Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World” as Want to Read:
The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  31 reviews
The Middle Ages were a period of tremendous cultural and scientific advancement in the Islamic Empire--ideas and inventions that shaped our world.
Did you know that:
- The numbers you use every day (Arabic numerals!) are a Muslim invention?
- The marching band you hear at football games has its roots in the Middle East?
- You are drinking orange juice at breakfast today than
Hardcover, 37 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  127 ratings  ·  31 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, non-fiction
Yes, this is a children's book but surprisingly I actually learned a lot I didn't previously know. Who knew Muslims were the first to introduce books as they are today as oppose to scrolls? Not me. ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reminded me a bit of Chekov from Star Trek TOG, who was so very proud of his Russian heritage. Even if these accomplishments, as presented in this book, are presented in an extra-favorable light, though, a reader is still left amazed at Muslim history, and at the audacity of those Petrarchan Europeans who tried to purge knowledge of Muslim contributions.

I'm reminded of the fairy tales that often had our German, English, and French princes and adventurous going off to foreign kings. Often those k
Hasanul Banna Siam
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, islam
Its a nice book. I have learnt a lot of new things about my own religion and its culture. After you finish this book, you will feel sad to realize that how much Muslims have contributed to building the world as we see today but now Muslims are forgotten.

Muslims have tremendously contributed in Scientific discoveries which are being readily used today. They also contributed in art, literature & music.

Muslims enlightened the West by writing books, by teaching these things in Universities, and tran
Quinn Rollins
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a 21st Century American, my view of the world tends to marginalize the contributions of the Muslim citizens of history. Part of that might be current events, but a bigger part of it is that most of us were never taught what Muslims brought to the encounters between East and West. Author and artist Bryn Barnard aims to fill some of that gap in our knowledge with the 2011 picture book The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World.

The 36 page hardcover opens with a timeline that spans
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is filled with fascinating information on the influence of the Islamic world from AD 600's to about the 1500's or so and beyond. Broken up by topic of influence I would love to use this book as a teacher to spark interest before other projects such as maker-space related to architecture or force and motion, paper-making, book making. One could use it as a multicultural extension in science , math, language arts. Also useful in a discussion of the changing landscape of human reasoning- ...more
Fahim Khan
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book contains the history of muslim which build the so called base of our today's modernized civilization. You may be drinking a glass of water purified by filter machines and saying this is a western product. But behold! This is a fruit from the brilliant brain of a scholar from old Muslim civilization.
Just like this, every technology and systems we are using, all has a history!history marked with the seal of Islamic scholars.
I would loved if the book was big. But I still loved as the bo
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: islam, children
Kertas memang diciptakan oleh bangsa China pada abad 2 SM. Namun, umat Islam lah masyarakat pertama yang menghasilkan kertas secara massal. Muslim belajar cara membuat kertas ketika mereka menyebar ke Asia Tengah pada abad ke-8 M.

Pada abad ke-10, Cordoba, kota Kekhalifahan Umayyah di Spanyol memiliki lebih dari 70 perpustakaan. Perpustakaan istana saja mengoleksi 600.000 buku, yang semuanya ditulis tangan. (Meski pada tahun 1499, lebih dari sejuta buku warisan Muslim, dibakar di alun-alun kota
Nov 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, history
This is a nice, child-accessible history of scientific & cultural developments that Islam has contributed to modern society. As an adult, I didn't much care for the "Did you know . . . ?" introductions of each section -- probably designed as hooks for a younger reader to keep reading -- but the concepts and inventions discussed in the book are well chosen, occasionally surprising (even for adults) and not terribly pedantic. Good lists of facts, dates, and a decent index. (I didn't check every en ...more
Sep 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the facts throughout the book. The problem though is that sometimes the text is too fact heavy and I don't think it would keep the attention of children. It would work if an adult is reading portions aloud to a class or if a child skims and reads the parts that are of interest.

