Image Credits

List of credits and sources for images used in the 1001 Inventions Exhibition.



Unit Number Image Position Caption & Description Credits
E101 Centre HOW THE ELEPHANT CLOCK TELLS THE TIME5 - Drawing of the workings of the Elephant Clock
E201 Top Right AL-JAZARI’S ELEPHANT CLOCK - Al-Jazari’s Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices, completed in 1206, contained many sophisticated machines including the Elephant Clock, an automatic hand-washing machine and a mechanical musical band operated by cam-shaft.
E201 Bottom Right AL-JAZARI’S ELEPHANT CLOCK - Al-Jazari’s Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices, completed in 1206, contained man sophisticated machines including the Elephant Clock, an automatic hand-washing machine and a mechanical musical band operated by cam shaft.
E201 Bottom Left AL-JAZARI’S ELEPHANT CLOCK - Illustration of Al-Jazari
Ali Hasan Amro/
E202 Top Left TIMES PAST - A simple vase marked with divisions that measured water flowing out of a small spout near the base, used in Egypt before 1500 BCE. The Greeks used similar devices, calling them clepsydras – ‘water thieves’.
E202 Top Right TIMES PAST - Pre-Islamic cultures used sundials to tell the time. They also used the flow of sand or water to mark time passing.
E301 Centre Scribe Clock - The Scribe sitting on top of this clock would turn steadily to point at the time with his pen, under the control of the water flowing inside.
E302 Centre Powering the clock - Inventor Al-Jazari designed the shape of the water tank so that the water level drops at a constant rate to ensure uniform motion and increase accuracy.
E401 Top Left Naturally Conditioned Homes – Front elevation of courtyard house at Kadhimiya, Baghdad, built in around 1900.
E401 Centre Naturally Conditioned Homes – Courtyard elevation of Diwan-Khanat Al-Esterabadi, Kadhimiya, Baghdad (about 1850).
E401 Top Right Naturally Conditioned Homes – A view from within a double-height semisubterranean room looking up towards planted area of courtyard at ground floor, and roof terrace. Built in about 1890.
E501 Bottom Right Home Life - Illustration of Jabir Ibn Hayyan
Ali Hasan Amro/
E501 Bottom Left Home Life – Sake (Sheikh) Dean Mahomed opened his Indian Vapour Baths on Brighton’s seafront in 1759, offeringluxurious treatments including shampooing (from theHindi word champo) and massage (from the Arabicword massa, to touch).
© By permission of the British Library
E502 Bottom Right Meet the physicist Ibn Al-Hayham – Born in Basra, Iraq, in the year 965, Ibn al-Haytham completely changed our understanding of light and vision. He died in Cairo in around 1039.
Ali Hasan Amro/
E601 Left A New View of Vision - Illustration of Ibn al-Haitham
Ali Hasan Amro/
E601 Right A New View of Vision - The eye’s structure, drawn by Kamal al-Din al-Farisi in the 13th century, based on Ibn al-Haytham’s ideas.
E701 Right Genie in a flask
E702 Top Right More than a game - A Muslim and a Christian playing chess together, as shown in a 14th-century book on chess.
E702 Bottom Right More Than A Game - An 18th-century chess-playing robot called ‘The Turk’, actually controlled by a skilled player inside the cabinet.
E702 Bottom Left More Than A Game - 10th-century chess master Al-Suli wrote a book that included this game in progress. The Arabic script says 'The black is winning and it is his turn to play'.
© Courtsey of Suleymaniye Library, Istanbul

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Unit Number Image Position Caption &Description Credits
S101 Right

Library manuscript - Books and knowledge were a crucial aspect of early Muslim civilisation. This 13th-century manuscript, drawn by Al-Wasiti of the celebrated book The Assemblies, written by Hariri, shows a library in Baghdad.

© Bibliotheque nationale de France, Paris
S102 Top Left

Found in Translation - Over 600 years after scholars gathered here to work on Latin versions of ancient texts, this building in Toledo is still a translation centre.

