Short Description“In general, the Moslem seems to have excelled the Christian in commercial morality, fidelity to his word and loyalty to treaties signed
The Muslim’s good manners
“In general, the Moslem seems to have excelled the Christian in commercial morality, fidelity to his word and loyalty to treaties signed. Saladin was by common consent the best gentleman of the Crusades. The Moslems were honest about lying; they allowed a lie to save a life, patch up a quarrel, please a wife and deceive in war the enemies of the faith. Moslem manners were both formal and genial and Moslem speech was heavy with compliments and polite hyperbole. Like the Jews, the Moslems greeted one another with a solemn bow and salutation: "Peace [salâm] be with you" and the proper reply of every Moslem was, "On you be peace, and the mercy and blessings of God." Hospitality was universal and generous.”
The attributes of the Muslim
“Normally, the Moslem was the soul of courtesy, humanity and tolerance. He was, if we may describe the mythical average, quick of apprehension and wit, excitable and lazy, easily amused and readily cheerful; finding content in simplicity, bearing misfortune calmly, accepting all events with patience, dignity and pride.”
They did not do
“Mohammedan law tended to be too conservative and too inflexibly mortised in orthodoxy to allow a free evolution of economy, morals and thought. With these provisos we must concede that the early caliphs, from Abu Bakr to al-Ma'mûn, gave successful organization to human life over a wide area and may be counted among the ablest rulers in history. They might have devastated or confiscated everything, like the Mongols or the Magyars or the raiding Norse; instead they merely taxed.”
A magical touch
“The Near East was but a part of the Islamic world. Egypt, under the Moslems, resurrected her Pharaonic glory. Tunis, Sicily and Morocco recovered orderly government under Arab leadership and a passing brilliance illuminated Qairwan, Palermo and Fez. Moorish Spain was a peak in the history of civilization and later the Moslem Monguls, ruling India, would "build like giants and finish like jewelers.””
Saving the Egyptians
“The Monophysite Christians of Egypt had suffered Byzantine persecution. They received the Moslems with open arms, helped them to take Memphis and guided them into Alexandria.”
Breaking the customs of the conquerors
Talking about ‘Amr ibn al-‘Âs, Durant says in a succinct eloquent sentence that he “upset the custom of centuries by proclaiming freedom of worship for all.”
Religion sees itself in treatment
“The victors treated the conquered leniently, confiscated the lands only of those who had actively resisted, exacted no greater tax than had been levied by the Visigothic kings and gave to religious worship a freedom rare in Spain.”
Only forty years
There is no proof for Islamic toleration clearer than the fact that Durant dates it back to the forty years the Muslims spent in Languedoc, south of France: “In 759, Pepin the Short finally expelled them from the south of France but their forty years of circulation there may have influenced Languedoc's unusual tolerance of diverse faiths, its colorful gaiety and its flair for songs of unpermitted love.”
“Christians frequently expressed their preference of Moslem to Christian rule.” “The Seljuks and Saladin persecuted Moslem heresy but were so lenient to Christians and Jews that Byzantine historians told of Christian communities inviting Seljuk rulers to come and oust oppressive Byzantine governors.”
An advanced Muslim law
“Moslems seem to have been better gentlemen than their Christian peers; they kept their word more frequently, showed more mercy to the defeated and were seldom guilty of such brutality as marked the Christian capture of Jerusalem in 1099. Christian law continued to use ordeal by battle, water or fire while Moslem law was developing an advanced jurisprudence and an enlightened judiciary.”
Fine to the farthest point
“Saladin was religious to the point of persecution and allowed himself to be unreasonably bitter against the Templars and Hospitalers. Usually, however, he was gentle to the weak, merciful to the vanquished and so superior to his enemies in faithfulness to his word that Christian chroniclers wondered how so wrong a theology could produce so fine a man. He treated his servants with gentleness and he, himself, heard all petitions. He "esteemed money as little as dust" and left only one dinar in his personal treasury. Not long before his death he gave his son, Ath-thâhir, instructions that no Christian philosopher could surpass.”
Making green the arid land
“The orange tree was brought from India to Arabia at some time before the tenth century; the Arabs introduced it to Syria, Asia Minor, Palestine, Egypt and Spain, from which countries it pervaded southern Europe. The cultivation of sugar cane and the refining of sugar were likewise spread by the Arabs from India to the Near East and were brought by Crusaders to their European states. Cotton was first cultivated in Europe by the Arabs. These achievements on lands largely arid were made possible by organized irrigation.”
The four earthly paradises
Durant states that there were only four gardens on earth at that time, all within the borders of the Islamic Empire: “Here the caliphs made an exception to their principle of leaving the economy to free enterprise; the government directed and financed the maintenance of the greater canals. The Euphrates was channeled into Mesopotamia, the Tigris into Persia and a great canal connected the twin rivers at Baghdad. The early Abbasid caliphs encouraged the draining of marshes and the rehabilitation of ruined villages and deserted farms. In the tenth century, under the Samanid princes, the region between Bukhara and Samarkand was considered one of the "four earthly paradises", the others being southern Persia, southern Iraq and the region around Damascus.”
Concerning the windmills “al-Mas‘ûdi, writing in the tenth century, speaks of seeing these in Persia and the Near East. There is no sign of them in Europe before the twelfth century; possibly they were another gift of the Moslem East to its crusading foes.”
The water clock is an evidence of ingenuity
“There was much mechanical ingenuity. The water clock sent by Harûn ar-Rashîd to Charlemagne was made of leather and damascened brass; it told time by metal cavaliers which at each hour opened the door, let fall the proper number of balls on a cymbal and then retiring, closing the door.”
Eight centuries ahead of Europeans
“Under Moslem rule, western Asia attained a pitch of industrial and commercial prosperity unmatched by western Europe before the sixteenth century.”
Cultivating the land
“Under the caliphal government, lands were measured, records were systematically kept, roads and canals were multiplied or maintained and rivers were banked to prevent floods; Iraq, now half desert, was again a garden of Eden; Palestine, recently so rich in sand and stones, was fertile, wealthy and populous.”
Giving life to souls and minds too
“The caliphs gave reasonable protection to life and labor, kept career open to talent, promoted for three to six centuries the prosperity of areas never so prosperous again and stimulated and supported such a flourish of education, literature, science, philosophy and art that made western Asia, for five centuries, the most civilized region in the world.”
 Ibid. vol. 4, 292.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 294.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 297-298.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 368.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 368.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 368-369.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 381.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 782.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 392.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 407.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 446.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 770.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 270.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 270-271.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 271.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 271.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 271.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 298.
 Ibid. vol. 4, 298.