Thursday, February 27, 2014

PART TWO: The Scientific Research Requirements and the Arabic Language.

By Sodium

Although the scientific research requirements, for any language to succeed in coping, with the scientific requirements, are well known in academia and research community through out the world, I have chosen to quote what Bradley Steffens has written about the requirements, because I have sensed genuine objectivity and admirable scientific integrity in his writing. In a well written and easy to understand article titled, " Who Was the First Scientist ? " Bradley Steffens has stated the following statements and cited the following list of requirements, as quoted below:

Science is the study of the physical world, but it is not just a topic, a subject, a field of interest. It is a discipline--a system of inquiry that adhere to a specific methodology--the scientific method, In its basic form, the scientific method consists of seven steps:

1) observation;
2) a statement of a problem or question;
3) formulation of a hypothesis, or a possible answer to the problem or question;
4) testing the hypothesis with an experiment.
5) analysis of the experiment's result;
6) interpretation of the data and formulation of a conclusion;
7) publication of the findings.

One can study phenomena without adhering to the scientific method, of course. The result, however, is not science. It is pseudoscience or junk science.


Bradley Steffens covers then what Aristotle, in ancient Greek civilization, had theorized about falling bodies to be challenged and proven wrong by the experiments of falling bodies which was done by Galileo Galilei of Italy. Because of that, " Galileo is considered by many to be the first scientist."  However, Steffens has also written the following statements to prove that was not the case:

" Galileo was not the first person to conduct experiments or to follow the scientific method, however, scholars had been conducting experiments for three hundred years, ever since a British-born Franciscan monk named Roger Bacon advocated experimentation in the thirteenth century. In part five of his Opus Magus Bacon challenges ancient Greek ideas about vision and includes several experiments with light that include all seven steps of the scientific method.

Part five of Opus Magus is not an original work, however. It is a summary of a much longer work entitled De aspectibus ( The Optics ). Bacon follows the organization of De aspectibus and repeats its experiments step by step, sometimes even word for word. But De aspectibus is not an original work, either. It is the translation of a book written in Arabic entitled Kitab al-Manazir ( book of Optics ). Written around 1021, Kitab al-Manazir predates Bacon's summary of it by 250 years. The author of this groundbreaking book was a Muslim scholar named Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan al-Haytham.

Born in Basra ( located in what is now Iraq ) in 965, Ibn al-Haytham--known in the West Alhazen or Alhacen wrote more than 200 books and treatises on a wide range of subjects. He was the first person to apply algebra to geometry, founding the branch known as analytical geometry.

By insisting on the use of verifiable experiments to test hypotheses, Ibin al-Haytham established a new system of inquiry--the scientific method--and earned a place in history as the first scientist."

My Views:
~ Since the scientific method has been performed, in the Science of Optics, a highly technical and difficult field, by Ibn al-Haytham who had written all his works in Arabic, as shown so clearly by Bradley Steffens, it would be hard to accept the claim made by some individuals that the Arabic language was/is incapable of coping with the technical modernity of the 20th and 21st centuries. The claim does not really make any sense, since the scientific method being used, in the 20th and 21st centuries for new scientific researches and discoveries, is fundamentally the same scientific method that has been used by Ibn Al-Haytham who wrote his book, " Kitab Al-Manather " meaning, " The Book of Optics " in the Arabic language from which the Franciscan monk, Roger Bacon, had based his published works in, " Opus Magus, " as shown by Bradley Steffens of present time.

~ The translation from the Arabic book, " Kitab Al-Manather " meaning, " The Book of Optics " by Ibn Al-Haytham to " Opus Magus " by Roger Bacon, is a solid proof that the Arabic language is just as capable as any other language being used in today's scientific researches. In other words, without the technical experimentations and scientific analyses described in Arabic language by Ibn Al-Haytham in " Kitab Al-Manather " Roger Bacon could not have succeeded in describing his scientific works in " Opus Magus. "

~ Taking into consideration all of the foregoing, along with what has been achieved in scientific researches in more difficult languages to learn than the Arabic language, ( Chinese and Japanese languages ), it has become clearer that the claim which says that the Arabic language cannot cope with technical modernity remains what it actually is: JUST A CLAIM.

