Impressive Islamic Civilization Exhibit and Festival
By Nimra A. Syed

A two-day Islamic Civilization Exhibit and Festival was held at the Al-Arqam Islamic School (AIS) in Sacramento on December 23-24, 2006. The exhibit highlighted the contribution of Muslims to the many disciplines of science - engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and medicine. The school management’s keenness to portray the Golden Age of Islam was all too evident through the exhibits.
The effort bore fruit. The electronic media covered the exhibit so well that on Saturday, the last day, people from Sacramento and its neighboring areas thronged Masjid Annur’s multi-purpose room.
The room was converted into a living history village display: there were fruit and animal bazaars, where merchants were seen luring the customers. The walls were decorated with portraits of great Muslim scholars and their achievements. . In the midst of the room, a large gold, red and blue tent set the stage where a group of great Muslim scholars such as Al-Khuarzami (father of Algebra), Ibn-e-Battuta (great traveler), Ibn-e-Sina (father of medicine), Imam Malik (great narrator of Hadith) and others were having discussions on matters of importance of that time. A corner of the room was devoted to audio/visual presentations where the audience could sit and enjoy the documentaries and learn about Islam.

Recalling the glorious past

Achievements of Muslim scholars were demonstrated by some students. Nimra Syed, a seventh grader, displayed the works of Al-Jazari, who is the first known mechanical engineer and inventor. His work includes the invention of water clocks, double suction pumps, combination lock and first geared, animal powered pump to pump ground water. He also wrote an amazing book “The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices”, which is still referred today. His invention of the water clock was recreated and is exhibited at the British Museum of Science.
The festival marks the fulfillment of an important task: to educate Muslim kids and others about great Muslim researchers, whose work eventually made it possible for man to set foot on the moon and succeed in heart transplant. According to AIS vice principal, Sr. Dalia Vardani, these kids are the torch-bearers of modern Islam and if they follow the example of the great Muslim scholars of the past they too could contribute to modern sciences and the progress and prosperity of the future generations of this country and the world at large.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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