Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam, inspired the Arabs to flare out for centuries of splendour - the climax of which was the Islamic empire of the 9th century.

While European learning declined sharply after the Barbarian invasion, Islamic civilization preserved and enhanced the knowledge of antiquity.
Arabic scholarship re-animated medieval philosophy of the West, as Europe emerged from the Dark Ages.

The strength of Islam lay in its insistence of the equality before God of all believers, whatever their color, origin or status and the new religion spread until it became the second largest religious community in the world.