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ISLAMIC Astrology And Astronomy

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« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2007, 10:43:26 am »






                                     
                                                            The Primary Arabic Parts






 Part of Fortune (Pars Fortunae)

The Part of Fortune, the Part of the Moon, is one of the most important Arabic Parts. The point lies the same distance in longitude from the ascendant as the Moon lies from the Sun. It is found in a diurnal figure by subtracting the longitude of the Sun from that of the Moon and adding the difference to the longitude of the Ascendant. In a nocturnal figure, the place of the Moon is subtracted from that of the Sun. Here's how:

Diurnal (Day) Births: Part of Fortune = Ascendant + Moon - Sun
Nocturnal (Night) Births: Part of Fortune = Ascendant + Sun - Moon

Its house represents an area of life where one finds happiness, prosperity and natural tranquillity, expressing innate abilities. It indicates an area wherein the self is easily expressed. Moreover, as the name implies, it signifies the physical health and material wellbeing of the body, as well as the potential for growth of the soul.

"This part signifies the life, the body, and also its soul, its strength, fortune, substance and profit, i.e., wealth and poverty, gold and silver, heaviness or lightness of things bought in the marketplace, praise and good reputation, and honours and recognition, good and evil, present and future, hidden and manifest; it has signification over everything..... if this part and the luminaries are well-disposed in nativities or revolutions, it will be notably good."
- Bonatti, from Zoller: The Lost Key to Prediction
Inner Traditions, NY 1980



 Part of Things to Come (Pars Futurorum)
 
The Part of Things to Come (also known as Part of Spirit) is next in importance after the Part of Fortune, because it is the Part of the Sun (Pars Solis). The point lies the same distance in longitude from the ascendant as the Sun lies from the Moon. The part is extracted in the contrary manner to that of the Pars Fortunae, in other words, by day from Moon to Sun and by night from Sun to Moon.

Diurnal (Day) Births: Part of Things to Come = Ascendant + Sun - Moon
Nocturnal (Night) Births: Part of Things to Come = Ascendant + Moon - Sun

Its house signifies the soul and the body (after the Part of Fortune), along with matters of faith and intentions. With regard to health, it signifies the deeper, spiritual sources, rather than the simple material causes shown by the Part of Fortune. Moreover, as the name implies, it signifies the nature of things which are to come, rather than things present.

"The pars futurorum signifies the soul and the body, after the pars fortunae and the quality of these, and faith, prophecy, religion and the culture of God and secrets, cogitations, intentions, hidden things and everything which is absent, and courtesy and liberality, praise, good reputation, heat and cold... The significations of the pars fortunae appear more during the day... the pars futurorum appear more at night"
- Bonatti, from Zoller: The Lost Key to Prediction
Inner Traditions, NY 1980



 Part of Love and Concord (Pars Veneris)

The Part of Love is the Part of Venus, signifying pleasures, desires, relationships and lovemaking in general. Take the distance in a diurnal chart between the Part of Fortune and the Part of Things to Come (and the reverse in a nocturnal chart) and project it from the ascendant.

"The pars veneris signifies pleasures, desires, and wants in venereal things and in the culture of them both licit and illicit, and the things which venereal people love and which the soul desires, unions and all things which pertain to the inclination of coitus and pleasure from games and joys and delights."
- Bonatti, from Zoller: The Lost Key to Prediction
Inner Traditions, NY 1980



 Part of Daring (Pars Martis)

The Part of Daring is the Part of Mars, signifying dynamic action and all warlike things, especially those involving courage and bravado, plus the sexual relations taking the forms of conquest and overcoming resistance. Take the distance in a diurnal chart between Mars and the Part of Fortune (and the reverse in a nocturnal chart) and project it from the ascendant.

"The pars martis signifies the disposition of armies, of wars and battles, and the worth and sharpness of the soul, also resolution, anticipation and greatness of heart with impulse and haste; it also signifies lascivious incest with cunning and seductions."



- Bonatti, from Zoller: The Lost Key to Prediction
Inner Traditions, NY 1980



 Part of Happiness (Pars Iovis)
 
The Part of Happiness is the Part of Jupiter, signifying happiness and assistance, the attainment of good things, wisdome, fortune, honour and position, religious and legal matters. Take the distance in a diurnal chart between the Part of Things to Come and Jupiter (and the reverse in a nocturnal chart) and project it from the ascendant.

