Discover the Scientific and Technological Muslim Heritage in Our World
A Quarterly Publication issued by the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC), Manchester, UK
Issue 3 - Vol. 1 * Rajab 1429 / July 2008
|The Six-Cylinder Water Pump of Taqi al-Din: Its Mathematics, Operation and Virtual Design|
The main objective of this study is to investigate into the six-cylinder water raising pump described around 1550 by the Ottoman Muslim scientist Muhammad Ibn Ma'rūf, known as Taqī al-Dīn, in his treatise Al-Turuq al-Saniya fī al-'ālat al-rūhaniya. After an outline of the historical context and an English translation of the relevant sections of the manuscript, the focus is laid on the engineering analysis of the water pump. The result of the analysis yielded the reconstruction of the machine through a graphical model which was then used to produce a virtual 3D animation of the mechanical workings of the various parts, including the water turbine, the cam shaft, the connecting rods, the reciprocating pistons and the cylinders.
|Mathematics in the Medieval Maghrib: General Survey on Mathematical Activities in North Africa|
In this important article, Professor Ahmed Djebbar, the renowned scholar and specialist of the history of Arabic sciences, especially in the Islamic West, presents a general survey on mathematical activities in the Medieval Maghrib since the 9th century. Relying on his own studies and on a direct knowledge of the original sources, the author draws a rich picture of scientific activity in the Islamic west and thus shows the importance of the contribution of Maghribi mathematicians to the Arabic and Islamic mathematical tradition.
|Taqi al-Din Ibn Ma'ruf: Survey on his Works and Scientific Method|
Being in form a bio-bibliographical essay on the life and works of Taqī al-Dīn Ibn Ma'rūf, a well known scholar of 16th-century Istanbul, this article presents the contents of his books and compares his scientific method with his predecessors. This investigation leads in turn to a description of the originality of his achievement and shows the novel aspects of his work.
|Taqi al-Din ibn Ma‘ruf and the Science of Optics: The Nature of Light and the Mechanism of Vision|
In this article, some aspects of Kitab Nūr hadaqat al-ibsār wa-nūr haqīqat al-anzār (Book of the Light of the Pupil of Vision and the Light of the Truth of the Sights) of the renowned Ottoman astronomer Taqī al-Dīn ibn Ma‘rūf, who lived in Istanbul in the 16th century, is discussed in detail in order to show the high level and quality of the scientific research carried out during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.
|Tracing the Impact of Latin Translations of Arabic Texts on European Society|
In this article, Professor Charles Burnett, a world expert in the history of Islamic influences in Europe at The Warburg Institute (London University), retraces the impact the Latin translations of Arabic texts of science and philosophy had on the intellectual progress of Europe in the decisive period that preceded and prepared the Renaissance. The article is based on an interview conducted with him in 2004.
|Ridhwan al-Sa'ati: A Biographical Outline|
Fakhr al-Dīn Ridhwān ibn Rustam al-Sā'ātī (d. between 618-626 H/1220-1229 CE) was a scholar and mechanical engineer, author of the book ‘Ilm al-sā'āt wa 'l-'amal bihā in which he described the famous public clock set in Damascus by his father. We present hereafter a short outline of his biography, extracted from the data provided by different historical sources that included entries on him.
|The Astronomical Clock of Taqi Al-Din: Virtual Reconstruction|
In his book The Brightest Stars for the Construction of Mechanical Clocks (Al-Kawakib al-durriyya fi wadh' al-bankamat al-dawriyya), Taqi al-Din Ibn Ma'ruf analyses the four main types of time keeping devices known in the 16th century: watches, domestic clocks, astronomical clocks and tower clocks. Such machines represent the earliest mechanical computers. In the following, we present for the first time a virtual reconstruction of the astronomical clock type through geometrical drawing and 3D animation.
