The Solar Eclipse in Islamic Tradition

August 21, 2017

"Astrology informed a great deal of medieval Islamic art. It references the solar calendar, which in any preindustrial society, is extremely important—it tells you when to plant, when to go to war, when to lay foundations for buildings. Any court had its astrological advisors, who had their own fans and enemies." -Persis Berlekamp, Associate Professor of Art History

"In the Islamic tradition, a solar eclipse is both ordinary and extraordinary. It is extraordinary in the sense that it disrupts our everyday expectation of night and day and their regularity; in this sense, it is another sign of God's power. It is ordinary in the sense that it is part of a divine plan and has no significance beyond its attestation of divine omnipotence." -Alireza Doostdar, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and the Anthropology of Religion

More: "Eclipse reflects sun's historic power" by Louise Lerner, UChicago News Office