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Geography Image Gallery

by Media Desk Published on: 3rd September 2020

Browse through selected images taken from Muslim Heritage articles related to Geography...

Travellers and Explorers from a Golden Age

by The Editorial Team Published on: 1st August 2020

Since the Quran said every able-bodied person should make a pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca at least once in their lifetime, thousands travelled from the farthest reaches of the Islamic empire to Mecca, beginning in…

medicine

Turkish Medical History of the Seljuk Era

by Ali Haydar Bayat Published on: 1st July 2020

The Great Seljuk state was part of the medieval Islamic civilization. Most of its scientific institutions and educational traditions were inherited from previous and contemporary Muslim and Turkish states. In this well documented article, the…

astronomy

Islamic Sacred Geography and Finding the Qibla by the Sun and Stars

by David A King Published on: 24th February 2020

A survey of the historical sources with an appendix on some recent fallacies about mosque orientations

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Science Institutionalization in Early Islam

by Moneef Rafe Zoubi Published on: 29th January 2020

“Bayt al-Hikma of Baghdad as a Model of an Academy of Sciences” from Dirasat, Human and Social Sciences, Volume 44, No. 3, 2017: This study aims to introduce academy-type institutions of the pre-Islamic era. To…

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Africa Image Gallery

by Media Desk Published on: 9th November 2019

Watch this space - will be updated

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Manuscript Review: ‘The Indica’ or ‘Al-bayruni’s India,’ by Al-Bayruni​

by N.A. Baloch Published on: 24th September 2018

Bayruni conducted advanced research and wrote original standard works in different areas of knowledge - such as mathematics, astronomy, astrology, physics, pharmacology, cosmology, mineralogy, geography, history, chronology and cultural anthropology...

Constantine the African and the Qayrawani doctors: Contribution of the ‘Phoenicians’ of North Africa to Latin Medicine in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

by Charles Burnett Published on: 10th September 2018

When a sixteenth-century medical writer referred to Phoenicians, alongside Arabs, as exceptionally important medical sources, he was probably referring to the Muslim and Jewish doctors of Qayrawan, who were writing in Arabic in the tenth…

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A Sanctuary for Birds: Muslim Civilisation

by Cem Nizamoglu Published on: 20th June 2018

Few creatures from the animal kingdom can live alongside humans in urban habitats. One of these survivalists are birds. There was a time when birds were simply welcomed and not worshipped not treated badly. You…

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Malika IV: Hurrem Sultan (Roxolana)

by Tom Verde Published on: 3rd June 2018

From Bangladesh 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.…

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Astronomy in Medieval Jerusalem

by David A King Published on: 1st February 2018

Various medieval Arabic manuscripts preserved in libraries around the world – Leipzig, Cairo, Princeton, and not least Jerusalem

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Arabic Medicinal Manuscripts of Pre-Colonial Northern Nigeria: A Descriptive List

by Mukhtar Umar Bunza Published on: 1st January 2018

West African Muslim scholars produced a number of Arabic works relating to medicine, philosophy, economic studies, political thought, geography, architecture, town planning and public administration...

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When the World was Upside Down: Maps from Muslim Civilisation

by Cem Nizamoglu Published on: 15th December 2017

Great scholars from Muslim Civilisation, indeed, turned the world upside down with their maps; not just metaphorically but world maps once were literally upside down (with south dipicted at the top).

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The Back-Road Historic Mosques of China

by Sheila Blair Published on: 1st September 2017

In a country known for large numbers, it was a modest, round number that grabbed our attention: 100. That is the approximate number of mosques built before 1700 that are estimated to remain throughout central…

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Manuscript Review: The Book of Routes and Kingdoms, by Ibn Khordadbeh

by N.A. Baloch Published on: 24th July 2017

[Ibn Khordadbeh] grew up to be a knowledgeable scholar, and during the reign of Caliph al-Mu`tamid (256-279 A.11/870-892) he was appointed as Director of Post and Information in the province of Jibal...

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Marrakesh

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 5th July 2017

It is highly crucial to begin this article by the following point which not many people are aware of, but is perhaps one of the most decisive moments in Muslim history: the role played by…

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Technology in sub-Saharan Cultures

by Khaleel Shaikh Published on: 5th June 2017

Genetic and paleontological findings have concluded that Africa is the birthplace of the entire human race. Africa is often thought of as a continent rich in natural beauty and culture. However, little is known or…

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A Chronology – Turkey’s 700-year long venture in science and technology

by Feza Günergun Published on: 13th April 2017

A chronology on "Science from the East - Techniques from the West: Turkey's 700-year long venture" is compiled by Professor Dr. Feza Günergun, Department of the History of Science, Istanbul University. People sought knowledge for…

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Ravy (Rayy)

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 29th March 2017

Rayy was a city in the old Persian region of Media, during the Islamic times in the province of Djibal...

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Mega Cities on the Silk Road

by Cem Nizamoglu Published on: 25th August 2016

Throughout history, trade routes played a central role in the transfer of goods and exchange of ideas between different parts of the world. The historic Silk Roads, which were a network of trade routes across…

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Ode to Nana Asma’u: Voice and Spirit

by Natty Mark Samuels Published on: 16th August 2016

Nana Asma’u sits in the pantheon, of the great educators of Africa. Taught by female scholars – such as Aisha - in her family, as well as by her more well known father (Usman dan…

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Malika III: Shajarat Al-Durr

by Tom Verde Published on: 11th August 2016

Our third story is that of Shajarat al-Durr, the first woman to sit upon an Egyptian throne since Cleopatra, nearly 1,300 years before.