© Castilla-La Mancha University (Spain)
S102 Bottom Right Found in Translation - In the bustling city of Toledo, men and women of many faiths once worked together to translate from Arabic into Latin the writings of ancient Greece and the original Arabic treatises. This tolerant period of history is called in Spanish La Convivencia, ‘the coexistence’.
S301 Bottom Left Alchemy to chemistry – Illustration of Jabir ibn Hayyan,
Ali Hasan Amro/
S302 Bottom Right Textbooks and translations – Illustration of Al Kindi
Ali Hasan Amro/
S302 Bottom Left  
S401 Bottom  
S402 Bottom ALGEBRA AND ABSTRACT MATHS - The poet we know today as Umar al-Khayyam contributed to algebra, with an ambitious plan to find algebraic solutions to cubic equations.
S403 Bottom Right GORGEOUS GEOMETRY – Illustration of Sinan
Ali Hasan Amro/
S501 Bottom Left The Search for knowledge - Over a thousand years after its foundation, Al-Azhar University Mosque in Cairo is still going strong.
S501 Bottom Right The Search for knowledge - A rare dissection lesson at Montpellier University, shown in a 14th-century French manuscript. Montpellier was a centre for the study of Muslim medical and astronomical texts from the 12th century onwards.
S503 Bottom Left Hot topics - At Al-Qarawiyin University in Fez, Morocco, students could take courses in law, mathematics and history accompanied by training in the Qur’an. The same tradition continues today.
S503 Bottom Right Hot topics - In ancient universities, students would gather to listen to a scholar seated on a raised chair. This elevated position reflected the status of such scholars, and is echoed in our modern term ‘the chair’ to refer to a leader or president of a meeting.
© Bibliotheque nationale de France, Paris
S601 Top Right Libraries and learning - Built in 732 in Tunis, the Zaytuna Mosque library once held a staggering collection of over 100,000 books.
S601 Bottom Right Libraries and learning - In Toledo’s cathedral archive today you can still see about 2500 of the surviving manuscripts that scholars translated from Arabic to Latin.
S601 Bottom Left Libraries and learning – Fatima al-Fihri
Ali Hasan Amro/
S602 Top Right The Paper Trail - Inks in red, white and blue, with silver and gold to embellish the script, make for a dazzling effect. This first chapter of the Qur’an, written in Jali Diwani style and gilded, comes from a manuscript of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.
S602 Right The Paper Trail - Scribes used reed pens up to 30 centimetres long. Each style of script required a different pen cut at a specific angle.
Mukhtar and Soraya Sanders; Inspiral Design.
S701 Bottom Left NUMBER CRUNCHING - Astronomers in Muslim civilisation used the ancient Babylonian mathematical system that relied on base 60. This is the number 424,0008.
S704 Bottom Left THE ZERO HEROS – Illustration of Al-Kinda Ali Hasan Amro/
S704 Right THE ZERO HEROS - Modern mathematics relies on the positional system developed by scholars in Muslim civilisation a thousand years ago.
S801 Bottom Left INSPIRED LEARNING – Illustration of fatima al-Fihri
Ali Hasan Amro/
S802 Bottom Right MEET FATIMA AL-FIHRI – Fatima al-Fihri founded the world’s first university and spent much of her fortune building it. Illustration of Fatima al-Fihri
Ali Hasan Amro/

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Unit Number Image Position Caption & Description Credits
M101 Top Right WATER POWER -Men and women worked and traded on farms supplied by water from distant water-raising machines and a network of canals.
© Ali Hasan Amro/
M101 Bottom Right WATER POWER - Al-Jazari’s double-action pump could raise water to a height of 12 metres to deliver it into the supply system.
© Courtsey of Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul
M102 Top Right BLOWING IN THEWIND - A 14th-century work by the Syrian geographer Al-Dimashqi recorded a windmill with typical vertical vanes.
