I just finished reading the late Stephen Hawking’s best seller “A Brief History of Time”. What a treat that book was! I totally recommend it, if you’re into science, specially physics, chemistry and mathematics. Although you don’t need to know or understand all of the science behind it to appreciate it, it does help. I don’t claim to understand everything he’s written there or agree with everything he put forth, but it was still a treat for the good old brain. It was probably the best book on such mind (and space/time) bending concepts as Einstein’s General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. And if you are at all interested in the mysteries of time travel, black holes and the origins of the universe, among other things!
I started reading Dr. Israr Ahmed’s (may Allah have mercy on his soul) book Allama Iqbal Aur Hum (which is in Urdu) but I found it to be a bit too advanced in the language it was written it. It was Urdu interspersed with Persian on some pages. I found a recorded video lecture on YouTube where Dr Israr is explaining the book! I’m going to watch that first and attempt to read the book again.
I’m now starting to read another book “How to Approach and Understand the Quran” by one of my favorite authors and scholars of Islam (Sheikh) Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo. I have actually met the Sheikh a couple of times as well and sat in one of his classes. I have also read another book of his, “Commentary on the Forty Hadith of Al-Nawawi” (two volumes) which was the required text for two semesters in my BA in Islamic Studies, Alhamdulillah. I can’t wait to start the book. InshaaAllah I’ll write about it after I finish reading it.
I found these videos depicting the model of our solar system in the Milky Way galaxy amazing. Fascinating to see the motion of the planets around the sun and the sun’s own motion through the galaxy. It’s hard to say how accurate this model is. Still it’s pretty awesome. SubhaanAllah!
I’ve always been interested in Science in general but specially so with Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy. My interest in these areas were recently reawakened by a book I’d long wanted to read: A Brief History of Time by the late Stephen Hawking (read my other blog entry about that book here). What a fascinating book that was. It’s surprising that life throws so much at you that you forget what you’re passionate about it put what really fascinates you aside for so many years. Doesn’t resonate with you? Maybe it’s just me then 🙂 I’ll likely start writing more about Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy more now as I’m reading more about those topic areas now. Obviously my other interest areas are the Quran & Hadith, Computers & Programming (and most recently Data Science, Machine Learning & AI) and Languages (particularly in love with Arabic (for most of my life), Persian (because of their beautiful art movies and books of poetry), Turkish (because of Ertugrul and German & Dutch just because). Did you know I took a course in Linguistics in college and enjoyed it immensely.
Here are a few of the verses from the Quran relevant to astronomy:
O company of jinn and mankind, if you are able to pass beyond the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass. You will not pass except by authority [from Allah ]. [Surah Ar-Rahman, Verse 33, Al-Quran] (https://quran.com/55/33?translations=20)
It is not allowable for the sun to reach the moon, nor does the night overtake the day, but each, in an orbit, is swimming. [Surah Yaseen – Verse 40, Al-Quran] (https://quran.com/36/40?translations=20)
Then I swear by the setting of the stars, [Surah Al-Waqiah, Verse 75, Al-Quran] (https://quran.com/56/75?translations=20)
I have long been fascinated with the exploratory spacecrafts sent into space by NASA some 37 years ago. Human beings do not have much capacity to travel in space as we are dependent on so many things on this planet, including the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the food we need to consume and the temperature that must be maintained constantly for us to survive. Still the desire to discover what lies beyond the solar system remains. Both the energy required for us to travel on such a journey and the sheer time that the travel takes, is formidable. For now we have to rely on the spacecrafts: Voyager 1 and 2.
Voyager 1 entered interstellar space (outside of our solar system) in August 2012. NASA’s web site dedicated to the Voyage of Discovery is pretty detailed: it contains a lot of the images taken by the spacecrafts, among other things.
Voyager is carrying a disc, dubbed the golden record, which contains a sampling of sights and sounds from our planet. The idea behind it carrying data from earth in case it is discovered by some other space explorers far far away. There is a list of all the stuff that’s on the disc on the web site as well. While browsing through it, I found that there is an image of a street scene from Pakistan – complete with rickshaws, taxis, people on bicycles, a woman beggar, a goat and cow sitting on a heap of what looks like garbage, horse carts and a family on a vespa scooter. Isn’t that something?