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The House of Wisdom: Baghdad’s Intellectual Powerhouse

by Cem Nizamoglu Published on: 17th May 2016

The heyday of Baghdad was 1,200 years ago when it was the thriving capital of the Muslim world. It was home to the House of Wisdom, an academy of knowledge that attracted brains from far…

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Malika II: Radiyya bint Iltutmish

by Tom Verde Published on: 13th May 2016

Popularly referred to as Razia Sultana, this is the story of Radiyya bint Iltutmish written by Tom Verde. Born in 1205, Budaun, Radiyya bint Iltutmish, also known as Raziya al-Din, was the first female ruler…

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Ophthalmologists of the Medieval Islamic World

by M. Zafer Wafai Published on: 12th April 2016

The main purpose of this monograph is to review some of the contributions made by ophthalmologists from Muslim civilisation between the 9th century CE (early 3rd century AH) and the late 14th century CE (middle…

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1st International Symposium Mediterranean Continuities: Material and spiritual paths

by MOHA Published on: 1st April 2016

MOHA is organizing, an international symposium called: ‘Mediterranean Continuities: Material and spiritual paths’, which will take place on 15 – 16 April 2016 in Kavala, Northern Greece.

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

by Cem Nizamoglu Published on: 16th February 2016

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…

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

by Natty Mark Samuels Published on: 18th November 2015

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,…

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Scholarly Traditions of the Schools in Baghdad: The Mustansiria as a Model

by Nabila A. Dawood Published on: 27th October 2015

Baghdad schools are a challenging topic, involving several different facets of history. These include cartography to identify the location of each school, biographical studies to identify their teachers, preachers, jurists and administrators, along with their…

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“Egyptology: The Missing Millennium” of Medieval Arabic Sources

by Okasha El Daly Published on: 20th October 2015

In this paper, I would like to discuss the missing millennium of Medieval Arabic sources in the study of Egyptology. Much of the arguments that I present here are detailed in my book. These include:…

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Lighthouse of Alexandria in the sources from Islamic Civilisation

by Cem Nizamoglu Published on: 16th October 2015

The Lighthouse of Alexandria is one of the wonders of the Ancient World. It was still a great tourist attraction well into the medieval period, and was visited by many travellers to the city that…

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African contributions to Muslim Civilisation

by News Desk Published on: 1st October 2015

Black History Month UK is an International annual month, celebrating, recognising and valuing the inspirational individuals and events from within the Black and Minority Ethnic communities. During Black History Month, we remember and celebrate the…

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Nearly 3 Centuries old light system illuminates a sacred grave on Sun’s equinox

by Cem Nizamoglu Published on: 23rd September 2015

This year has been chosen as "International Year of Light (IYL2015)" by UNESCO, what a perfect time to remember these words: “If the first light of the new year doesn’t shine upon my mentor, then…

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Jordan conference explores Schools and Learning Institutions in Muslim Civilisation

by News Desk Published on: 17th September 2015

In order to popularise the diverse history of science. The Jordanian Society for History of Science (JORSHS) in collaboration with the Royal Jordanian Geographical Centre (RJGC) organised the Eighth International Conference of History of Science…

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Song of Suwari: Ode to West African Scholars

by Natty Mark Samuels Published on: 3rd September 2015

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 positive impact of the spread of Islam…

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Turkey: Home of TURQUOISE

by Videos Published on: 9th June 2015

"Did you know the word 'turquoise' is a French word that simply means 'Turkish'?

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Ode to Ahmad Baba Al-Massufi

by Natty Mark Samuels Published on: 22nd May 2015

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 over forty books and various works.

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BBC Travel: Where algebra got its name from

by News Desk Published on: 11th March 2015

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…

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The renaissance of astronomy in Baghdad in the 9th and 10th centuries

by David A King Published on: 19th February 2015

[Note of the editor] This article was published in 2003 as: David A. King, "The renaissance of astronomy in Baghdad in the ninth and tenth centuries: A list of publications, mainly from the last 50…

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The European Jerusalem: Sarajevo, where Muslim heritage flourished in Central Europe

by Sairah Yassir-Deane Published on: 15th May 2014

During Ottoman rule, Sarajevo was heralded as the “European Jerusalem”, as its invaluable contributions to civil engineering, industry, trade and architecture attracted people from various ethnic and religious backgrounds. Aesthetic beauty alongside scientific ingenuity made,…

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Mosque of Whirling Colours: A Mixture of Architecture and Art in Nasīr al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran

by Cem Nizamoglu Published on: 7th April 2014

There are numerous mosques all around the world. Each has a design of its own. However, in order to be distinctive from other mosques, a mosque needs to be unique and possess outstanding features. One…

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Breaking the Frontiers of Science

by Sairah Yassir-Deane Published on: 4th November 2013

In which era were classification of animals, world maps, medical knowledge of the body, the invention of trebuchet and other scientific, technological and cultural advances developed? One might assume that such advances were most likely…

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Mosul the Pearl of Northern Iraq: Its History and Contribution to Classical Civilisation of Islam

by The Editorial Team Published on: 13th July 2013

Mosul, in Northern Iraq, is the country's second largest city and the north's major center for trade, industry and communications. Situated in the northwestern part of the country, on the west bank of Tigris, and…

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In Japan: Dr Almansour Lectures on 1000 years of Inventions and Innovations

by Ahmad Almansour Published on: 12th April 2013

On December 7, 2011, Dr Ahmad Almansour presented a lecture at the Faculty of Policy and Management, Keio University, Japan on "1000 years of Inventions and Innovations: Discover the Muslim Heritage in our World."

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Ulugh Beg

by The Editorial Team Published on: 7th April 2013

Ulugh Beg was a Timurid ruler as well as an astronomer, mathematician. His primary interest was in the sciences and intellectual matters. He built an observatory at Samarkand. In his observations he discovered a number…

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Lecture on Timbuktu Manuscripts at Al-Furqan Foundation

by The Editorial Team Published on: 6th March 2013

Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation organizes on Wednesday 6th March 2013, starting at 18.00, a lecture on Islamic manuscripts in West Africa at the seat of Al-Furqan in London.