"Its significance is concerning honor and the attainment of things, victory and assistance and happiness and goodness... belief in God... justice... good works... wisdom ... trust... faith..."
- Bonatti, from Zoller: The Lost Key to Prediction
Inner Traditions, NY 1980



 The Heavy Part (Pars Saturni)

The Heavy Part is the Part of Saturn, signifying serious and weighty matters, deep thought, karma, old age, incarceration, land management, inheritances, death and matters to do with the dead, structure, consistency, time, faith and religion. Take the distance in a diurnal chart between Saturn and the Part of Fortune (and the reverse in a nocturnal chart) and project it from the ascendant.

"Its signifies memory and profundity of mind and counsel... a matter which has perished or been lost... condition of the dead... by what death the native may die... old age and time.. praise and disgrace... "
- Bonatti, from Zoller: The Lost Key to Prediction
Inner Traditions, NY 1980



 Part of Poverty and Ordinary Intellect (Pars Mercurii)
 
The Part of Poverty and Ordinary Intellect is the Part of Mercury, signifying negotiation, buying and selling, ordinary mental activity, meanness of intelligence and intellect, writings, science, contention and enmity. Take the distance in a diurnal chart between the Part of Things to Come and the Part of Fortune (and the reverse in a nocturnal chart) and project it from the ascendant.

"Its signifies poverty and meanness of intelligence and intellect... war, fear, hatred, contentions, injuries... negotiations... diverse sciences. "



- Bonatti, from Zoller: The Lost Key to Prediction
Inner Traditions, NY 1980


http://www.astrologycom.com/parts.html
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« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2007, 10:49:23 am »

                                                     


Dating from antiquity, the doctrine of the Arabic parts has been virtually lost to Western astrological practice since the 17th century. In his book, Robert Zoller retrieves this valuable key to prediction and provides a clear and simple guide to its practical application.
The Arabic parts enable the astrologer to investigate the "inner" meaning of the horoscope and thus to go beyond the "outer" aspects expressed by the arrangement of the planets, signs, and houses. The first section of the book explains how fate, or karma, can be understood through the parts and the esoteric nature of number. The second section includes a translation of the 13th century Latin text on the parts by the famed court astrologer, Bonatti; this work includes the basic ninety-seven parts, dealing with all areas of life--from war, commodities speculation, and professional life to marriage and partnerships--in addition to seventy-three parts from various medieval sources.

In the third section of the book, the author illustrates the practical use of the parts in natal, horary, and mundane astrology. His understanding of the parts and their place in a comprehensive interpretation of any horoscope is presented with lucidity and insight, unraveling for the reader this fascinating and long-neglected astrological science.
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« Reply #47 on: October 14, 2008, 08:52:33 am »










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





From:
Wikipedia


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 prognostications 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.
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« Reply #48 on: October 14, 2008, 08:59:05 am »










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 many 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."






Some scholars believe 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 #49 on: October 14, 2008, 09:02:10 am »









Refutations of astrology



The first semantic distinction between astrology and astronomy was given by the Persian Muslim astronomer Abu Rayhan al-Biruni in the 11th century, and he later refuted astrology in another
treatise.

The study of astrology was also refuted by other medieval Muslim astronomers such as Al-Farabi (Alpharabius), Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), Avicenna and Averroes. Their reasons for refuting astrology were often due to both scientific (the methods used by astrologers being conjectural rather than empirical) and religious (conflicts with orthodox Islamic scholars) reasons.

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (1292-1350), in his Miftah Dar al-SaCadah, used empirical arguments in astronomy in order to refute the practice of astrology and divination. He recognized that the stars are much larger than the planets, and thus argued:



"And if you astrologers answer that it is precisely because of this distance and smallness that their influences are negligible, then why is it that you claim a great influence for the smallest heavenly body, Mercury? Why is it that you have given an influence to al-Ra's and al-Dhanab, which are two imaginary points [ascending and descending nodes]?"

