Library Chat #12 – Al-Bīrūnī (d. 1048 CE) and The Making of Muslim Civilization
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
Series: Yasir Qadhi – Library Chats
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Bismillah Allahu Allah knew he
sat down while he was while he works with him the Tao salatu salam ala rasulillah who Allah Allah, he was a woman with a hammer. But it's been a while since I've done a library chat. I also have to inform you that a little bit under the weather for the last week, my voice is not going to be as energetic and enthused, as it usually is hamdulillah. It's not COVID related hamdulillah it's just a seasonal flu, we got the tested. So still, I wanted to just do something. It's been a while since I've actually updated my library chats. And also it's a topic that I hope will generate more interest and lead to more research on on all of your parts. Today's library chat is going to be a
typical is going to be different. This is going to be more like Professor Yasser, and not the sheer size of my lectures, you're going to hear
a topic and certain you know, facts and whatnot that typically would not really be taught in an Islamic seminary or numberous has setting and yet still as a part of our heritage or tradition. In other words, today's topic is not Islamic, as much as it is Muslim related. It is regarding one of the greatest minds that our civilization has produced. And that is the famous mind of Abu right Han, Mohammed, Mohammed Al biruni or lb Rooney both of those pronunciations are given. And Alberoni died for 40 higit. Ah, so literally 1000 years ago from now around 1000 plus years ago, corresponding to 1048 C, and I'll be your Rooney for the rest of the lecture. I'll be saying Alberoni, but just
realize some say I'll be Rooney. Alberoni is really one of the most amazing minds that our Islamic civilization, in fact, the world has ever produced. He is truly, perhaps the first of the great polymaths of intellectual sciences in the history of the oma. And as I said, even in global history, he is well known, and his interests are extremely wide and varied. You know, these types of individuals, they no longer exist. Those who can contribute, he contributed in mathematics, in astronomy, in philosophy and linguistics and anthropology and history, his famous famous work on India, which we're going to talk about in a little bit of detail, mineralogy, pharmacology, I mean,
the the disciplines go on and on, he was also a traveler, and he wrote about his travels and journeys as well. And, in fact, some have compared him to Leonardo da Vinci in the Western world that we had Alberoni, you know, 700 years before Da Vinci existed or 500 years before Da Vinci. And he is a person truly that is worthy of much study. Unfortunately, he is under appreciated by many Muslims, they don't even know who he is, they have some have heard of his names and whatnot. But truly, this is a mind that as soon as the first time I heard of him, and of his book about India, I was fascinated by it. And then the more I studied, this is a person that deserves a lot more than
just one lecture, he wrote over 140 books, only around 30 of those survive in our time, some of them are still in manuscript form. And his earliest book, he wrote it when he was 17 years old. And it was his attempt to talk about the calendars of the globe difference into civilizations are using different calendars. He wrote that when he was 17 years old. And he wrote, as I said, over 140, and in fact, his most famous book is about India. And it is printed in over 600 pages. It is also Translated to English by Edward. So how, over 120 years ago, he translated into English, but it's, it's not the best translation, but you can find it free online, you can just Google it. By the way,
there is a valley on the moon named after Al biruni, a crater I should say. And there's also a comet named after al biruni. So his impact is beyond just our civilization, the world scientists, they all know who he is. He also was, excuse me, he was also was the person who was the most accurate in estimating the radius of the earth. And we'll talk about that today. As you all know, today's lecture as well, since the time of the ancient Greeks, no one even came close to Albania. Albania is far more precise, for many, many centuries. So who is this master? literally a mastermind literally, who is this polymath and what do we know about him? And what are some of the benefits we can derive
from his life and again, remember, and I'm going to give give this disclaimer. Today's lecture is not coming from a purely Islamic paradigm. It's coming from a Muslim paradigm. Al biruni is not a fapy. He's not an alum in the tradition.
Since he's not to move fast said he is not an expert, he is not somebody who has written any books on the Islamic sciences, all of his sciences and all of his books are about disciplines of the humanities, and of basically the the natural sciences. And also, there's some interesting points about his life that again, we're going to talk about and this leads us to the issue of Muslim civilization, which is different than the Islamic sciences, Islamic civilization, that which we're rightfully proud of. We're very proud of what the Muslim world has done, you know, we boast and it is true by the way that the Muslim world was the superpower for over a millennia, over 1000 years,
our civilization was the dominant superpower when Europe was in the dark ages, when we had no competition with any other civilization and hamdulillah our civilization was the most powerful our decline only began relatively recently three 400 years ago is when the the the tide began to change. But see the awkward question we're gonna raise here and again, remember, this is Professor Yasser speaking today, and not from the shadow side of things. The awkward question we're going to raise here is that that civilization, some would say that this comes at a cost. And that's we're going to talk a little bit about today some meaning of the more religious side, because again, remember,
well, we'll get there inshallah. So, very quickly, who is Alberoni? All of this stuff? You can look up Beirut, he was born in 1973. And what is today was Pakistan. And back then it was called the province of Hawaii ism. And he was born in the capital of the province. And he was born in one of the suburbs of the city and the suburbs called de Rouen or by your own cfrc word, meaning a faraway, so be rune. He was born in Beirut, one of the some of the suburbs of the capital of Hawaii of holiday ism. And of course, this is the same province within the same era and generation that has produced a very diverse group of thinkers, you've had al Howard is me, the father of algebra, right.
