De Materia Medica served as the primary text of pharmacology until the fifteenth century


Title page of De Materia Medica by Pedanius Dioscorides, 1554. (Image: University of Virginia) Title page of De Materia Medica by Pedanius Dioscorides, 1554. (Image: University of Virginia)

Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. 40-90 AD), was a physician in the Roman army, who wrote about herbs in the first century discussing the characteristics of each plant and its use.  His monumental work, written in five volumes in the year 77 AD, known by its Latin title, De Materia Medica (On Medical Materials), described how to make medicine from up to five hundred plants, explaining where to find each plant, how to harvest it, how to prepare it as a drug, and which ailments it will cure.

The book was translated into Arabic in the mid-ninth century at the famous translation institute in Baghdad, the Bayt al-Hikma (House of Wisdom). The original Greek manuscript, subsequently translated into several languages, described most drugs in use at the time, and served as the primary text of pharmacology until the end…

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Till death us do part – or not? British Library Blog


The highlight of most wedding ceremonies is two people making their vows to each other by promising to be true to each other ‘for better, for worse … till death us do part’. But what happens when they die? Where does all the eternal love sworn by innumerable couples go? We first explored the subject in East Asian ghoulish images & stories last year; this year we concentrate on one particular story to investigage the possibilities of love after death. – See more at:


Institutions: Revive universities of the Muslim world | Nature cites inspiring example of Aga Khan University

A must read !


Nidhal Guessoum & Athar Osama for Nature
28 October 2015

To boost science, higher-education institutes must give students a broad education and become meritocratic, say Nidhal Guessoum and Athar Osama.

Nature cites inspiring example of Aga Khan University - Institutions - Revive universities of the Muslim world - The world's oldest continually operational university was founded in Fes, Moroccoin 859The Islamic civilization lays claim to the world’s oldest continually operational university. The University of Qarawiyyin was founded in Fes, Morocco, in ad 859, at the beginning of an Islamic Golden Age. Despite such auspicious beginnings, universities in the region are now in dire straits, as demonstrated by a report we have authored, released this week (see

The 57 countries of the Muslim world — those with a Muslim-majority population, and part of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — are home to nearly 25% of the world’s people. But as of 2012, they had contributed only 1.6% of the world’s patents, 6% of its academic publications, and 2.4% of the global research expenditure1, 2 (see ‘Quarter…

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A prince of the Islamic world: Aga Khan – A must read

I am also not a follower of the Ismaili sect of Islam of which Prince Karim Aga Khan is the spiritual leader like the author of this blog, which I am sharing with my friends and followers as I am one of the great admirers of Aga Khan and his contributions in education, health, art, culture, heritage and science. A must read !!!

It is an old blog written on 6th November 2006.


A prince of the Islamic world

Last week, Prince Charles of Great Britain and Prince Karim Aga Khan of the Islamic world paid a rare royal visit to a remote organic village Nank Soq in Skardu, and the under restoration Altit Fort in Hunza. Yes, ‘Prince of the Islamic world’ because in one’s humble views he and his family have contributed more for the well-being of the world, and the world of Islam, more than any other Muslim prince, king, prime minister, president, general, or philanthropist in the contemporary history of the Islamic world.

Before one says more let me make it clear that one does carry Ismail as his second name, and traces his roots to the northern areas but the author is not a follower of the Ismaili sect of Islam of which Prince Karim Aga Khan is the spiritual leader. One says this only as a humble…

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Comics in Cairo Metro Stations Join Campaign Against Sexual Harassment

A must read !

ArabLit & ArabLit Quarterly

Sexual harrassment has been one of the signature themes of twenty-first-century Cairo comics:

Taken from Facebook. Taken from Facebook.

There is Deena Mohamed’s Qahera, which recently won “Best Digital Comic” at the inagural CairoComix Festival last month. In Qahera, a”visibly Muslim” female superhero beats back the city’s harrassers. There’s also Shakmagia (Jewelry Box) magazine, published by the Nazra Center for Women’s Studies, which focused its launch issue around sexual harrassment and sexual violence.

Other anti-sexual-harrassment superheros include Dostour’sSuper Makh and the “Asa7be Man,” whose slogan is: “Be a man and protect her instead of harassing her.”

Egypt’s main comics magazine for adults, TokTok, has also featured commentary on sexual harrassment. Even Cairo’s first full-length graphic novel, Magdy al-Shafee’s Metro, depicted sexual harrassment. This focus on harrassment indicates both the scope of the problem and a shared feeling that something can be done to change attitudes, particularly through a visual storytelling medium…

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A world of science

The year was 1789; the place Bengal. Isaac Newton’s masterpiece Principia
 Mathematica was being translated for only the third time in its already 100-year-old history; this time, into Arabic. The author of this remarkable feat of scholarship was Tafazzul Husain Khan. According to a member of the ruling East India Company: “Khan… by translating the works of the immortal Newton, has conducted those imbued with Arabick literature to the fountain of all physical and astronomical knowledge.”

Source: A world of science

M. Ali Lakhani: The Timeless Relevance of Traditional Wisdom


M. Ali Lakhani: The Timeless Relevance of Traditional Wisdom

More than ever, there is an urgent need to rediscover timeless and objective principles in order to confront the issues of our times. In this collection of remarkable essays, Lakhani summons us to rediscover the sacred worldview of Tradition, governed by truth, virtue, and beauty, as he addresses some of the most pressing issues today, including fundamentalism, gender and sexuality, religious diversity and pluralism, faith and science, and the problem of evil.

M. Ali Lakhani: The Timeless Relevance of Traditional WisdomM. Ali Lakhani graduated from Cambridge University before moving to Vancouver where he has practiced as a trial lawyer for 25 years. In 1998, he founded the traditionalist journal, Sacred Web, with the aim of identifying the first principles of traditional metaphysics and promoting their application to the contingent circumstances of modernity. The bi-annual journal has included contributions by many leading traditionalists. In the words of Professor Nasr, “Along with Sophia, Sacred Web is the most important journal…

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