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Ibn al-Majdi

by The Editorial Team Published on: 19th January 2013

Shihab al-Din Abu al-'Abbas Ahmad Ibn al-Majdi (1359–1447 CE) was an Egyptian mathematician and astronomer. We publish this short article to celebrate the memory of his passing away in Cairo on 27/28 January 1447.

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FSTC President at the WSIE 2012 Conferences in Boston

by The Editorial Team Published on: 3rd January 2013

In late September 2012, Professor Salim Al-Hassani, President of FSTC, participated in The World Summit on Innovation & Entrepreneurship WSIE 2012 in Boston. The WSIE 2012 brought together the world's most riveting people to plot…

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President of FSTC at AINAC in Abu Dhabi

by The Editorial Team Published on: 28th December 2012

Professor Salim Al-Hassani, President of the Foundation for Science, Technology (FSTC) attended the First Arab Innovation Network Annual Conference 2012 (AINAC 2012) in early December 2012 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Organised by Cambridge University's Arab…

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East Meets West in Venice

by Richard Covington Published on: 29th February 2012

For much of the millennium before the rise of Portugal and Spain, Venice flourished as the hub of Europe's trade with the lands to its east and south. The profound mutual influences that resulted have…

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Four Medieval Hospitals in Syria

by Nasim Hasan Naqvi Published on: 23rd January 2012

The creation of hospitals as institutions for the care of sick people was developed during the early Islamic era. Over time, hospitals were found in all Islamic towns. This article describes four of these medieval…

‘Ali b. Sahl Rabban al-Tabari Author of Firdaws al-hikma (Paradise of Wisdom)

by Salim Ayduz Published on: 2nd January 2012

The physician, scientist and philosopher, ‘Ali b. Sahl Rabban al-Tabari was the son of Sahl Sahl Rabban al-Tabari. ‘Ali was born into an educated and intellectual Christian family. He wrote many books on philosophy, medicine…

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Ali Al-Qushji and His Contributions to Mathematics and Astronomy

by Ilay Ileri Published on: 12th August 2011

Ali Al-Qushji was one of the most noteworthy and important scientists in the Islamic world. He wrote valuable works especially on astronomy and mathematics. He was a student and co-worker of the famous statesman and…

The Institution of Waqf as a Solution to the Economic Crisis

by Cem Nizamoglu Published on: 11th August 2011

The Wall Street Journal, one of the world's most respected newspapers, has suggested recently that the ongoing economic crisis could be resolved in part by the charitable institution of waqf created by the Muslim civilisation…

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Kerala Mathematics and Its Possible Transmission to Europe

by Dennis Francis Almeida Published on: 8th July 2011

The Kerala School of astronomy and mathematics was an Indian school of mathematics and astronomy founded by Madhava of Sangamagrama in Kerala, South India, which included among its members several scientists. The school flourished in…

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Book Review of ‘Islamic Gardens and Landscapes’ by D. Fairchild Ruggles

by Margaret Morris Published on: 18th March 2011

Ranging across poetry, court documents, agronomy manuals, and early garden representations and richly illustrated with pictures and site plans, Islamic Gardens and Landscapes by Dr Fairchild Ruggles is a book of impressive scope sure to…

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Cairo: A Millennial

by Irene Beeson Published on: 7th March 2011

In this article, published originally in Saudi Aramco World in 1969, focus is laid on the history of Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, founded in 969 by General Gawhar, in the name of the…

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From Frankfurt and Cairo to Damascus: Recent Models of the Umayyad Mosque Clock

by Abdel Aziz al-Jaraki Published on: 6th January 2011

From Frankfurt and Cairo to Damascus: Recent Models of the Umayyad Mosque Clock, The Umayyad Mosque Clock, Abdel Aziz al-Jaraki, Eilhard Wiedemann, Fritz Hauser, Fuat Sezgin, Donald Hill, Ridhwan al-Sa'ati, Banu Musa, Al-Jazari, Al-Khazini, history…

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The Origins of Islamic Science

by Muhammad Abdul Jabbar Beg Published on: 30th August 2010

In the following well documented article Dr Muhammad Abdul Jabbar Beg surveys the origins of Islamic science, with a special focus on its interaction with the previous intellectual traditions of the ancient world as well…

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The Next Golden Age? Using History to Inspire Science Today

by Natalie Day Published on: 4th August 2010

[Proceedings of the conference 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World organised by FSTC, London, 25-26 May 2010]. This presentation will reflect on the modern state of science in the Islamic-world and the potential of…

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Status of Research in the History of Astronomy in the Arab World

by Hamid Al-Naimiy Published on: 17th July 2010

Professor Hamid M. K. Al-Naimy [Proceedings of the conference 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World organised by FSTC, London, 25-26 May 2010]. The aim of this paper is to introduce the status of research…

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The Transfer of Science Between India, Europe and China via Muslim Heritage

by Charles Burnett Published on: 15th July 2010

[Proceedings of the conference 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World organised by FSTC, London, 25-26 May 2010]. The Islamic realms served as a crucible for scientific learning from the ancient Greek world in the…

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Statement of HH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan in the Opening Session

by Sumaya bint El Hassan Published on: 15th July 2010

[Proceedings of the conference 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World organised by FSTC, London, 25-26 May 2010]. In this excellent statement addressed by HH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of El Hassan Science…

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Heritage Research for Cultural Inter-Appreciation in the Balkans

by Sali Shahsivari Published on: 15th July 2010

[Proceedings of the conference 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World organised by FSTC, London, 25-26 May 2010]. In this vibrant plea for cultural inter-appreciation in the Balkan, Sali Shahsivari outlines the role that may…

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Ottoman Cash Waqfs Revisited: The Case of Bursa (1555- 1823)

by Murat Cizakca Published on: 2nd May 2010

Cash endowments contributed to Ottoman society, without any cost to the State, by organizing and financing expenditures on education, health, welfare and a host of other activities. The aim of this article is to discover…

