The first mosques were simple places of prayer for Muslims, and may have been open spaces rather than buildings. In the first stage of Islamic architecture, 650-750 CE, early mosques comprised open and closed covered spaces enclosed by walls, often with minarets from which calls to prayer were issued. Mosque buildings typically contain an ornamental niche (mihrab) set into the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca (qiblah) and ablution facilities. The pulpit (minbar), from which the Friday (jumu'ah) sermon (khutba) is delivered, was in earlier times characteristic of the central city mosque, but has since become common in smaller mosques. Mosques typically have segregated spaces for men and women. This basic pattern of organization has assumed different forms depending on the region, period and denomination. (Full article...)
While Malcolm X and scholars contemporary to the book's publication regarded Haley as the book's ghostwriter, modern scholars tend to regard him as an essential collaborator who intentionally muted his authorial voice to create the effect of Malcolm X speaking directly to readers. Haley influenced some of Malcolm X's literary choices. For example, Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam during the period when he was working on the book with Haley. Rather than rewriting earlier chapters as a polemic against the Nation which Malcolm X had rejected, Haley persuaded him to favor a style of "suspense and drama". According to Manning Marable, "Haley was particularly worried about what he viewed as Malcolm X's anti-Semitism" and he rewrote material to eliminate it. (Full article...)
Abū Bakr al-Rāzī (full name: أبو بکر محمد بن زکریاء الرازي, Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakariyyāʾ al-Rāzī), c. 864 or 865–925 or 935 CE, often known as (al-)Razi or by his Latin name Rhazes, also rendered Rhasis, was a Persianphysician, philosopher and alchemist who lived during the Islamic Golden Age. He is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of medicine, and also wrote on logic, astronomy and grammar. He is also known for his criticism of religion, especially with regard to the concepts of prophethood and revelation. However, the religio-philosophical aspects of his thought, which also included a belief in five "eternal principles", are only recorded by authors who were often hostile to him.
A comprehensive thinker, al-Razi made fundamental and enduring contributions to various fields, which he recorded in over 200 manuscripts, and is particularly remembered for numerous advances in medicine through his observations and discoveries. An early proponent of experimental medicine, he became a successful doctor, and served as chief physician of Baghdad and Ray hospitals. As a teacher of medicine, he attracted students of all backgrounds and interests and was said to be compassionate and devoted to the service of his patients, whether rich or poor. He was the first to clinically distinguish between smallpox and measles, and suggest sound treatment for the former. (Full article...)
The Second Crusade was announced by Pope Eugene III, and was the first of the crusades to be led by European kings, namely Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, with help from a number of other European nobles. The armies of the two kings marched separately across Europe. After crossing Byzantine territory into Anatolia, both armies were separately defeated by the Seljuk Turks. The main Western Christian source, Odo of Deuil, and Syriac Christian sources claim that the Byzantine EmperorManuel I Komnenos secretly hindered the crusaders' progress, particularly in Anatolia, where he is alleged to have deliberately ordered Turks to attack them. However, this alleged sabotage of the Crusade by the Byzantines was likely fabricated by Odo, who saw the Empire as an obstacle, and moreover Emperor Manuel had no political reason to do so. Louis and Conrad and the remnants of their armies reached Jerusalem and participated in 1148 in an ill-advised attack on Damascus, which ended in their retreat. In the end, the crusade in the east was a failure for the crusaders and a victory for the Muslims. It would ultimately have a key influence on the fall of Jerusalem and give rise to the Third Crusade at the end of the 12th century. (Full article...)
This call was met with an enthusiastic popular response across all social classes in western Europe. Mobs of predominantly poor Christians numbering in the thousands, led by Peter the Hermit, a French priest, were the first to respond. What has become known as the People's Crusade passed through Germany and indulged in wide-ranging anti-Jewish activities, including the Rhineland massacres. On leaving Byzantine-controlled territory in Anatolia, they were annihilated in a Turkish ambush led by the Seljuk Kilij Arslan at the Battle of Civetot in October 1096. (Full article...)
Credit:Meadville, Pa. : Keystone View Company (edited by Durova)
Image 9A young woman from Ramallah, c. 1898-1914. Until the 1940s, women of Palestine wore elaborate handcrafted garments. The creation and maintenance of these items played a significant role in their lives. A knowledgeable observer could determine a woman's village of origin and social status from her clothing. The circular band near this woman's forehead is a ring of coins made from a portion of her dowry money, and indicates that she is unmarried.
Image 10A Bedouin woman in Jerusalem, sometime between 1898 and 1914, dressed in Palestinian costume, the traditional clothing worn by Palestinians. Many of the handcrafted garments were richly embroidered and the creation and maintenance of these items played a significant role in the lives of the region's women. Until the 1940s, traditional Palestinian costumes reflected a woman's economic status, whether married or single, and the town or district of origin, and a knowledgeable observer could glean such information from the fabric, colors, cut, and embroidery motifs (or lack thereof) in a given woman's apparel.
Image 11The Sixty Dome Mosque is a medieval mosque located in Bagerhat, Bangladesh, built by Muslim saint Khan Jahan Ali in mid 15th century. This unique masonry mosque with 81 domes (including 4 corner domes) is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou on 21 July 1948), best known by his former stage nameCat Stevens, is a Britishmusician of Greek Cypriot and Swedish ancestry. He is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, philanthropist and prominent convert to Islam. As Cat Stevens, he sold over 60 million albums around the world since the late 1960s. His albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were both certified as Triple Platinum by the RIAA in the United States; his album Catch Bull at Four sold half a million copies in the first two weeks of release alone, and was Billboard's number-one LP for three consecutive weeks. His songwriting has also earned him two ASCAP songwriting awards in consecutive years, for "The First Cut Is the Deepest," which has been a hit single for four different artists, and has been instrumental for others in establishing their musical careers. Stevens converted to Islam at the height of his fame in December, 1977. The following year, he adopted his Muslim name Yusuf Islam, auctioned all his guitars away for charity in 1979, and left his music career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He has been given several awards for his work in promoting peace in the world, including 2003's World Award, the 2004 Man for Peace Award and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace. In 2006, he returned to pop music, with his first album of new pop songs in 28 years, entitled An Other Cup.