Sorry, not eligible. Howard is the father of algorithms high end with Java is about algebra. But how about him? What does it mean to contribute algebra the way, you also have a mammal body from the same region and roughly a little bit before, you also have the amount of maturity coming from this region and roughly the same timeframe. So you have all of these eclectic diverse fingers here, very interesting mix, right? Somebody in mathematics, somebody who's a scholar of Hadith, somebody who's a scholar of a cannon branch of Sunni, Islam and maturity. And this shows you again, this very eclectic mix, this diverse crowd of people coming and realize this was a time in a frame, when Greek
thought was abandoned in Europe, and it was being studied, the only place it was being studied, as a science and discipline was in the Muslim world. Hence, Muslim philosophers took these sciences and develop them to what they did. And for this group of people, people like me, people like Al biruni, people, like even Sina, who also is from a similar background. For this group of people. There was no dichotomy between religion and between the Greek sciences, unlike the ruling class, who, generally speaking, were very skeptical, were very suspicious of the Greek sciences, you had a lot of these intellectuals who did not find any problem embracing the Greek sciences. And for them,
realize the Greek sciences wasn't just metaphysics, it was natural sciences. It was logic, it was a philosophy as well. It was the study of the natural world astronomy, mathematics, trigonometry, all of these were coming from the same books. You know, remember, Aristotle didn't just write about metaphysics, Aristotle wrote about the natural sciences and about medicine and about physics and chemistry. And as there's so many other Greek philosophers, so this group of people Alberoni is amongst them are those who are being trained. According to the sciences of the time. You're going through the Quran, recitation, whatnot, and then also studying the Greek sciences. politically
speaking, it's a time of great disunity again, unlike what some of the Simple Minds like to imagine. The reality is that the Muslim world, you know, has almost always been fragmented. Yes, there was one caliphate. But the the reality again, is that on the ground, there were dozens at any given time, there were dozens of mini dynasties, the Islamic world was more akin to a federation than it was to a unified caliphate. Some of these Federalists were pretty much independent, some of them were semi and some of them were more subservient. And so what you have are semi independent kingdoms or dynasties that are connected by a general culture of Islam, the culture, the ethos is all Islam,
but politically, they are not united. And this was also a time when the rulers of each of these provinces, the kings, because they were kings, they're passed down from father to son, you can call them governors, but in reality, the effect they had ultimate power, the halifa did not and could not intervene.
Within the local region of where these dynasties rule, generally speaking, and each one of these dynasties, each one of these powerhouses they wanted to impress, they wanted to boast about what they had done. And so there was always an entourage of eclectic people of his ears, scientists, poets, you know, people have arts, you know, people have intellect. And of course, sometimes scholars as well, that were financed by the court, and NW Rooney became one of those people who was associated for most of his life. With that, that entourage where the royal court financed him the royal court basically paid for his salary and allowed him to do what he was doing because they
wanted credit for what he had done. And so in these cultural wars between the courts between the dynasties actually we as a civilization benefited. So as a young man, Alberoni started off with the horizon Hawaiian ism Shah dynasties, he was used as a ambassador, he was sent to neighboring non Muslim regions, who was who also visited the actual Khalifa in both of that, however, his story really begins for us. When his dynasty that he was a part of was taken over it was gotten rid of by Mahmoud Al Assad's Navy, very famous person, and one of the main icons of the COVID dynasty. My mother was Navy invaded, what is and basically where, where I'll build when he was and got rid of
that dynasty and conquered that region, and then took the intellectuals of that court and put it foot to put it nicely kidnap them, I mean, forcibly abducted them, you know, and brought them to his court in the desert. And then of course, paid them a stipend and whatnot. So mood, sorry, my mother was Navy took baby Rooney from Uzbekistan from Howard ism, and brought him to what is now avant is done. And of course, in the process, of course, this helped biruni develop other ideas interact with other people. And of course, it also allowed him as we're going to talk about to go to, to India eventually. So my mother has never brought him to what is now avanti, Stan and Eliza is called the
area of lesson and he remained in Alaska until he died. The next two rulers also paid for by Rooney. Very, very quickly before I move on, from the theological side, because again, that is an area that I'm interested in. It's difficult to classify a debate, Rooney Rooney is neither pure Sunni ashadha nauseum. arteza Li, he's kinda sorta, you know, I mean, there are even phrases that some have said he's sheary. But in reality, if you read his writings, and again, I'm open to be, you know, these are all views, feel free to give your views as well. From what I have read, I believe he is unclassifiable. He is an independent thinker. There are certain phrases that seem to be a shouty,
there are certain phrases that are definitely more jazzy. And there are certain phrases that might even be philosophical in nature. And they're even phrases that have been interpreted to be Shiri he praises, for example, that he says there must be an Imam, for example, even though he wasn't, you know, from machinery background. So again, it's very interesting here, but I think that he's basically an independent thinker. And various groups have claimed him to be one of their own Well, except for the 30s. He was never, he clearly is not on that understanding still, nonetheless. And also, he's not pro Hadeeth as well, by the way, clearly, the hours when you read his writings, there
