Monday, July 6, 2009

Muslim Invention - Glider 900 AD

852 - [aviation, flight] Abbas Ibn Firnas (Armen Firman) made the first successful parachute fall using a huge wing-like cloak to break his fall, near Cardoba, Spain.

Marvels of Muslim Science & Technology at:

Marvels of Muslim scientists on display
Display shows contributions to astronomy, math and science

Copyright 2009 Houston Chonicle
July 4, 2009, 9:25PM

In the annals of aviation history, names such as the Wright brothers, Charles Lindbergh or Chuck Yeager come to mind. But what about Abbas Ibn Firnas?

Very few people know that this Muslim scholar tied himself to a feathered glider in Cordoba, Spain, in the ninth century and took the first piloted flight in history.

John H. Lienhard, a professor at the department of mechanical engineering and history at The University of Houston, acknowledges this flight in his award-winning work The Engines of Our Ingenuity.

A model of this flying machine is on display among many other artifacts at the exhibition Sultans of Science: 1,000 Years of Knowledge Rediscovered, at the Islamic Da’wah Center in Houston through Sept. 7.

The exhibit, which debuted last week, honors contributions of Muslim scientists from the eighth century to the 18th century, known as the Golden Era of the Islamic World.

It focuses on disciplines such as art, astronomy, inventions, optical sciences, mathematics and architecture.

Hands-on exhibits
The exhibition offers hands-on activities, re- created models of engineering tools and interactive maps that take visitors back to the medieval ages.

Visitors can grip a pulse sensor to see their heartbeats displayed against the backdrop of Ibn Nafi’s diagram of the human circulatory system. Or they can use a replica of the Islamic quadrant to measure the angle between two stars.

The cluster on optics showcases works of 10th-century Muslim physicist Al-Haytham, who invented the pinhole camera and discovered how the eye works. Visitors can conduct experiments at Al-Haytham’s optical laboratory using convex and concave lenses, prisms and the model of the camera he invented.

Another attraction is the model of the elephant clock designed by Muslim engineer Al-Jazari. This was the first clock that employed the flow of water to regulate timekeeping.

“We knew this nonreligious exhibit would attract people of Houston for its self-guided and non-imposing nature,” said Ameer Abuhalimeh, executive director of the Islamic Da’wah Center.

He said the exhibit was designed to increase awareness of Muslims’ contributions to fields of learning and highlight the importance of building bridges between civilizations.

Film also showing
The exhibition is owned by MTE Studios, based in Cape Town and Dubai, which designed Ibn Battuta Mall, a thematic shopping mall in Dubai. The exhibits at the center are small replicas of ones on display at that mall.

Ibn Battuta was a Muslim explorer from Morocco who traveled 75,000 miles and visited 40 countries in 28 years. The explorers section of the exhibition tells the story of this man.

Abuhalimeh said that to complement the exhibition, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is showing the IMAX film Journey to Mecca, a documentary based on Battuta’s travels.

Joanne Herring King, a member of the exhibition committee, said she hopes this event acquaints people with the works of good Muslims. King said there are good and bad people in every religion. “But all the nice work by good people gets obscured in the smoke of war generated by the bad ones,” she said.

She said she had special interest in the Muslim world, as she had served both Pakistan and Morocco as their honorary consul general in Houston.

Check this out - flying in Norway in similar suits in 2009 -


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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.