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The Courtyard Houses of Syria

by Mahmoud Zein Alabidin Published on: 9th March 2010

The courtyard house is one of the most enduring architectural forms, transcending regional, historical and cultural boundaries. Its balance of simple appropriate construction, environmental control and social and familial structures continues to engage architects and…

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History, Culture and Science in Morocco: 11th-14th Centuries

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 26th January 2010

The history of the Islamic west offers glorious pages of contribution to world history in various fields. This article presents a survey on some salient aspects of the role played by Morocco in the civilisation…

Interview with Anthony Garnaut: Islam in China

by Kaleem Hussain Published on: 16th May 2009

Islam in China and the contribution of the Muslim community of China to Muslim heritage is the theme of this interview with Anthony Garnaut. The genesis of the Chinese Muslim community, its history and culture…

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Book Review of ‘Egyptology: The Missing Millennium’ by Okasha El-Daly

by Ruveyda Ozturk Published on: 23rd April 2009

Egyptology: The Missing Millennium published by Okasha El Daly is an invaluable resource showing the extent of efforts by Muslims to study and develop knowledge inherited from prior generations. In this book, El-Daly explores the…

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Book Review of The Dialogue of Civilizations in the Birth of Modern Science by Arun Bala

by Ruveyda Ozturk Published on: 20th March 2009

The book "The Dialogue of Civilizations in the Birth of Modern Science" by Arun Bala introduces a dialogical perspective on the birth of modern science and lists a great number of contributions made to the…

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Gaza at the Crossroad of Civilisations: Two Contemporary Views

by The Editorial Team Published on: 24th January 2009

Gaza, this tormented part of Palestine, land of suffering and resistance, is also a land of long history. This article presents two recent attempts to recover the ancient and medieval history of Gaza: a book…

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Ahmad Salim Sa‘idan: A Palestinian Historian of Arabic Mathematics

by Mohammed Abattouy Published on: 23rd January 2009

Since the middle of the 20th century, the history of Arabic mathematics evolved as a sub-field of history of science and became an area of a special expertise in which intermingled the skills of confirmed…

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Al-Muqaddasi: The Geographer from Palestine

by The Editorial Team Published on: 9th January 2009

A notable fact that should be remembered when we talk about the different areas of knowledge in Muslim heritage—and which should be emphasised in these troubled days marked by the tragic situation in the Middle…

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Certain Aspects of Medical Instruction in Medieval Islam and its Influences on Europe

by Aydin Sayili Published on: 24th October 2008

In this article, Professor Aydin Syili analyses the medical teaching in the different phases of Islamic civilisation, especially in the madrasa system. The network of schools covered the Islamic world from the 11th century, while…

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A Bibliography of the Islamic and Chinese Scientific Relationships in Classical Times

by FSTC Published on: 8th September 2008

In the following bibliography of the Islamic and Chinese scientific relationships in classical times, a list of the main recent works is produced. The researches cover various scientific domains, from mathematics and astronomy to technology,…

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The Islamic Heritage in China: A General Survey

by Anthony Garnaut Published on: 4th September 2008

In this article, Anthony Garnaut, an expert of the Muslim Chinese culture, focuses on the Islamic heritage in China and its relevance to understanding both the evolution of Chinese history and culture, and to appreciating…

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Aleppo

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 9th July 2008

Halab [said Al-Muqaddasi, in 985] is an excellent, pleasant and well fortified city, the inhabitants of which are cultured and rich, and endowed with understanding. The city is populous and built of stone, standing in…

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Islamic Art in Poland: The Kornik Castle

by Malgorzata de Latour-Abdalla Published on: 14th May 2008

The article is about the famous Kornik Castle near Poznan, in Poland which has many features inspired by Islamic art and architecture. Outlining the reasons of this influence, Mrs Latour-Abdalla describes the many aspects of…

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Sheikh Zayed Great Mosque in Abu Dhabi: Islamic Architecture in the 21st Century

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 10th April 2008

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…

videos

Bringing to Life the Islamic History of Europe: A Video Documentary

by Rageh Omaar Published on: 3rd March 2008

The video documentary produced by the BBC in 2005 An Islamic History of Europe, by the famous TV presenter Rageh Omaar (who also covered the American invasion of Iraq), reveals the surprising hidden story of…

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The Seljuk Face of Anatolia: Aspects of the Social and Intellectual History of Seljuk Architecture

by Semra Ogel Published on: 15th January 2008

This article deals with the Seljuk Anatolian architecture and art. The art of the Seljuk sultans showed much interest in public buildings such as caravanserais, schools and hospitals. This architecture was based on strong religious…

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Mulla Nasruddin Khodja a Major Character of Muslim Satiric Literature

by The Editorial Team Published on: 11th January 2008

Mullah Nasruddin Khodja is a wise man famous throughout the Muslim and some parts of the non-Muslim world since the 16th century. Historical documents show that he lived in the 13th century in Anatolia (today…

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A Treasure of World Heritage: Islamic Manuscripts in the Kandilli Observatory

by FSTC Published on: 2nd November 2007

This is a review of a book bringing to light a collection of about 1300 Islamic scientific manuscripts on astronomy and various scientific topics in three languages (Turkish, Arabic and Persian). These manuscripts are held…

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Famous Figures of the Modern Turkish Medical School

by FSTC Published on: 23rd October 2007

To throw light on famous figures of the Turkish modern medical school, this article introduces a set of nine posters on the contribution of eight late Ottoman and early Turkish physicians (whose careers spanned from…

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New Lectures at Thinktank, Birmingham’s Museum of Science

by FSTC Published on: 26th May 2007

1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World launched at Thinktank, Birmingham's Museum of Science, at Millennium Point on 24th May as part of a UK-wide tour. This unique travelling exhibition revealing 1,000 years…