is a bit of a dismissal For example, I remember 111 issue of his that when he came across the Hadith. That which, by the way, even in Sunni tradition, it has generated a lot of discussion. And I don't want to go there in this lecture. But that's interesting, you should look this up the famous hadith of allegedly again, because according to bodoni, well, he's not a scholar. But still, I'm speaking here as a historian today. Alberoni did not view this hadith to be authentic. Which Hadith is this, the one in which the Prophet sallallahu Sallam comes across the Jews, the hood of Medina, celebrating on the 10th and how to run and he says, we have more right to this celebration, then
then you do and then of course, He instituted the fast on the 10th of Muharram. For the saving of around, sorry, the saving of Moosa from around now, Al biruni, on the basis of his calculations of the calendars, he states that the Jewish festival of the Passover, the Jewish festival of being saved, could not have occurred on the 10th and how to run in that year. And so he says, this hadith is not authentic. And again, I mean, again, I'm just narrating to Buddha when he is doing it's not obviously we're not talking about Hadees sciences in this lecture. But overall, he's skeptical of Hadith. And in my readings, he rarely rarely mentioned Hadeeth in the first place. So clearly, he's
not coming from an ethnicity paradigm. What are some of the main works of lb Rooney, Al biruni has many works. As we said, I'll summarize maybe four or five of them. What I wanted to talk about is his main book book, which is one of my favorite made him famous, and that is his book on India, but he has written a number of treatises
of them is that he has a series of questions of back and forth the 18 questions with urban Siena biruni urban scene.
Likely did meet, we're not 100 100% certain if they actually met, or did they just correspond there, they're contemporaneous and they're in, you know, neighboring regions, it's very likely that they met as well. And even Sina was senior to elbow knee. And elbow. Rooney is writing him a series of questions, and he is corresponding with him. And it's interesting when you read these questions that bodoni is more skeptical of certain Greek philosophers, then it been seen, and he is more willing to challenge some of the notions that even Siena is accepting, for example, in one of these questions.
Alberoni challenges this notion, the Greeks had mentioned that when an object shrinks, when an object cools down, it shrinks, and they would only objected and said, well, then why does a glass of water crack when it freezes? Why does a glass of water crack crack when it freezes, water expands. And so he's quoting, the well known example, that hey, not everything shrinks when it gets colder. Aristotle also, for example, said that planets must move in a pure circle, and biruni objects to this and says that the notion of a circular motion of the heavens is incorrect, and that it actually appears to be elliptical. Right then the the planets and the stars appear to be elliptical, and even
seen it is forced to admit that Al biruni might actually be correct. And Aristotle would be wrong. So it'd be Rooney is challenging Aristotle through ebenstein. It's again shows you again this the mind that he has here. And and by the way, again, so this is, you know, the professor speaking here, remember, even see now is know, how should I put this nicely, even if I'm speaking as a professor, although my critics are still going to be from one paradigm and even seen it is not viewed with with a lot of compassion in scholarly circles, remember a century into something later on, because that is going to come and basically say be seen as a coffered? And I'm not challenging that. Again, I'm
just this is a factual lecture here, because it is going to come and say anybody who says these views, his head should be caught off. That's literally the verdict, right? Even Tamia is also totally not sympathetic to even Sina. lb Rooney is very sympathetically. biruni is looking to even see her as senior as a scholar, and going back and forth. And so clearly, lb Rooney is not on the same wavelength. And that's one of the main points of today's lecture, Islamic civilization, Muslim civilization versus, you know, Islamic idealism, right. This is the one of the main points I wanted to bring across here. Another book. So this is one one book, it's called the sad one, the q&a is
called, then it's printed, you can find this, I think there's a dissertation done on this as well, somewhere. Another book that he wrote is called an ethoutlet, about the furuno hollier, the remnants of the previous civilizations, and he wrote this when he was very young, in his early 20s. And this talks about
it's an exercise in cryptography. He talks about the history of the previous nations, and he, he has always been very interested in time, and then calendars and in the movement of the stars astronomy. And so in this book, he talks a lot about the calendars of other civilizations, and how the religious festivals of the Zoroastrians of the there's something called the soul jeans, the holidays means they are who the Christians, how are they calculated. And in this book, as well, he talks a lot about the prayer timings as well. And there's another book over this complimentary, and it is called shadows or overland. And so in these two books, both of them, he actually discusses how to
calculate prayer timings from the shadows. And it is one of the most unique books ever written the book on shadows, for example, the one that he has here, and he goes into a lot of detail about the movement of the sun, and how it affects the shadows. And he says that
