Friday, July 20, 2007

224)"Ibn al-Haytham:First Scientist", written by award-winning prolific author, poet, lyricist Bradley Steffens, is featured on Ismaili Mail website.

The Ismaili Mail website recently posted an article on California author Bradley Steffens and his most recent book, "Ibn al-Haytham:First Scientist":

Born in Basra in 965, Ibn al-Haytham was the first person to test hypotheses with verifiable experiments, developing the modern scientific method more than two hundred years before European scholars learned of it—by reading his books.

To test his hypothesis that “lights and colors do not blend in the air,” for example, Ibn al-Haytham devised the world’s first camera obscura, observed what happened when light rays intersected at its aperture, and recorded the results in what would become Kitab al Manazir (Book of Optics). Ibn al-Haytham conducted this and other experiments investigating the properties of light during a ten-year period when he was stripped of his possessions and imprisoned as a madman in Cairo.

How Ibn al-Haytham came to be in Egypt, why he was judged insane, and how his discoveries launched the scientific revolution are just some of the questions answered in Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist, the world’s first biography of the Muslim scholar known in the West as Alhazen or Alhacen.

Abdul Jabbar Al-Shammari, the director of the Ibn al-Haitham Center for Science and Technology in Amman, Jordan, writes: “I enjoyed reading about the events in the life of our scientist, Ibn al-Haitham. I congratulate you on writing a fantastic and accurate book.”

E. Salik of Los Angeles writes: “I recently read Steffens’ book on Ibn al-Haytham. This is one of the best books I have ever read. His comments on historical data are commended.”

Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist by award-winning author Bradley Steffens can be yours for just US $20.96. You save 25% off the cover price of $27.95. Click here to order.

I introduced Bradley Steffens to my readership after he sent me an e-mail informing me about his new book on this illustrious Muslim scientist, whom he claims was the real pioneer of the Scientific Method, the bedrock principle under which all scientific research has been conducted since the onset of the European Renaissance:

Interestingly Mowlana Hazar Imam, Aga Khan IV, has this to say about the "spirit of disciplined, objective enquiry", "independent thinking" and engaging "both orthodox and unorthodox ideas, seeking truth and understanding wherever they may be found":

The truth, as the famous Islamic scholars repeatedly told their students, is that the spirit of disciplined, objective enquiry is the property of no single culture, but of all humanity. To quote the great physician and philosopher, Ibn Sina: "My profession is to forever journeying, to travel about the universe so that I may know all its conditions." (Aga Khan IV, Speech, 16 March 1983, Karachi, Pakistan)

An institution dedicated to proceeding beyond known limits must be committed to independent thinking. In a university scholars engage both orthodox and unorthodox ideas, seeking truth and understanding wherever they may be found. That process is often facilitated by an independent governance structure, which serves to ensure that the university adheres to its fundamental mission and is not pressured to compromise its work for short-term advantage. For a Muslim university it is appropriate to see learning and knowledge as a continuing acknowledgement of Allah's magnificence.(Aga Khan IV, Speech, 1993, Aga Khan University)


Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation:Aga Khan 4(2006)
The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being:Aga Khan 3(1952)
Our interpretation of Islam places enormous value on knowledge. Knowledge is the reflection of faith if it is used properly. Seek out that knowledge and use it properly:Aga Khan 4(2005)