In both Europe and the Islamic countries, religious authorities ran most schools, while in China the government, local villages, and lineages ran schools.
The personal relationship of teacher and student was seen as key to education in the Islamic world.
The degree granted by the university was the reward for completing a course of study.
At the very highest levels in China, the state ran a civil service examination system that rewarded achievement with appointments in the state bureaucracy.
In Muslim culture, the teacher's evaluation was more important than the school or the state.
There were some striking similarities in the practice of education.
Students in all three cultures had to master a language.
Basic religious, legal, or sophical texts were the focus of education in three cultures.
In all three cultures, memorization was a big part of learning.
In all three societies, teachers lectured on particular passages, and leading teachers might disagree about the correct interpre tations of a particular text, forcing students to question, to think critically, and to choose among differing opinions.
The ties among educated people in scattered localities are a result of the similarities in educational practice.
The creation of a com mon culture in the Muslim world was dependent on the spread of the Arabic language among all the people.
The Arabic language was more important than the religion.
The linguistic conversion to Islam went much faster than the gradual one.
The Islamic rulers did not force the Greeks and Persians to change their religions.
The conquered peoples were compelled to convert to the Arabic language.
Over a large part of the world, Arabic produced a cohesive and international culture.
Modern scholars consider the years from 800 to 1300 to be one of the most brilliant periods in the history of the world.
The Persian scholar al-Khwarizmi was near the beginning of this period.
The basis for later Eastern and Western research was formed from the Greek and Indian findings.
The Muslim medical knowledge was better than the West's.
Muslim medical science reached its peak in the work of a man named Avicenna.
Muslim scholars wrote works on geography, jurisprudence, and philosophy.
The first Muslim thinker tried to harmonize Greek philosophy and the religious precepts of the Qur'an.
He wanted to integrate Islamic concepts of man beings and their relationship to God and the universe with the principles of ethical and social conduct discussed by Plato and Aristotle.
Averroes, also known as Ibn Rushid, was a judge in Andalusia and later the royal court physician.
He insisted on the right to subject all knowledge to the test of reason and the harmony of religion and philosophy.
Islam has a mystical tradition called Sufism, like the world's other major religions.
It was a popular reaction to the worldliness of the Umayyad regime.
Sufis sought a personal union with God through tuition, rather than through rational deduction and study of the shari'a.
Either through the constant repetition of prayers or through physical activity such as dancing, dervishes en tered ecstatic trances.
Ordinary Mus lims came seeking spiritual consolation, healing, charity, or political mediation between tribal and factional rivals when Sufis acquired reputations as charismatic holy men.
Sufis were known for their writings.
The Spanish mystic-philosopher Ibn al'Arabi was the most famous medieval Sufi.
He traveled all over Spain, North Africa, and Arabia looking for Sufism masters.
Non-Sufi Muslims have always been fascinated by collective or group rituals in which Sufis tried to come closer to God.
Sultan Muhammad is a painter from the 16th century.
Hinduism in India, Buddhism in Central Asia, Zoroastrian ism in Persia, and Judaism and Christianity in western Asia and Europe were some of the major religions that came into contact with Islam.
The relationship with Christianity was the most important in defining Muslim identity.
The Christian- Muslim encounter is so important to both sides because of the close physical proximity and long history of military encounters.
Middle Eastern Muslims and European Christians have a common heritage.
Muslims learned about Christianity from the Christians they met in conquered territories, from the Old and New Testaments, and from Jews and Christians who converted to Islam.
There was a lot of Muslim opinion about Jesus and Christians before 1400.
Muslim views were more positive in other periods.
Christians and Muslims met frequently during the medieval period.
Europeans were familiar with Muslim art and architecture thanks to commercial contacts.
When Muslim artists in the Ottoman Empire and in Persia became familiar with Western artists, they copied them.
The higher education practices of Christians are very similar to those of Islam.