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Ibn Battuta

by The Editorial Team Published on: 27th April 2007

The Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta is known as the greatest traveller of premodern times. He lived in the 8th century H/14th century CE. Leaving his homeland at the age of 21 to make the holy…

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When Ridhwan al-Sa’ati Anteceded Big Ben by More than Six Centuries

by Abdel Aziz al-Jaraki Published on: 11th April 2007

The following article by Abdel Aziz al-Jaraki, a scholar from Damascus, describes the context of the investigation carried on since several decades on a famous clock built by Fakhr al-Din Ridhwan al-Sa'ati at the beginning…

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The Legacy of Muslim Kung Fu Masters

by Mohammed Khamouch Published on: 9th April 2007

An important legacy of Islam in China is represented by Muslim Kung Fu, developed throughout history by Muslim Masters, who merged in their endeavour and training between physical and spiritual perfection. The following short survey…

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The Abbasids’ House of Wisdom in Baghdad

by Subhi Al-Azzawi Published on: 7th February 2007

The House of Wisdom was in fame, status, scope, size, resources, patronage, etc. similar to that of the present day British Library in London or the Nationale Bibliotheque in Paris, in addition to being an…

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Suleymaniye Medical Madrasa

by Salim Ayduz Published on: 3rd February 2007

This article discusses the emergence and origins of institutional Ottoman medical practice and learning, and provides an insight into the trade of expertise between the Ottoman provinces and further a field. It focuses on the…

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Scandinavia and Ibn Fadlan

by The Editorial Team Published on: 2nd February 2007

This short article provides brief accounts of Ibn Fadlan's observation on Scandinavia and a people he calls the Rus. His reports have become a great source for successive historians on a range of topics from…

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Echos of What Lies Behind the ‘Ocean of Fogs’ in Muslim Historical Narratives

by Mohammed Hamidullah Published on: 16th January 2007

This article is an edited version of the article originally written by the late Professor Mohammed Hamidullah, "Muslim Discovery of America before Columbus", Journal of the Muslim Students' Association of the United States and Canada.…

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Aleppo Citadel: Glimpses of the Past

by FSTC Published on: 13th January 2007

The Citadel of Aleppo is one of the oldest monuments in the world. It is the most famous historic architectural site in Syria and is built on top of a huge, partially artificial mound rising…

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The Oldest Map of Japan Drawn by Mahmud of Kashgar

by Sevim Tekeli Published on: 3rd January 2007

Although the Japanese map was included for the first time in a world atlas in the 15th century, the very first map of Japan was drawn by Mahmud of Kashgar in early 11th century.

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The Ottoman Empire and Europe: Cultural Encounters

by Gunsel Renda Published on: 3rd December 2006

This article mainly covers the cultural encounters between Europe and the Ottomans who had become immediate neighbours on the Balkans and the Mediterranean after the Ottoman state expanded into Central Europe.

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Ibn Jubair: Capturing the Decline of Islamic Power

by FSTC Published on: 17th May 2006

Ibn Jubair is widely recognised as one of the greatest travellers and geographers of Muslim history. From excerpts his work, The Travels of Ibn Jubair, as presented in this short article we are able to…

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West African Mosque Architecture – A Brief Introduction

by Cleo Cantone Published on: 31st March 2006

Mosques built in parts of the Muslim world where Arabs migrated or took control of through wars developed a distinct tradition of domes and minarets. In areas where Islam spread mostly by returning traders, traditions…

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Jewels of the Muslim Chinese Heritage

by Mohammed Khamouch Published on: 31st March 2006

The prominence of Islam in China is fascinating and a surprise to many, with its long establishment of Muslim communities, a flourishing Islamic history, a spectacular Islamic cultural heritage and its many Mosques.

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A Treasure House on the Hudson

by Louis Werner Published on: 16th March 2006

Olana is a remarkable galley of exquisite works of art collected by Fredric Edwin Church during his travels in the Muslim World. In fact, the actual design of Olana was inspired by the architecture of…

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Sana’a Rising

by Eric Hansen Published on: 16th March 2006

Sana'a is one of the oldest cities of Yemen, indeed one of the oldest in the World, dating back to the Sabean dynasty. Earliest references to its existance date back to the 1st Century AD…

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Muslim Contribution to Spanish Agriculture

by FSTC Published on: 23rd February 2006

This article describes some of the numerous Muslim contributions to the development of Spanish agriculture, including the introduction of new crops, more intensive use of irrigation, soil management, and scholarly efforts in farming innovation. Such…

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Ibn Battuta and the 14th Century Muslim World

by FSTC Published on: 15th February 2006

Ibn Battuta is regarded by many to be one of the greatest travellers and explorers the world has ever seen. In fact, he was able to travel over 75,000 miles, in twenty years and through…

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Al-Ramhormuzi and the Wonders of India

by FSTC Published on: 15th February 2006

Captain Buzurg ibn Shahriyar, a shipmaster from Khuzistan compiled a collection of stories and accounts of his experiences as a sea farer between 900 and 953. As well as stretching one's imagination, Captain Bazurg's ‘The…

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The Muslim Agricultural Revolution

by Zohor Idrisi Published on: 1st February 2006

The landscape in the areas under Muslim control from the 7th Century changed radically. Their rich contributions are most notable within the fields of irrigation, farming techniques, encyclopeadic works in botany, and the introduction new…

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The Scholars of Seville – Medicine

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 15th August 2005

Seville was also a centre Medical expertise in Islamic civilisation. Continuing the Muslim scientific tradition of critical works that advance knowledge in Medicine, many books were written here by leaders of the field.

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The Scholars of Seville – Mathematics and Astronomy

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 15th August 2005

In Seville, scholars led the science of astronomy, criticising earlier works on the basis of new observations and poetry was used to help people memorise the principles of algebra.

