FEATURED ARTICLES

Song of Suwari: Ode to West African Scholars
Although some contemporary historians may argue otherwise, in the past, particularly in places such as West Africa, Muslims and non-Muslims lived together in relative harmony and prosperity. The...
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The Unpublished Works of Arabic Geography: An Overview and a Classification
Islamic geographical texts are not only valuable in terms of geographical research, they also constitute an essential resource in the study of Arab-Islamic civilisation - its literature, history,...
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Lund Astronomical Clock
The genesis of this article lies in a recent visit to the Romanesque cathedral of Lund. While in the cathedral, I walked over to the medieval astronomical clock to await the moving figures and music...
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Top Seven Ingenious Clocks from Muslim Civilisation that Defied the Middle Ages
TIME TELLING MACHINES: Revealing 7 marvellous mechanical and water-powered clocks from early Muslim Civilisation. These sophisticated devices that defied the Middle Ages.
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Sub-Saharan Centres of Learning
Though we may think of Timbuktu as the pre-eminent site of pre-colonial West African scholarship, we must remember that there were other places spanning across the Western and Central Sudan that were...
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Announcement: On New FSTC Historiography
1.     Introduction The 1001 Inventions exhibition and accompanying literature and film have met with success and have been very popular. The...
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Omar Sharif’s final film dedicated to his legacy
Actor Omar Sharif’s final film “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham” has been dedicated to his legacy. Legendary Oscar-nominated actor Omar Sharif, who died on Friday 10 July 2015 in a...
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The International Year of Light Sheds Light on the Dark Ages
The UNESCO International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies is a multi-faceted celebration of light in its scientific, technological and cultural context. Central to this has been the...
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Abu al-Wafa al-Buzjanî
Muḥammad Abūʾl-Wafāʾ al-Būzjānī (10 June 940–997 or 998) was a distinguished Muslim astronomer and mathematician, who made important contributions to the development of trigonometry. He worked in a...
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World Environment Day
 World Environment Day 5th June
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1001 Inventions To Partner With China’s Biggest Science Festival
China Science Festival to host “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham”
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Ode to Ahmad Baba Al-Massufi
Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Ahmad al-Takruri Al-Massufi al-Timbukti, otherwise commonly known as Ahmad Baba for short, was a well-known teacher, professor, philosopher, Arabic grammarian and an author of...
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Figure 2: Prof. Salim Al-Hassani talking during the meeting. On his left: Dr Anne-Marie and Sir Crispin Tickell.
Figure 3: From left to right: Dr Silke Ackermann, Dr. David Manning and Mr. Maurice Coles.
Figure 4: From left to right: Mr. John K Whittlesey and Prof. Charles Savage .
Figure 5: From right to left: Dr Silke Ackermann and Prof. Charles Savage.
Figure 6: Dr Suhair Al-Qurashi.
Figure 7: Dr Suhair Al-Qurashi and Ms Suhad Jarrar-Browne.
Figure 8: From right to left: Prof. Rafid Al-Khaddar, Prof. Mohammed El-Gomati, Prof. Rabieh A. Haleem, Mr Peter Raymond and Dr. Paul Berkman.
Figure 9: Sir Crispin Tickell and Dr Anne-Maria Brennan.
Figure 10: Sir Crispin Tickell. On his left: Dr Anne-Maria Brennan and on his right Dr Elizabeth Bell.
Figure 11: From right to left: Mr Peter Raymond, Dr. Paul Berkman and Baron Junaid Bhatti.
Figure 12: Mr. Martin Palmer.
Figure 13: From left to right: Mrs Margaret Morris, Geoffrey Roper and Mr. Farikh Mirza.
Photo of author and journalist Jonathan Lyons (Source).
Aristotle teaching astronomy. The Arab scientific tradition was greatly influenced by the work of the classical Greek scholars, whose "natural philosophy" represented a complete system of knowledge that encompassed both the physical sciences and metaphysics, and upon which the scholars of the Islamic tradition commented extensively. © Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul (Source: House of Wisdom Gallery).
A page from the manuscript of Al-Qanun fi 'l-tib (The Canon of Medicine) by Ibn Sina, written in the 11th century. It served as the leading medical text in the West for more than five hundred years. © National Museum, Damascus (Source).
A Muslim and a Christian playing a duet on the lute in 13th-century Spain. This work was dedicated to Alfonso the Wise, the Christian ruler of Castile, Leon, and Galicia. © Monasterio de El Escorial, El Escorial, Spain/The Bridgeman Art Library (Source).
A European copy of al-Idrisi's map of the world, originally created at the commission of Roger II the ruler of Sicily, in the mid-12th century. © Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris (Source).
In November, scientists using the Hubble space telescope reported the first sighting with visible light of a planet circling a star other than our sun. The discovered planet orbits 25 light years away around one of the brightest stars in the sky, called Fomalhaut or Alpha Piscis Austrini (Source). The name Fomalhaut is derived from fum u'l hût (mouth of the fish), the Arabic initial name of this star. Fomalhaut is not alone in having an Arabic origin: there are well over 100 other stars, including Betelgeuse, Aldebaran and Deneb (see FSTC, Arabic Star Names: A Treasure of Knowledge Shared by the World).
Photo of Dar Al-Hekma College in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The name of the college refers to the importance of the name to the memory of the Arab people. Dar Al-Hekma College is a private higher education institution. Its mission is to provide selected degree programmes of the highest quality to academically qualified women. The College fosters creativity and emphasizes the important role in society of women as the first builders of the family and the first educators of the nation.
