In Synchrony with the Heavens : Vol 1

In Synchrony with the Heavens :
Volume 1, The Call of the Muezzin,
Studies in Astronomical Timekeeping
and Instrumentation in Medieval Islamic Civilisation
*Large [A4+] Paperback - 987 pages,
**Volume One - (Studies I - 1X),
by David A. King,
Published by E.J. Brill, [December 2013]

Description :

This is the first investigation of one of the main interests of astronomy in Islamic civilisation, namely, timekeeping by the sun and stars and the regulation of the astronomically-defined times of Muslim prayer (Salaat).

The study is based on over 500 medieval astronomical manuscripts first identified by the author, now preserved in libraries all over the world and originally from the entire Islamic world from the Maghrib to Central Asia and the Yemen. The materials presented provide new insights into the early development of the prayer ritual in Islam. They also call into question the popular notion that religion could not inspire serious scientific activity. Only one of the hundreds of astronomical tables discussed here was known in medieval Europe, which is one reason why the entire corpus has remained unknown until the present.

A second and third volume, also now available from Madani Propagation (published by Brill), deals with astronomical instruments for timekeeping and other computing devices.

This first volume deals with astronomical timekeeping by the sun and stars and the regulation of the astronomically-defined times of Muslim prayer for over a millennium. It is based on over 500 Arabic manuscripts unearthed by the author in libraries around the world that had never been studied before. The earliest sources are from 8th- and 9th-century Baghdad, the later ones from all over the Islamic world.

Table of Contents :

---Preface 1,
---Preface 2,

---Statement of revious publication on parts of this work,
---Bibliography and bibliographical abbreviations.

---Chapter [I]: A Survey of Tables for Timekeeping by the Sun and Stars;
---1). On Islamic Tables for Timekeeping,
---2). Tables of Time as a function of Solar and Stellar Altitude,
---3). Tables of the Longitude of the horoscopus as a Function of Solar and Stellar
---4). Tables of Solar and Stellar Altitude,
---5). Tables of Solar Azimuth,
---6) Tables of Auxiliary Functions for Timekeeping,
---7) Tables of Auxiliary Functions for Calculating the Length of Daylight and Right and
         Oblique Ascensions,
---8) Tables of Auxiliary Functions for Azimuth Calculations,
---9) Tables of Auxiliary Functions for Solving the Problems of Spherical Astronomy for
         all latitudes,
---10) European Tables for Timekeeping.

---Chapter [II]: A Survey of (Salaat) Tables for Regulating the Times of Prayer;
---1). On Islamic Prayer Tables,
---2). Selected medieval Arabic Treatises on Timekeeping,
---3). Iraqi and Iranian Tables for Timekeeping,
---4). The main Cairo Corpus of Tables for Timekeeping,
---5). The Development of the main Cairo Corpus,
---6). Other Early Egyptian Tables for Timekeeping,
---7). Late modifications for the Cairo Corpus,
---8). Other late Egyptian Tables for Timekeeping,
---9). Early Syrian Tables for Timekeeping,
---10). The Damascus Corpus of Al-Khalili,
---11). Later Syrian Tables for Timekeeping,
---12). Yemeni and Hejazi Tables for Timekeeping,
---13). Maghribi Tables for Timekeeping,
---14). Turkish Tables for Timekeeping.

---Chapter [III]: A Survey of Arithmetical shadow-schemes for time-reckoning;
---1). Introduction,
---2). Early Sources,
---3). Hejazi Sources,
---4). Yemeni Sources,
---5). Andalusi Sources,
---6). Maghribi Sources,
---7). Iraqi Sources,
---8). Syrian Sources,
---9). Egyptian Sources,
---10). Miscellaneous.

---Manuscripts Consulted.

---Chapter [IV]: On the Times of Prayer (Salaat) in Islam;
---1). The Standard Definition of the Times of Prayer in Islam,
---2). The Seasonal Hours and the Times of the Zuhr and 'Asr Prayers,
---3). The Times of the Zuhr and 'Asr Prayers in the Earliest Legal Texts,
---4). Other Early Definitions of the Times of the Zuhr Prayer,
---5). The Time of the Duha Prayer,
---6). The Times of the Salat al-Idayn and the Friday (Jum'a) Prayer,
---7). Some Intruments for Regulating the Times of Prayer in Seasonal Hours,
---8). On the Origin of the Names of the Prayer,
---9). Some Reflections of the Islamic Prayer Ritual,
---10). Concluding Remarks.

---Appendix : Arabic Texts,
---Manuscripts Consulted.

---Chapter [V]: On the Role of the Muezzin and the Muwaqqit in medieval Islamic Societies;
---1). Introduction,
---2). On the Times of Prayer in Islam,
---3). Folk Astronomy vs Mathematical Astronomy,
---4). The Duties of the Muezzin,
---5). Simple Techniques for Timekeeping by Day and Night,
---6). From Muezzin to Muwaqqit and Miqati,
---7). On the salaries of Muezzin and Muwaqqit and Miqati,
---8). Astronomical Timekeeping as a Science,
---9). Instruments for Timekeeping,
---10). The Remains of a Muwaqqits Library,
---11). On the Regulation of the Lunar Calendar,
---12). On the Determination of the Sacred Direction,
---13). Modern Tables for Regulating the Times of Prayer,
---14). Conclusion.