time and calculating time is fundamental to man's existence. And within this work, he then goes into a lot of detail. This is perhaps the only time he discusses a little bit of film. And he only discusses it, meaning as a student, he doesn't actually prescribe fifth, but he summarizes the physical details of the various schools of law, not just the force of new schools, by the way, but the positions of the cutter armies. The thought here is the Shia, and again, he's bringing all of the schools and the timings that they have. Now, what is interesting here is going to be one of the first points of today's lecture that I want you to think about is that he strongly criticizes
certain segments of the rule Mr. Class, who appeared to have attacked him, okay, because
here's the point, la Rooney, clearly was under a lot of pressure from the scholarly class. The rule ama, did not like him for multiple reasons. And in his books, and we don't have treatises that they wrote against him. We do have his defense of himself against these people, unnamed people who they are, and this is one of them here is that he has been attacked. Apparently by reading his book here. He has been attacked for trying to deduce
Prayer timings from astronomy, okay from principles of science. And scholars have attacked him for trying to derive equations basically for deriving prayer timings. And so he's defending himself in this book. And he takes on these critics of his. And he says that if you really want to calculate the prayer timings, you're going to have to study the works of Euclid, and the El majeste of Ptolemy, and he mentioned these by name, he is literally mentioning this by name, and he is exasperated at the aroma who have a disdain of the field of astronomy and of trigonometry. And he is saying that look, this is you, you're gonna have to go down this route, if you want to calculate the
prayer timings and you cannot just sit there and observe the shadows every single day, you can easily estimate the prayer timings of any any locality, if you you know, basically study these these basic sciences. And he then rather harshly criticizes them. And he says, anybody who doesn't go down this route, they should he literally says, either just sit down and let us do our job, you know, or else you are like the IOM you're like the the people who have no knowledge so he you can sense this harshness that he has against the religious clergy, who don't want him to study the basic principles of astronomy and of the movement of the sun, thinking that these sciences are going to lead to a
very evil Avenue. He actually says he criticizes in this book, he criticizes Rudy Mao, who he calls Caledon, they're just following blindly following what they've been taught, and they're not willing to go beyond what they have memorized what their teachers have told them. And he says to them, that they need to study the sciences. Otherwise, he says that they're not the notion that the sciences are going to lead to Kufa he goes, this is simply wrong. And then he has a passage I'm gonna I'm gonna quote the passenger. This is straight from his, from his book that he says that, when they are told to study the sciences, he says that this adds to the revulsion of this item. So he, so what he
does is he puts his fingers into his ears to stop any noise from coming in. And that becomes his strongest weapon to counter my argument. And he raises his voice and shouts. And that becomes his most powerful equipment to silence me. So Rooney is clearly irritated at a group of allameh. We don't know who they are at a group of rula, who are accusing him of Cofer. And he's saying, all you guys can do is shut yourself out and scream your accusations, you're not going to benefit. He goes, if you don't go down this, this this avenue. And of course, his anger is palpable, you can sense it here. And he literally, like I said, he literally says, if you're not going to join in this in this
science, then just sit down and let us do our job, let the experts do the job. And of course, this tension here, it still exists to this day, I have to say, one part of me is very sympathetic to biruni. In this tension between the rational sciences in between the religious sciences, it's a standard had been there done that, again, if you don't study history, you're doomed to repeat it, right. So the same people who criticize it would be hooni. They're the ones using the prayer towards these days, right. So the point being, that it's human nature that it's going to happen 1000 years ago, we find this tension that we still find To this day, and the levels of compromise on each side
is a constant negotiation.
Another book of liberty that he wrote for the husband of the ruler, named after him, he called it a noodle, Mr. Rudy, and this is a very detailed astronomical book that talks about the movement of the stars, the celestial objects, and also lays out the latitudes and longitudes of the major cities of the timeframe. And it is highly accurate, you can still check it to this day, and it was written for the ruler of the Lesnevich of his timeframe. Also, he wrote a number of books that laid the foundations of modern pharmacology. And as well, he actually also has a book on Believe it or not, astrology, not astronomy, astrology. And in this book, he summarizes some of the main modalities of
astrology. And you can tell he is skeptical of some of them. Nonetheless, he he is affirming some aspects of astrology because again, at that timeframe, astronomy and astrology are interlinked, interlinked together, we have separated them in our times and saying one of them is unnatural, and one of them is metaphysical. But in his timeframe, the two were intertwined together. So that is an interesting point that again, we're going to come back to this point as well
is that you're not going to get somebody like Rooney without a little bit of a quote unquote, compromise. Also, he he calculated the circumference and the radius of the Earth, standing somewhere on a mountain in modern day, Punjab and Buxton, which we'll talk about as well surprisingly accurate. Now his most famous book, which is the book that really is the most fascinating to me, it was how I first heard of him 20