Dish with epigraphic decoration at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The Kufic inscription reads: "Science has first a bitter taste, but at the end it tastes sweeter than honey. Good health [to the owner." Terracotta, white slip ground and slip underglaze decoration, Khurasan (Iran), 11th–12th century. Lusterware was first developed in Iraq in the 9th century and was imitated and prized by the Fatimid rulers in Egypt starting in the mid-10th century before spreading to Syria, Anatolia and ultimately Iran. (Image in the public domain).
Original drawings of the five water raising machines designed and described by al-Jazari in his treatise of mechanics. Respectivey: (a) a machine for raising water from a pool to a higher place by an animal who turns a lever-arm; (b) a machine for raising water from a pool or a well by an animal who rotates it; (c) a machine for raising water by means of an endless chain of pots; (d) a machine for raising water from a pool by means of flumed swape operated by a cranck driven by an animl through gears; (d) pump driven by a water wheelell by an animal who rotates it. Source: Al-Jazari, Kitab ma'rifat al-hiyal al-handasiya, Istanbul, Suleymaniye Library, MS 3472: online version.
Two views of the famous six-cylinder pump described by Taqi al-Din Ibn Ma'ruf: Manuscript view (Taqi al-Din, Al-Turuq al-Saniya fi al-'ālat al-rūhaniya, Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, MS 5232); and drawings of the virtual reconstruction of the pump. Source: S. Al-Hassani The Machines of Al-Iazari and Taqi Al-Din; S. Al-Hassani and M. A. Al-Lawati, The Six-Cylinder Water Pump of Taqi al-Din: Its Mathematics, Operation and Virtual Design. Click here and here to view animations of the device.
Two metalworks from classical Islamic times: Incense burner made for Sultan Qala'un (reigned 1294-1340) [Egypt or Syria, 1294-1340; beaten brass, inlaid with gold, silver, and a black compound]; and a large canteen, the only known example of its kind from the Islamic world; it recalls the shape of ceramic pilgrim flasks. Its inlaid silver decoration combines different styles of calligraphy and decorative motifs, such as intricate geometric designs, and lively animal scrolls [Syria, mid-13th century, Brass, silver inlay]. © The Smithsonian Institution, Washington. (Source).
Two folio pages (239b - 241b ) of the manuscript Or. 298 at Leiden University Library, which is probably the oldest known Arabic manuscript on paper (dated Dhu al-Qa`da 252 (866 CE). Arabic, paper, 241 ff., upright script (with application of ihmal), bound in a full-leather standard binding. The present volume contains an incomplete copy of Gharib al-Hadith, by Abu `Ubayd al-Qasim b. Sallam al-Baghdadi (d. 223 H/837 CE). (Source).
Front cover of Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean in Ancient and Early Medieval Times by George F. Hourani (Princeton University Press, 1995, Paperback, Expanded Edition).
The construction of castle Khavarnaq in Hirat, painted by Bihzad (ca. 1494-1495). (British Museum, London) (Source: The Yorck Proiect: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002, DirectMedia GMBH).
The construction of the Masiid-i Iami in Samarkand, attributed to Behzad (ca.1485,). © Iohn Work Garrett, Library, Iohns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. (Source).
Illustration depicting an Islamic ship from a 13th century manuscript of Maqamat al-Hariri (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS Arabe 5847). (Source).
Four samples of Moorish Cuenca tiles, Portuguese Azuleio from Portugal, inspired from ancient Islamic designs. Handmade Molded Clay Ceramic tile (140mm x 140mm x 10mm) BT 5671 Spanish Moorish tiles Islamic Moroccan tile. (Source).
Goblet, 9th century, probably from Egypt, transparent pale greenish blue glass, blown from two gathers and scratch-engraved (height 11.9 cm, diameter 9.2 cm). Inscription (in kufic script): "Blessings from Allah to the owner of the goblet. Drink!". Formulas including good wishes were commonly found on eating and drinking vessels in both pottery and glass. (Source).
Window in stained glass, 17th century, Egypt or Syria (38.7 x 48.3 cm). A window such as this with brightly colored panes in blue, orange, green, and red might have been found in a room of an aristocratic home in the Islamic world. Tinted glass was favored because it filtered the light, but it also complemented the multihued furnishings of the room. (Source).
Two views of antique Damascus swords. Research on Damascus steel revealed the use of a proto concept of nanotechnology. (Source 1 – Source 2).
Two Islamic knifes (khaniar) made of Damascus steel, wih a view on the detail of their surface. So-called Damascus steel swords were known from around the seventh century onward and dominated warfare for centuries as a result of their good toughness in combination with their outstanding cutting ability. The name derives from the fact that these swords were first encountered by Europeans in Damascus. Damascus steel swords are still regarded in this manner as evidenced by continuing efforts up to the present time to determine the methodology used to produce the swords. (Source).
Analysis of the nanotube structure of Damascus steel. The swords forged in Damascushad a surface pattern of moiré ripples, which resemble turbulent water, with a wavy pattern on its surface which looks like wood grain. Details: (a). A Damascus sword; (b). the wavy pattern in the sword; (c-d). the nanowire structure of the steel in the blade. (Source: C. Srinivasan, Damascus Sword - An Ancient Product of Nanotechnology).

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