~ Any reader who is interested in reading the whole article entitled, " Who Was the First Scientist ? " by Bradley Steffens, dated 2/23/2014, can do so by checking the following link on the Internet: -Scientist?&id=637076

Final Words:
Bradley Steffens has recently written a book entitled, " Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist. " I intend to obtain a copy of the book to review. If I find the whole content of the book worth outlining a review of it for publication, I shall be delighted to do so and offer the review for the benefit of the readers of this website-and as usual, free of charge.

Monday, February 24, 2014

PART ONE: Is the Arabic Language Capable of Coping with Technical Modernity ?

By Sodium

On February 22, 2014, I had the opportunity to watch a talk show on the Internet, (, and the talk show is called in Arabic " Noqtit Hiwar " which means " Point for Dialogue/Discussion.

The whole dialogue or discussion was about whether or not the Arabic language had/has the capability to cope with the technical modernity of our time. Mr. Muhammad Abdelhameed, was the anchorman or moderator of the show. He received telephone calls from across the globe, but mainly from the Arab countries. Each caller had given his or her own opinion about the Arabic language capability or incapability.

Mr. Abdelhameed had done a good job, as an anchorman and moderator in keeping his comments neutral, through out the whole time allocated for the show. I truly had enjoyed watching Mr. Abdelhameed's performance and hearing the different views and opinions of the callers and the guest of the show who was Dr. Muhammad Abdelhaleem, Professor of  Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at London University. And there was another guest by the name of Ezat Abu-Alnaja, Professor of Arabic language at Ein Shams University in Egypt. Professor Abu-Alnaja communicated with anchorman/moderator Abdelhameed by telephone. Both professors were positive in their comments about the capability of the Arabic language. Although what both professors had stated was well known to me, I must admit that I was delighted by, and appreciative of, what both professors had said about the Arabic language's capability.

Since I have a great interest in the Arabic language and have a degree of capability in reading it, speaking it and writing it, I have felt that it is incumbent upon me to add my points of views to the constructive discussion that was conducted by Mr. Abdelhameed. And in attempting to contribute to the discussion in a comprehensible manner, I was compelled to divide what I had in mind to say into two parts. The first part deals with what the Arabic language has already proven what it has been capable of, in time past. The second part will mainly cover the requirements in conducting scientific researches and studies, in any language, whether that language is Arabic, English or any other language. This post covers only PART ONE:

My two cents contribution to the discussion can be summarized in the following points:

~  The deficiency is not centered in the Arabic language, as some callers had claimed, but in the mindsets of those individuals who have no idea what the Arabic language has done for the progress of humanity in all endeavors of human achievements, in time past, when Europe was living in its own Dark Ages, while the city of Baghdad had invented the Street Lights to enlighten the streets of Baghdad and enlighten the whole world with its technical knowledge and discoveries in medicine, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics and above all theoretical and experimental sciences of optics.

~  The concept of " Sifr " which means the concept of " Zero. "was invented in Arabic and by Arab/Muslim mathematicians. So was the concept of  ' Logarithm. "   A world without " Zero " and " Logarithm " might have been a world of chaos and confusion, although it has remained chaotic and entropic, even after the discovery of the " Zero " and " logarithm, " but without the " Zero " and " Logarithm " it would have been even more chaotic and entropic. Just imagine the difficulties that might have been encountered by the current international banking system, if it had/has no idea that there was/is a number called " Sifr " meaning, " Zero." 

~  Today's laboratory sophisticated scientific instruments such as Infrared Spectroscopy, Ultraviolet Spectroscopy, Mass Spectroscopy, and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy could not have been possible without the theoretical and laboratory experimentations in the Sciences of Optics which were invented by ibn Al-Haytham, the father of the Science of Optics and who wrote all his scientific discoveries in the Arabic language.

~  There are certain Arab universities, in the Arab world, that teach medicine, engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, botany and zoology in Arabic and at the same time teach also foreign languages such as English and French. Hence, one may ask: why not the rest of the Arab universities do likewise, instead of complaining that the Arab language is incapable of coping with technical aspects of the modern age ?  Just a simple question.

~  As one reviews the Japanese research works, in Chemistry for instant, as translated into English and published in highly respected American journals , one marvels at the determinations of the Japanese to publish their scientific discoveries in their own Japanese language. A language of a country that was bombed by Atomic weapons at the end of WW II and was left in total destruction and defeat.

