Saturday, October 2, 2010

The House of Wisdom By Jonathan Lyons


Before reading this book - "The House of Wisdom" by Jonathan Lyons I have picked up similar books before but never had the chance to read them these include "The Great Arab Conquests - How the Spread of Islam changed the world we live in" by Hugh Kennedy and "The Spread of Islam in the World - A History of Peaceful Preaching" by Prof. Thomas Arnold. In truth I felt a thirst to know the exact details of what was happening in the "dark ages of the medevial west" and "Islamic enlightened era between the time of the Prophet Mohammed til the fall of Granada" but I have to admit my questions of the details of that time haven't been answered up til now when Failafoosa suggested this read and I opened the pages which made the whole image crystal clear. The ability of the author to draw both sides of the story alongside each other, comparing the historical events in an organized method that helps us - the readers - stay interested yet comprehend the origins of the world's viewpoints on philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, science etc is amazing!

My favorite chapter is "Al Fajr" I couldn't have enough of all the facts that were mentioned about the knowledge attained from the Greeks, Sumerians, Persians, Indians, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastians, and Sabeans that have all come together in the "melting pot" of ancient Baghdad - The House of Wisdom, Bayt Al Hekma - and how all of this knowledge was translated into Arabic and integrated to comply with Islamic teachings.

I fell in love with this sentence, that the writer expressed:

"Today, many tend to see religion as the enemy of scientific progress. YET, early Islam openly encouraged and nutured intellectual inquiry of all kinds."

Another part I loved was when Al Mamun wanted to know the circumference of the earth; "Extending an expriment by the ancient Greek mathematician Eratosthenes, the Caliph dispatched two teams of astronomers, surveyors, and instrument makers to the desert plain of Sinjar, near Mosul, where they took intial readings of the sun's altitude before setting off in opposite directions, one group heading due north and the other due south. As they moved, they took care to note the distance they had traveled, inserting special markers into the ground along their path. When a second set of solar readings indicated they had traveled one degree along the meridian, they stopped and retraced their steps, double checking the distance they had come. The two independant results were then analyzed and compared, yeilding a remarkably accurate final figure. Al Mamun's researchers' calculation of the circumference of the earth was very close to what we know today."

In addition, there was a part he wrote about 11th century Arab geographers who have calculated the length of the Mediterranean Degrees of longitude (42 degrees) which is very near to it's modern value today.

I was really impressed at the way he wrapped up the book in the last chapter, he clearly indebts the intial West's openmindedness towards the study of the sciences first treaded upon by the early Arab scientists and philosophers;

"...Under the direct influence of the Arab Aristotelians, Thomas had carved out a truce between traditional church teachings and the discoveries of the emerging generations of modern Western scientists. That comprise defines the rules of engagement to this day between the realms of faith and reason. And it stakes the Arab's claims as inventors of the West, a debt that Adelard of Bath identified many centuries ago on his return from Antioch: "Of course God rules the universe," he assures his readers. "But we may and should enquire into the natural world. The Arabs teach us that."
First picture is taken by SAKS ;) in our meeting this Monday 27th September:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Passionate discussion about everything French!

Here are the pics from the last meeting ;) I really had so much fun and hope everyone has a great holiday InshAllah! *crushing hug to you all*!!


Sample of some books we got to choose for the other rounds...
Yummy macaroons, and chocolates with our logo on them, and the latest book chosen by Failafoosa...
Shirley temple drink that the writer E B mentioned she liked, minus the alchohol of course! :P
One of the recipes in the book; Grandma Elsie's Bread with chocolate chips! Yummy!
Eating "Pasta A la Gwendal" whilst chatting away ;)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

ELizabeth Bard





Saturday, April 3, 2010

For those who enjoyed reading "eat,love and pray" finally the trailer out :D
inshala it's gonna be good as the book ;P

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The House of Wisdom By Jonathan Lyons


Before reading this book - "The House of Wisdom" by Jonathan Lyons I have picked up similar books before but never had the chance to read them these include "The Great Arab Conquests - How the Spread of Islam changed the world we live in" by Hugh Kennedy and "The Spread of Islam in the World - A History of Peaceful Preaching" by Prof. Thomas Arnold. In truth I felt a thirst to know the exact details of what was happening in the "dark ages of the medevial west" and "Islamic enlightened era between the time of the Prophet Mohammed til the fall of Granada" but I have to admit my questions of the details of that time haven't been answered up til now when Failafoosa suggested this read and I opened the pages which made the whole image crystal clear. The ability of the author to draw both sides of the story alongside each other, comparing the historical events in an organized method that helps us - the readers - stay interested yet comprehend the origins of the world's viewpoints on philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, science etc is amazing!

My favorite chapter is "Al Fajr" I couldn't have enough of all the facts that were mentioned about the knowledge attained from the Greeks, Sumerians, Persians, Indians, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastians, and Sabeans that have all come together in the "melting pot" of ancient Baghdad - The House of Wisdom, Bayt Al Hekma - and how all of this knowledge was translated into Arabic and integrated to comply with Islamic teachings.

I fell in love with this sentence, that the writer expressed:

"Today, many tend to see religion as the enemy of scientific progress. YET, early Islam openly encouraged and nutured intellectual inquiry of all kinds."

Another part I loved was when Al Mamun wanted to know the circumference of the earth; "Extending an expriment by the ancient Greek mathematician Eratosthenes, the Caliph dispatched two teams of astronomers, surveyors, and instrument makers to the desert plain of Sinjar, near Mosul, where they took intial readings of the sun's altitude before setting off in opposite directions, one group heading due north and the other due south. As they moved, they took care to note the distance they had traveled, inserting special markers into the ground along their path. When a second set of solar readings indicated they had traveled one degree along the meridian, they stopped and retraced their steps, double checking the distance they had come. The two independant results were then analyzed and compared, yeilding a remarkably accurate final figure. Al Mamun's researchers' calculation of the circumference of the earth was very close to what we know today."

In addition, there was a part he wrote about 11th century Arab geographers who have calculated the length of the Mediterranean Degrees of longitude (42 degrees) which is very near to it's modern value today.

I was really impressed at the way he wrapped up the book in the last chapter, he clearly indebts the intial West's openmindedness towards the study of the sciences first treaded upon by the early Arab scientists and philosophers;

"...Under the direct influence of the Arab Aristotelians, Thomas had carved out a truce between traditional church teachings and the discoveries of the emerging generations of modern Western scientists. That comprise defines the rules of engagement to this day between the realms of faith and reason. And it stakes the Arab's claims as inventors of the West, a debt that Adelard of Bath identified many centuries ago on his return from Antioch: "Of course God rules the universe," he assures his readers. "But we may and should enquire into the natural world. The Arabs teach us that."
First picture is taken by SAKS ;) in our meeting this Monday 27th September:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Passionate discussion about everything French!

Here are the pics from the last meeting ;) I really had so much fun and hope everyone has a great holiday InshAllah! *crushing hug to you all*!!


Sample of some books we got to choose for the other rounds...
Yummy macaroons, and chocolates with our logo on them, and the latest book chosen by Failafoosa...
Shirley temple drink that the writer E B mentioned she liked, minus the alchohol of course! :P
One of the recipes in the book; Grandma Elsie's Bread with chocolate chips! Yummy!
Eating "Pasta A la Gwendal" whilst chatting away ;)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

ELizabeth Bard





Saturday, April 3, 2010

For those who enjoyed reading "eat,love and pray" finally the trailer out :D
inshala it's gonna be good as the book ;P