The fullest account ever written of the fascinating nexus between Islam and Time, this is a major contribution to the wider history of ideas and religion. Night and day, and the twelve lunar months of the year, are'appointed times for the believing people'. Reading the sky for the prayers of the hour has thus for Muslims been a constant reminder of God's providence and power. In her absorbing and illuminating new book, the late Barbara Freyer Stowasser examines the various ways in which Islam has structured, ordered and measured Time. Drawing on examples from Judaism and Christianity, as well as the ancient world, the author shows that while systems of time facilitate the orderly function of vastly different civilizations, in Islam they have always been fundamental. Among other topics, she discusses the Muslim lunar calendar; the rise of the science of astronomy; the remarkable career of al-Biruni, greatest authority in Muslim perceptions of Time; and the impact of technologies like the astrolabe, Indian numerals and paper. The fullest account ever written of the fascinating nexus between Islam and Time, this is a major contribution to the wider history of ideas and religion.
Barbara Freyer Stowasser was, until her death in 2012, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. She also held the Sultanate of Oman Chair in Arabic and Islamic Literature at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University, was a former Director of the Center, and served as President of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) between 1998 and 1999. Her previous books include Women in the Qur'an, Traditions and Interpretation (1994).
THE DAY BEGINS AT SUNSET - Contents Part I. History, Religion, Politics and Time Chapter I. Calendars: An Introduction Chapter II. The Islamic Calendar Chapter III. Time, the Quran and Science Part II. A Medieval Case Study: Cosmology, Technology and Five Eastern Calendars through an Islamic Lens Chapter IV. The Making of a Medieval Scientist's Career: Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni Chapter V. The Life and Works of al-Biruni Part III: How Daily Muslim Rituals Are Still Performed 'on Time' Chapter VII. 'Time Sticks': Regulating the Islamic Day Sources Used and Suggestions for Further Reading