Something years ago, as a student in Medina, the first time I heard of it, Rooney somebody just mentioned this to me and I looked up the book and ever since then I've been very fascinated with this with this character. Even though of course, I haven't studied him in detail I've just perused over his writings and read his biography and whatnot. His most famous book, and it really it is the most fascinating is his work on India. The title of it is guitar, boo, Marley, Hindi min McCollum and mK boletin. Phil alkalete. Omar Lula, very interesting title. And that is the the verifying of what India has of ideas that are acceptable to the intellect or ideas that are rejected by the
intellect. And some have called this book to be the first book of anthropology ever written. And in this book, he chronicles the peoples and the lives and the times, and the beliefs and the systems of India that he himself observed. And he interacted with. And one of the most important contributions that he made was that he discussed this book and the ideas in it from what we would call a neutral perspective, remaining as a Muslim, obviously, but he tried his best to be fair, and he tried his best to be balanced. He didn't just concentrate on the politics and on the politicians, he talked about the lives and the beliefs of the people of India. Now, story of this book is interesting. He
was, of course, by this time living in the USA,
with the husband of its, and my mother has now v decided to invade India. Now, by the way, pause your footnote. This is a very very interesting story that deserves its own series of lectures how Muhammad's invasion of India is interpreted by let's say, the extremist Hindus like the BJP, and how its interpreted by let's say, the Muslims of Pakistan is, let's say, very interesting, the same story. And you can have a parallel narrative as if they're two completely separate stories. So my mother has Navy's invasion of India and conquest of certain portions of India, which is now Pakistan. By the way, what he has done is basically, most of boxer so my mother wasn't abused is
viewed as a liberator and as a one of the intellectual founders, let's say, of Islam in India. And of course, the BJP and the other movements, they view him as being an innovator and whatnot. Nonetheless, that's not the topic of today. My mother has an AVI decides to invade India, and he takes Why does he do so by the way, some, again, lots of story, let's not go there. And he
takes with him, our own guy al biruni. And so Al biruni, firsthand one of the greatest minds have his timeframe, he enters the lands of India, and he intermingles with the people and he learns Sanskrit By the way, bodoni was not just a polymath, he was multilingual, he spoke at least five to seven languages fluently, including ancient Hebrew, now, Sanskrit, Greek, he studied all of these languages. Of course, he studied, he spoke his own local, however, his main language along with that Farsi, and along with that Arabic, so he is like speaking five, or six or seven languages. And he learned Sanskrit in India. And he then acquired some of the most original
books of the ancient Hindu systems and the Vedic beliefs. And he also interacted with pundits and absorbed the culture. We don't know how long he stayed in India, perhaps at least a year or so he stayed in India. And he then wrote this book based upon his own experiences. And in the beginning of the book, he begins the book by defending the fact that he's writing it because once again, he's been criticized, you can tell he is constantly having to defend himself against his religious critics, his critics are typically in his books, we find them to be over the religious side. And he begins his book by defending the need to write this book. And he says that it is important to
mention the truth, even if it is against an enemy. And he quotes the verse in the Quran, whether it physical, and he mentions how rare it is, for a scholar, to describe an opposing opinion without reading his own bias without going beyond just the description. And he cites a really interesting example that I myself can say that I have heard with my own two ears, the same example. And he says, For example, how it is that when a Sunni speaks of the Morteza decreed that he and he goes, this has happened to me mentioned the name of so and so with the shift so and so that he's studying, you know, with a certain chef, and the chef says, more than Morteza, let's say that Allah does not have
any knowledge. They deny that Allah has knowledge. And Alberoni says, I corrected the chef and I said, No, that's not what the Morteza let's say, the Morteza let's say that Allah knows with a knowing that is his essence. In other words, he is saying, you have interpreted this phrase to mean that Allah does not have knowledge. That's not what the more does the law say. That is your derivation of what they say. That is your accusation of what the Morteza say. And this is a key point.
Again, even when I first heard about the Martha's Illa, that's how our scholars talk about them. That's the Morteza deny Allah has knowledge. And if you actually read immortality, they would never say that. It's just the way that they phrase it and how we derive what we derive and how they derive what they derive. So the point being that he mentioned this example, in his in his demo, and he says that he wants to do justice to the truth and explain the reality of the civilization of India, without being just a critic, he doesn't he, he makes a very, you know, a very passionate plea, that it's his job to present the truth. And he actually writes in a quote from the bottom, learn, aka
Dima Jojo sanmina mean as da da, da da, I am not going to present the arguments of my opponents in order to refute them, because that's not the way that I want to do this book kitabi, lazy Franconia he CG, cG lanteria he and they have hired my book, it is basically a registrar, a historic Registrar of the truth is going to record what they say. So I'll borrow been a little party, not only yertle, Hindus comma here, this is a very key phrase, I'm going to put the ideas of the Hindus in front of the reader as they are, I'm going to narrate and this is exactly what they believe. And as I said, This book has been translated and is freely available online, you can just do a google PDF, Google,