Al-Jawziyya also recognized the Milky Way galaxy as "a myriad of tiny stars packed together in the sphere of the fixed stars" and thus argued that "it is certainly impossible to have knowledge of their influences."
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« Reply #50 on: October 14, 2008, 09:05:52 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 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 Muhammad’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 Islamic prophet Muhammad 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 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 Muhammad 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 Muhammad 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 Muhammad 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 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 #51 on: October 14, 2008, 09:08:35 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

Porphyry
 
Sharafeddin Tusi
 
Sudines

Taqi al-Din



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_astrology
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« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2009, 09:21:29 am »










                                                            Arabs and Astronomy






Written by Paul Lunde
and Zayn Bilkadi


The launch of Arabsat-B was Prince Sultan's primary assignment in space, but he also had to carry out, or participate in, four experiments and two of them - observation of the new moon and photography of the Arabian Peninsula - would not have been totally incomprehensible to medieval scientists in Islamic lands. They too were interested in such areas as optics, mapping and ephemerides - tables showing the positions of celestial bodies on given dates.


The observation of the new moon, for example, was, and is, important to Muslims; for religious purposes they follow a lunar calendar and the new moon marks the beginning and end of the fast of Ramadan and determines the date of the pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) - the Hajj - two of the five religious duties incumbent upon all Muslims.


Mapping too sprang from a religious concern: the need to establish correct coordinates of cities so that Muslims could determine the direction of Makkah - the qibla - towards which all Muslims prostrate themselves in prayer five times a day. And though observation of the new moon and determination of the qibla may seem prosaic subjects today, it was by pondering just such everyday phenomena that advances in science were made.


The mathematical determination of the qibla, for example, was no easy matter; in fact it was one of the most advanced problems in spherical astronomy faced by medieval astronomers and mathematicians. The trigonometric solution eventually found was of great sophistication, and trigonometry itself, largely an Arab development, is fundamental to the computation of planetary orbits as well as to terrestrial mapping. Nevertheless, medieval qibla tables often attained great accuracy. That of al-Khalili, who wrote in Syria in the 14th century, gives the coordinates of a large number of towns in degrees and minutes and is generally accurate to within one or two minutes. In Europe, this sort of accuracy in establishing geographical coordinates was not attained until much later.


It could be argued, in fact, that precise observation and an ability to find new mathematical solutions to old problems were the two main strengths of Muslim scientists in the Middle Ages. And though they, like their European counterparts, never fully escaped the tyranny of Aristotle and Ptolemy - whose models of terrestrial geography and of the heavens dominated men's minds until the Renaissance and were not finally demolished until the publication of Newton's Principia in 1687 - Muslim scientists were the first to express doubts about many of the details of the Ptolemaic system. Indeed, it was the growing awareness of the divide between Ptolemy's theoretical model of the universe and observed reality that culminated in the discoveries of Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler during the 15th to 17th centuries, and some of those doubts had been transmitted to European scientists from Spain in 12th- and 13th-century translations of Arabic scientific works.
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« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2009, 09:25:33 am »









Al-Battani, called by his European translators Albategni, is a case in point. He wrote in the ninth century on a wide number of scientific topics and some of his observations struck at cherished Ptolemaic dogmas. He showed, for example that, contrary to Ptolemy, annular eclipses - in which a ring of light encircles the eclipsed portion - were possible, and that the angular diameter of the sun was subject to variation. He showed - again contrary to Ptolemy - that the solar apogee was subject to the precession of the equinoxes; he corrected a number of planetary orbits; he determined the true and mean orbit of the sun. Interestingly, in the light of Prince Sultan's observation of the new moon, al-Battani also developed a theory of the conditions of visibility of the new moon.


Other Muslim astronomers also came up with data that conflicted with Ptolemy, one of them perhaps the greatest Muslim physicist of them all: Ibn al-Haytham, called Alhazen in the medieval West. Al-Haytham argued that the Milky Way was quite far from the earth no matter what Aristotle said, and estimated the height of the earth's atmosphere at 52,000 paces - a pace being roughly one meter, or three feet. Al-Haytham worked that out from his observation that the astronomic twilight begins when the negative height of the sun reaches 19 degrees. Since the atmosphere is about 50 kilometers up (31 miles) and 52,000 paces is roughly 31 kilometers (32 miles), Ibn al-Haytham was not far wrong.
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« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2009, 09:26:59 am »









In the pre-telescope age, observational astronomy was, of course, carried out with the naked eye. Muslim scientists, however, perfected observatories in a number of places; those at Maragha and Samarkand are the most famous. At these observatories, astronomers gathered to refine Ptolemy's coordinates for the stars and, eventually, to revise Ptolemy's catalog of stars. This catalog which gave the positions of 1,022 stars, classified, as they are today, by magnitude, or brightness, was heavily revised, notably by the 10th-century astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi, whose Book of the Fixed Stars is the earliest illustrated astronomical manuscript known; the copy in the Bodleian Library, the work of the author's son, is dated 1009 and the author expressly states that he traced the drawings from a celestial globe.