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Sub-Saharan Centres of Learning

by Natty Mark Samuels Published on: 5th August 2005

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 renowned for their…

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The Scholars of Malaga

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 29th June 2005

Malaga was a great centre for agriculture and trade and was a part of Islamic Spain for nearly 800 years. Its scholars briefly looked at here included experts on trade and public regulations and arguably…

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The Scholars of Toledo

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 23rd June 2005

Toledo was the first major contact of Christian Europe with Islamic civilisation and it was the beginning of a transformation that would transform barbaric Europe into the leading civilisation in the world. In this short…

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Islamic Citadel in Busra

by Najwa Osman Published on: 23rd June 2005

Busra was the location of a large Roman theatre which was built upon by Muslims when they arrived to provide a vital fort in defence against the Crusaders. Here is an examination of that fort…

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Baghdad

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 7th June 2005

The city of Baghdad was founded under the second Abbasid caliph Al-Mansur (ruled 754-775). After a lengthy research along the course of the Tigris as far north as Mosul, he decided to construct a palace…

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Masjid-i-Jami: the Friday Mosque of Isfahan

by FSTC Published on: 25th May 2005

Iran has made great contributions to Muslim architecture culminating in the introduction of the cylindrical minaret form and the four-iwan plan. The most momentous work that survives in Iran is the Masjid-i-Jami at Isfahan.

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The Scholars of Cairo

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 24th May 2005

The scholarship within Cairo was one which flourished with great vibrancy. The schoalrs contributed to the fields of mathematics, science, astronomy, philosophy, medicine and numerous other areas which are notable and worthy of study.

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Al-Hakim Mosque, Cairo (990-1012)

by FSTC Published on: 27th April 2005

Al Hakim Mosque is the second major Fatimid Mosque and the fourth most important religious edifice in Egypt. The articles provides an elaborate account of the Fatimids contribution to its rich architectural design.

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Mshatta Palace, Jordan; 743-744 CE

by FSTC Published on: 20th April 2005

Msatta is a renowned Ummayad palace with spectacular architectural and artistic details that continues to attract many. The decorative aspects of the Palace are of immense detail and splendour and thus has become an important…

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The Scholars of Damascus

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 12th April 2005

Scholars of Damascus specialised in numerous fields including medicine, economics and astronomy. Their vast knowledge, discoveries and developments in their fields contributed to the advancement of Damascus.

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The Scholars of Aleppo: Al Farabi, Al-Qifti and al-Adim

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 23rd March 2005

The works of three prominent scholars are highlighted: Al- Farabi who was keenly interested in the relation between logic and language, Al-Qifti's vast scholarship, ranging from lexicography to medicine and finally al-Adim's historical works are…

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The Scholars of Aleppo: Al Mahassin, Al Urdi, Al-Lubudi, Al-Halabi

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 22nd March 2005

The article describes the works of the following scholars: Al Mahassin: an eminent writer in the field of eye surgery, Al Urdi: the first astronomer associated with Maragha, Al-Lubudi: a physician, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher…

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Ince Minare Madrasa

by The Editorial Team Published on: 11th March 2005

Ince Minare Madrasa is one of the most impressive structures introduced by the Seljuks to endorse the central plan scheme that was to dominate much of their late architecture and that of their Ottoman successors.

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Merv: History, Science and Learning

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 11th March 2005

Merv is the city which in medieval times dominated the province of Khurasan in today's Turkmenistan.

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The Scholars of Samarkand

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 2nd March 2005

Samarkand contributed in particular to the progress of science in astronomy through its observatory. Some of its directors and their achievements are highlighted here.

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Harran

by The Editorial Team Published on: 22nd February 2005

Harran is a very old town situated in the Jazira province of modern Turkey near the sources of the Balkh River. Badly effected by the Crusades, it nevertheless had its production of scientists that are…

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12th Century Cookery from all the World

by Randah Kasmo Published on: 18th February 2005

This historical masterpiece on Arab/Islamic cooking by Kammaluddin Ibn Al-Adeem a famous historian, religious scholar, poet and calligrapher was written at the end of the 12th Century, and shows the rich culinary culture of Muslims…

Places

Kufa

by The Editorial Team Published on: 14th February 2005

Being the home of the encyclopaedic scholar Al-kindi and the great chemist Jabir Ibn Hayan, Kufa had a key role in the history of science.

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Khwarizm

by The Editorial Team Published on: 2nd February 2005

Khwarizm is the city of the birth of algebra, where Al-Biruni corrected and refined the sciences of the past and thought of the earth spinning on its axis many centuries before Copernicus.

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Ukhaidir Palace (720-800 CE)

by The Editorial Team Published on: 27th January 2005

About 100 miles south-west of Baghdad is Ukhaidar palace, one of the most preserved palaces of the Muslim world. It is unique in its architectural wealth and incorporated some of the key innovations that greatly…

Bukhara

by The Editorial Team Published on: 21st January 2005

Bukhara, a city in central Asia has a history indicative of a number of eastern Islamic cities. It produced important scholars, most famously Ibn Sina and the compiler of the most quoted source of sayings…

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Atala Mosque, Jaunpur 1408

by The Editorial Team Published on: 21st January 2005

Being the first mosque to be build after the independence of Jaunpur from the Islamic caliphate in India, the Atala Mosque was given royal treatment setting up a new monumentality to the traditional jami'.

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Basra

by FSTC Published on: 4th January 2005

Basra became like many places in the Muslim world a centre for knowledge and commerce. Originally set up on the orders of the Caliph as a military camp, the town had good fortunes but suffered…

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Earliest maps of America

by Sevim Tekeli Published on: 4th January 2005

The earliest maps made of America by Columbus have all since been lost. However, a number of very early and accurate maps exist which were made by Piri Reis based on material including the maps…

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Architecture of Al-Azhar

by FSTC Published on: 30th December 2004

Of the many splendours of Egypt, the Al-Azhar stands as a landmark in its architectural and cultural history, marking the beginning of the Fatimid rule and the foundation of its capital Cairo (Al-Qahira, "The Victorious").

