Three great Muslim inventors
July 09 2015 12:35 AM

INFORMATIVE: The dome cinema shows a documentary on the depth of sea and marine life.

By Umer Nangiana

In the Islamic Golden Age, many Muslim scientists, philosophers and thinkers achieved breakthroughs in scientific research that provided bases for great future inventions.
Three Muslim scientists and inventors, however, stand out among them. They invented mechanisms and tools that unravelled a whole new world of science to mankind. Abbas Ibn Firnas, an Andalusian polymath, an inventor, physician, engineer, musician and Arabic-language poet is reputed to have attempted flight, first time ever and centuries before the famous Wright Brother’s successful attempt in the 20th century.
He designed a water clock called al-Maqata, devised a means of manufacturing colourless glass, invented various glass planispheres, made corrective lenses, devised a chain of rings that could be used to simulate the motions of the planets and stars, and developed a process for cutting rock crystal that allowed Spain to cease exporting quartz to Egypt to be cut. He has a crater ‘Ibn Firnas’ on the Moon named in his honour.
Ibn al-Haytham made significant contributions to the principles of optics, astronomy, mathematics, meteorology, visual perception and the scientific method. In medieval Europe, he was honoured as Ptolemaeus Secundus (Ptolemy the Second) or simply called ‘The Physicist.’
Ibn-e-Sina, a Persian polymath and jurist who is regarded as one of the most significant thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age, is known to have written 450 works on philosophy and medicine.
His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a philosophical and scientific encyclopaedia, and The Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopaedia that became a standard medical text at many medieval universities and remained in use as late as 1650. In 1973, it was reprinted in New York, USA.
You want to know more about them and their stories, and Katara Cultural Complex has interesting and interactive ways of telling you these stories at its Ramadan Festival.
“We have a puppet show happening at Building 5. It is for children. It tells stories about Islamic inventors in an interactive and easy way so that children can learn about history conveniently,” Malika M al-Shraim, the Public Relations and Communications Manager, Katara Cultural Village told Community.
Detailing the three Muslim scientists’ lives, it is one of the many activities taking place at Katara, highlighting the scientific inventions by Muslim scientists through ages and the miracles of the Holy Qur’an.
The puppet show is simulating three different stories, telling about three different well known Muslim scientists including Ibn-e-Sina, Ibn al-Haytham and Abbas Ibn-e- Firnas. There are three different shows starting from 9pm every day at building 5, Katara Art Centre (KAC).
It is a typical puppet show technique where an old man is seen telling stories to a young boy. All stories are customized for the audience here in Arabic, starting from the script to the stage design and the choreography. The puppets are handled by professional artists.
“We are trying to merge all the concepts and stories related to Markaz and inventors and their inventions. It is all centred on one point,” said Malika.
There is a dome cinema in the middle of the amphitheatre at Katara. It runs a documentary detailing the sea world as described in one of the verses of Holy Qur’an. It also has custom designed content, showing images about the marine life and how it is scientifically explained in the Qur’an.
Running all the time starting after Iftar, people can just join and leave it any time.
“It is about the part of Qur’an which talks about the sea or the depth of the sea. We have a video explaining this part of Qur’an. It talks about the depth of the sea. It is a video presentation,” said Malika.
The dome cinema will last till this weekend.

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