and it's been translated by Edward somehow Edward s, a, ch, au, Edward sh, ch. au. And in this book, he discusses the types of Hinduism the beliefs of the Hindus, the rituals, the intellectual life, metaphysics, the concept of the soul, the philosophy of the people there, the caste systems, and a lot of detail, the cosmology, the notion of transmigration of the soul. He compares Hinduism with the beliefs of the ancient Greeks called cross cultural examination between, you know, Hinduism and the ancient Greeks. And the point here is that he is treating Hinduism and the people of India as a civilization that needs to be described in detail, he doesn't just dismiss it as Oh, that's all, you
know, paganism and should have been idolatry, even though of course, at some level it is. But it's not that simplistic, either is a lot more to it, as well. And it's also interesting, by the way, he claims and again, I'm just quoting what he says, He claims that pure Hinduism, as practiced by the real practitioners, and the pundits of the faith is monotheistic, and he says that it is the one of the Hindus or the, you know, the the masses, who mistakenly have taken the idols and, or whatnot. So, you know, and again, he's not a Hindu, and he doesn't accept Hindu theology, he is a Muslim, you can find phrases in there very clearly where it says that hamdulillah and this and that, but when
it's coming to describing the peoples of the land, he adopts a neutral stance. And it's really interesting, this book, because it is actually extraordinary, that he would even want to do something like this, especially because there's no evidence that that model has never asked him to do this. He actually did this on his own. He did this on his own, he wanted to do this, and even clearly his unbelieving Muslim. And at times, he'll criticize certain aspects of the faith. So by the way, he says, he's never going to do that. Sometimes he does. But in reality, when he explains about the cultures, and the rituals, and the caste system and the beliefs, he's not writing in a
sarcastic manner, there's really no vulgar adjectives, there's no dismissal. In fact, he's taking them as a sophisticated civilization worthy of appreciation to a certain degree, even if he disagrees with them. And it is because of this methodology, which was way ahead of his time, you're not going to find this type of methodology that one of the most famous orientalist of the last century author Jeffrey and I mentioned his name in my Koran book and others very well known person, author, Jeffrey, author, Jeffrey writes about obey Rooney, that his main contribution wasn't just scientific, but rather methodological, that Rooney was one of the first if not the first, to try to
basically present an opponent's belief in a manner that would be fair and objective, and completely holistic trying to explain as a neutral person. Now, again, to be clear here, at bay, Rooney is a practicing Muslim, as bodoni is aware that the people that he's describing are not correctly guided, but that doesn't stop him from being fair, and from being factual and from trying to be critically neutral in his observance of what he is witnessing. And by the way, if particularly interest of lb Rooney is how the people of his time of the Indians, they calculated time.
And of course, there's something called the zinj tables again, that's another topic altogether. These are all things by the way, we should all look up here, you know,
majestic of Ptolemy, for example, by the way, as majestic, right. It's not the word majestic. It is an Arab besides from the ancient Greek
majestic from majestic. And so Ptolemy wrote a book that was majestic. And the Arabs translated it. And they wrote the Alif Lam before it. And so the term edited majeste of Ptolemy is actually aerobicized. And that's how it is known even to this to this day. And so biruni worked a lot on those books. And he published zinj tables, what are these tables, these tables are tables that talk about the celestial stars and their particular places at particular times very detailed charts. So in this book on India, he benefits from the Indians, astronomy, as well. Now, I want to talk about one other thing before our conclusion. And that is a very interesting point here about calculating
the radius of the earth. And this is something that is actually inshallah we can all understand it. If you remember your high school trigonometry, the first person to attempt to do thorough to attempt to calculate the radius of the Earth was
era toss the knees right or toss the knees, right, correct. Eros knees, I think era toss the nice 195 bC 195 BC. And so that's 1000 years before Alberoni and era tossed the knees, he employed a very ingenious method, which involves measuring the change in latitude of a celestial object measured at two faraway locations on the same longitude. So if you knew the exact distance between two distant locations, you would be able to calculate the radius of the Earth based upon that another problem, there are a number of problems here with them calculation of them is that you would have to know the exact linear distance as the crow flies between two faraway locations. And that's very difficult to
translate. And so
here we're taught the knees did in fact, attempt to calculation and bodoni was not satisfied with it. And they really wanted a more accurate method that did not require as many input methods as many measurements to make and did not require a long distance traveling. So lb Looney devised a more easier and a more precise method that had fewer possibilities of error. And lb Rooney's method only involved two calculations, and it involved one location. So two calculations, and one location, you didn't have to travel far and wide. And that one location required a number of things that required a mountain. And it required a plane horizon, you couldn't have a valley or witnessed a mountain
followed by flat earth or maybe even you know, ocean or whatnot, where you could see the horizon straight from the mountain top that is all that is required. And so albedo, and you need only to calculate two inputs. The first is the height of the mountain. And the second is the degree of the horizon from the top of the of the mountain top right, so those are the only two things that you need. And by the way, albedo, only calculated the height of the mountain, very ingeniously, very, very simply as well, not by dropping a string or something of this nature, but rather by observing the angle of the peak from two locations p one, so he stands at p one, and he looks at the angle of