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Granada: The Last Refuge of Muslims in Spain

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 20th December 2004

Granada on the southern coast of Spain was to stay in Muslim hands until 1492. Its fall came centuries after other Muslim areas fell to the Christians. This article highlights some of the important legacies…

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Muslims in Norman Sicily

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 22nd November 2004

When the Normans took control of Sicily from the Muslims, they recognised the achievements of Muslims and Muslims together with their institutions continued to have a core role for centuries despite consternation elsewhere.

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Sicily under Islamic Rule

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 22nd November 2004

Sicily under Islamic rule brought people from all over the mediteranean in a rich diverse and enlightened community including a far reaching freedom of religion.

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Bosniacs

by Christoph Bathelt Published on: 9th November 2004

The Bosniac Muslims played a crucial role integrated in the Austro-Hungarian empire and Muslims and Islam continues to have great recognition in Austria.

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Taj Mahal : The Architecture of Love

by FSTC Published on: 4th November 2004

"The whole together appears like a most perfect pearl on an azure ground. The effect is such as, I confess, I never experienced from any work of art. The fine materials, the beautiful forms, and…

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Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University

by FSTC Published on: 20th October 2004

For well over twelve hundred years Al-Qarawiyyin has been one of the leading spiritual and educational centres of the Muslim World, a typical institution, of many, underlining how learning constituted the heart of the religion…

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Fes

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 13th October 2004

The date of the foundation of Fes is from the early 9th century. Fes soon after received an influx of diverse origins, Berbers, Jews, Arabs, including also Spanish Muslims from Cordoba. A strong scientific tradition…

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The Impact of Islamic Science and Learning on England: Adelard of Bath and Daniel of Morley

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 13th October 2004

Most certainly the first English scientist ever was Adelard of Bath. He championed Islamic learning and was the most `Arabist' of all scientists. He and Daniel of Morley were instrumental in the transfer of scientific…

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Bejaia – Algeria

by FSTC Published on: 1st October 2004

Bejaia - a small town on the north coast of Algeria, was once a trading hub of the Mediteranian trading extensively with many places including Pisa. Through this town, a great deal of Mathematics was…

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Marrakech

by FSTC Published on: 26th August 2004

Marrakech became, due to the ambitions and sponsorship of its rulers, the centre of attraction for numerous scholars including Ibn Rushd who served as the Chief Physician and where he pursued many works in science.…

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Ottoman Palace Architecture: The Topkapi Palace

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 8th July 2004

Construction of a palace to accommodate the Ottoman administration and royal household began in 1459, lasting most of the reign of Sultan Mehmed II. The palace included gardens reflecting the Muslim traditional love of nature…

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Sultan Ahmet Cami or Blue Mosque

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 8th July 2004

Commissioned by Sultan Ahmed (1606-1617), the mosque was built by Mehmet Agha who is said to have toured key Ottoman monuments before he drew the plan of the blue mosque. This can be affirmed by…

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The Ottoman Madrassa

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 8th July 2004

The Madrassa was one of the main venues of education in the Muslim World under the Ottoman Caliphate until 1924 when Ataturks' law abolished it in favour of modern schools and universities. In planning terms…

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Umayyad Mosques and Palaces

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 6th May 2004

The Umayyad architectural splendour is experienced in both religious and domestic buildings. At the core of their religious heritage we find the Dome of the Rock, the architectural jewel of Islam and Damascus Mosque, its…

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Tunis in Islamic Times

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 5th May 2004

Tunis, the green, was the capital of Muslim Caliphate in the Maghreb reaching an unrivalled prosperous period of economic, cultural and social growth. Below is a summary of how this once great city was planned…

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The Impact of Islam on Urban Development in North Africa

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 5th May 2004

This paper seeks to remind readers of the contribution of Islam to the civilisation of the peoples of North Africa by looking at its influence on the urbanisation of the region. The aim is to…

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Impact on Instrumental Tablature

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 21st April 2004

The Arabs were the first to give Europe a scientific description of musical instruments. Looking back into history we can give a descriptive influence of the Muslim scheme of phonetic notation and instrumental tablature which…

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The Contribution of Muslims to the Development of Music

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 21st April 2004

An insight into the influence of Muslims on the musical revival of Europe which can be detected as early as the period of the Carolingian Empire.

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Spain’s Islamic Legacy

by S. M. Ghazanfar Published on: 15th March 2004

Muslims ruled in Spain and Portugal over a period of 800 years. When the Christians finally forced out the Muslims and instituted the inquisition they encountered some of the great achievements of Islamic science and…

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Christopher Wren and the Muslim Origin of Gothic Architecture

by The Editorial Team Published on: 11th August 2003

Christopher Wren's respect for Muslim architecture is displayed in his adoption of numerous Muslim architectural solutions within his designs. In his greatest ever project, the Cathedral of St. Paul, London, the Muslim influence can be…

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Tunis in the Islamic Period

by The Editorial Team Published on: 25th July 2003

Tunis was rebuilt under the Roman Emperor Augustus in the first century AD, but without the importance of Carthage. The Muslims re-fortified it in 720 AD, and built the Zaytouna Mosque.

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Ziryab, the Musician, Astronomer, Fashion Designer and Gastronome

by The Editorial Team Published on: 13th June 2003

Abul-Hasan Alí Ibn Nafí, nicknamed Ziryab, was Chief Entertainer of the Court of Cordoba in 822AD. He revolutionised medieval music, lifestyle, fashion, hairstyles, furniture and even tableware. He transformed the way people ate, socialised, and…

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The University of Sankore, Timbuktu

by Zulkifli Khair Published on: 7th June 2003

Sankore's achievement in higher education is important to Islamic Civilisation even though it is less known in comparison to Al-Azhar, Al-Qayrawan, Al-Qarawiyyin and Qurtuba Universities.

