Talk:Astrology in medieval Islam

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Proposed merge[edit]

Someone suggested merging Islamic astrology with Arab and Persian astrology. I support the merge of Islamic astrology to here, as it is a far less POV title, and the two topics are virtually the same.--Sefringle 01:49, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

There is no such thing as Islamis astronomy, This practice along with many other cultural influance was substantially Persian, Not Islamic. For Instanse, Sufism which is wildy consider to be a brunch of Islam has nothing to do with the religion. It was a form of Manavi, Or Mithraism. Sufism is the vector of ancient wisdom and spiritual heritage from old Persia. After Arabian invasion of Persia in 7th century, inorder to avoid religious cleansing and masacare, they, the sufis, decided to survive, so thay had to accept Islam as an outfit to pass on thire wisdom, and in turn influence Islam, and introduce some element such as wisdom and compassion which is totally an alian consept to primitive arabs.

I would agree that this merger should be done, although I think that the article Arab and Persian astrology should be separated into two different articles since to some extent the represent two different traditions. So my vote is merge. --Chris Brennan 00:47, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I think the articles should stay separate. This article is about the history of astrology among the Arabs and Persians, while 'Islamic astrology' is about the teachings of Islam regarding astrology. They are quite distinct. Merging them is a bit like saying that the Western astrology article should be merged into a 'Christian astrology' article. Not all of Islam is Arab and Persian anyway. What about Indian muslims? Perhaps the Islamic article should be renamed 'Islamic views of astrology' to avoid confusion.Neelmack 13:40, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

In the early Middle Ages Arabic used to be what Latin had been in the ancient world, and what English is nowadays, the lingua franca of scholars and science. In those days (from 7th to 11th century C.E.) Greek, Persian, Syrian, and Jewish astrologers alike would write their treatises on astrology in Arabic. They would do so while neither being Arabs themselves nor necessarily Muslims. For example, Mashallah (762-815 C.E.) who was involved in the election of the time for the founding of Bagdad was Jewish. Avraham Ben Meir Ibn Ezra (1092-1167 C.E.), the author of The Beginning of Wisdom and The Book of Reasons was Jewish although. Both of them may be regarded as two of the most important astrologers of the Arabic era, both of them used to write in Arabic, but they were Jewish. Let it not be misunderstood, without the climate of tolerance and scholarships provided by Muslim rulers in the early ages of the rise of Islam to power much of the ancient knowledge including the knowledge of the stars and their influences would have been lost. Modern astrology owes a lot to the Arabic and Islamic culture of the early Middle Ages. Nevertheless from my point of view it would be incorrect to reduce the astrology of those days to "Islamic Astrology" as this "Islamic Astrology" thanks to the tolerance of Islam was also coined by Jewish and to a minor part Christians (remaining Greek) astrologers. Skrypt 20:22, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

RE: Medieval Jewish astrologers. I agree with the views that a distinction between Arabic and Islamic astrology is worthwhile maintaining, due to the participation of Jewish and Christian astrologers in the Arabic astrologic tradition. 'Rav'[Z'il} Abraham ibn Ezra, as mentioned above, was very important from the point of view of Arabic astrology in particular and astrology in general. While he was fluent in translating, reading and writing Arabic, his works were all written in Medieval Hebrew; in fact he is credited with the creation of a number of important words in Hebrew based on Biblical Hebraic or medieval Arabic models. I would point to the most modern source on the life and work of 'Rav' (Z'il) Abraham ibn Ezra is Sela, Abraham Ibn Ezra and the rise of medieval Hebrew Science.24.136.4.104 07:42, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

information to be placed somewhere[edit]

According to jurists, the study of astronomy (ilm al-hay'ah) is lawful, as it is useful in predicting the beginning of months and seasons, determining the direction of salat (prayer), and navigation. They agree that this branch of science be used in determining the beginning and end of the month of Ramadan. As for astrology, this is considered by most Islamic scholars as haram (unlawful), as knowledge of the Unseen is known only by Allah. Dr. Husam al-Din Ibn Musa `Afana, a Professor of the Principles of Fiqh at Al-Quds University, Palestine, states the following:

"First of all, it is worth noting that the Arabs knew astronomy a long time ago. They would predict time through observing the movements of stars. According to the scholars of Shar`iah, there are two terms confused in many people's minds when it comes to dealing with the question in hand. These terms are astronomy and astrology. Astronomy is the science that deals with studying the movements of the celestial bodies and reducing observations to mathematical order. That science is useful in determining time, seasons, the direction of Prayer, etc. Astrology, on the other hand, is concerned with studying the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs. Astrologists believe that the movements of stars have an influence on people's lives. Both Muslim astronomers and [religious] scholars refuse the prophecies of astrologists."[1]

--Sefringle 20:57, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

After a recent piece of research and reading the two pages I have the following points to offer:

1. The islamic astrology page is a deception- the discussion is more about the opinions of scholars who refute astrology and reflects nothing of its history itself. Quite a remarkable piece of dilly dallying. The actual key figures are mentioned below but without a discussion we have no idea of their chronology or importance.

