the problem of the origin and development of human civilization continues to baffle the student in modern times. scholars have long thought that egypt was the cradle of civilization six thousand years ago and that the earlier ages consisted of a proto-history of which no scientific knowledge was possible. today, however, archeologists have been at work in `iraq and syria in the hope of discovering clues regarding the origins of the mesopotamian and phoenician civilizations, of establishing whether they are anterior or posterior to egyptian civilization, and of determining the influence of one upon the other. whatever the results of archeological research on this period of history, one fact has never been challenged by any archeological find in china or the far east: that is the fact that the cradle of the earliest human civilization, whether in egypt, phoenicia, or mesopotamia, was connected with the mediterranean sea. it is equally indubitable that egypt was the first to export its civilization to greece and rome, and that modern civilization is very closely related to that antiquity. whatever archeological study of the far east may reveal concerning the civilizations of that region, it can hardly establish that any determining relationship existed between those civilizations and egypt, mesopotamia, and greece. it is no more questioned whether these ancient civilizations of the near east were influenced by the civilization of islam. indeed, the latter was the only civilization which has altered its course as soon as it came into contact with them. the world civilization of the present which is dominating the four corners of the globe is a result of the influences of the civilizations of the ancient near east and that of islam upon one another.