This is a book I urge you to read. Not just because it's beautifully written and deeply fascinating, which are reasons enough to splash the cash, but because I think it's a particularly important and timely book, acting both as a riposte to the current climate of suspicion cast upon both science and Islam and as an antidote to the simplistic, monolithic attitudes so often displayed towards these subjects, their intertwined histories, and the huge disservice which all too many histories, be they from a cultural or scientific/mathematical perspective, often pay this crucial period of time.
All too often the vast contribution to science of the cultures of the Middle East is dismissed as one of preservation and translation, keeping the secrets of the Greeks safe while Europe wallowed around in its own shit for a few hundred years until it got it's act together during the Renaissance. This is an important book, not only because it redresses the lazy Euro-centric bias of all too many historians and scientists, but because it may make a few, otherwise intelligent people think twice before dismissing an entire culture based upon the actions of a few fucking fanatics. Just brilliant.