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MONTHLY    *    Vol 14-10 No:166    *   OCTOBER 2000 / RAJJAB 1421H


Arab Scientists
Dying for a Friend
On the World's Longest Ropeway
Fall of the Clone
Behind the Woodcutter's Wife
Food and Hunger
'Name the Places' Contest
Do You Know
Darood (Blessings on Prophet Muhammad)
Results : "Match the Right Answers Contest"
Arab Proverbs
Words from the Quran

Shadow of Latin over

Arab Scientists

Latinised names of Arab and Muslim scientists hide much of Arab contribution to natural sciences

EUROPEAN libraries today preserve the scientific works of nearly 400 scientists who were either Muslims or were produced by the Arab universities of Cairo, Cordoba, Grenada and Baghdad. Since their names have been Latinised, we find it difficult to know the real Arabic names. Entire Europe has benefited from their scholarship and considers it a pride to treasure the knowledge compiled by these men in the medieval ages. Zakaria Razi’s Al-Hawi and Ibne Sina’s Al-Qanoon have been translated in every single European language. Interestingly a large number of people of other faiths also benefitted from the Arab sciences. We find a good many Christian and Jewish scientists. 



Jaber Bin Hayyan  Geber  771-726  Muslim
Zakaria Razi  Rhazes  841-926  Muslim 
Ibne Sina  Avicenna  979-1037  Muslim
Ibne Rushd  Averroes  1126-1199  Muslim
Abul Qasim Zahrawi  Albucasis  936-1009   Muslim
Isa Ibne Ali  Jesu Haly  950-1012  Christian
Ibne Ishaq Alkindi  Alkindus  813-87  Muslim 
Janeen bin Ishaq  Johannitus  807-873  Christian 
Yahya bin Surabi  Serapion Senior  Born 1042  Muslim
Ali Ibne Abbas  Haly Abbas  Died 994  Muslim 
Ibne Nafees  Annafis  Died 1288  Muslim 
Yohana bin Masviya  Janus Damascenus  777-857  Christian 
Ibne Abu Khalid  Algazirah  Died 1004  Muslim 
Masa bin Maimoon  Maimonides  1135-1208  Jew 
Ibne Wafad  Aben Guefit  996-1075  Muslim 
Ibne Baitar  Albetor  Died 1248  Muslim 
Ibne Sarabi  Serapion Junior  Died 1070  Muslim 
Ibne Jibrail  Aveneebrol    Jew 
Ibne Baya  Avempace  Died 1138  Muslim 
Masviya Al-Marandi  Mesue Junior  Died 1015  Muslim 
Ibn-al-Haisham  Alhazen  965-102  Muslim 
Al-Farabi   Alpharbius  Died 950  Muslim
Al-Tabari  Altair  822-899  Muslim 
Ibne Zohair   Avenzoar  1091-1162  Muslim
Masha Allah  Macellama  Died 806  Muslim 
Ibne Sina Albatani  Albatenius  Died 806  Muslim 
Ibne Yahya Zaqali  Arzachel  1029-1087  Muslim 
Abul Aali Zahar  Alguazir  Died 1130  Muslim 
Abu Yaqub Ishaq  Isaac Judaeus  850-941  Jew 
Abu Abbas Farghani  Afraganus  Died 882  Muslim

After 13th century Muslims interest in sciences declined drastically. And later centuries produced no Muslim scientist worth the name. Muslims became traditional in their approach rather than being creative. They began to follow others instead of taking lead. They began to go into the grammar and language of science rather than pursuing new ideas.


Dying for a Friend

THIS is a story of two great friends who lived long ago in Syracuse, by name Phintias and Damon. They loved each other very much.

In those olden days, Syracuse was ruled by a cruel king called Dionysius. No one in the kingdom dared to utter a word against this King, for if they did, they were mercilessly put to death.

One day Phintias was sentenced to death as he had been heard speaking against the king, but he managed to obtain permission to go to a neighbouring city to pay the last visit to his family provided that Damon, his bosom friend would remain in his custody. Damon gladly agreed and remained in prison while Phintias set off to his family.

Finally, when the day of execution arrived, the amphitheatre was full of people. But Phintias had not returned from the city. Damon calmly mounted the gallows, extremely happy to offer his life for the sake of his friend. There were tears in the eyes of the people for they were touched to see the love of this great friend.

