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ISLAMIC Astrology And Astronomy

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Bianca
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« on: August 11, 2007, 10:33:24 am »




                                             I S L A M I C   A S T R O L O G Y





Islamic astrology, in Arabic ilm al-nujum or ilm al-falak is the study of the heavens by early Muslims. In early Arabic sources, ilm al-nujum was used to refer to both astronomy and astrology. In medieval sources, however, a clear distinction was made between ilm al-nujum (science of the stars) or ilm al-falak (science of the celestial orbs), referring to astrology, and ilm al-hay'ah (science of the figure of the heavens), referring to astronomy. Both fields were rooted in Greek, Persian, and Indian traditions.

Despite consistent critiques of astrology by scientists and religious scholars, astrological progno-    stications required a fair amount of exact scientific knowledge and thus gave partial incentive for the study and development of astronomy.

The earliest semantic distinction between astronomy and astrology was given by the Persian astronomer and astrologer Abu Rayhan al-Biruni circa 1000.
                                 
                                   9TH CENTURY ARABIC ASTRONOMERS
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2007, 10:35:32 am »

                                                      
                                                        ISLAMIC SAGITTARIUS -
                                                        13th Century Manuscript







                                                     Opinions of contemporary scholars




According to jurists, the study of astronomy (ilm al-hay'ah) is lawful, as it is useful in predicting the beginning of months and seasons, determining the direction of salat (prayer), and navigation. They agree that this branch of science be used in determining the beginning and end of the month of Ramadan. As for astrology, this is considered by most Islamic scholars as haram (unlawful), as knowledge of the Unseen is known only by Allah. Dr. Husam al-Din Ibn Musa `Afana, a Professor of the Principles of Fiqh at Al-Quds University, Palestine, states the following:

"First of all, it is worth noting that the Arabs knew astronomy a long time ago. They would predict time through observing the movements of stars. According to the scholars of Shar`iah, there are two terms confused in many people's minds when it comes to dealing with the question in hand. These terms are astronomy and astrology. Astronomy is the science that deals with studying the movements of the celestial bodies and reducing observations to mathematical order. That science is useful in determining time, seasons, the direction of Prayer, etc. Astrology, on the other hand, is concerned with studying the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs. Astrologists believe that the movements of stars have an influence on people's lives. Both Muslim astronomers and [religious] scholars refuse the prophecies of astrologists."

On the other hand, scholars agree that astrology is a prohibited field of study. Imam Ibn Taymiyah said: “Astrology that is concerned with studying the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs is prohibited by the Quran, the Sunnah, and the unanimous agreement of the Muslim scholars. Furthermore, astrology was considered forbidden by all Messengers of Almighty Allah.”

The Saudi scholar, Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen, said: “Astrology is a kind of sorcery and fortune-telling. It is forbidden because it is based on illusions, not on concrete facts. There is no relation between the movements of celestial bodies and what takes place on the Earth.”
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2007, 10:37:50 am »








Quranic verses and Ahadith relating to astrology


Before the advent of Islam, people believed that the sun and moon might eclipse when a great figure died. During the Muhammad's lifetime, it happened that the sun eclipsed on the same day when Muhammad’s son Ibrahim died. The people then thought that it had eclipsed because of the Prophet’s son’s death. On knowing this, Muhammad led them in the Eclipse Prayer and then delivered a speech saying: “The sun and moon are but signs of Allah; they do not eclipse because so-and-so died or was born.”

This hadith indicates that Muhammad denied all relation between the movements of the heavenly bodies and events on the Earth. Ibn `Abbas reported that Muhammad said: “He who has acquired some knowledge of astrology has acquired some knowledge of sorcery; the more he acquires of the former the more he acquires of the latter.”

Commenting on this hadith, the Yemeni scholar Muhammad ash-Shawkani (d.1834), said that the Prophet compared between astrology and sorcery because sorcery was known to be forbidden; and so, he who would get some knowledge of astrology would do something forbidden and would be sinful.

It was also reported by Ibn Abbas that the Prophet Muhammad said: “He who uses astronomy for something other than what Almighty Allah has made lawful would be practicing sorcery. Astrologers predict knowledge of the future, and he who does so is a sorcerer, and sorcerers are disbelievers.”

Also, Ibn Mihjan reported that the Prophet said: “I fear on account of my nation three things after my death: (I fear that) their Imams (leaders) would oppress them, (that) they would believe in astrology, and (that) they would disbelieve predestination.”

