Narrated by Sir Ben Kingsley, this documentary re-creates the spectacular sweep of Islamic power and faith during its first 1,000 years, from Muhammad’s birth to the Ottoman Empire under Suleyman the Magnificent. Evocative re-enactments and art, artifacts, and architecture combine with scholarly interviews to recount the rise and glory of Islamic civilization.
The demonization of Islam by the West has a long history, stretching back to the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century. This documentary redresses the balance by showing the riches of Islamic culture and the vital role played by Islam in preserving and building upon ancient wisdom from East and West at a time when most of Europe was stumbling through the Dark Ages. Muslim physicians, mathematicians, and astronomers stretched the boundaries of human knowledge, and Muslim architects created some of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The film is directed by Robert H. Gardner and written by Jonathan Grupper.