---Chapter [VIa]: Universal Solutions in Islamic Astronomy;

---Universal Tables,
------[1]. Tables of Spherical Astronomical Functions,
------[2]. Tables for Timekeeping,
------[3]. Auxiliary Tables for Solving Problems of Spherical Astronomy,
------[4]. Tables for Determining the Times of Prayer,
------[5]. Tables for Determining the Qibla,
------[6]. Tables Determining the Qibla for many Localities,
------[7]. Tables for Determining Lunar and Planetary Visibility,
------[8]. Tables for Parallax,
------[9]. Tables for Astrolabe Construction,
------[10]. Tables for Sundial Construction.

---Universal Instruments,
------[11]. Universal Aspects of the Astrolabe,
------[12]. The Universal Astrolabe and Quadrant,
------[13]. The Spherical Astrolabe,
------[14]. Quadrants and Trigonometric Grids,
------[15]. Universal Sundials,
------[16]. Universal Instruments for finding the Time of Day and Night,
------[17]. Compendia and Gazetteers,
------[18]. World Maps for finding the Qibla and Distance to Makkah.

---Concluding Remarks.

---Chapter [VIb]: Universal Solutions from Mamluk Syria and Egypt;
---1). Al-Marrakushi,
---2). Al-Maqsi,
---3). Najm al-Din al-Misri,
---4). Al-Abhari,
---5). Ibn al-Sarraj,
---6). Taybugha al-Baklamshi,
---7). Al-Bakhaniqi,
---8). Ibn al-Shatir,
---9). Al-Khalili,
---10). Ibn al-Ghazuli,
---11). Ibn Taybugha,
---12). Al-Maridini,
---13). Miscellaneous (Sundial Tables),
---14). Al-Wafa'i,
---15). Ibn al-Mushrif,
---16). Al-Aqfahsi,
---17). Ibn Abi 'l-Fath al-Sufi,
---18). Anonymous,
---19). Ibn Abi 'l-Khayr al-Husni,
---20). 'Abd al-Qadir al-Minufi.

---Concluding Remarks.

---Chapter [VIIa]: On the Orientation of medieval Islamic Architecture and Cities;
---1). Introductory Remarks,
---2). The Determination of the Qibla by folk Astronomy,
---3). The Determination of the Qibla as a Problem of Mathematical Geography,
---4). Regional Surveys of Orientations,
---5). Concluding Remarks.

---Chapter [VIIb]: Architecture and Astronomy: The Ventilators of medieval Cairo and their Secrets;
---1). The Ventilators of medieval Cairo,
---2). The terms Malqaf and Badahanj,
---3). A medieval Astronomical Table relating to Ventilators,
---4). A Digression:  Islamic Quantitative Estimates of the Effect of Refraction at the
---5). More on the Badahanj in the medieval Egyptian Astronomical Literature,
---6). On the Qibla in Early Muslim Egypt,
---7). On the Orientation of medieval Cairo,
---8). On the folklore of winds in medieval Egypt,
---9). Conclusion: Cairo, a City facing the Ka'ba.

---Chapter [VIIc]: Safavid world-maps centred on Mecca;
---1). Introduction,
---2). A third Safavid world-map,
---3). Some Reflections,
---4). Some new Insights:
------[a] The mathematical grids,
------[b] Another early modern grid for finding the Qibla for any Locality,
------[c] On the ultimate source for Iranian mathematical geography.

---Chapter [VIII]: Aspects of practical Astronomy in Mosques and monasteries;
---1). Introduction,
---2). The Islamic Scene,
---Geromes painting,
---3). The Christian monastic scene,
---The French minitiure,
---4). Concluding Remarks.

---Selected Bibliography.

---Chapter [IX]: When the night Sky over Qandahar was lit only by stars,
---Dedication and acknowledgement.

------Index of Topics,
------Index of Proper Names (and Titles),
------Index of Modern Scholars (Selected),
------Index of Technical Terms,
------Index of Parameters (I) Terrestrial Latitude,
------Index of Manuscripts Consulted.

David A. King, Ph.D. (1972) in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, Yale University, has been Professor of the History of Science at the J. W. Goethe University in Frankfurt since 1985. He has published extensively on astronomy and astronomical instruments in Islamic civilization. He was Professor of Arabic at New York University (1979 - 85) and thereafter Professor of the History of Science at Frankfurt University until his retirement in 2006.







*Contains extensive footnotes.
**This is an academic work of almost 1000 pages.

This new scholarly work is a necessity for the English speaking Ulema to study and research in order to possibly resolve the present confusion regarding the timing of certain prayers.











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