Baghdad: an intellectual hub
As the city of Baghdad grew, it developed a reputation for learning and research. Scholars from all across the Islamic world were attracted to Baghdad, quickly turning it into an intellectual hub. This was no surprise because Islam puts so much emphasis on acquiring knowledge.
In fact, the very first verses revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) enjoined him to read, and informed him that God taught man everything that he never knew before. At another place, God exhorts the believers to ask Him: “O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” (20:114) Furthermore, God constantly tells humankind to reason, to reflect, to analyze throughout the Quran.
The Prophet himself is known to extol the benefits of knowledge and wisdom. For example, he once said, “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim.” (Baihaqi) Additionally, he has stated, “He who goes forth in search of knowledge is in the way of Allah till he returns.” (Tirmidhi) Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) valued literacy so much that he would promise literate prisoners of war freedom if they taught Muslims how to read and write. [Click here to read more about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).]
Hence, Islam provided the necessary platform and support, leading to wondrous discoveries, inventions, and developments.