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The Seljuk Mausoleum

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 15th April 2003

Under the Seljuk patronage the mausoleum saw considerable development. This type of building evolved from early funerary monuments which were first erected to honour the Umayyad rulers in the 8th century.

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The Seljuk Caravanserai (the Khan)

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 14th April 2003

The Seljuk's developed the caravanserais or khans (Anatolia) or Ribat. These were charitable foundations providing travellers with three days of free shelter, food and entertainment (in some cases) as part of the charitable work emphasised…

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The Seljuk Minarets

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 14th April 2003

The Seljuk mosques took a form of minaret which was substantially different from that of North Africa. The adoption of the cylindrical form, instead of the usual square, with tapered shafts often broken by balconies…

The Seljuk Iwan

The Seljuk Iwan

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 13th April 2003

According to Scerrato (1980) the Iwans plans of Seljuk Mosques were mainly developed for multi-functions including, prayer, teaching, lodging of teachers and students, libraries and charitable activities like stopping stations on the road of pilgrims.

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Cordoba, European Jewel of the Middle Ages

by FSTC Published on: 4th April 2003

Cordoba used to be the jewel of Europe dazzling visitors from the North. With over 70 public libraries during the time of Caliph Hakam II, and 900 public baths, Scholars and booksellers flocked there and…

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The Great Umayyad Mosque

by FSTC Published on: 9th March 2003

The Great Umayyad Mosque remains one of the great symbols of the glorious period of Muslim civilisation and its pride. It is a master piece of architectural ingenuity having a decisive influence on the maturity…

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The Impact of Translations of Muslim Sciences on the West

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 4th March 2003

Scholars from all Christian lands rushed to translate Muslim science, and thus start the scientific awakening of Europe. Many of course were Spaniards: John of Seville, Hugh of Santalla, and those working under the patronage…

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The Role of Sicily in the transfer of Islamic Science to the West

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 4th March 2003

The role of Sicily in the transfer of Muslim science to the West has been well studied by Michelle Amari, but unfortunately the work, although extremely old has remained inaccessible because it is only available…

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Ribat of Soussa, Muslim invention of rib vaulting?

by FSTC Published on: 20th February 2003

In the Ribat (defensive engineering structures) of Port Soussa one finds evidence showing the early use of ribbed vaulting by Muslims. Such a technique was not used in Europe until the 11th century, some 200…

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Aspects of Influence of Muslim Science on the West

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 4th February 2003

To go through the Islamic impact on modern science and civilisation in detail demands so vast a book that nobody has written yet. Just some overall observations and points are raised here by the author.

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Figs in Muslim Spain

by Thomas F. Glick Published on: 21st July 2002

Figs may not have had the economic importance of olives, yet they afford an excellent example of the intensification of agriculture in Islamic Spain. This was manifest in the dazzling variety of the fruit available…

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Theoretical issues of Islamic Architechture

by FSTC Published on: 17th January 2002

Although Muslim architecture has been investigated by both Muslims and non Muslims, it still remains omitted from main stream architecture theories and much of existing works are no more than curiosities undertaken by a group…

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The Arch That Never Sleeps

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 17th January 2002

Perhaps no culture mastered the design and use of the arch more than the Muslims. Inheriting earlier arch forms from the Greeks and the Romans, Muslims developed a variety of new shapes including the horseshoe,…

Al-Zahra – City of Andalus

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 13th January 2002

Al-Zahra became renowned for its high advanced civilisation, style and protocol in addition to the extensively decorated walls, floors and ceilings of its buildings. Venue for the legendary reception of King Ordono IV of Leon,…

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Architecture of Muslim Spain and North Africa

by FSTC Published on: 13th January 2002

First in a series of articles on the Architecture of Muslim Spain and North Africa (756-1500AD). A brief historical background on the Muslim architectural achievement concentrating on important historical and architectural monuments.

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Astronomical Observatories in the Classical Islamic Culture

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 27th December 2001

The modern astronomical observatory as a research institute (as opposed to a private observation post as was the case in ancient times) is a creation of the Islamic scientific tradition. Since the early 9th century,…

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Transmission of Muslim Astronomy to Europe

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 26th December 2001

It was in Muslim Toledo, Spain, where flocked in the 12th century, in particular, scholars from all Christian lands to translate Muslim science, and start the scientific awakening of Europe.

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Farming Manuals

by FSTC Published on: 25th December 2001

Muslim farming manuals developed ways and methods for increasing production and productivity, and maintaining soil fertility. Extensive research detailed descriptions of soils, and their requirements.

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Eye Specialists in Islamic Cultures

by Ibrahim Shaikh Published on: 20th December 2001

"I invite you... to go back with me 1000 years to consider the fascinating history of the old Arabian ophthalmology which I have studied in the past five years." With these words Julius Hirschberg, addressing…

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Introduction to the Islamic City

by Rabah Saoud Published on: 14th October 2001

Islam is seen by many scholars as an urban religion, which favours communal practice on individual worship. Although, piety is the only source of appraisal, it is widely accepted that most of Islam's teaching is…

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Education in Islam – The Role of the Mosque

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 12th August 2001

...leading by example, the Prophet made the first institution of Islam, the first mosque he built in Madinah, into an institution of learning.

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Al-Dinawari

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 30th July 2001

Abu Hanifa al-Dinawari (d.895 CE), botanist, lived in Andalusia, in Muslim Spain. His work has been made known by the German scholar, Silberberg, in a thesis, published in Breslau in 1908 which contains the descriptions…

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Al-Azhar University

by The Editorial Team Published on: 10th April 2001

Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo in Egypt is a fundamental Islamic monument with many dimensions. Constructed by the Caliph Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah for the newly established capital city in 970, it was the first mosque established…