© Bibliotheque nationale de France, Paris
M102 Bottom Left BLOWING IN THE WIND - Unlike the European design, Central Asianwindmills had vertical sails (vanes) to catchthe wind, like this ancient example in Herat,Afghanistan.
M301 Bottom Left MONEY, MONEY, MONEY - Gold dinars, issued by Caliph Abd al-Malik in the 7th century. These were the first coins to carry Islamic inscriptions. Muhammad al-Ahmar, who founded the Kingdom of Granada, issued silver dirhams. By the 13th century, Muslim civilisation extended from Spain in the west to China in the east.
© Princess Wijdan Fawaz Al-Hashemi
M301 Bottom Right MONEY,MONEY, MONEY - Gold dinars, issued by Caliph Abd al-Malik in the 7th century. These were the first coins tocarry Islamic inscriptions. Muhammad al-Ahmar, who founded the Kingdom of Granada, issued silver dirhams. By the 13th century, Muslim civilisation extended from Spain in the west to China in the east.
© Saudi Aramco World/PADIA (Norman MacDonald)
M302 Bottom Left KING OFFA’SMYSTERY - Why did the English King Offa mint a coin copied from a Muslim dinar? We’ll probably never know.
©The Trustees of The British Museum
M302 Bottom Right KING OFFA’SMYSTERY – Illustration of the Ibn Battuta
Ali Hasan Amro/
M401 Top Right CITIESAND TRADES - Glass from Samarra in Iraq was particularly famous. This mosaic glass vessel shows its stunning design and colours
© Philip collier
M401 Bottom Right Cities and trades -14th-century earthenware jar. This Mamluk lustre fritware was found at Trapani in Sicily
© V & A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum
M401 Bottom Left CITES AND TRADES – Illustration of Ibn Battuta
Ali Hasan Amro/
M402 Bottom Left GLOBALGOODS -Ancient spinning wheel (or aspool-winding machine) in Iraq
© By permission of the British Library
M402 Bottom Middle left GLOBAL GOODS - 17th-century manuscript showingpaper-making process. © Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
M402 Bottom Middle Right GLOBAL GOODS - Dyeing cloth in Kashmir.
© Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
M402 Bottom Right GLOBAL GOODS - We still see the influence of centuries-old Islamic designs in our books, wallpapers and fabrics.
© Hikmut Barutcugil of Ebristan, Istanbul, Turkey
M501 Bottom Left TRAVELLING TRADERS - Cities did a roaring trade in ceramics, textiles,glass, carpets and many other goods.
M501 Bottom Right TRAVELLINGTRADERS -The welcoming sight of this rest-stop or caravanserai in Konya, Turkey, would once have meant free food and shelter for travellers of all faiths and cultures.
M601 Top Right INDUSTRIOUSEXPERIMENTS -Chemists of the Muslim world in the 8th century first produced kerosene by distilling crude oil, a process vital to modern life.
M601 Middle Right INDUSTRIOUS EXPERIMENTS -Chemists used distillation to make stronger acids,useful in many applications.
M601 Bottom Right INDUSTRIOUS EXPERIMENTS -Pure distillation products like rose-water wereused in drinks, perfumes and cosmetics.
M701 Top Right LIVINGOFF THELAND- New farming methods and crops spread widelyin Muslim lands. This is a 14th-century manuscript copy of Al-Biruni’s 11th-century treatise Chronology of Ancient Nations.
© Arthur Thévenart
M701 Bottom Right LIVINGOFF THELAND-Many farmers built impressive pigeon-towers frommud bricks to gather birds’ droppings as fertiliser.This ruined tower is near Isfahan, Iran.
© Edinburgh University Library
M702 Top left A YEAR ON THE FARM - Citrus fruits spread from India to Oman, and were then planted across Iraq and Syria, according to a 10th-century account by Al-Masudi.
M702 Bottom Right A YEAR ON THE FARM - Figs were among numerous important fruits brought to Spain by Muslims.
