Friday, November 11, 2011

"Everyone knows that the Greeks and Romans invented everything anyway."

1001 Inventions and The Library of Secrets - starring Ben Kingsley as Al-Jazari

How dare we say that we have all the knowledge in the world when all we do is sit so comfortably on a chair with mountainous stacks of homework and undone assignments spread all over the table? How dare do we say that we are superior than those living from hand to mouth and that it serves them right for not studying hard while they were still in school? How dare we say that by having a degree, we have more knowledge than those around us?

Have you ever put thought how scholars of the old ventured out into the deepest realms of the world, battling their lives and wealth to gain an inkling of knowledge? How they learn from masters of knowledge from every nook and cranny of this world?

Yet, they remain ever so humble, and say that they have much to learn.

And all we do is sit on our butts on a chair all night long and get a scroll after a few semesters and bragging about it, preferring to say our title first ever so boastfully when introducing ourselves. I'm sorry, I'm not degrading anyone, pursuing a degree is no easy task, and of course not all people do this, but rather, I'm just reminding you (and myself first and foremost inshaallah) that we always have much to learn. The more knowledgeable a person is, the more humble he or she became as he or she realizes how much he or she didn't know before, and sought to gain more knowledge.

File:Al-jazari water device.jpgI've seen a TV show "Ilmuwan Islam" on TV3 and I can't remember much of the details but I've learned that al-Jazari who lives in the 12th century is a scholar, inventor, mechanical engineer, astronomer etc who made amazing inventions that contribute much heavily to this modern world. I can't remember much of the details but he made an ingenious method to present his inventions to the public, for the fear of being accused of magic. He could fool all the people that he want, but he remained humble because of his imaan, his firm belief in God.

It was also revealed that the Pharaoh used practical engineering to fool his people like pointing his finger to his majestic gate to open it but the true fact is he used steam power or something of the sort to do so. He did this so as to make his people to believe that he is (a) god. This is not true for other Muslim scholars, their firm belief in God and the concept of 'islah' (to constantly improving oneself) lead them to use their amazing discoveries for the benefit of the people for God.

If I'm not mistaken, AL-Jazari's work is still being utilized in Oxford, and much of other Muslims scholars' work too.

P/S: Do spend 10 minutes or so to watch the video above.