Just when the executioner lifted his arm, there was a great roar from the crowd; “It’s Phintias! He’s come at last!” Phintias panted and pushed his way through the crowd. “Thank God I am not too late”, he said. But Damon would not agree to come down from the gallows. Each friend insisted on dying for his companion. Everyone was greatly moved and so was the king Dionysius. The people started to request for a pardon. Dionysius gladly granted Phintias pardon and set him free. This is what true friendship is.

Mohd. Imran Khan, Mysore.



On the World's Longest Ropeway

Text and Pics by Maqbool Ahmed Siraj

Sandia TramwayTHIS Sandia mountain in the United States of America has the longest cable car ropeway. It is 2.7 miles long. It travels at a height of 10,378 feet above ground between two hills.

But let us first know what a cable car and the ropeway is all about. Cable cars are used for travelling in hilly areas. They travel hanging on steel ropes, which are fixed on two sides on the hills. Travelling on cable cars is both fun and adventure. Fun because it is a totally new experience. Adventure because it is risky. One travels suspended in the air and over dangerous hills.

Travelling on the world’s longest ropeway in the Sandia Mountains is therefore a great experience. Sandia Mountains are located near the city of Albuquerque in the New Mexico State. (Find out in the US map). The foothills can be reached by a 10-mile drive from the city. The cable car takes a start from the ground station and is winched into the skies and takes the passengers to Sandia Peak at a height of 10,378 feet. The car carries nearly 50 people. As the car lifts into the sky, one can have a view of 11,000 square mile area below. The ground station is almost sandy. But as the car moves, canyons, rugged hills, and lush forests come into the view.

Sandia TramwayAs the car moves from the ground station, its pairing car from the other side too starts moving. First it appears just like a speck and slowly snowballs. The passengers wave hands at returnees as the two cross the mid-point. Blood curdles in veins when a guide informs that the bottom of the car would hit the rocks below in seven second if the wires were to snap (God forbid!). Prayers come out spontaneously. Once on the top of the Sandia Peak, the car comes to a halt to be welcomed by whiffs of crisp breeze. A number of hotels and eateries such as the US Forest Service Centre, or Fire House offer pizzas, burgers, pies, ice cream and coffee.

The Sandia Peak Ropeway is an engineering marvel. If ever you have an opportunity to visit the New Mexico state in the US, do not miss this elevating experience.


Fall of the Clone

Fear that cloning can produce exact copies of human beings are as yet not proven by experiments, says

Dr. Aslam Parvaiz

CLONING made Dolly the sheep, an international superstar. Roslin Institute in the U.K. made history in 1997 when it announced the creation of Dolly, the first mammal to have been cloned from an adult cell. The discovery led to speculation about human clonning and the possibility of dictators continuing in power indefinitely through their look alikes. Interestingly, a Hollywood film Boys from Brazil, portrayed such a possibility with Hitler clones created around the world by Nazi scientists. As many science fictions of the past have become a reality today, people thought that perhaps the day is not far when they would be able to get their “copies”. However, with the passage of time, the picture does not appear to be so rosy. In fact within a period of three years researchers have concluded that the cloning technology would never be able to produce identical humans. Interestingly, the experiment, which put the last nail in the coffin of human cloning, was also performed at the Roslin Institute. In this experiment four genetically similar nuclei were taken from a single sheep and inserted into four different egg cells. These eggs produced four sheep which were genetically identical i.e., they have exactly the same genes in their bodies and hence were clones of the sheep from which the nuclei were taken out. Much to the dismay of Prof. Keith Campbell who headed this project, these sheep grew up with marked differences in their appearance and behaviour. He found that animals had increasingly diverged from one another with age. They look similar, as sheep from the same breed do, but were not exact copies. They developed into different sizes and temperaments - suggesting that any human who tried to recreate himself would fail.

Why this failure? The genes which every living organism inherits from its parents are “expressed” during the course of its development. This “expression” of genes always depends on environment i.e., the conditions under which a sibling is developed. For example, a new born human baby in Tamil Nadu, grows up learning Tamil culture and language. If the same baby, with same “Tamil” genes, is brought to Karnataka, it would grow into a Kannada speaking person quite at ease in Kannada culture. What we learn is that the role of environment is significant. This role of environment in the growth of an individual was ignored by cloning scientists when the first issue came to light three years ago.