Interesting fact: Muslims had first hospitals. They were funded by the wealthy. Patients didn't get a bill at discharge, they got a stipend.
Diane Bell
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
During the dark ages, Islamic nations were thriving with culture, learning, wealth, and creativity. They invented the modern book format, instruments, and scientific principles. All of these innovations are still used today. How else did this religion and its nations influence our modern world?
Shubhanshu Mishra
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Learnt a great deal about the ideas made popular by Islamic scholars. Some aspects emphasized in this book are:
- Knowledge management systems
- Decentralized libraries as opposed to centralized ones in Rome.
- The usage of paper in publishing books as opposed to scrolls.
- The great translation project involving scholars and works from many parts of the world for preserving knowledge.
- A focus on scientific reasoning, algebra, algorithms, etc. This led to
Noora Alsuwaidi
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
A book with few pages, yet with a tremendous amount of information.
I am a Muslim Arabian girl, but there was much information in the book that I knew part of or nothing at all.
It made me happy and proud.
I felt that my Islamic culture was being praised and documented beautifully.
The illustrations were wonderful.
It is a beautiful book that you can read over and over again.
The information in the book is concise yet rich at the same time.
Almost every field of knowledge nowadays has fundamental roots
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very good book to introduce to the young ones so they would know the history of how numbers, glass, etc. came to be. Highly recommended.

In a world where we are living now relying upon social media not to seek knowledge but to promote self individualism, we are becoming people filled with ignorance.

We need to stop that, we need to start with our young ones and help them see that there is more than self absorption via social media. This book should be a foundation to that starting point.
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
Greatest thing I've ever read. I set out to find a book compact with useful information and this was it. It did not waste a single word and I even made some notes! It made me feel so proud to be Muslim, that the work of my people though intentionally forgotten still lives on in everything that we do. ...more
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a book about the inventions, and scientific progresses made by Muslim scholars during middle ages. It explains how these scientific achievements constitute a basis for modern science and technology in the West. This is a short book (35 pages) explains 13 such achievements with nice illustrations. The book is mostly written for general audience (Muslim & Non-Muslim).
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
This makes you think of daily things that you use and do, and how certain amazing inventions came about.
Achmad Fachmi
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
so far ilustrasinya bagus. Walau awal pembeliannya sebenernya tertipu dengan hadiah astrolab dari penerbitnya. Tidak sesuai dengan ekspetasi, ternyata gantungan kunci doang. huft
Nur Diyana
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Not so informative but I love the pictures
Kate MacMillan
Maps on endpapers.;Includes bibliographical references (p. 37). An illustrated guide to the cultural and scientific contributions made by Muslims during the Middle Ages that are present in the twenty-first century, discussing numbers, marching bands, orange juice, and more. IL 5-8 Lexile Level 1210
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea that the Islamic world had made so many contributions to modern society. Great read for ages 9-12. Could be a useful tool for elementary and middle school teachers who desire to celebrate diversity in the classroom.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Absolutely fantastic children's book about how Muslims greatly contributed to Western ideas and our modern world. Only minor complaint is that the reading level may be too difficult for younger children. ...more
Mustafa Afridi
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Though written primarily for children at the middle school level, 'The Genius of Islam' can be an informative and pleasurable read even for adults thanks to Barnard's simple (but not dumbed down) writing and lovely,colourful illustrations. ...more
Mills College Library
297.2 B2593 2011
Jul 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
I found it very odd that the history told in this book ended before the Middle Ages. Then it concluded with the statement that "Europe set out to deliberately forget its Islamic heritage." ...more
Information text for middle grades.
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
It is a very easy to read book with a lot of good, dense information. It can also teach people that muslims aren't only people who practice their own religion, but very inquisitive inventors. ...more
Husnah Naim
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Excellence book to introduce children on Islamic civilization!
Ahmad Ali
Aug 04, 2013 rated it liked it
not bad of a book, but not really my favourite book. 3 stars is good for me.
Edward Sullivan
Excellent overview of the many artistic, cultural, and scientific contributions of Islamic civilization to the westerrn world.
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is an important part of history that needs to be told, but the tone of the text is to forceful and the flow of ideas is often difficult to understand.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Spanish Love Deception
  • Trick (Foolish Kingdoms, #1)
  • Dare (Foolish Kingdoms, #2)
  • Lie (Foolish Kingdoms, #3)
  • Muslimah yang Diperdebatkan
  • Pinocchio
  • The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales From Verania, #1)
  • Mamomics: Curhatan Emak-Emak dalam Komik, 9 Bulan Menanti Keajaiban
  • Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less
  • On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
  • No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam
  • The Fourteenth Goldfish
  • Brothersong (Green Creek, #4)
  • Heartsong (Green Creek, #3)
  • Ravensong (Green Creek, #2)
  • Knight (Unfinished Hero, #1)
  • Foundation and Earth (Foundation #5)
  • One Up On Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market
See similar books…
Bryn Barnard is an American illustrator and author.

Related Articles

Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
117 likes · 20 comments