M801 Bottom Left MEET AL-JAZARI – Illustration of Al-Jazari
Ali Hasan Amro/
M802 Bottom Left TRAVEL & TRADE - Men and women of Muslim civilisation bought and sold a huge range of textiles, ceramics and glass, as this richly-coloured painting of the 13th century shows. In the foreground, a trader serves customers with fast food.
© Bibliotheque nationale de France, Paris
M802 Bottom Right TRAVEL & TRADE – Illustration of Ib-Battuta
Ali Hasan Amro/

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Unit Number Image Position Caption & Description Credits
H101 Top Right IN THE BLOOD -How does blood move about the body? UntilIbn al-Nafis uncovered the heart and lungs’ role in blood flow in the 13th century, no one knew.
H101 Bottom Right IN THE BLOOD -The ancient view of Greek scholars like Galen wasthat the blood passed from one chamber of the heartto the other through invisible pores, rather than by going via the lungs.
© Bridgeman Art Library – Bibliotheque de la Faculte de Medecine, Paris.
H102 Bottom Left SETTING THE STORY STRAIGHT-Illustration of Al- Zahrawi
Ali Hasan Amro/
H201 Bottom Left BROKEN BONES - The scholar Ibn Sina, known in the West as Avicenna, wrote and taught widely on medicine, philosophy and natural sciences.
H202 Middle Left Bone - We still treat bone fractures in a similar way to that proposed by Ibn Sina in the 11th century.
H202 Middle Skeleton - We still treat bone fractures in a similar way to that proposed by Ibn Sina in the 11th century.
H203 Bottom Left MEDICAL MARVEL - By the 13th century, concise Latin versions of the Canon,translated from Arabic, had been published, along with commentaries to clarify its contents.
© History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries
H203 Bottom Middle MEDICAL MARVEL - Gerard of Cremona translated the Canon into Latin in the 12th century, and soon the medical communities of Europe were all using the book, like the doctors of Muslim civilisation before them.
© National Library of Medicine
H203 Bottom Right MEDICAL MARVEL – Illustration of Al- Zahrawi
Ali Hasan Amro/
H301 Top Left THE CUTTING EDGE - Many instruments designed by Al-Zahrawi look similar to those we use today, as this manuscript showing his surgical saws and scrapers shows.
© Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource
H301 Bottom Left THE CUTTING EDGE - Many instruments designed by Al-Zahrawi look similar to those we use today, as this manuscript showing his surgical saws and scrapers shows.
H303 Bottom Right ANCIENT SURGERY - Several modern surgical tools haven’t changed much sincethe time of Al-Zahrawi.
H401 Bottom Left GETTING YOUR JABS - Lady Mary Montagu introduced smallpox inoculationfrom the Middle East into England, writing detailed letters to her contacts about its benefits.
H402 Bottom Left HOW IMMUNISATIONS WORK - It took time for vaccination to be accepted. Some people thought that cowpox vaccine might producestrange results, as this 1802 caricature of Edward Jenner shows
© Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
H501 Bottom Left SEEING IS BELIEVING - Looking good: 9th-century scholars could already draw detailed diagrams of the eye, such as this drawing in the book Ten Treatises on the Eye. It is by Hunayn ibn Ishaq, a Nestorian Christian highly respected by his Muslim peers, who died in the year 877.
© Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
H503 Bottom Right TREATING CATARACTS - Doctors now carry out hundreds of thousands of cataract operations every year.
H503 Bottom Left TREATING CATARACTS – Illustration of Ibn Al-Haitham
Ali Hasan Amro/
H601 Top Right HOSPITALS FOR ALL - Built over eleven hundred years ago, the Ibn Tulun Mosque and Hospital in Cairo had facilities for menand women, a library and an asylum.
H601 Bottom Right HOSPITALS FOR ALL - Modern teaching hospitals are a training ground for doctors, just as they were in Muslim civilisation.