There is an even earlier representation of the heavens in an Umayyad hunting lodge built about A. D. 715 in Jordan. It is called Qasr al-'Amra (See Aramco World, September-October 1968; July-August 1980) and in the dome of the bathhouse in the lodge are fragments of a fresco showing some 400 stars and parts of 37 constellations, drawn on a stereographic projection - which implies a familiarity, even at that early date, with Ptolemy's Planispherium.


Arabs also excelled at making astronomical instruments - particularly astrolabes which were used for navigational purposes, for determining the positions of stars and for solving problems in spherical astronomy. There were three sorts of astrolabes: planispheric, linear and spherical. These were used at the observatories of Maragha and Samarkand, and were substantially the same as the instruments used by European astronomers until the invention of the telescope.
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« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2009, 09:28:26 am »









The observatory at Maragha was founded by the famous mathematician Nasir al-Din al-Tusi in 1259, one year after the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols. Because the Mongol invasions into the lands of Islam had opened a land route to China, Muslim astronomers were eventually able to work together with their Chinese counterparts.


The main theoretical work done at the observatory had to do with simplifying the Ptolemaic model and bringing it into line with the Aristotelian model, which postulated uniform circular orbits for the planets. Although they were often misguided, they made very important contributions; Ibn al-Shatir, for example, came up with models of the movement of the moon and of Mercury that are strikingly similar to those of Copernicus.


The observatory of Ulugh Beg at Samarkand, built between 1420 and 1437, (See Aramco World, January-February 1976; July-August 1984) was used to recompute the positions of the stars in Ptolemy's catalog, and there is little doubt that the organization of this observatory and the instruments employed there influenced TychoBrahe's observatories at Uraniborg and Stjerneborg.


Another observatory thought to have influenced Tycho Brahe was that proposed and built in Istanbul in the 16th century. In 1571 in Istanbul, Taqi al-Din Mohammed ibn Ma'ruf, a former judge from Egypt and author of several books on astronomy, was appointed head-astronomer of the Ottoman Empire and immediately proposed construction of an observatory. He wanted to begin the urgent task of updating the old astronomical tables describing the motion of the planets, the sun and the moon. His request was well received by the Grand Vizier and patron of sciences, Sokullu Muhammad, but between 1571 and 1574 the Ottomans had to fight no less than three costly wars against the three major powers of Europe, Venice, Spain and Portugal, so it was not until mid-1577 that the project was completed. Taqi al-Din's observatory consisted of two magnificent buildings, perched high on a hill overlooking the European section of Istanbul and offering an unobstructed view of the night sky. Much like a modern institution, the main building was reserved for the library and the living quarters of the technical staff, while the smaller building housed an impressive collection of instruments built by Taqi al-Din himself - including a giant armillary sphere and a mechanical clock for measuring the position and speed of the planets; aware that Europe was beginning to move ahead in astronomy he was determined to restore the Islamic world's once uncontested supremacy.
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« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2009, 09:30:45 am »









A few months later, unfortunately, on a cold November night - the first night of the holy month of Ramadan - a comet with an enormous tail unexpectedly edged into sight and set off a controversy that would put an end to his dream - and the observatory. Twisting and twirling, the comet grew brighter and steadier by the day for 40 days, and soon became a fireball soaring in the heavens like the sun and terrifying observers on earth.