the mountain, then he goes back to P two, and then he looks at the angle of the mountain again, and he knows the distance between P one and P two. So he knows this distance, and he knows the angles of from P one and P two, and based upon that he can calculate the height of the mountain. Ah, okay, so he finds this mountain in modern modern day Pakistan, I kid you not this took place in Pakistan border, new Pakistan in Punjab somewhere, he finds a mountain. And he then calculates the height of the mountain, ah, and he does this by as I said, a very simplistic method, simply by P one p two and the angles from both of these localities By the way, there's a video that somebody has attempted to
do this, and I'll put that in the links. Let's look at the the link below. So let me now see if I can
show you this slide that I found somewhere online, this is not for me. Okay, I hope you can see this slide here. Hope you can see this slide over here. So here's the diagram that somebody derived from Rooney's writings. So remember, biruni has already calculated the height of the mountain. Ah, okay. And we're looking for are the radius of the earth. Okay, is that clear, take a look at this diagram, understand what's going on here. Alberoni already knows h has calculated H. And now we want to calculate for our which is the radius of the earth. How do you do this, you go to the top of the mountain and you're now basically standing at the top of the mountain and you measure the angle of
the horizon, you measure the angle of the horizon from the top of the mountain, which let's call it theta, okay? So theta is the angle of the horizon. You see that very clearly from the top of the mountain. Okay, now, you notice that as you're standing on the top of the mountain, you are falling
mean a right angle triangle from the center of the earth, okay. And one of the right angle triangles is the center of the earth, right? The other is where you are. And the third is the horizon. The third is that horizon where your line of sight hits the horizon. Okay? With this simple, very simple High School trigonometry, you can solve for r. Why? Because cosine, as you remember, you should remember for your basic math lessons, right? Remember, you do have a degree in mathematics, bursary, engineering, which have minor in Mathematics and chemistry. But yes, I did all I did way more than trigonometry. He did the partial differentials. And all of this way back in the day that I would not
be able to do I forgotten all of that. But you know, trigonometry, you don't forget trigonometry, once you have done as much math as I had to had to do. But cosine, of course, remember what cosine is, is adjacent over hypotenuse, right? So now take a look at this triangle here, right? So you have, in our case, cosine theta. Now, by the way, theta, look at theta on the top and theta in the in our triangle, it's going to be exactly the same. And I hope you understand why. Because theta at the top, which is the angle that you're looking at, obviously, that forms a right angle triangle. And so the angle that is remaining is 90 minus theta, which happens to be exactly what the angle of
our triangle down that we're interested in is going to be. And so that is theta. And so you have now the angle that you've seen, is going to be the same angle of our own right angle triangle, which is theta. So cosine theta is going to be adjacent are the radius of the Earth, over hypotenuse, which is r plus H. Okay, I hope that's clear here. So cosine theta equals R over R plus h, which is adjacent over theta. Now remember, you know H, you've already calculated H, okay, and you've just calculated theta by standing on the mountain. So you simply solve this equation here for our very simple algebra, very simple trigonometry. And you get that R is h divided by saken theta minus one.
Remember, secant is one over cosine or inverse cosine or, or to be more pedantic sake, it has hypotenuse over opposite, right. So again, this is all simple stuff, you can do this yourself, calculate it out, very simple, literally High School. Again, the ingeniousness is in its simplicity, right. And so you solve this equation here for R, and you get the equation that is a big one when he got and so the benoni calc carried out this experiment. And he found out the theta was around, you know, 34 degrees. And he came out to calculated the fact that the radius of the Earth is 12,803,337 virol are cubits. And when you convert Q, zero to meters is not quite precise in our times, but we
get around 6000 kilometers around 6000, the actual radius of the Earth is 6372. Okay, so albinoni was 300 kilometres off. That's it. By the simple calculation, by the way, the Greek guy got 5200 kilometers, he was over 1000 kilometers off, and it would take many, many centuries, to beat lb Rooney's mechanism. So Alberoni here is calculating the radius of the Earth via this very, very interesting, interesting chart here. Okay, so now let's get back to the last lecture. In conclusion, by the way, isn't that just amazing? panel, it's such a simple and yet you know, elegant way of doing this.
Excuse me here, my voice needs some my throat needs some water here. Now.
I want to conclude off here, again, much can be said please read up on the bill Rooney, I'm not going to be you know, my point is really this conclusion is the main point to introduce you to this fascinating individual. And then to cause you to think about something brutally honest question.
Knowing what you know, which is very little after this one lecture go beyond this. Do you believe that our oma benefited from the likes of Alberoni? I mean, I think we did. He didn't produce anything about fear, or al Qaeda or Tafseer. That wasn't his discipline. But you see here, here's the difficult point here, right. And again, I know my critics are going to go and start releasing their videos and PDFs and scrub notes and whatnot. But it needs to be said here. In order for a civilization to flourish, in order for an oma to be a superpower. In order for us to have bragging rights that we do for our previous histories.
