By Bint Hasan, Assalamu Alaykum Team
Muslim heritage speaks of countless achievements where Muslim scholars reached their zenith surpassing other neighboring nations. Arithmetic, medicine and aviation are examples of just a few arenas in which our exemplary scholars excelled.
Our Muslim scholars played a colossal role in the invention of clocks; their developments occupy a significant position in the history of inventions.
The Binkam Water Clock was invented in the 10th century by Ibn Al Haytham: an invention that provided hours and minutes, which no other clock had demonstrated.
Al Muradi’s Water Clock in the 11th century, “The books of secrets” holds some of the earliest references to the use of mercury in balances. Al Zarquali built two large water clocks on the banks of the river Tagus at Toledo in the 11th century.
Al Jazari’s Castle Clock during daylight hours, an observer would see the sun’s disc on the eastern horizon rise. Al Jazari also developed the mindboggling 800-year-old Elephant clock in the 13th century.
This clock integrated several cultures to form a perfectly sculpted contraption, using Greek water-raising technology, an Indian elephant, an Egyptian phoenix, Arabian figures and Chinese dragons, to celebrate diversity.
Al Qarawiyyin Clock It was created in 1286-87, by Ibn Al Habbak Al Tilimsani, and was later restored in 1346-48 by Abu Abdallah Al ‘Arabi, who fitted it with an Astrolabe rete for star tracking. Truly the 13th century filled its eons with discovery after discovery, as it also saw the development of The Umayyad clock by Ridhwan Al Saati.
Astronomical Clock Before the 16th century, clocks were considered too inaccurate for measuring celestial movements. Where Ptolemy failed to succeed, Taqī Al Dīn built an astronomical clock that measured time with great regularity, executing the wish of the Sultan. His clock held the unique facet, indicating prayer times and the first day of Gregorian months using dials. Many of his clock’s intricacies are present in today’s clocks.
Sometime before the ingenuities of our remarkable pioneers mentioned above, in the year 807, Emperor Charlemagne was sent a brass clock by the Caliph Harun Al Rashid.
Islamic history: a distant golden memory, our noble ancestors shone and were unquestionably the leading contributors to the so called well-developed society that we now live in. We are indebted to them for their great efforts, and should recognize their unrivalled success.