32. The Conquest of Persia



32. The Conquest of Persia
If you ask me what is the most important event in the history of Islam, I shall say without any hesitation: “The Conquest of Persia.” The battle of Nehawand gave the Arabs not only a beautiful country, but also an ancient civilization; or, more properly, a people who could make a new civilisation with the Semitic and Aryan material. Our Muslim civilisation is a product of the cross-fertilisation of the Semitic and the Aryan ideas. It is a child who inherits the softness and refinement of his Aryan mother, and the sterling character of his Semitic father. But for the conquest of Persia, the civilisation of Islam would have been one-sided. The conquest of Persia gave us what the conquest of Greece gave to the Romans.

* This entry was incorporated into the paper ‘The Muslim
Community’ later the same year. Only minor changes were
made. Namely, “but also an ancient people; or, more properly,
a people who could…” was tightened up as “but also an
ancient people who could…” In the same sentence,
“civilisation with the…” was changed to “civilisation out
of…” Next, “It is like a child who inherits…” was changed to
“It inherits…” and “character of his…” to “character of
its…” The last two sentences were re-arranged to read: “The
conquest of Persia gave to the Musalmans what the conquest
of Greece gave to the Romans. But for Persia our culture
would have been absolutely one-sided.”



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