One such observer was the Sultan, Murad III, whose own father, Sultan Selim, had died shortly after another comet had appeared. About to open a campaign in the Caucasus aginst Persia and its allies, Murad demanded a prognostication on the comet and Taqi al-Din, working day and night without food and rest, did so. He noted first that both the tail and head of the comet seemed to point east towards Persia - as if, he thought, to discharge their ominous fire there. He also noted that the comet appeared first in the house of Sagittarius, symbolizing, he decided, the Ottoman archer, and that it would disappear in Aquarius, a sign of peace and plenty awaiting the archer. Thus persuaded that such phenomena were undeniable signs of good fortune for the Ottomans, and confident in the accuracy of his observations in regard to the path of the comet, Taqi al-Din requested an audience with the Sultan and announced that:


There are joyful tidings for you concerning the conquest of Persia, for the foe is lying, with failing breath, upon the ground.

The appearance of such a sublime flame

Is for this realm an indication of well-being and splendor,

But for Persia it is a bolt of misfortune.


Unfortunately for Taqi al-Din, his predictions didn't quite turn out right. Though two Persian armies were defeated in the war, the Ottomans experienced certain reverses, a devastating plague broke out in some parts of the empire and several important persons died, and within a short period of time the Ottoman court began to quarrel about the observatory. One faction, headed by the Grand Vizier Sokullu, favored continued support of the institution, and the other, led by Sokullu's political rival, said that prying into the secrets of the future was not only beyond man's power but was also a waste of funds.


For a short period Sokullu prevailed and Taqi al-Din plunged into astronomy at a feverish pace for two years. But then Sokullu was killed and in 1580 a wrecking squad from the Marine Ordnance Division appeared on the premises, and its commander, citing the misfortunes that had befallen the Ottomans since the apparition of the comet, gave orders to level the buildings.
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« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2009, 09:33:24 am »









Another subject allied to astronomy that deeply interested Muslim scientists - and to which they made . important contributions - was optics. Thus Newton's Optics, published in 1704, had a long history of experimentation behind it. Classical theories of vision held that sight was the result of rays emanated from the eyes, rather than the reflection of light from the object viewed. It was Ibn al-Haytham who broke with this classical theory and developed a theory, with mathematical proof, in accord with the facts. His work with the camera obscura and discovery of the mathematical principles behind the phenomenon of the rainbow were important steps in the development of optical instruments - though an explanation of the colors of the rainbow had to wait for Newton.


Other Muslim scientists also made important contributions to this subject, including the famous al-Biruni. One of the scientists connected with the Maragha observatory, Kamal al-Din al-Farisi, wrote an important commentary on Ibn al-Haytham's work on optics, in which he gives the results of a fascinating series of experiments with the camera obscura.


Men like these would have been fascinated at the idea of photographing the earth from outer space, and with the theories that make such achievements possible - theories that are in some cases based on observations they themselves originated. It is thus peculiarly fitting that an Arab Muslim should take part in a mission in the heavens that so interested and perplexed the scientists of the Middle Ages to whom we all owe so much.




This article appeared on pages 4-7 of the January/February 1986 print edition of



Saudi Aramco World.



See Also:

ARABS-SCIENCE,
 
ARABS—SCIENCE, 
ASTRONOMY, 

HISTORY



Check the Public Affairs Digital Image Archive for January/February 1986 images.
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« Reply #58 on: May 29, 2009, 08:53:59 am »








                                                           Arab And Persian Astrology





Persian Astrology has its roots in the Zend-Avesta, parts of which are very similar to the Rig Veda.

Much of the ancient cosmology of Persia/Iran has been lost because of the advent of the Koran and the systematic destruction of Pre-Islamic libraries.

Nevertheless the ancient texts in the Zend-Avesta hold a lot of information of Persian Astrology.

Many of the reverences in the Zoroastrian prayers in the Yasna are made to cosmological energies
of the various constellations. Some of the science of the pre-Islamic Iran did eventually appear again amongst Islamic scientists.

Much of the survival of classical sciences like astronomy, mathematics, geography and philosophy in
the Western world is because it was preserved and used by the Muslim world from about the 8th Century, when Europe was going through its Dark Ages. Astrology, being linked to astronomy at this stage, was also one of those disciplines preserved.

The earliest semantic distinction between astronomy and astrology was given by the Persian astro-
nomer and astrologer Abu Rayhan al-Biruni circa 1000.
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« Reply #59 on: May 29, 2009, 08:55:01 am »









Islamic Astronomy
Main articles: Islamic astronomy and List of Arabic star names
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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