VIDEO: How advent of Islam paved the way for astronomy, scientific thinking
Advent of Islam paved the way for astronomy and condemned astrology, which led to scientific thinking thereby affecting entire civilizations, Hasan al-Hariri, Chief Executive of the Dubai Astronomy Group, has said.
In an exclusive interview to Al Arabiya English, he said that astronomy has played a major part in the Arab life in the desert. “We have the sky, the sand and the sea and that’s it. The sky has always been one of the three pillars,” he said.
“In pre-Islamic era, people looked at the skies for its beauty but also to make sense of it. They were finding time with it, finding calendar, finding directions and travelling with it,” he said.
“We, as Muslims, pray with the sun. We have our activities and celebrations with the moon … including even giving the charity,” al-Hariri said adding that it is an integral part of our life system and not an auxiliary thing.
Culture and history
“Muslim civilizations have built observatories, astronomical tables, they have created and modified astro-labs. They created the tools to observe celestial bodies,” al-Hariri said.
According to him, through all these, Muslims have made amazing contributions to scientific methods and paved the methodology. “Almost 70 percent names of the stars today have Arabic names. Lot of people don’t even know that,” he said.
On the phenomenon of flat-earthers movement – a group of people who continue to claim the earth is flat – al-Hariri said it is really strange to see people going back to zero and denying something that has been proven for thousands of years.
However, his challenge to this theory is simple. “I am ready to pay million dollar prize to anybody who can take us to the edge of the earth,” said al-Hariri, adding that there is no scientific basis for such an argument.