World Water Day

by News Desk Published on: 22nd March 2016

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Water is life... there are a few things that every human being agrees with. One of them is of course water being essential to our life. It is embedded not just biologically but in every part of our life both physically and spiritually. It is no surprise that most religions and cultures paid much attention to water. Islam, in particular, holds a very special place for water. This is manifested in its holy scripts and the vast works of scholars through Muslim civilization. Today is a World Water Day, this day “is marked on 22 March every year. It’s a day to celebrate water. It’s a day to make a difference for the members of the global population who suffers from water related issues. It’s a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future. In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March as the first World Water Day. 23 years later, World Water Day is celebrated around the world every year, shining the spotlight on a different issue. Join the movement.” United Nations -


“Water doesn’t just keep us alive, it gives us everything that makes life worth living. Take a moment to celebrate all the good things water gives.” –

Here are some water related topics from Muslim Heritage such as water clocks, water pumps, water management systems, etc…

Water Management and Hydraulic Technology

Water management in all its intricacies, from Andalusia to Afghanistan, was the basis of agriculture, and source of all life. Muslims did much to develop hydraulic technology and deploy water management equipment including hydro-power dams.

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’ruf, known as Taqi al-Din, in his treatise Al-Turuq al-Saniya fi al-‘ alat al-ruhaniya. 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.



Al-Jazari’s Castle Water Clock: Analysis of its Components and Functioning

The castle water clock is one of the grandest clocks mentioned in al-Jazari’s book. Details of its construction and operation have been described quite explicitly at the beginning of 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 first chapter of Category I of the treatise devotes to this detailed description ten sections [1]. We follow in our study of al-Jazari’s device his own narrative, but our description given below is not concerned with exact details of its construction but concerned with how components are linked with each other and with the purpose of the clock and its functioning. The analysis thus provided is conceived to accompany computer animations; it is also an interpretation of the clock’s appearance to viewers and a study of its internal workings. Further, basic notes on the clock’s operating system have been provided to aid understanding of components and some are referenced to technical drawings found at the end.



1000 Years Amnesia: Environment Tradition in Muslim Heritage

Although the Muslims today are becoming increasingly part of the new world order, which believes in economic growth as the vehicle to human happiness, they were previously a leading example in constructing environmentally and ecologically friendly societies which were guided by principles and ethics totally different from those adopted by the present industrialised world. The dangerous problems of overpopulation in concentrated areas and the resulting increasing consumption and waste accumulation, water (both soft and sea water) pollution, destruction of other species including micro-organisms, which are an essential part of the life cycle, change of the chemistry of the atmosphere with its associated problems of global warming and the insatiable appetite of technology to dominate social and economic order, with its consequent demand for energy and material, are the most apparent features of the crisis of environment and the economic model that governs world affairs today. Increasing are issues of great importance to human existence and warrant the utmost attention by all the citizens of the world.

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.

The Self Changing Fountain of Banu Musa bin Shakir

In their famous book of mechanics Kitāb al-hiyal (Book of mechanical devices), the Banū Mūsā Brothers (Baghdad, middle of the 9th century CE) had documented their designs for fountains (amongst many other devices and tricks involving water). This short article is devoted to analyse the geometric and physical principles of the models they designed for fountains. In this category, the book contains seven models or designs in total. The first design introduces the three basic styles found in all the fountains of Kitāb al-hiyal, whilst the other six designs discuss how the basic fountains can be used together to form more intricate fountains. For example, how the fountain can periodically change from one water shape to another

The Mechanical Water Clock Of Ibn Al-Haytham

The Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) announces their new achievement in the history of Islamic clocks. For the first time, the work of Ibn al-Haytham on the water clock (Maqala fi ‘amal al-binkam) is uncovered and edited from two manuscripts. Whilst work is currently  undertaken to produce a critical edition of the text in a book that will be published in 2015, we are proud to publish a glimpse of this pioneering work of Ibn al-Haytham’s contribution on mechanical clocks. In this article Professor Salim Al-Hassani, President of FSTC, summarises the text and publishs its draft English translation. In addition, he describes the mechanism of the water clock and produces engineering diagrams as well as a 3D animation video of its working procedure. To verify the technical details of the description of the clock, a mathematical analysis was also carried on. Although rudimentary at this stage, this analysis, in conjunction with the drawings and video animation, should be useful in design replicas or models of this clock. This ground breaking article precedes the full historical editing work which is to be published by Professors Al-Hassani and Mohammed Abattouy in due course.


The Book of Water (Kitab Al-Ma’a)

Kitab Al-Ma’a, a strange title for the first known Encyclopedia of Medicine arranged according to the alphabet was recently discovered in Algeria and published in Oman. Contains over 900 pages and was written by Ibn Al-Thahabi (died 1033AD).



and many more…

Picture of a noria in Hadith Bayadh wa Riyadh (The Story of Bayad and Riyad) , an Andalusian love story, 13th-century (Source) Outside the palace an agricultural setting is suggested by the depiction of water and the water wheel. (Source)

The Albolafia noria, or waterwheel, is the last vestige of an array of mills and dams built on the Guadalquivir River in Cordoba between the 8th and 10th centuries as it appears in its present condition. (Source).

An artist’s whimsical ideas about a 12th century method of increasing hydro-power train by 1.0 ox-power, for a water bucket elevator for water supply (Source) and al-Jazari’s pump for raising water in a manuscript of copy held in Topkapi Sarayi Libray in Istanbul. (Source)

A 3 D model of the wudu’ (ablution) water machine constructed from Banu Musa’s manuscripts. (source)

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