Reading Māshā’allāh : Sassanian Ayanamsa

Before we begin, I would like to make it abundantly clear that it is not my intention to replace the chart we have for the foundation of Baghdad  The data, but not the chart, came down to us from a venerable source  What I would like to do, however, is to explore what happens when […]

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Mercury : The Hypocritical Planet?

This article is little more than a footnote that concerns an intriguing passage I had the good fortune to read while perusing a publication of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1997) : Following the Stars: Images of the Zodiac in Islamic Art by Stefano Carboni.  The book is out of print, but you can find a digital version @ […]

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Astrology in Islam

It is He Who maketh the stars (as beacons) for you, that ye may guide yourselves, with their help, through the dark spaces of land and sea: We detail Our signs for people who know. (Surah Al-An‘am, 97) If you were to conduct a search on the subject of Islam and Astrology, you find several […]

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Commentary on Averrores – BBC

Abū l-Walīd Muḥammad Ibn ʾAḥmad Ibn Rushd‎ (Latinized as Averroes), lived from 14 April 1126 – 10 December 1198. He was a Medieval Andalusian polymath who wrote profusely on logic, Aristotelian and Islamic philosophy, theology, the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence,  psychology, political and Andalusian classical music theory, geography and mathematics, Averroes is of great importance in Islamic philosophy for multiple reasons. He argued for the reconciliation of reason with revealed […]

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Isra and Mi’raj in the Zubdat-al Tawarikh

First and foremost, I’m fascinated that a book on the natural world is prefaced with a painting of how that world is both sustained and came into being. The Celestial Map or Macrocosm above is the opening miniature in the Turkish Zubdat al Tawarikh or History of the World commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan Murad III. […]

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Magic and the Occult in Islam: Ahmad al-Buni

What follows is a very fine lecture by Saiyad Nizamuddin Ahmad (Department of Arabic and Islamic Civilizations, American University in Cairo) delivered at the Warburg Institute, University of London, May 2003. This is an important lecture in its own right, but I’m also posting this as an introduction to my next post, regarding the decoding […]

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Venus & the Cube in Arabian Cosmology

When we read the works of astrologers from other times and cultures we tend to feel we have a lot in common with them. For example, it is natural to assume that Venus must have much the same qualities and associations in our cultural tradition as she does in others Some accommodations are made, but […]

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