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Islam - History, Value, Cultures




Calculated the time needed for one rotation around the sun (solar year), with

an error of 2’ 22” only (Albattani)

Calculated the equinoxes

Current names of most constellations, and many stars are from Arabic

Some known astronomists:

Alkindy (9th Century)

Albattani (9th Century)

Ibn-elhaytham (11th Century)

Thabit Ibn Qarra


Slide 34

Sunni and Shiha

Sunni and Shiha


90% of Muslims

Follow the Quran and the Hadeeth as we have them today,

and as interpreted by the Sunni scholars


Came to be as a sect after 680 A.D.

Believe in the Quran and Hadeeth, like Sunni

However, they place Ali very high as a holy figure, and think ‘main stream’

Islam discriminated against him

Today Shiah is mainly in Iran (90%), Iraq (55%) and Lebanon (~40%)

Slide 35

Important Holidays

Important Holidays

Al-adhaa (the sacrifice)

Symbolizes Abraham attempt to sacrifice his son Ishmael by God’s request.

Should sacrifice an animal and give the food to the poor.

The pilgrimage to Mecca


Observed at the end of the holy month of Ramadan (the fasting month)

The Islamic New Year

Yr 1, Islamic calendar = 622 A.D.

Alisraa Walmaaraj

Symbolizes the ascending, in Jerusalem, of Mohammed's soul to heaven

The Birthday of Muhammad

Ashuraa day (Shiha only)

Slide 36

Islam Today

Islam Today

1.3 Billion worldwide, three continents

0.3 Billion Arabs

Indonesia (200 M) > India (180 M) > Pakistan (160 M) > Bangladesh (120 M) >

China (80 M) > Egypt (70 M)

There are about 20 M Christian Arabs

Egypt > Syria > Lebanon > Palestine > Iraq

About 7 M Muslims in the USA, 3-4 M are Arabs

Roughly half of the Arab Americans are Christians

Slide 37

Arab Americans

Arab Americans

Farouq Elbaz (Egypt), NASA, the moon mission

Ahmed H. Zewail (Egypt) Winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry,

Cal. Tech.

Saleh Wakeel (Iraq), member of the Nat’l Acad. Sci., Biochemistry

Qais Elawqati (Iraq), member of the Nat’l Acad. Sci., Microbiology

Majdi Yacub, first open heart surgery

Michael Debakee (Lebanon), chief cardiologist of the White House

Ralph Nader (Lebanon), consumer advocate, Green Party founder,

and 2000 presidential candidate

John Sununu (Palestine), White House Ex-Chief of Staff

John Sununu JR., current state governor

Donna E. Shalala (Lebanon), Ex secretary of HHS

Helen Thomas, Ex dean of the White House press corps.

Edward Attiyeh (Syria), Ex governor of OR

Spencer Abraham (Lebanon), Secretary of Energy

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