|Taqi al-Din Ibn Ma'ruf: A Bio-Bibliographical Essay|
This article is a bio-bibliographical essay on the life and works of Taqī al-Dīn Ibn Ma'ruf, a scholar of 16th-century Istanbul, one of the most prolific and original scientists of the Ottoman period of Islamic science. After a biographical sketch, a comprehensive compilation lists most of his writings from manuscript sources.
|Abu‘l-Barakat al-Baghdadi: Outline of a Non-Aristotelian Natural Philosophy|
Abū 'l-Barakāt al-Baghdādā (flourished in the 11th-12th centuries in Baghdad) was a scholar of the Arabic-Islamic tradition. An original philosopher and respected medical authority, he is well known by his Al-Kitāb al-Mu'tabar, a philosophical essay in which he submitted some of the fundamental concepts of natural philosophy to a penetrating analysis. He suggested in it many interesting alternatives that found an echo in modern developments in physics, such as his ideas about the physics of motion and the concept of time.
|The Instruments of Istanbul Observatory|
In this article, Professor Sevim Tekeli, an outstanding scholar in the history of Ottoman science, describes the instruments built by Taqî al-Dîn Ibn Ma'ruf and his team at the Istanbul observatory (was in activity between 1577 and 1580), and points out in particular the close resemblances between them and those used in Western Europe by Tycho Brahe, at the same time, in his observatory at Uraniborg Castle.
|The Observation Well|
Observation wells received much historical interest relating to observatories. In this article Prof. Aydin Sayili describes the history of "observation wells" both in Islamic and European worlds.
|Principle and Use of Ottoman Sundials|
Muslim astronomers and engineers invented a variety of dials for timekeeping and for determining the times of the five daily prayers. In this thorough and technical study, Professor Attila Bir analyses the principle and use of Ottoman sundials. Beginning with the definition of the day, the hour and the prayer times, he analyses the mathematical formulas of the main two varieties of sundials used by Ottoman astronomers, the horizontal and vertical sundials.
|Taqi al Din Ibn Ma'ruf 's Work on Extracting the Cord 2o and Sin 1o|
This article by Professor Sevim Tekeli, a leading historian of science in the Ottoman period, deals with an aspect of the work of Taqi al-Din Ibn Ma'ruf in trigonometry, a mathematical discipline which studies the relationships between the sides and the angles of triangles and the trigonometric functions which describe those relationships. Approaching Taqi al-Din's work through modern methods of notation, his mathematical method in extracting the cord 2o and Sin 1o is fully disclosed. The author shows the originality of Ibn Ma'ruf's discovery and states how it constituted a progress with regard to his predecessors, in Greek and Islamic mathematics.
|Muslim Printing Before Gutenberg|
This article by an eminent scholar, Dr Geoffrey Roper, presents an outline of a tremendous issue: the existence of printing in early Islam, several centuries before the invention of printing by Gutenberg in the 15th century. Based on his work on original sources, he states that some of the early printed Arabic documents display quite sophisticated designs involving calligraphic headpieces, transverse lettering, geometric panels, roundels, and the use of colour. The author documents briefly this important discovery and concludes that "Muslims were practising the craft of printing for some five centuries before Gutenberg".
|Kamal Al-Din Al-Farisi's Explanation of the Rainbow|
This article focuses on a critical presentation of the arguments put forward by Kamal al-Din al-Farisi about the formation of the rainbow. This optical phenomenon was explained simultaneously but independently by two scientists, Kamal al-Din al-Farisi and Theodoric of Freiberg. Surprisingly, their theories of the rainbow were nearly correct in some respects and somewhat similar to our present understanding. This study reveals that Kamal al-Din al-Farisi was well ahead of his time in his assumptions related to most of the above mentioned topic.
