and also a public health hospital. This hospital replaced sleep temples and healing temples which the Islamic people used and made it also a psychiatric centre, an academic centre which could offer degrees and a variety of various other institutions.
Education was an area that the Islamic culture highly contributed in Medieval Europe. College origins are said to lie on the Medieval Islamic regions. This is so since the madrasah was termed as the earliest example of a college which normally taught theology, Islamic law which was generally mosque affiliated and given funds by Waqf which were the charitable trust basis that after came to fund the first colleges in Europe. The early European College internal organization was borrowed from madrasah like the scholars and the fellows systems. Madrasah was also among the first schools of law to be established in Europe and this reason why I term this contribution as important since it helped enlarge a large part of education in Europe. However, all these information had to be translated by scholars from Arab to Latin in order to make it easier for the people in Europe. Jami’ah is an example of a postgraduate and undergraduate level university of the current century that developed in the ninth century. Fatima al-Fihri founded Al Karraouine University in 859 and it was recognized as a world record by the Guinness Book of Records as one of the oldest university giving degrees. There are however several respects in which the madrasah is claimed different from the Europe Medieval universities such as in madrasah the degree was a form of license known as ijazah. In Europe, the first universities and colleges were therefore highly influenced by madrasah practiced in Islamic Spain and at the same time the Sicily Emirates and also during the crusades in Middle East.
In conclusion, it is evident that Islamic culture had a big influence and contributed in so many areas in the West. Areas like madrasah also helped bring out proper discipline in the west and it also helped bring out various concepts of education. Though Arabic language is termed hard and is not well known to many people in Europe, Islamic scholars tried to make it easier for the people and translate the written and readable materials in Latin which was a more understandable language. This helped contribute to development in certain areas such as architecture, education, medicine as a science and also other practices of science.