Vol. 14    Issue 01   01 - 30 June 2019
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Omar Khayyam

Professor A. R. MOMIN

The 971st birth anniversary of Omar Khayyam, the celebrated Persian mathematician, astronomer and poet, was remembered with a Google Doodle on 18 May 2019.

The period between the decline of the Greco-Roman civilization and the Renaissance, which spans nearly 1000 years, is generally described as the Dark Ages in European history, in which no note-worthy developments in science, medicine and technology took place. Interestingly, this period roughly coincides with the Golden Age of Islamic science.

During the Golden Age of Islamic science, between the 9th and 16th centuries, Muslim scientists made original, wide-ranging and pioneering contributions to science, medicine and technology, including botany, chemistry, medicine and surgery, optics, anatomy, astronomy, mathematics, technology and geography. There is now a substantial, and growing, literature on the subject in English, German, French, Spanish and other European languages as well as in Arabic, Turkish and Persian. Muslim scientists placed a great deal of emphasis on the careful observation of natural phenomenon, on an objective, dispassionate evaluation of every piece of scientific knowledge and, above all, on the confirmation of conclusions through the scientific method. Wiedemann categorically states that the credit for inventing the experimental method in science should go to Muslim scientists, such as Ibn al-Haytham, Al-Razi, Ibn Zuhr and Albiruni.   Read more


The Spider’s Home

Minaret Research Network

The likeness of those who choose
protectors other than Allah is as
the likeness of the spider, who builds
(to itself) a house; but truly the flimsiest
of houses is the spider’s house – if they but
knew” (Quran 29:41).

The Quran repeatedly urges Muslims to observe and reflect over the ‘Signs of Allah’ (Ayat Allah) that are writ large in the universe and in the human psyche. These signs are found in the heavens and the earth (3:190; 10:6, 101; 12:105; 41:37;), in the alternation of days and nights (17:12; 36:37; 170:12), in the clouds (2:164), in the change of the winds (45:5), in the ships that sail through the oceans (42:32), in the creation and behaviour of animals, birds and insects (16:69; 88:17), in the creation of human beings (5:86; 30:20; 45:4), in the human psyche 98:30; 41:53; 21:51; 30:8), in the variations in languages and skin colours (30:22), in ancient peoples and civilizations and historical events (2:219; 12:7; 18:9; 24:10; 37:15).   Read more

The Fallacy of “Islamist Terrorism”

The term “Islamist terrorism” is misleading and obfuscating and is fraught with pejorative undertones

Professor A. R. MOMIN

In the past few years there has been an alarming rise in extremism and militancy in a section of Muslim youth, who are on the fringes of Muslim societies. This is manifested in the proliferation of global terrorist networks aimed at carrying out acts of violence and wanton destruction, in the violence perpetrated by Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, and in the increasingly violent methods adopted by al-Shabab in Somalia, Ansar Deine in Mali, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. This extremism is also in evidence in the desecration and destruction of Sufi shrines in some parts of the Muslim world.   Read more


Fasting in the Northern Hemisphere

Pressing Need for Ijtihad

Professor A. R. MOMIN

In most parts of the Muslim world, the duration of fasting days in Ramadan is generally between 14 and 16 hours. However, in the Northern Hemisphere (above 48 degrees latitude) days are extremely long in summer and nights extremely short in winter. Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Alaska (USA), St Petersburg (Russian Federation) and northern Canada experience extreme variations in the length of days and nights in summer and winter. Regions to the north of the Arctic Circle experience what is known as the ‘midnight sun’ in summer. From June 12 to July 1 the sun stays up around the clock and does not set. Around the summer solstice on June 21 (the third day of Ramadan this year) the sun was visible for the full 24 hours. In some parts of Norway and Sweden the sun never goes down for nearly two months in summer and there is broad daylight around the clock. In winter the Northern Hemisphere experiences what is known as ‘polar nights.’ From November 25 to January 21 the sun does not rise above the horizon. In Norway’s capital Oslo, for example, nights are extremely long in winter, lasting for 16 hours while days are short, lasting for 8 or 9 hours.   Read more

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