I posted the following comment to an article which I thought misrepresented Islamic Civilization printed in the Coin Week with the title “The Sunrise Collection of Islamic Coins” at the link http://www.coinweek.com/auctions-news/the-sunrise-collection-of-islamic-coins/.
1.. Maneck Bhujwala says:
December 18, 2012 at 1:27 AM
Thank you for the information about the historic coins. I would like to point out that much of what is nowadays being called as Islamic Culture, was actually borrowed from Persian / Iranian culture of a millenia before the advent of Islam.
One of the oldest monotheistic religions was founded over 4,500 years ago, by His Holiness Prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroaster), teaching belief in Ahuramazda or Wise Lord who created the universe and laws according to which it operates, as well as importance of Truth, Free Will, moral accountability of individuals, heavenly state for good actions and suffering for wrong choices, equality of men and women, resurrection of the world at the end of time, coming of various Saviours (messengers of God) from time to time, etc.
The religion of Prophet Zarathushtra was the majority religion of three Persian empires (Achaemenid, Parthian, Sassanian) including that of the rulers for over a thousand years before Islam. Cyrus the Great who founded the first Persian empire in sixth centurey B.C., inscribed the oldest known Declaration of Human Rights on a clay cylinder that is now in the British Museum with a copy in the United Nations.
A Zarathushti (Zoroastrian) priest, Dastur Dinyar befriended Prophet Mohamed (who called him Salman-e-Farsi) and informed him about the teachings and religious practices such as five-times-a-day prayer after cleaning exposed parts of the body.
The late American philosopher and scholar, Joseph Campbell said in one of his public television series on Eastern Religions, that contrary to the general belief about Greeks inventing rational thinking, it was actually Prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) who originated that concept, by telling his followers to give up superstitious beliefs and instead search for the truth and choose the righteous path with reason rather than blind obedience.
After the Arabs invaded Iran / Persia, they learned the sophisticated arts and culture of that empire and adopted much of it as their own.