In the Islamic history, we find various influential personalities, who have contributed immensely to the discipline of mathematics and science. One such influential name is Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. He was born in the 1201 CE, in Tus, which lies close to Meshed in north-eastern Iran. He was educated mainly at a religious establishment, which was supplemented by other subjects taught by his uncle.
Throughout his life, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi focused on such subjects as logic, physics and mathematics. At an early age, he moved to Nishapur, where he studied philosophy, medicine and mathematics. While in Nishapur, he gained the reputation of being an outstanding scholar and became well-known throughout the area.
He wrote a major astronomical treatise called, “Memoir on Astronomy.” In this book, he described a new model of lunar motion, and an invention of new geometric technique called “Tusi-couple” which generated linear motion from the sum of two circular motions. This technique was widely used by all the later astronomers including Copernicus.
One of al-Tusi’s most important mathematical contributions was the creation of trigonometry as a mathematical discipline in its own right, rather than just a tool for astronomical applications.
Al-Tusi wrote extensively on the subject of biology, and he was one of the first to advance the theory of biological evolution. He gave an explanation and argument to say that plants, then animals and then humans evolved; he also argued that heredity and variability were important factors for biological evolution. He gave this idea 600 years before Darwin. However, as opposed to Darwin, he presented his idea based on the Islamic philosophy that Allah (swt) created the world and then His creation developed under His guidance.
Al-Tusi was a great astronomer and mathematician, who also made contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, biology, philosophy, medicine and theology.
Writer’s email: Aslamsyed1@yahoo.com
A Japanese Muslim on a Mission
Discovering Islam thousands of miles away from his home, a Japanese Muslim has devoted his life to spread the correct Islamic teachings and present the true image of Islam to his fellow citizens. Shimoyama Shigeru, a Japanese Muslim who works at Tokyo Camii Masjid and Turkish Culture Center, first came to know about Islam during his journey to Sudan as a young university student. There, he met different people who flooded him with hospitality though they did not understand a word of what he said. “The Africans I met were Muslims, and their hospitality made a deep impression on me,” he said. “I was surprised to learn later that their kindness came from Islamic teachings.” Returning to Japan, Shigeru met an Iraqi student at the University of Tokyo who gave him the final push he needed to revert to Islam. “I want to do whatever I can to clear up some of the misunderstandings Japanese people have about Islam and convey a correct understanding of the religion to as many people as possible,” he said.
Saudis Urge Hajj Delay Over Expansions
Saudi Arabia is restricting the number of pilgrims for this year’s Hajj over ongoing expansions at Makkah, amid appeals to the faithful to postpone the spiritual journey. The numbers of overseas pilgrims will be reduced by 20 percent. Saudi officials say the cuts aim to avoid stampedes during Hajj and ensure the safety of the Muslim pilgrims. Saudi Arabia is currently working to expand the two holy Masajid in Makkah to accommodate more pilgrims in the coming years. Approved by King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz in 2011, the latest expansion would cover an area of 400,000 sq. meters to accommodate 1.2 million worshippers.