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Manual Time in Early Modern Islam

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The prophet Muhammad and the early Islamic community radically redefined the concept of time that they had inherited from earlier religions' beliefs and practices. This new temporal system, based on a lunar calendar and era, was complex and required sophistication and accuracy.

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From the ninth to the sixteenth centuries, it was the Muslim astronomers of the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires who were responsible for the major advances in mathematics, astronomy and astrology. This fascinating study compares the Islamic concept of time, and its historical and cultural significance, across these three great empires. Each empire, while mindful of earlier models, created a new temporal system, fashioning a new solar calendar and era and a new round of rituals and ceremonies from the cultural resources at hand. This book contributes to our understanding of the Muslim temporal system and our appreciation of the influence of Islamic science on the Western world.

Cambridge University Press. In addition, the heavy Persian cultural inluence resulted in the splendid Nau Ruz celebration derived from the pre-Islamic Persian tradition.

Emperor Akbar r. By the early modern period, the Mughal and Safavid empires had abandoned this calendar and introduced one or more solar eras, whereas the Ottomans chose not to do so, although it caused iscal and political crises. For the Mughals, however, the iscal solution was more complicated due to the dense population and cultural diversity. Although each empire responded to these events in its own way, the Safavids provided a common repository of theoretical and human resources.

As Blake states in the Introduction, the substantial political relationship among the empires was strictly limited due to the diiculties of distance. However, we cannot underestimate a fair amount of social and cultural mobility across them.

Medieval & Early Modern Islam

From this standpoint the ifth chapter, which deals with the millenarian movement, could be considered the highlight of the entire book. However, he did not necessarily implement either the timekeeping or the astronomy based upon it. In fact, most of these individuals actually earned their living as astrologers, as Blake states, for in the pre-modern world astrology was often inseparably linked to astronomy as part of the astral sciences. And yet they are rarely represented as munajjim in contemporary sources.

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As Blake also mentions, the muwaqqit i. Istanbul was the principal center of astronomical timekeeping from the sixteenth century onward.

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Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Full of really fascinating history of how the early so-called "gunpowder empires" marked time. On the flipside, the book seemed cobbled together and could've used a better editor. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Stephen P.

Time in Early Modern Islam : Stephen P. Blake :

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