2. The Arab Persian page is much better as it at least has some history however when discussing Persian Astrology, the entire point of having a separate page, it jumps straight to islamic astrologers or at least post muhammad astrologers if they were crypto believers.

3. Key words of astrology in Arabic or Persian are not given on the pages: such as Bari for Astrology from the Kitab Al Bari or Birjis for Jupiter.

I therefore propose separation into Persian Astrology and Islamic Astrology. I am of the humble opinion that only then will the Persian Astrologers actually achieve a fair discussion. The Persian and Islamic pages could also discuss other such 'heretical' areas as Chaldean Astrology or better yet a separate page could. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.111.151.130 (talk) 12:47, 12 April 2008 (UTC)


Persian history predates the common era whilst Islamic history is only 1400 years old. I think there needs to be a separation due to the fact that persia existed before Islam and already had its own astrological ideology. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.124.89.2 (talk) 08:04, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

List cleanup[edit]

The list Prominent Arab, Jewish, Muslim, and Persian Astrologers have no good rationale. It contains every conceivable person that might have diddled with astrology in a certain area. The Biblical Magi (the "Three Wise Men") are legendary, and might have existed in the human imagination only (or, might be unattestedly real, same difference). Hypatia and Porphyry, platonists, are irrelevant here, unless a major influence upon a hypothesized astrological tradition inside the moslem sphere can be ascertained. Berossus similarly. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 08:20, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

This sort of thing always accumulates. Just remove it, don't be afraid to be WP:BOLD. --dab (𒁳) 10:27, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

please change[edit]

There is no such thing as "Arabic" Astrology. Astrology has been practiced in the Iranian plateau centuries (even millenniums) before interacting with the traditions of the Muslims in the Arabian peninsula. So please, make a separate section about Arabic Astrology. Besides, this article seem to be entirely about PERSIAN ASTROLOGY and its influence over Islam. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sonabona (talkcontribs) 08:38, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

If the article was full of Persian puffery, it is because Wikipedia gets a lot of childish Persian nationalism. It's an endemic problem.

The topic of the article is medieval Islamic astrology. Note, not simple astronomy, which has its own article. It needs to focus on divination (horoscopy) exclusively. No, it isn't about Arabs or Persians, it is about medieval Islamic culture, which obviously wasn't mono-ethnic. THe written language of the day was Arabic, but medieval Islamic scholarship isn't known as "Arabic scholarship", any more than medieval western scholarship is known as "Latin scholarship". The defining characteristic is its origin in medieval Islamic culture. --dab (𒁳) 10:29, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Removing inaccurate content[edit]

I hve removed the following comment from the article:

Muslim astrologers defined a new form of astrology called electional astrology that could be used for all manner of divination in everyday life, such as the discovery of propitious moments for the undertaking of a journey, or the beginning of a business venture etc. They also were the first to speak of 'favourable' and 'unfavourable' indications, rather than categorical events.(ref)

(ref = Derek and Julia Parker "The New Compleat Astrologer" Crescent Books, New York 1990)

Both of comments are incorrect. Electional astrology was the most ancient form of astrology, employed by the Babylonians and discussed in detail in the 5th book of the Carmen Astrologicum of Dorotheus, which is Hellenistic in origin. Ancient and Hellenistic texts were also full of references to 'favourable' and 'unfavourable' indications. The source these comments rely upon is a popular astrology text, now 20 years old. It may have represented widespread astrological belief at that time but subsequent scholarship has helpd to clarify and correct a lot of earlier, widely-published, inaccuracies. Zac Δ talk 17:38, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Critical assesment of this article's content[edit]

The article has a lot of problems as it stands - there are some references that are not suitable and others which give only half the details they should. (To just give a reference to "Islamonline.com" or "Sasha Fenton, ibid" is clearly not acceptable).

I will be trying to bring this article up to a better standard by ensuring the focus is given to content referenced to reliable sources (will welcome the help of anyone else who feels inclined to contribute). One point: I not feel the lengthy discussion of "Opinions of contemporary Muslim scholars" is appropriate in a page which gives a clear indication of the limits of its focus: astrology in *medieval* Islam. Therefore I suggest removing that section and developing the historical information and explanation of medieval technique that pertains to the period under scrutiny. -- Zac Δ talk! 14:53, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Move to Islamic views on Astrology[edit]

Astrology is the interpretation of celestial bodies as having an effect on human affairs.[1] Merely studying stars and their movements, is not "astrology", but rather astronomy.

Therefore the content in this article about medieval Muslim study of stars (mostly for purposes of navigation) belongs in Astronomy in medieval Islam. This article should be moved to "Islamic views on Astrology", and contain medieval and contemporary views on astrology.Bless sins (talk) 23:29, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Terms[edit]

Many terms come from Aarabic and that would be a unique aspect to add to this page. There is a brief mention of it in the beginning but examples could be given as well as links. There are at least 7 of the brightest stars bear Arabic names. For example two words that come from Arabic that we use today in Astrology are Zenith and nadir (highest and lowest points). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chriscorbaz (talkcontribs) 06:43, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).