I am really talking about a Caliph rather than a Sultan, and I don't think the Pope had much in the way of a tiara yet.
But the rather late Byzantine viewpoint of the title of this blog (probably due mostly to the sacking of Constantinople in 1204 by the Venetians) could easily be applied much earlier, when it was clear that the real source of learning and intellectual life in Late Antiquity, at least in the sciences, lay in the Near East, not in the moribund West.
By the 9th Century, Byzantine scholars had become convinced that one should only pick from the past those intellectual fruits that were pragmatic and indispensable. After all, the Kingdom of Heaven would soon be upon one! So why bother with raising questions that would take many lifetimes to answer, or invest in scientific inquiry that would be largely pointless if it did not bring one closer to the God, or generally do much else with one's mental spare time other than pray or fight?
The late 800s saw a flowering of culture and learning in Constantinople that was more focussed perhaps on the humanities.
Witness how the Byzantines brought literacy to the slavic peoples and kept alive the great texts of the ancients. And an institution of higher learning was refounded in Constantinople. But where did a lot of the inspiration come from? I would say Baghdad!