Time in Early Modern Islam: Calendar, Ceremony, and Chronology in the Safavid, Mughal and Ottoman Empires
The prophet Muhammad and the early Islamic community radically redefined the concept of time that they had inherited from earlier religions' beliefs and practices. This new temporal system, based on a lunar calendar and era, was complex and required sophistication and accuracy. From the ninth to the sixteenth century, it was the Muslim astronomers of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires, and not those of Europe, who were responsible for the major advances in mathematics, astronomy, and astrology. Stephen Blake's fascinating study compares the Islamic concept of time, and its historical and cultural significance, across these three great empires. Each empire, while mindful of earlier models, created a new temporal system, fashioning a new solar calendar and era and a new round of rituals and ceremonies from the cultural resources at hand. The hysteria that accompanied the end of the first Islamic millennium in 1591 also created a unique collection of apocalyptic prophets and movements in each empire. This book contributes not only to our understanding of the Muslim temporal system, but also to our appreciation of the influence of Islamic science on the Western world.
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21 March Abbas’s Abu al—Fazl Abu Mashar Akbar al-Din al—Din almanac Amuli Ashura astrologer Aurangzeb Badauni began calendar Cambridge celebration ceremonial Chardin chronology circumcision court cultural deﬁning Delhi difﬁcult dynasty early modern Islamic emperor Encyclopaedia of Islam eras festivals ﬁrst ﬁrst day ﬁve Grand Conjunction Hijra Hindu historian History horoscope Humayun Husain Ibid Id—i imperial inﬂuence Iranian Isfahan Iskandar Munshi Islamic world Ismail Ismaili Istanbul Jahangir Jalali Khan Khusrau lunar Mahdi Mehmed millenarian millennium month Mughal Empire Mughal India Muhammad Muharram Mulla munajjim Murad Murad III Muslim Natanzi Nau Ruz Nuqtavi observatory ofﬁce ofﬁcial Ottoman Empire Persian prayer prophet Quran reﬂected reign religious ritual ruler sacriﬁce Safavid empires Safavid Iran Sahib Kiran Shah Abbas Shahjahan Sheikh Shiite Shirazi signiﬁcant sixteenth century solar Suﬁ Order Suleiman Sultan Tahmasp Taqi Tarikh-i Ilahi temporal system tradition trans Turkish Ulugh Beg Ulugh Beg’s University Press Zij-i Sultani Zoroastrian Zoroastrian calendar