Like other innovations in technology, the windmill was brought to the West by Muslims. The first definite reference to the use of the windmill came in the reign of Umar radhiallahu anhu, the second caliph.

The first known reference to windmills is in a Hindu book written about 400 BC. Windmills were known in Persia in the 7th century. From here, the Muslims used and developed it. The principle of the windmill was brought to Spain and Portugal by the Arabs and this, combined with the technical advances which had previously been made, gave Europe an inexpensive and efficient source of power during the Renaissance (a time when Europe emerged from the Dark Ages). This technology eventually culminated in the Industrial Revolution when steam engines took over.

In Renaissance Europe man's sources of power were limited to his own muscles, draft animals, the watermill and from the 12th century on, the windmill. This led to the modernisation of Europe made possible by Muslim inventions and technology.

It was from Egypt that the Spanish, in the early 16th century, recruited technicians to build windmills in the West Indies.
Windmills are yet another source of Muslim influence that led to a better Europe, America and the world.

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