We can't just expect odema to produce their books. You see a civilization. A civilization is more than just religious clergy. You need genuine intellectual curiosity. You need exploring you need research. And the people who do this and excel at it are typically not the same groups that are studying physics and theology and Tafseer. And in fact, most of the time, dare I say
The rule is that those people are not bound by what orthodoxy says. Frankly, the default is that they're going to go beyond the bounds of Orthodoxy. In our case of the Bible, when he is having to tackle religious clergy, pretty much all throughout his writings. You can tell he's incensed. He is irritated. You know, as far as I know, nobody called him outright a catheter would not in his maybe they don't know it looks like that. But you know, he he wrote a book on astrology by the right and if you were to read that book, I mean, the verdict from a clergy perspective is very clear. And again, that's why I said the disclaimer at the beginning. I'm speaking to as Professor today today,
this lecture is Professor Yes, sir. Right. This is not to share side. And I know my critics don't really care. They're all going to go berserk anyway. But I mean, this is the the the site to make you think here is that? I'm not saying it's right or wrong. I'm simply describing it as it is. No, civilization is based purely on religious thought, and religious clergy. Now, I'm not saying religious clergy, clergy don't have a major role to play. Clearly they do. Clearly they define orthodoxy they define, you know, salvation. And and, you know, they're the ones that are interpreting, you know, the scriptures and whatnot. And that's great that hamdulillah but let us be
honest, here, listen, let me push the boundaries, take it a little bit further here.
What would happen if the clergy were to have a society in accordance with their interpretations of how society should be? To put it bluntly, what would happen if the clergy were actually given political powers? If they ruled instead of the Romanians, and there are buses and the salmon is in the autism shots and the lesson numbers in the economy and the hundreds and 1000s of political players that came and went? How different would society have looked if they had actually taken charge? Let's leave the site for now. The, the the issue of generally speaking, clergy are not qualified to run a civil infrastructure. Let's leave that aside. I'm asking you suppose that they
were to enforce their vision of what is right and wrong on the people's, and they would implement what they thought was ideal on the entire population, what would happen to the likes of lb Rooney, what would happen to the likes of many of those when we, we boast and we praise that these are our giants, and again, not to get too personal here, but even this lecture, I'm sure is going to release its own slew of critics and people like myself are generally speaking far within mainstream traditionalism. And yet, my critics want to silence me and they're trying to consider me to be a deviant. And, you know, I'm telling people to think and not, you know, not spoon feeding them what
they need, what needs to be done, etc. I mean, if somebody as mainstream and traditional, you know, like myself is not tolerated, I'm a threat to so many of you know, the the trained clergy, let's say, Can you imagine people like Kobe Rooney, can you imagine have been seen and again, let's let's be very brutal here. What would have happened? If people who sympathized with this photo, were actually in charge when even seen another Buddha and others were alive? What would have happened here? Think about that reality is that here we are boasting about the superpower that used to be our religions, civilization, we have every right to do that. And yet, there's a underbelly that we don't
like to think about. And that is, many of the people who made that civilization would have been viewed as heretics by those who define orthodoxy. Right now again, I'm speaking today as Professor and not to share I keep on making that disclaimer. Let me very quickly just put on my cap here, my dopey dopey here, and just say, of course, it's the job of the AMA to preach the ideal, of course, it's the role of the scholars to keep everything in theological check. We thank Allah for them. They're the inheritors of the prophets. Imagine if they didn't exist, you know, how things would have changed. So that's my topi. Let me take that Toby off and say,
if you really want a civilization to flourish, perhaps perhaps it is healthy, to separate the gatekeepers of Orthodoxy from the actual enforcers of politics. Perhaps it's healthy, that the gatekeepers of Orthodoxy are relegated to writing books, or in my case, releasing YouTube videos from the vans over their mothers or the basements of their fathers or whatever, and writing their PDFs on script notes. I mean, it's probably healthy, that the critics are just talking and releasing videos. And perhaps we should be thankful to Allah, that those very people who claim to defend the faith are not actually given authority to defend their version of the faith, or else what might
happen if such peoples actually did have that power. And by the way, in the last decade, two or three small groups who claim
To be faithful to their versions of Islam have actually come to power in various regions. We've seen what they've done, we have seen the realities, right of what would happen when people think that they are implementing the will of God. And so here, you know, again, perhaps it's very, very beneficial that you remember because it says that it was in a committed gopher, and is deserving of the death penalty, but doesn't have the power to enforce that and had been Tamia comes and criticizes, and at hamdulillah we want him to do that. And again, let me really put my ship topia back on, of course, we sympathize and agree with defining orthodoxy. Right, that's great. And then
take that cap off and say, but then what would have happened if they actually had the power to implement that Al biruni calculated the radius of the Earth, despite the fact that aroma of his time thought it's cool for to go down this route. You know, we can boast that had been seen as Canada medicine was studied for 400 years in Europe, but he would not have been alive if certain versions of you know fatwas were implemented, it'd been rushed, pave the way for the enlightenment. And yet, of course, exactly, that is what it is if you know if you're always and again, we say of hamdulillah thermal hamdulillah for the likes of Yamamoto Casali, the likes of Ibn taymiyyah and other icons and
giants of our tradition, our odema who are the inheritors of the prophets, who defended our Deen for us who retained the purity of our faith for us. And it is really the most important because at the end of the day, the radius of the Earth is interesting, but it is the dean in which our salvation lies. And with that intentionally cryptic and pleasantly contradictory conclusion. I conclude chisako Lafayette, Santa Monica Moraga to la de wabarakatuhu