Originally aired on PBS, this second of three episodes in the documentary Islam: Empire of Faith recounts early Islam’s thirst for knowledge. Muslims of the time saw “no insurmountable contradiction” between faith and natural laws. According to this program, the Islamic empire sent scholars throughout the world to gather all the knowledge of mankind, which was brought to Baghdad and studied by scholars. While Christians considered Aristotle and Plato blasphemous, Muslim scholars studied and admired the Greek philosophers. Islamic mathematicians devised the system of Arabic numerals we still use today, and medicine was so advanced that Muslim surgeons were performing cataract surgery a thousand years ago. Also covered is the beginning of the Crusades. Highlights of this episode include footage of the Alhambra and Cordoba, Spain, which was the western jewel of Islam.
- Islam: Empire of Faith, Part 1 – The Messenger
- Islam: Empire of Faith, Part 2 – The Awakening
- Islam: Empire of Faith, Part 3 – The Ottomans