Abu Hurayrah also reported that the Prophet said: “He who goes to a fortune-teller to ask him about something, his Prayer will not be accepted for forty days.”

Abu Hurayrah also reported that the Prophet said: “He who goes to a soothsayer or a fortuneteller and believes what he says exhibits disbelief in what has been sent down to Prophet Muhammad (from Allah).”

Contemplating the last two ahadith reported by Abu Hurayrah, it is to be noted that mere going to fortune-tellers is a sin that incurs upon a Muslim who commits it that his prayer is not accepted for forty days, and that believing what fortunetellers say renders a Muslim a disbeliever in what has been sent down to Prophet Muhammad. This is because Allah says in the Quran: “Say (O Muhammad): None in the heavens and the earth knoweth the Unseen save Allah; and they know not when they will be raised (again).”

Allah also says: “(He is) the knower of the Unseen, and He revealeth unto none His secret, save unto every messenger whom he hath chosen, and then He maketh a guard to go before him and a guard behind him That He may know that they have indeed conveyed the messages of their Lord. He surroundeth all their doings, and He keepeth count of all things.”
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2007, 10:46:04 am »








     PROMINENT ARAB, MUSLIM, PERSIAN AND/OR MIDDLE EASTERN OR NORTH AFRICAN ASTROLOGERS




This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy certain standards for completeness.

Revisions and additions are welcome.



Abraham ibn Ezra

Abraham Zacuto
 
Al-Battani

Al-Biruni

Albubather
 
Alchabitius

Al-fadl ibn Naubakht

'Ali ibn Ridwan

Al-Kindī

Arzachel

Berossus

Biblical Magi (the "Three Wise Men")

Haly Abenragel

Hypatia of Alexandria

Ibn Arabi

Ibn Yunus

Ibrahim al-Fazari

Ja'far ibn Muhammad Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi
 
Mashallah

Muhammad al-Fazari

Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi

Naubakht

Omar Khayyam

Porphyry

Sharafeddin Tusi

Sudines
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2007, 10:49:30 am »








Notes



^ S. Pines (September 1964). "The Semantic Distinction between the Terms Astronomy and Astrology according to al-Biruni", Isis 55 (3), p. 343-349.

^ excerpted from a lecture given by Dr. Yusuf Marwah under the title Astronomy and the Beginning of the Lunar Months

^ Islamonline.com

^ Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah

^ Nayl Al-Awtar, vol.7, p.207

^ See Meshkat Al-Masabeeh, vol. 2, p. 1296

^ Reported by Ibn `Asakir and Ibn `Abdul-Barr

 
^ Reported by Muslim

^ Al-Albani said in Sahih At-Targhib wa At-Tarhib, vol. 3, p. 172, that this is an authentic hadith

^ Quran, An-Naml: 65

^ Quran, Al-Jinn: 26-28
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2007, 11:29:04 am »








                                                       Iranian Astrologers




Iranian Astrology predates Islam and flourished as early as the Achaemenian times. The Bible makes references to the three wise Magi from the east who are thought to have been Iranian. The Iranians made significant contribution to astronomy and astrology. Al Khwarizmi was the most famous of these. He was a great mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and geographer. He is considered to be the father of algebra and the algorithm , and introduced the concept of the number zero to the Western world.


Omar Khayyam Neyshabouri, Mathematician, Astronomer, Poet and Philosopher, The Calendar he calculated 1000 ago is still in effect in Iran as the official and formal Persian calendar. That is virtually the only calendar in the world which is based on classical horoscope system; means 1st if Arries is the first day of new year at spring equinux or on March 21, the beginiing of Persian new year or Nowrooz. He is also the inventor of decimal system and believed to be the father of Algebra.


Another famous Iranians astrologer and astronomer was Qutb al-Din al Shirazi (1236 - 1311). He wrote critiques of the Almagest, the famous Arabic translation of the work of Ptolemy. The Almagest was the means by which Ptolemy's work was re-introduced into Europe, as the original European copies had been lost. He produced two prominent works on astronomy: 'The Limit of Accomplishment Concerning Knowledge of the Heavens' in 1281 and 'The Royal Present' in 1284, both of which commented upon and improved on Ptolemy's work, particularly in the field of planetary motion. Al-Shirazi was also the first person to give the correct scientific explanation for the formation of a rainbow.

