1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World

Ever bothered to learn about the true origins of code breaking, the three Course Meals, treatment through music, cappuccino, archs- torpedoes, trick devices, spas, perfumes, musical instruments, cameras and many more of our modern life essentials and luxuries??!!

The minute I started reading 1001 Inventions: The Muslim Heritage in Our World, written by Salim T. S. al-Hassani (chief editor); Elizabeth Woodcock, and Dr. Rabah Saoud (co-editors), couldn’t put it down before I was done with all of its chapters.

It’s neither religious, nor politically motivated, but an unquestionably important book that unfolds myriads of secrets and facts about our daily life matters, ranging from home remedies to astronomical discoveries and physical/ chemical observations, the foundations of which were laid by Muslims but were mistakenly attributed to the Renaissance.

Those of you who watched the BBC’s Islamic History of Europe, or What the Muslims Did for Us, can figure out much of what the book is about. It’s more of a guidebook taking you on a journey through 7 marvelously organised chapters detailing numerous state of the art inventions by Muslim Scholars, Scientists, Physists, and Fashionists. It’s some sort of an exhibition displaying the achievements of a 1000 years of missing history, depicting real manuscripts from the Muslims Golden Civilization in which they included their eye witness accounts of life at their times, together with excerpts from Western Books, and speeches of iconic figures in various fields, endorsing the Muslims’ life-enhancing contributions to this world and the fine touch they left in each and every aspect of our modern life.

Although it’s a 2006 release, the acclaimed work, published by the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilization (UK), is still touring the world, visiting international museums, and attending global conferences on cultural interaction and religious tolerance, drawing the attention of a variety of world organisations as well as political, religious and cultural icons to the groundbreaking inventions of the Muslim Civilization.

It was even endorsed by Tony Blair, the Ex British Premier at a special meeting of Arab ambassadors.

1001 Inventions: The Muslim Heritage in Our World, is not just a book, it’s a campaign that includes an education program, a website, and an exhibition which was first held in Manchester, England, and was attended by over 80,000 people in the first three months of its launch.

The book, which triggered a great boom in the Western World, especially in the UK sold out its first print run in no time. The first edition, however, had a few typo, grammatical, and spelling mistakes, that were corrected in the second edition.

In my opinion, no other book could do greater justice to the Muslim heritage than did 1001 Inventions: The Muslim Heritage in Our World.

It’s a bit lengthy coffee-table book, so don’t expect to finish it in one sitting, but it’s a marvelous read that worth the time you’ll invest in it.

Maha Youssuf
— First published in The Community Times Magazine.
— Also Published on 1001 Inventions’ official website (

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