H601 Bottom Left HOSPITALS FOR ALL – Illustration of Fatima al-Fihri
Ali Hasan Amro/
H602 Top Left MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE - As early as the 11th century, Constantine ‘the African’ made key Arabic medical works accessible to European scholars by translating them into Latin. This 16th-century illustration recalls his lectures at the Italian medical school in Salerno.
© Dr James T Goodrich
H701 Top Right TREATMENT OPTIONS - Today’s chemists shops offer a wide range of treatments, some of which draw on truly ancient medical knowledge.
H701 Bottom Right TREATMENT OPTIONS - Botanical remedies: a 15th-century Persian manuscript shows herbalists tapping balsam trees.
H702 Top Left HERBAL REMEDIES - Pharmacists busily mix their medicines in this illustration from an Arabic version of De Materia Medica, first translated in the 9th century in Baghdad from a Syriac version. The illustrations, dated 1224, are painted in the lively and appealing style and bright colours of the Baghdad School with sprightly figures in contemporary local dress.
© Werner Forman Archive/Metropolitan Museum, New York
H702 Bottom Left HERBAL REMEDIES -In the 11th century, Herbal treatments have historical roots in Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India and Muslim lands.
H801 Middle Left HEALTH & WELFARE - Surgery was surprisingly ambitious in Muslim civilisation, as this 15th-century manuscript shows.
© Millet Library, Istanbul

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Unit Number Image Position Caption & Description Credits
T201 Bottom Right THROUGH THE ROSEWINDOW - Some experts believe European rose windows originated with the rosette and octagonal windows of the 8th-century Khirbat al-Mafjar Palace in Jordan. Illustration of Sinan.
Ali Hasan Amro/
T203 Centre The rose window in Durham Cathedral
© Durham Cathedral
T301 Bottom Left BUILDINGS& TOWNS -Master-architect Sinan built the Suleymaniye Mosquein Istanbul between 1550 and 1557. He designedthe interior with a filter room to cleanse the air ofcandle- and lamp-smoke – collecting the soot forink-making. Sinan developed new constructionmethods to resist earthquakes in vulnerable towns. He and other Ottoman architects helped keep theirbuildings cobweb-free by incorporating ostrich eggsinto the chandeliers, intended to repel spiders andother insects.
© Richard Seaman
T302 Bottom Right MEET SINANTHE ARCHITECT –Master-architect Sinan constructed many elegantbuildings during the 16th century.Illustration of Sinan
Ali Hasan Amro/
T401 Top Right OLD TOWN PLANNING - In this charming 16th-century town plan of Diyarbakir in southern modern-day Turkey, neighbourhoodscluster around local mosques, while the governor’s palace is shown in a separate walled area.
© University Library, Istanbul
T402 Top Left SPA TREATMENT - Public bath-houses or hammams would be tiled decoratively and used by men and women at different times of day.
© Courtsey of Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul
T402 Bottom Left SPA TREATMENT - y the 14th century, bath-houses in Baghdad had luxurious marble basins with hot and cold wateron tap, according to the traveller Ibn Battuta. Illustration of Ibn Battuta
Ali Hasan Amro/
T602 Bottom Left WATER FEATURES -Fountains and garden water features became very popular in palaces and mosques across the Muslim world.
T701 Top Right THE RISEOFDOMES - Domes form part of the fairytale appearance of the SeaCathedral in Kronstadt, near St Petersburg, built in 1913.The Kremlin in Moscow is also topped with domes.
T701 Bottom Right THE RISE OF DOMES -Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, designed by John Nashin 1815 for the Prince Regent, features the bulbousonion domes that had been popular throughout theMughal Empire in India.
T702 Top Left SPREADINGNEWIDEAS - The church spires and towers that seem so typicallyEnglish didn’t appear in the UK at all before 1200.European traders probably brought the idea back fromAlgeria, where the ancient tower of the Fort (Qal'a) ofBeni Hammad still stands today, or were inspired by the minarets of mosques across Muslim lands.
