Malika I: Khayzuran & Zubayda

From Indonesia to Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan to Nigeria, Senegal to Turkey, it is not particularly rare in our own times for women in Muslim-majority countries to be appointed and elected to high offices—including heads of state. Nor has it ever been.

Stretching back more than 14 centuries to the advent of Islam, women have held positions among many ruling elites, from malikas, or queens, to powerful advisors. Some ascended to rule in their own right; others rose as regents for incapacitated husbands or male successors yet too young for a throne. Some proved insightful administrators, courageous military commanders or both; others differed little from equally flawed male potentates who sowed the seeds of their own downfalls.

We begin in Baghdad.

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World Math Days and Month

As the world celebrates World Maths and Pi Day on March 12th and March 14th, April is also Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month. To celebrate these special occasions, the Muslim Heritage website would like to draw your attention to the invaluable, but often overlooked, contributions of mathematicians from non-European civilisations, in the areas of Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry and Trigonometry, to name but a few.

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BBC Travel: Where algebra got its name from

Amazing snapshots from Khiva (formally known as Khawarizm) in Uzbekistan. The birth place of the famous mathematician Al-Khawarizmi (780 – 850 CE). A prosperous centre of learning during the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation. (Source BBC)

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FSTC Activity Report 2015

Year 2015 has been a busy, challenging and a successful Year.  FSTC wishes all our colleagues, supporters and readers a successful and prosperous Year 2016. This report provides information on the projects we have worked on, conferences we have attended as well as material and resources we have developed.

FSTC’s ultimate aim is to promote and popularise knowledge and understanding through educational projects and public engagement. This work has mainly been achieved in collaboration with FSTC’s associate organisations and people. FSTC Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation closely associated with a family of institutions and initiatives, including: 1001 Inventions, 1001 Cures, Muslim Heritage, Curriculum Enrichment for the Future Charity (CE4tF), Education Aid International (EAI) and the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation, UK Charity.

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A Tale of Two Civilisations: The Viking and the Muslim Civilisation

Dating back to March 2015, news regarding the discovery of a ring found on a Viking woman in an ancient burial ground with the inscription 'For/To Allah' erupted in mainstream media. The mystery surrounding how these vastly different cultures became intertwined has intrigued and continues to intrigue many.

Some named it the “mysterious ring”, some actively deliberated and debated questions as well as made up theories of how or why it arrived in Sweden. It is worth noting however that this was not the only contact documented between the Viking and Muslim Civilisation.

This article aims to shed light on the transmission between the Viking and Muslim civilisation regarding this ring and beyond. It also aims to address the misconceptions surrounding the discussion of the Islamic World during medieval times along with the relationship between the Viking and Muslim Civilisation which demonstrates how far historical amnesia spans.

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When the World Spoke Arabic

At the height of the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation, the Arabic language was the lingua franca that served as the language of science, poetry, literature, governance and art. A big movement of translation of Greek, Roman and other ancient books of science, philosophy and literature into Arabic gave a push for the continued success of Arabic taking centre stage of the old world. 

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Allah’s Automata – A Review of the Exhibition

Reflections on:
A New Exhibition on Artifacts of the Arab/Islamic Renaissance
ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany: October 30, 2015 - February 28, 2016
by Dr. Charles M. Savage
Knowledge Era Enterprises International
Munich, Germany

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Ode to Sheikh Abdul al-Amawi: The Old Man of Barawa

In this article, Natty Mark Samuels explores the life and contributions of 19th Century Abdul Aziz al-Amawi. Abd al Aziz al-Amawi originated from Barawa, Somalia and his subjects of expertise included theology, law, Sufism, grammar, rhetoric, and history. What is more, he composed an unfinished Swahili-Arabic dictionary.

Dedicated to Mohamed Kassim and Bradford G. Martin

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The Mechanical Corpus of Al-Isfizārī in the Sciences of Weights and Ingenious Devices: New Arabic Texts in Theoretical and Practical Mechanics

Editorial note: This article needs to be read in conjunction with the book release review of the Arabic edition, see:

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