Archive for February 12th, 2010


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Hold a cardboard with a tiny hole against the sun. Is it a square light that you see or an image of the sun despite of its actual square cut?
It was Aristotle who first wondered on the above. ‘why does a square hole admit a round image of the sun?
Francesco Maurolico in the sixteenth century took up on the question and he explained from nature: the sunlight streaming between the leaves whether square or irregular opening renders an image of the sun. In this case the earth acts like a film and the opening between leaves whether square or irregular,  the aperture of a pinhole camera. In short the sun is being photographed by the tree.
Recalling my note on the earlier post on Multiverse each of us sees the same sun and interprets it. In the tree of mankind we cannot escape the eternal and absolute value of Truth. Some call it God and another, Allah. When one tries to force another at the gunpoint to his belief all I can say, ‘What a fool he is!’ Thousand times the sun is photographed by human heart and each one has his own name for it. What is in a name?

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Omar bin Al-Khattáb (Caliph634-666)

The Sunnis know him as Al-Adil or the Just; whereas the Shi’ites hate his memory for usurping the position of Abu Bakr. He was known for his harshness and austerity. Because of his height the shi’ites have an expression,’This road never ends like the entrails of Omar’. He was the companion of Prophet Mohammed. In fact the Prophet had an expression,’All long men are fools save Omar, and all very short men are knaves save Ali’)
It is said that he laughed only once and wept once. The laugh was caused on recalling how he had inadvertently eaten the dough-gods* of the Hanifa tribe. He cried when he remembered how he buried alive his baby daughter who, while the grave was being dug, patted away dust from his beard and hair.
It is said he lost all his friends for speaking Truth. He was murdered by by Abu Lúlúah alias Fírúz, a slave of Al-Maghírah for denying him justice.
(Ack: Burton’s translation 1001 Nights/Vol.2 -footnote)
*dough gods are made from enucleated dates pressed together like cakes and cut into slices This cake is called ‘Ajwah..
Al-Mahdi of the Third Abbaside (775-785), father of Haroun al- Rashid
was as eccentric as the best in the West. Sir Anthony Eden’s father it is said,looked one noon  at the barometer that read sunny weather. Outside it was raining cats and dogs so he tore the barometer off the wall and threw it out saying,’See for yourself, fool!’
Al Mahdi is known for cutting the throats of all his carrier pigeons, making a man dine off marrow and sugar and having snow sent to him at Meccah, a distance of 700 miles.
Abd al-Malik, the seventh Ommiade (715-719) loved to eat. He died after eating at one sitting a lamb,six fowls,seventy pomegranates,and 11 ¼ pounds of currants. He was proud of his looks. He seemed to have said,’Mohammed was the Apostle and Abu Bakr witness to the Truth;Omar the Discriminator and Othman the Bashful,Mu’awiyah the Mild and Yazid the Patient;Abd a-Malik the Administrator and Walid the Tyrant;but I am the young King!’

Selected from Burton’s Arabian Nights)


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