Secondly, each cell, including the gametes which fuse to create new individual, is made up of nucleus, which contains chromosomes (bearing genes) and protoplasm a jellly like mass with a number of other cell orgaelles. During clonning a nucleus from a ‘donor’ is transferred to a “host” egg and it is assumed that as the characters of the individual are controlled by chromosomes, the “clone” should have characters of “donor” only which has contributed its genes through the nucleus. However, the protoplasm of the egg also influnces the development of genes contained in the nucleus. This “extra-chromosomal” influence changes the individual and makes it different from “donor”.

In fact after his failure, Dr. Campbell has mentioned this factor and has commented that the identical nuclei were kept into egg cells taken from different female sheep. The contents or protoplasm of those eggs would have interacted differently into these nuclei. Though these reasons would unfold gradually, one thing is certain that as yet we are far away from an age of human clones. The brave new world have to wait a little longer.


Behind the Woodcutter's Wife

Dr. S. A. Zahir

HAZRAT Fathima Zahra was Prophet Muhammad’s (Pbuh) most loving daughter. She used to help out the Holy Prophet in most of her daily affairs. She had this feeling that she should be the first woman to enter the paradise. However, she had a grain of doubt. Unless the Prophet himself assured her, she would not believe it. She was eagerly awaiting for an opportunity to know the reality from her father.

One day finally when they were chatting together and both were in high spirits, she could not resist her eagerness any more and enquired from her father as to who would be the first lady to enter the heavens. The Prophet (Pbuh) was perplexed and was in two minds whether to disclose the truth. Finally he revealed the fact that one woman, wife of a woodcutter and living close by would be the one to enter the paradise first. Hazrat Fathima was shocked and was almost in tears. But Prophet (Pbuh) consoled and sympathised with her and asked her to visit the woman at the earliest.

The very next day Hazrat Fathima visited her, not only to chat with her but also to assess her and to find out as to in what ways she (woodcutter’s wife) was superior to herself. She knocked on the door. Hearing a female voice, the wife, without opening the door, enquired as to who she was. Hazrat Fathima replied that she was so and so and the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). Immediately the wife replied, I am sorry I cannot admit you since I have not taken permission from my husband. I would suggest you to come tomorrow, by that time I would take permission from my husband.

The next day almost the same time, Hazrat Fathima intentionally carried her kid Hassan with her and knocked at the door. When asked as to who she was, Hazrat Fathima replied that she was so and so and she was accompanied with her kid Hassan. Promptly came the reply that I am sorry my husband had permitted to let in only yourself and how can I admit two of you, so it is better you come tomorrow.

The next day Hazrat Fathima accompanied by two of her kids Hassan and Hussain, visited the wife and knocked at the door and requested the women to open the door and that she is accompanied by two of her kids. The woodcutter’s wife was jubilant and opened the door instantly saying that her husband has permitted her to open the door to anyone and any member from the Prophet’s family and it is a great honour for her. They sat together and chatted for sometime and during that process Hazrat Fathima was able to glean the various humane and Islamic qualities in the woman. Hazrat Fathima was very much satisfied with all that she noticed and returned home to report the matter to her father.

He said to Hazrat Fathima that when you enter the heavens through the main gate riding on a horse, you will find that woodcutter’s wife is holding the reins of the horse in front of you. That means the woodcutter’s wife will be the first woman to enter the heaven.


Food and Hunger

  • More than 99 per cent of the world’s food supply comes from the farms.

  • Among the many crops cultivated, grains provide at least 80 per cent of the food worldwide.

  • Just three crops - wheat, rice, and corn(maize) constitute the main grain production.

  • Changes are taking place in the nature of food consumption. More people who are moving to towns and cities now prefer meat as a source of energy. So the foodgrains are fed to animals to produce meat. While the world’s population has doubled in the past 50 years, the meat consumption has grown four fold.

  • World’s population is growing by 230,000 persons each day. So the hunger for food too is growing.

  • Thirty years ago, according to the UN, the global food supply was 2,360 calories per person per day. (Remember a person requires 2,400 calories a day for normal healthy living.) But by 1995, total food supply had increased to 2,740 calories per person per day. Food experts estimate that the food supply will continue to grow by 2010.

