The Role of Islam in the Renaissance

Necessary vocabulary:

Islam: A monotheistic religion believed to be revealed through Muhammad as the prophet of Allah.

Muslim: A practitioner of the religion of Islam.

Arab: Someone descended from the people of the Arabian peninsula and its neighbouring territories.


The centre of the Muslim world was at the junction between Asia and Europe along the Silk Road. All trade between the two regions was controlled by Muslim middlemen, bringing great wealth to the Muslim world. Soe militaristic states rose up along the routes and became very powerful as a result. Because of the strategic location of the Muslim world, and the relative peace enjoyed by its occupants, it became a centre of learning during Europe’s Middle Ages.


The religious faith of devout Muslims supported scholarship and inquiry. As a result, many works written by Islamic scholars were copied and kept safe in libraries in Cairo, Baghdad, and Cordoba. Islamic scholars took mathematical ideas and refined them into the understanding of numbers we have today. Additionally, scholars used astronomy to invent tools for navigation, such as theastrolabe. Scientists, such as Ibn Sina, studied diseases and the human body and wrote medical texts that were used for centuries throughout the whole world.