All posts tagged Islam


By Islam El Shazly

Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Abdullah Al-Idrisi, also known as AsShareef Al-Idrisi, was one of the greatest geographers and cartographers in the 12th century CE, if not the top geographer of his time, one whose capacity at visualising and putting into words what the world looked like was not matched by any contemporary mind in Europe where he resided at the court of King Roger II of Sicily. His book, Nuzhat al-Mushtaq, would live on inspiring countless future explorers from Ibn Battuta to Marco Polo.
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By Islam El Shazly

Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi, not a lot is known about his life as a whole, well, except the little fact that he founded Algebra, and introduced the Zero and the Arabic numerals to the world. But he was more than that; he was a mathematician, an astronomer, a geographer, and a cartographer, and he has done a lot more than solve quadratic equations.

Al-Khwarizmi, was born in Khwarizm – Khiva – around 780 CE (164 AH) in modern day Uzbekistan, back then it was part of Greater Khorasan within Persia. He moved with his family to Baghdad, the centre of knowledge and learning in an age that is now known as the Golden Age of Islam, there he would rise in the ranks and eventually be at the head of the House of Wisdom. Read more…


By Islam El Shazly

There has been lots of talk recently in Egypt about tourism, now that the Islamists have come to power in the parliament. Are they going to ban tourism? What’s to become of the 5 million people employed in the industry? What about the alcohol and the gambling and the bikinis?

As with everything in life there are etiquettes to travel and tourism within Islam, these etiquettes are there not to govern or dictate the way we should enjoy ourselves, but rather to temper it. Away from home and being among strangers gives a false sense of freedom to people, and makes them do things that they would otherwise never think of doing in their homeland; non-smokers become smokers, non-drinkers might indulge in a beer or two, and even if they make a different country their own, they are likely to take on jobs that they would normally sneer at home, like driving a taxi. Read more…


The flag of Tunisia. By gablackburn, Flickr.

By Islam El Shazly

Since Tunisia gained independence from France and it has been known all over the world as a beacon of freedom and economic stability in the Arab world; it was more liberal than Lebanon and with a stability that Lebanon cannot achieve in the near future.

But that was an illusion, the “freedom” that Tunisia enjoyed was not real. The stability it revelled in masked a different reality. When France moved out, they left behind a group of people bred to rule in favour of their masters in Paris. Read more…


Ramadan Kareem. By Mohamed Youssef.

by Islam El Shazly

Surah Al Baqarah (the Cow) 02: 183 O you who believe! Observing the fast is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become pious.

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar; the traditional definition of the month is abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity during the day (from dawn), and breaking the fast each sunset. Muslims are encouraged to read/recite the entire Quran as much as possible and contemplate on its meaning, to give freely to those in need, and strengthen their ties to Allah through more voluntary prayer than regular. The goal of the fast is to teach humility, patience and sacrifice, and to ask forgiveness, practice self-restraint, and pray for guidance in the future. Read more…


Camel Caravan

The caravan passes. A Camel Caravan from Somalia, photographed on the beach in Kenya. © alles-schlumpf

by Islam El Shazly

For as far back as the human memory can travel in time, there has always been explorers and exploration. Had there been no curiosity about what lay behind the walls of the village or the entrance to a cave, civilisations would have never emerged and we would not be where we are.

Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it did wonders for the children of Adam.

The world knows of Christopher Columbus, Magellan, Cook, and da Gama, but there are lots more, just look at the Wikipedia page for Explorers and you will realize just how many there has been throughout the ages. Read more…


The Loss of Freedom. Courtesy of Aidan McManus, Flickr.

by Islam El Shazly


France, Star Vega, May 21, 2010

Arab countries’ leaders from the Atlantic to the Gulf call the French president Nicolas Sarkozy and demand he shuts down the Cannes Film Festival, the French Riviera, and the collective district of Paris for being anti-Islamic and anti Semitic. The French President jumps at the command and orders the military to descend on the aforementioned areas and arrest everyone in them in preparation to banishing them to the mines for being un-French and rude. The Arab world also puts a ban on anything hyphenated with French-.

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