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The Astrolabe by Nayzak The Astrolabe by Nayzak
Assalaamu alaikum [Peace be to you],


:bulletred: An Amazing Device
The astrolabe ( الأسطرلاب ) is a very ancient astronomical computer for solving problems relating to time and the position of the Sun and stars in the sky. Several types of astrolabes have been made. By far the most popular type is the planispheric astrolabe, on which the celestial sphere is projected onto the plane of the equator.


:bulletred: Origin and spread
The astrolabe is thought to have originated in Ancient Greece. Though no examples have survived, Hipparchus, writing in around 150 BCE, is credited with discovering ‘stereographic projection', the mathematical means of representing the 3D sky onto a 2D plate that is the basis of how the astrolabe works. While the origin of the astrolabe may have been Greek, it is generally agreed that the design was then perfected in the Islamic world – indeed the name Astrolabe comes from the Arabic version of the Greek term ‘Star holder'.

The first person credited with building the astrolabe in the Islamic world is reportedly the 8th century mathematician Muhammad al-Fazari. The mathematical background was established by the Muslim astronomer Al-Battani in his treatise Kitab az-Zij, which was translated into Latin by Plato Tiburtinus. The earliest surviving dated astrolabe is dated A.H. 315 (927/8 C.E.).


:bulletred: Uses of the Astrolabe
In the 10th century, al-Sufi first described over 1,000 different uses of an astrolabe, in areas as diverse as astronomy, astrology, horoscopes, navigation, surveying, timekeeping, prayer, Salah, Qibla, etc
Astrolabes can be used to solve many astronomical problems that would otherwise require rather sophisticated mathematics. All of the everyday uses of the astrolabe are not known, but they were certainly used to tell time during the day or night, to find the time of sunrise and sunset and, thus, the length of the day, to locate celestial objects in the sky, as a handy reference of celestial positions and, as astrology was a deeply embedded element of the cultures that used astrolabes, to determine aspects of horoscopes.


:bulletred: Religious applications
Additional features unique to Islamic astrolabes are those tables designed to aid the carrying out of the 5 pillars of Islam. Of the 5 pillars, the two most dependant on astronomical observation and calculation are finding the Qibla or direction of Makkah and predicting prayer times, and for these many Islamic astrolabes carry special tables.

One final indication we find on many Islamic astrolabes, which gives them a religious dimension as opposed to simply being Arabic but non-religious, is the inscriptions. On many Islamic astrolabes we find passages from the Qur'an, dedications, religious verses and of course the date given according to the Hijra calendar.

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I hope this was beneficial


IN THE IMAGE:
In the top of the front view of the Astrolabe (photo above), you can read part of Ayat-ul-Kursi (Verse of the Throne 2:255) translated "... His [God] Throne extends over the heavens and the earth...".
In the top of the back view, you can read "made by Mohammed Khaleel".
Click download in order to see the hi-res file. Notice the artistic details in both sides.


If I am right, it's from the God. if I am wrong, it's from myself.
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June 14, 2012
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