T702 Bottom Left SPREADING NEW IDEAS - Under the reign of the Norman King Roger II, inthe first half of the 12th century, Muslim craftsmen designed and decorated the Palatine Chapel in Palermo, Sicily. © Mashreq Maghreb
T801 Top Right HEAVENSCENT- A team of gardeners tends a plot filled with fruitand flowers under the instruction of the MughalSultan Babur, in this 17th-century manuscriptcalled the Baburnama.
© V & A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum
T801 Bottom Right HEAVENSCENT - Gardens inspired a special kind of Arabic poetry in Muslim civilisation. Called rawdiya, it conjured up images of the heavenly gardens of paradise. Illustration of Sinan
Ali Hasan Amro/
T802 Top Left GLASSHOUSESAND KIOSKS - The Ottoman Sultan Murad III sits with his sons inthis typical open-sided kiosk, surrounded by a lushwalled garden. This miniature painting is from the16th century.
© Courtesy of Topkapi Palace Library , Istanbul
T802 Bottom Right GLASSHOUSES AND KIOSKS - A famous kiosk built in 1473 at the TopkapiPalace in Istanbul was topped with a dome, and had two storeys to give better views of the gardens. Illustration of Sinan
Ali Hasan Amro/

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Unit Number Image Position Caption & Description Credits
W101 Bottom Left MAP-MAKING-Drawn by Piri Re’is, this is the oldest-survivingdetailed map showing the Americas. To make it,he used Arab and Portuguese maps, along withone of Christopher Columbus’s own maps, now lost.
© Courtesy of Topkapi Palace Library , Istanbul
W101 Bottom Right MAP-MAKING - Some of the best eyewitness accounts of the medieval world came from Muslim geographersand travellers who kept detailed diaries as they journeyed. Illustration of Zheng He
Ali Hasan Amro/
W103 Bottom Left AL-IDRISI’S WORLD MAP - Al-Idrisi made many maps while working for the King of Sicily in the 1100s, including this world map that includes India, Arabia, Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe and northern Africa.
Bodleian Library (MS Pocoke)
W105 Centre World/Rotating Map
Bodleian Library (MS Pocoke)
W201 Top Right ALL AROUND THE WORLD -Today we know the Earth is a slightlyflattened sphere, spinning on its axisand orbiting the Sun.
This credit doesn’t exist in the book i.e. p238
W201 Bottom Right ALL AROUND THE WORLD - Scholars once used sophisticated astrolabes to help assess height and distance. Measuring and charting the Earth’s features was a key aim of mathematical geography.
© National Maritime Museum, London
W301 Top Right SEA AND SKY - Scholar Al-Biruni spent years in India, where, among other investigations, he studied tidesin Somnath, a town on the Arabian Sea.
W301 Bottom Right SEA AND SKY - Al-Kindi studied music as part of the mathematical sciences and helped to improve the instrument called the lute. He also developed coded writing, and invented decoding methods, such as frequency analysis, similar to those used centuries later in more complex forms during the Second World War in German Enigma machines. Illustration of Al Kindi
W302 Top Left LIGHT WORK -We see a rainbow when sunlight is split into its component colours by raindrops.
W302 Bottom Left LIGHT WORK - The story goes that after Ibn al-Haytham declinedto perform an impossible task for the ruling caliphin Egypt, he escaped punishment by pretendingto be mad. Kept under house arrest, he freelycontinued his investigations. Illustration of Al-Kindi
Ali Hasan Amro/
W401 Top Right EARTH SCIENCE - Gems and precious stones fascinated the ancient Egyptians, Persians, Indians, Chinese and Greeks.
W401 Bottom Right EARTH SCIENCE - Al-Biruni worked as the chief scholar to Mahmud of Ghazna, ruler of northern India. He wrote a famous book, Chronicles of India, about the country’s geology and geography, correctly describing how the basin of the River Ganges must have formed through sedimentation.
© Hussein Gouda
W402 Top Left EARTH AND ENVIRONMENT -Ibn Hazm told his readers that the stars have no mind or soul, and can’t tell the future, but that the Sun’s heat has a positive physical effect on Earth
© Princess Wijdan Fawaz Al – Hashemi
W402 Bottom Left EARTH AND ENVIRONMENT - In his writings, Ibn Sina proposed new ideas in geology and meteorology, including how mountains form, and where clouds come from.