  • The above figures relate to the average availability in the world. But situation is not ideal every where. 20 per cent of the developing world’s population gets less food than it requires. 30 years ago the situation was still worse as twice as many people were not getting proper quantity of food. What we therefore realize is that production is not the problem. It is distribution that is not fair.

  • While 70 per cent of India’s population is engaged in farming, in Canada three per cent people do the farming. In the US, even less proportion of people grow food that is far more than the country’s needs. This situation has led to overnutrition in a few countries of the world.

    Source: Compiled from National Geographic, Millennium Supplement on Population, October 1998


    'Name the Places' Contest

    Islamic Voice October 2000

    GIVEN below are a few clues. All you have to do is to write the names of the places they denote. As a help the number of letters the answer would have, are given in brackets at the end of each clue.

    1. Eskimos belong to this region (6)
    2. Indian state called the land of the five rivers (6)
    3. Bigger of the two countries known as the Down Under (9)
    4. Sonia Gandhi won her Lok Sabha sabha seat from here (6)
    5. The Big Ben Clock is located in this city (6)
    6. Architect Le Corbusier planned this Indian city (10)
    7. The country that colonised Goa (8)
    8. Place in Bihar, the site of ancient university (7)
    9. The Holy Land for Muslims, Christian and Jews (9)
    10. The Pink City of India (6)
    11. The Holy city for Hindus situated in Andhra Pradesh (8)
    12. The Japanese city where the US dropped its first atomic bomb (9)
    13. The southernmost tip on the Indian territory (11)
    14. The island divided by Turkish forces into Greek and Turkish parts (6)
    15. The sea encircled by land on all sides with narrow passages into the Atlantic and the Red Sea (13)
  • Send your entries with the duly filled coupon appearing on this page. Write your name, address, class, age and school name alongside the answers. First all-correct entry would be given Rs. 300 while three subsequent correct entries would be presented with a children’s story book. Last date for arrival of entries in our office is October 25, 2000. Wishing you good luck!


    Do You Know

    What is Religion?

    • Once a man came to the Prophet (Pbuh) and said:
    • O messenger of Allah, what is religion?
    • He replied: Good Conduct.
    • Then he came to his front and asked: O Messenger of
    • Allah, what is religion?
    • He replied: Good Conduct.
    • Then he came to his left side and asked: what is religion?
    • He replied: Good Conduct.
    • Then he came to his back side and asked the same question and
    • He replied: Good Conduct.
    • Then he said looking at him: Not to be angry is good conduct.
    • The Prophet was asked: What is misfortune?
    • He said: Bad Conduct.


    Darood (Blessings on Prophet Muhammad)

    Allahumma Salli A’laa Syedina Muhammadin, wa A’laa Aali Syedina Muhammadin wa barik wa sallim.

    The Prophet, said : If anyone invokes blessings upon me once, Allah will bestow blessings upon him ten times over (Muslim).

    The people nearest to me on the day of judgment will be the ones most consciously invoke blessing upon me. (Tirmizi).

    ‘A messenger of Allah, mighty and glorified, came to me and said, “if anyone from your ummah sends you a salutation, Allah will record for him ten good deeds, wipe off ten of his sins, and raise him there by ten degrees in rank, and he will return his salutation with a similar salutation’’.’ (Reported by Ibn Kathir).

    Results : "Match the Right Answers Contest"

    September 2000

    THERE was a deluge of response for the September contest . Here are the results :

      Address : Behind Iqbal Girls High School,
      Hayat Ni Wadi, Godhra,
      Panch Mahal District, Gujarat.

    has been adjudged the winner of Rs. 300 among the all-correct entries received by the Islamic Voice .

    Five others whose entries were selected for presenting a story book are :

    1. Adnan-ul-Haq, Khamgaon;
    2. Shoukath Hayath, Guntakal;
    3. Saba Fathima, Mysore;
    4. Vinutha Patel, Davangere;
    5. M. Vasila, Chennai.


    Arab Proverbs

    idha kathira ar-rababina gharigat as-safina
    Too many captains sink the ship
    Too many cooks spoil the broth
    Courtesy : Primrose Arnander & Ashkhain Skipwith, Stacey International, London.


    Words from the Quran

    Dr.Hasanuddin Ahmed

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