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Friday, May 29, 2009

Muzaffar Iqbal - Quantum note Part I

Close to the Shah-e-Zinda complex in Samarqand, where Qatham ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) is buried, is the heart of the ancient Samarqand -- the Registan Square (The "Sandy Place") which has an ensemble of three madressahs -- a unique and fabulous example of Islamic architect. The three madressahs of the Registan are: the Ulugbeg Madressah (1417-1420), the Sher Dor Madressah (1619-1636) and the Tillya Kori Madressah (1646-1660).

It was in Ulugbeg's Madressah that in 1437 the length of the sidereal year (the time taken for the Sun to return to the same position with respect to the stars of the celestial sphere) was determined as 365.2570370d = 365d 6h 10m 8s (an error +58seconds). This value was improved by 28 seconds, some 88 years later in 1525 by Nicolaus Copernicus, who appealed to the estimation of Thabit ibn Qurra, another madressah student. It was also in the Ulugbeg's Madressah where the most advanced astronomical research of the fifteenth century was taking place. This glorious tradition of madressahs is now under attack all over the world. This attack comes from Washington DC where men and women have determined that they need to strangle this fabulous institution of Islamic civilisation in order to chock Islam and their cronies have been instructed to take over madressahs. This frontal attack has different modalities in different countries. Its shape in Pakistan will be explored in the next column, insha'Allah.


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