© Saudi Aramco World/PADIA (Michael Winn)
W601 Middle Left ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET - A celebrated figure in China, the Muslim admiralZheng He had a fleet whose largest ships were five times bigger than those of Columbus, who sailed decades later. Illustration of Zheng He.
Ali Hasan Amro/
W601 Bottom Right ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET - Historical accounts record that Zheng He and his fleets used this navigation chart as they recorded their routes on voyage.
W701 Top Left WORLD VIEW - In the 15th century, Chinese Muslim Zheng He brought back live giraffes from an epic voyage to east Africa.
    WORLD VIEW -… that travellers’ stories of sailors being chased by a giant bird on a tropical island helped inspire classicbooks like the One Thousand and One Nights? Illustration of Al – Kindi
Ali Hasan Amro/
W702 Top Right MEET ABBAS IBN FIRNAS – Illustration of Abbas Ibn Firnas
Ali Hasan Amro/
W702 Bottom Left MEET ABBAS IBN FIRNAS - Artistic impression of Abbas ibn Firnas and his successful 9th-century flight.
Ali Hasan Amro/
W801 Top Right TRIP OF A LIFETIME - Travellers might join up into caravans while en route to Mecca on pilgrimage, as is shown in this 13th-centurymanuscript of the classical Arabic work of literature Maqamat al-Hariri.
© Bibliothèque Nationale de France
W801 Bottom Right TRIP OF A LIFETIME - A modern-day camel caravan crossing the desert.
© Saudi Aramco World/PADIA (Khalil Abou El-Nasr)
W802 Top Left INCREDIBLE JOURNEY - On his epic journey in which he visited and lived in 40 modern-day countries, Ibn Battuta made the pilgrimage to Mecca four times.
© Saudi Aramco World/PADIA (Khalil Abou El-Nasr)
W802 Bottom Left INCREDIBLE JOURNEY - Ibn Battuta spent 29 years travelling and recording his experiences – returning home to find many family members had been lost in the meantime to the plague. Illustration of Ibn Battuta.
Ali Hasan Amro/

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Unit Number Image Position Caption & Description Credits
U101 Top Right STAR GAZING - Like Gemini, the ancient names of many constellations recall Babylonian and Greek legends, and many of the stars themselves have Arabic names.
Courtesy of Suleymaniye Library, Istanbul
U101 Bottom Left STAR GAZING - in his book, Al-Sufi included two drawings of each constellation, one as seen from Earth and another as if seen from outside the sphere of the heavens, with stars and constellations set on it. Illustration of Ijiya Al – Astrulabi
Ali Hasan Amro/
U102 Top Left STAR SIGNS - The constellation Perseus contains the famous star Algol, from the Arabic al-Ghul, which means ‘the ghoul’ or ‘the demon star’.
Courtesy of Suleymaniye Library, Istanbul
U102 Bottom Left STAR SIGNS - The 10th-century Persian astronomer Al-Sufi was the first astronomer to mention the Andromeda galaxy, calling it the ‘little cloud’. Illustration of Ijiya al – Astrulabi
Ali Hasan Amro/
U201 Bottom Left UNIVERSAL TRUTHS - The 16th-century astronomer Taqi al-Din installed huge versions of tools, like this great sextant, to increase the accuracy of measurements made in his observatory in Istanbul.
© University Library, Istanbul
U202 Bottom Right MEET THE ASTROLABE -MAKER - AL-IJLIYA – ASTRULABI. Illustration of jiya al – Astrulabi
Ali Hasan Amro/
U301 Top Right SEEING STARS - From the 9th-century, astronomers of the Muslim world had large observatories from which they could study the stars.
