Lo que Europa debe al Islam de España (What Europe owes to the Islam of Spain)
Title translated to English: What Europe owes to the Islam of Spain.
Even though this book has not been translated yet to English (as far as I know), his reading is recommended not only to improve your Spanish but obviously for its content.
After the horrible terrorist attempts Spain suffered in Barcelona and Cambrils, near Tarragona, in August 2017, too many relate ISIS and Daesh to Islam. But there should not be any type of confusion
Apart from current news, the positive impact of Islam in Spain between the VIII C. and the XV C. is evoked hereafter and can strengthen ties between both sides of the Mediterranean Sea.
In this book, Juan Vernet explains that a relevant part of the European Renaissance was made possible by the ideas, development of sciences and access to new products that were transmitted by Spanish Arabs. In the book, it is fundamental to understand that the “Arab” acceptation should be considered “not (as) any ethnic group nor religion but (as) the language used by Arabs, Persans, Turks, Jews and Spaniards during the Middle Ages”(Vernet, 2006) to favor the access to Classic and Oriental knowledge. Vernet demonstrated how the flows of ideas were enabled by Islam during the period he studied.
First, they work on the transmission of ideas. The Renaissance did not obtain straight the ideas of the Greeks. Indeed, these concepts turned around the Mediterranean Sea to Spain and later to the rest of Europe. All the following ideas were transmitted by Spanish Arabs to generate the Renaissance: be they classic with the Greeks (Aristotle or Plato e.g.) or Oriental with India (zero and trigonometry e.g.) or China (silk & powder e.g.).
Second, these Spanish Arabs spread all over the world their ideas. To name some of them, it is possible to refer to Averroes with his encyclopedia of medicine among in the XII C., to Idrisi as a major cartographer and geographer of the middle ages & to Ibn Khaldoun, founder of the modern sociology and Historiography in the XIV C.
Third, many sciences improved thanks to proper works of Arabs Scientists or from ideas that were propelled throughout the world to reach finally Europe. Examples can be given in Translation, Mathematics, Astronomy, Astrology, Medicine, Philosophy, Geology, Physics Religion and many more…
Last but not least, new products became available within Europe thanks to the Arab trade. Special mentions could be given to sugar, cotton and spices, all future generators of conflicts due to the quintessence they provided.
Obviously, there were conflicts and acts of intolerance as well in both sides. But, globally, over time, this book shows why cooperation is the the best way to grow intellectually, economically and, above all, live well all together!!!