Archive for June, 2006

When the Moors Ruled Europe

June 22nd, 2006

An extraordinary Channel 4 documentary describes the glorious rule of Muslims in what is now Spain. A forgotten history is remembered. A must see documentary.


Lahore, Faisalabad among others added to Google Earth

June 14th, 2006
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A major upgrade of data to vast areas of Pakistan seems to be in the works by Google for Google Earth. Major cities included in the recent update include most notably Lahore and the Eastern part of Faisalabad. The resolution for these areas is apparently similar, if not on par with that of Karachi and Islamabad. The inclusion of Lahore and Faisalabad completes the top cosmopolitan cities of Pakistan with Karachi and Islamabad already been covered. For people interested in real estate in these major cities this update is greately helpful.

Other areas at first seem to be picked at random but everything seems to fall in place when one notices that most of the mountainous regions of Balochistan are also included in the update. Jacobabad, Sukkur, Rohri, Rahim yar Khan, Okara, Gujranwala are some of the other cities included too.

I have confirmed this but you may have to install the beta version of Google Earth to be able to view these places. I may be wrong. If you are able to view these places with the older version, please let me know.


Arabic for beginners

June 6th, 2006

Al Qur'an - 12:2

Learning Arabic has always been my wish and a huge regret of mine not having learned it in my youth while I had the chance. I’ve made several half hearted attempts since by taking several formal and semi-formal classes and although now I can understand spoken and written Arabic to some extent, I am nowhere near to be able to converse with someone. To help keep up with what I’ve learned and to improve upon it, I found this great list of resources on the blog musings of a muslimah and I thought I’d share them with you.

If you know of any other resources that I may have missed, please post them in the comments.

[via: musingsofamuslimah]


Qibla Direction using the Sun

June 4th, 2006

The most reliable method to determine the direction of the Qibla is by looking at the Sun. Every year, because of the revolution of the Earth around the Sun and the inclination of the axis of rotation to the Ecliptic, the Sun is directly ABOVE THE KABAH only two times.

  1. May 28 at 9:18 am (GMT) [12:18 pm local Makkah time], and
  2. Jul 15 at 9:27 am (GMT) [12:27 pm local Makkah time].

Similarly, the Sun is BELOW THE KABAH (in Makkah) only two times.

  1. Jan 13 at 9:29 pm (GMT) [00:29 am local Makkah time], and
  2. Nov 28 at 9:09 pm (GMT) [00:09 am local Makkah time].

The direction toward the Kabah can be easily determined by finding the direction towards (or away from) the Sun at the instants when the Sun is ABOVE (or BELOW) the KABAH.

The Qibla direction would be TOWARDS THE SUN, at the instant WHEN THE SUN IS ABOVE THE KABAH. The Qibla direction would be AWAY FROM THE SUN, (in the direction of the SHADOW of a vertical rod) at the instant WHEN THE SUN IS BELOW THE KABAH.

The only obvious requirement is that the Sun should be visible at that instant. Nearly half of the world would be able to see the Sun at these times. The other countries would not be able to see the Sun, because the Sun would be below their local horizon, at those times.
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Seven people

June 2nd, 2006
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Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “Allah will give shade, to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His. (These seven persons are)

  1. a just ruler,
  2. a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah (i.e. worships Allah sincerely from childhood),
  3. a man whose heart is attached to the mosques (i.e. to pray the compulsory prayers in the mosque in congregation),
  4. two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only,
  5. a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says: I am afraid of Allah,
  6. a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity),
  7. and a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears.”

Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 11, Number 629


Gmail in Arabic

June 1st, 2006
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Google has quietly added support for two new languages, Arabic and Hebrew, a couple of days ago. They really seem poised to take over the web based email service catering to 40 different languages. They have specifically been targeting the arabic speaking world first adding arabic to english and english to arabic translation services and now arabic in gmail.