|Al-Jazari's Third Water-Raising Device: Analysis of its Mathematical and Mechanical Principles|
Five pumps or water-raising machines are described by al-Jazari in his monumental treatise of mechanics Al-Jami' bayn al-‘ilm wa 'l-‘amal al-nafi' fi sina'at al-hiyal (A Compendium on the Theory and Useful Practice of the Mechanical Arts). The following long article is a detailed study of the third of these water-raising devices. The study presents a detailed analysis of the mathematical and mechanical principles of this sophisticated machine and explains its functioning. Further, the various components of the pump are reconstructed via computer assisted design. A profusion of 3D graphics and 3D animations show the device in different angles and helps in viewing it in operational mode.
|Our Arab Heritage in the Celestial Vault|
In Arabic culture, as in other civilisations, the cultural dimension of the history of astronomy appears in part in the meanings and origins of star and constellation names. This nomenclature was shaped by cultural symbols transmitted across the centuries. The article describes some examples of the popular Arabic culture that lies behind the names of several stars and constellations.
|Ecology in Muslim Heritage: Treatises on Environmental Pollution up to the End of 13th Cen.|
Several Arabic treatises dating from the 9th through the 13th century deal with environmental pollution. They cover subjects like air and water contamination, solid waste mishandling and environmental assessments of certain localities. The authors of these texts are well known scholars and physicians: al-Kindi, Qusta b. Luqa, al-Razi, Ibn al-Jazzar, al-Tamimi, Abu Sahl al-Masihi, Ibn Sina, Ali b. Ridhwan, Ibn Jumay‘, Ya‘qub al-Isra' ili, Abdullatif al-Baghdadi, Ibn al-Quff and Ibn al-Nafis. The article surveys this important corpus of environmental ecology and summarizes its contents.
|Ecology in Muslim Heritage: A History of the Hima Conservation System|
A hima is a reserved pasture, where trees and grazing lands are protected from indiscriminate harvest on a temporary or permanent basis. It existed in the Middle East before Islam; but it was treated as a private reserve for powerful chieftains. This institution knew a renaissance in the last decades, when major political, economical and social changes took place in the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula. The paper reviews the changes that have taken place in Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen with regard to the hima.
|Sheikh Zayed Great Mosque in Abu Dhabi: Islamic Architecture in the 21st Century|
A splendid mosque was erected recently at Abu Dhabi. Named after the late Sheikh Zayed al-Nahyan, the Mosque was opened at the end of 2007 to emerge as one of the ten major mosques of Islam with a total capacity of 40,000 worshippers. It proved to be a gigantic project which took twelve years to complete, and has already achieved three entries into the Guinness Book of World Records with the largest carpet, the biggest chandelier as well as the largest dome of its kind in the world. Bringing classical Islamic architecture to a summit of refinement, and providing all the contemporary commodities, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is an outstanding example of Islamic architecture in the 21st century.
|Ahmad Ibn Fadhlan in Northern Europe: A Survey of his Account of Russian Vikings in the 10th Century|
One of the earliest detailed descriptions of Northern Europe is reported in the account written by the Arab Muslim writer and traveler Ahmad Ibn Fadhlan, who was sent in 921 CE as the secretary to an ambassador from the Abbasid Caliph al-Muqtadir from Baghdad to the Volga Bulgars by the Black Sea and the Caspian. Ibn Fadhlan's travel account was the source of inspiration to many fictional narratives in Western literature and art, such as the the well known novel Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, filmed as The 13th Warrior directed in 1999 by John McTiernan, and the film Beowulf, released in November 2007.
|The Self Changing Fountain of Banu Musa bin Shakir|
Amongst the mechanical devices described by the Banu Musa Brothers in their book of mechanics Kitab al-hiyal, seven models present a variety of sophisticated fountains. This article analyses the geometric and physical principles lying behind these mechanical devices, with the help of basic line drawings and 3D computer generated representation.
|Survey on the Development of the Historical Method among Muslim Scholars until Ibn Khaldun|
This article surveys the development of historical methodology in the works of some influent Muslim historians, observing their trends and scrutinizing everything related to narration of incidents, political, social, and sectarian currents.