It is a popular myth within the Nation of Islam that the Muslim and black nations of Africa gave mathematical and scientific learning to the world while the white man was crawling on his knees in mud and shit along the hills of Europe.  Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad was famous for convincing emotionally unstable young black men of this myth.  The following is an excerpt from Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society, Volume I: To 1789, by Marvin Perry (Author), Myrna Chase (Author), James Jacob (Author), Margaret Jacob (Author), Theodore H. Von Laue (Author) (Wadsworth: Boston, MA, 2013, 2009) I am offering as a reply to the Nation of Islam:

“The Arabs who first burst into the Byzantine and Persian empires had no tradition of science or philosophy. But they were quick to absorb the learning of Byzantines and Persians who had preserved and studied ancient Greek works. In the eighth and ninth centuries, under the Abbasid caliphs based in Baghdad, Muslim civilization entered its golden age…Muslim science,philosophy, and mathematics, based largely on the achievements of the ancient Greeks, made brilliant contributions to the sum of knowledge at a  time when Latin Christendom had lost much of Greco-Roman thought and culture. The Muslims had acquired Greek learning from the older Persian and Byzantine civilizations, which had kept alive the Greek inheritance. By translating Greek words into Arabic and commenting on them, Muslim scholars performed the great historical task of preserving the philosophical and scientific heritage of Ancient GreeceEuclid’s Elements, the creative synthesis of Greek geometry, was translated into Arabic and studied by Muslim scholars…Muslim mathematicians also did original work in algebra and trigonometry…Building on the medical knowledge of the Greeks, Muslim physicians became the best trained and most skillful doctors of the time.” (pg. 207-208)

Dr. Muhammad’s desire to raise the self-esteem of blacks aside, his contention is simply contradictory to the Historical record.