Mariam “Al-Astrolabiya” Al-Ijliya lived in the tenth century in Aleppo, Syria and was a famous scientist who designed and constructed astrolabes.
Astrolabes were global positioning instruments that determine the position of the sun and planets, so they were used in the fields of astronomy, astrology and horoscopes. They were also used to tell time and for navigation by finding location by latitude and longitude. The Muslims used them to find the Qibla, prayer times, and determine starting days for Ramadan and Eid. Basically, an astrolabe is an old fashioned smart phone.
Mariam’s father was an apprentice to a famous astrolabe maker in Baghdad and she in turn became his student. Her hand-crafted designs were so intricate and innovative that she was employed by the ruler of the city, Sayf Al Dawla, from 944 AD until 967 AD. She will always be remembered in history for her genius designs.
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