U301 Bottom Right SEEING STARS - Chinese records inform us that an astronomer called Jamal al-Din, who was linked to the 13th-century Maragha Observatory, visited the Imperial court in Beijing in 1267 and brought with him several astronomical instruments. He became famous in China and was known as Cha-ma-lu-ting. Illustration of Zheng He
Ali Hasan Amro/
U302 Top Left FROM EASTTO WEST - In the 16th century, Nicolaus Copernicus first proposed the Sun-centred solar system, replacing the idea that the Earth was at the centre of the universe. He drew on a rich heritage of astronomical ideas and data, including writings by Al-Battani and Ibn al-Shatir, along with instruments developed in observatories in Muslim lands.
© Anna Pietrzak; Nicholaus Copernicus Museum
U302 Bottom Left FROM EASTTO WEST - Al-Battani, known in the West as Albategnius, wrote influential astronomical works in the 10th century and measured the solar year as being 365 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes and 24 seconds long. Illustration of Ijiya Al – Astrulabi
Ali Hasan Amro/
U401 Bottom Left THE LUNAR CALENDAR - The phases of the Moon, shown here in a composite photograph, govern the Muslim hijri calendar.
U401 Bottom Right THE LUNAR CALENDAR - Many of the Moon’s topographic features are named after famous astronomers of Muslim civilisation, including a mountainous ring called Azophi after Al-Sufi and an impact crater called Albategnius after Al-Battani. Illustration of Ijiya Al – Astrulabi
Ali Hasan Amro/
U403 Bottom Left MOON MATHS -The Moon has a circular plain called Thebit after the 9th-century astronomer Thabit ibn Qurra who wrote scientific books and edited Arabic translations of Greek and Syriac works. Illustration of Al – kindi.
Ali Hasan Amro/
U403 Bottom Right MOON MATHS - Muslim astronomers developed new mathematical ways to forecast the Moon’s phases accurately. This painting comes from a 16th-century Persianmanuscript called Wonders of Creation by Al-Qazwini.
© By Permission of the British Library
U201 Right BLAST OFF - Only twelve people have walked on the Moon, our nearest neighbour in space.  
U602 Top Left DREAMSOF FLIGHT- In the Book of Kings, poet Al-Firdawsi describes the tale of a king who tried to invade heaven on a flying throne
U602 Bottom Left DREAMSOF FLIGHT- Artistic impression of Abbas ibn Firnas and his successful 9th-century flight.
Ali Hasan Amro/
U701 Top Right MAGIC GADGETS - The 12th-century scholar Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi invented the linear astrolabe, sometimes called the ‘Staff of Al-Tusi’, which was a simple wooden rod with graduated markings but without sights. It is shown here in a famous painting of Taqi al-Din’s 16th-century observatory.
© University Library, Istanbul
U701 Bottom Right MAGIC GADGETS - Astrolabes help people navigate on land, using stars as reference points. According to the 10th-century astronomer Al-Sufi, an astrolabe could perform a thousand tasks useful in astronomy, astrology, navigation and surveying.
© Saudi Aramco World/PADIA (Robert Azzi)
U701 Bottom Right MAGIC GADGETS - Spherical astrolabes were described in the Muslim world by 9th-century astronomer Al-Nayrizi, but they weren’t common as they were harder to make and use. Illustration of Ijiya Al – Astrulabi.
Ali Hasan Amro/
U702 Right A Collection Of Astrolabes
U801 Right PRECISE MEASUREMENTS - The 15th-century Ulugh Beg Observatory in Uzbekistan had a sextant with a radius of over 40 metres – the world’s largest at the time – to help make accurate measurements of the altitude of stars.
© Aga Khan Visual Archive, M.I.T (Hatice Yazar 1990)
U802 Top Left STARRY SPHERES - A tiny model of the Earth sits at the centre of this demonstration armillary sphere, shown in an engraving of 1732.
© Courtesy of Suleymaniye Library, Istanbul
U802 Bottom Left STARRY SPHERES - Astronomers used observational armillary spheres to help make astronomical charts.
© University Library, Istanbul

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