Ulugh Beyg was another notable Iranian mathematician and astronomer, who was sultan of Iran in the fifteenth century. He built an observatory in 1428 and produced the first original star map since Ptolemy which corrected the position of many stars, and included many new ones.
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2007, 11:30:09 am »







Arabic Parts



The Arabs also developed a system called Arabic parts by which the difference between the ascendant and each planet of the zodiac was calculated. This new position then became a 'part' of some kind.  For example the 'part of fortune' is found by taking the difference between the sun and the ascendant and adding it to the moon. If the 'part' thus calculated was in the 10th House in Libra, for instance, it suggested that money could be made from some kind of partnership.

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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2007, 11:33:37 am »








                                                    Arabic Astronomy



Centres of learning in medicine and astronomy/astrology were set up in Baghdad and Damascus, and the Caliph Al-Mansur of Baghdad established a major observatory and library in the city, making it the world's astronomical centre. During this time knowledge of astronomy was greatly increased, and the astrolab was invented by Al Fazari. So much was knowledge increased by the Arabs that even today a great many star names are Arabic in origin. Here is a short list for some of the most prominent, with their original meaning:



STAR NAME MEANING

Achernar "River's End"
Aladfar "Claws"
Aldebaran "The Follower"
Alioth "Sheep's Tail"
Altair "The Flying"
Betelgeuse "Central Hand"
Deneb "Tail"
Mizar "Waistband"
Rasolgethi "Head of the Kneeling One"
Rigel "Foot of the Great One"
Vega "The Falling"


The meaning of the star names cannot really be understood without reference to the constellation of which they are a part. Further details of the star names, along with a greater list of others can be found in the article: List of traditional star names. Some astrologers still include a few of the stars in their charts today, along with the usual planets. For example, Aldabaran is said to signify confidence, energy and leadership qualities, while Vega is said to indicate good fortune in worldy ambitions.
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2007, 11:34:59 am »







                                                          Arabic Astrology




The Arab astrologers defined a new form of astrology called electional astrology that could be used for all manner of divination in everyday life, such as the discovery of propitious moments for the undertaking of a journey, or the beginning of a business venture etc. They also were the first to speak of 'favourable' and 'unfavourable' indications, rather than categorical events.
                                         


Albumasur or Abu Ma'shar (805 - 885) was the greatest of the Arab astrologers. His treatise 'Introductoriam in Astronomium' spoke of how 'only by observing the great diversity of planetary motions can we comprehend the unnumbered varieties of change in this world'. The 'Introductoriam' was one of the first books to find its way in translation through Spain and into Europe in the Middle Ages, and was highly influential in the revival of astrology and astronomy there.



                           
ABOVE: The 10th-century astronomer Abu Sa’id al-Sizji held the contemporary view that the Earth was the center of the universe, but he modeled the solar system on the concept that the Earth rotated on its axis—as shown in this display at the Institute for the History of Arab–Islamic Science in Frankfurt.
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2007, 09:53:13 pm »

               
A painting of constellations adorns the ceiling of the famous Ulugh Beg Observatory in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, which takes its name from its founder, the grandson of Tamerlane, who inaugurated it in 1420.

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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2007, 09:57:50 pm »

   

   Tenth-century astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi’s Treatise on the Fixed Stars included both pictures    and   written descriptions of star patterns, including the Celestial Twins of the constellation Gemini. 

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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2007, 10:03:31 pm »



Nasir al-Din al-Tusi is pictured at his writing desk
at the high-tech observatory in Maragha,
Persia, which opened in 1259.
He persuaded the Mongol conqueror
Hulaga Khan to build the facility. 

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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2007, 10:14:11 pm »



Arab astronomers study the heavens in this print from a commentary on Cicero’s Somnium Scipionis, whose central character ranges through the celestial spheres that surround the Earth, and carry the planets and the stars.
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2007, 10:48:29 pm »


ARABIC OBSERVATORY
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2007, 10:57:27 pm »

                         

 
Twelfth-century Arab design showing, from the centre: the ancient planets (the Moon with a mirror; Mercury as a scribe; Venus with a dulcimer; a haloed Sun; Mars as a warrior; Jupiter as a worthy; Saturn as an ascetic), the signs of the Zodiac in a clockwise order, the Moon's phases in an anti-clockwise order aligned with the Mansions of the Moon.
 
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