~  It is well known that the Chinese language is a very difficult language to learn. And yet, the Chinese scientific researches and publications are being done and written in the Chinese language, and not in foreign languages.

What has been going on in the Japanese and Chinese languages when it comes to technical and scientific researches and publications, the concerned people of the Arab world must take notes.



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Who was the Originator of the Term: " Road Map " ?

By Sodium

The two words, "Road Map " have become almost a standard term to be used in planning programs in all issues of interest, especially in domestic politics and international diplomacy, as well.

As one watches the so many political shows on the Internet, one may notice that the anchor persons of the shows as well as the expert-guets of the shows, repeat the term, "Road Map, " or in Arabic language, " Kharetat  al-altareeq, "  in their discussions. One may marvel at the frequencies of hearing the two words, " Road Map, " or " Kharetat al-tareeq, " during the life span of the show. Recently, there have been programs of " Road Map, " or " Kharetat al-tareeq " in the following countries:

~  There has been  a political " Road Map " in Tunisia.
~  There has been a political " Road Map " in Egypt.

Perhaps, there are more " Road Maps" in many other countries as well.

Just by being impressed by the frequencies of the use of the term " Road Map " in the talk shows in Tunisia and in Egypt, has prompted the writer of this essay to remember what he had read in the American mainstream media about the leak that was leaked from a meeting between President George W. Bush of the United States of America and King Abdallah II, Head of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The meeting had taken place in the White House during, Bush's administration, (2000-2008)

Being eager to see the establishment of peace in the Middle East, the King stated in that meeting that what the Middle East needed was a " Road Map " for peace. It seemed that Bush was impressed by the term, " Road Map, " since he looked at his advisors, who were present in that meeting, and repeated what the King had suggested, " A Road Map " for peace in the Middle East. And it is obvious that the body gesture of the President was like ordering his advisors to take note what the King had suggested about the " Road Map ."

As soon as the leak of the meeting hit the American main-stream-media, journalists, reporters and experts on the Middle East affairs started talking about the possible " Road Maps " for peace in the Middle East. And the term, " Road Map, " had spread out like mushrooms and eventually had reached Tunisia's and Egypt's political attempts to solve their respective problems by some kind of political " Road Maps."

Hence, according to the leak in the American mainstream media, as outlined above, it was the Jordanian King Abdullah II who had originated the hottest term, " Road Map, " known in the annals of political agenda, in the international scene, at the moment. He is also known to have originated the term " Shi'i Crescent, " in describing the alliance that has developed amongst Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hisbullah Party in Lebanon. As one inspects the geographical map of the Middle East, one may notice that the geographical locations of the countries, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon make a shape, or an image resembling a Crescent, indeed.

It seems to the writer of this essay that the current Jordanian King has a talent in originating new terms, like, " Road Map " and " Shi'i Crescent " and use them so effectively in his international diplomatic communications. Such a talent is a reminder of another talent practiced by his father, the late King Hussein, who was a master in using his body language in expressing politely his intent, or rather in expressing respectfully what he wanted to say in his international connections and diplomacy. To appreciate how effective King Hussein was in that aspect, check an essay titled " Body Language In International Diplomacy " dated August 20, 2012, published on this website.

The adage, " father like son " appears to fit nicely, here, except that the father was a master in body language, while his son and successor appears to have a talent in originating new terms to be used in domestic politics, as well as in international diplomacy. Perhaps, the genes have something to do with such a father-son-relationship which, in reality, means intelligence..

Repeating the question of the title of this post, for emphasis:

Who was the Originator of the Term, " Road Map " ?

Answer:The originator of the term, " Road Map "  was King Abdullah II, of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, during a meeting with President George W. Bush of the U.S.A., in the White House, in Washington DC.

The intent in outlining all of the foregoing is to make certain that the credit goes to the true originator or inventor of the term, and not to possible fraudulent claimants.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Distorted Usage of the Words, " Lobby " and "Lobbyists" in the English and Arabic Languages.

By Sodium

Now-a-days, one may frequently hear, or read, in the mainstream media, the English words, " lobby " and " lobbyists " to mean " political pressure or political pressure exertion " for " lobby " and " doers of political pressure exertion " for " lobbyists, " respectively.

In the views of the writer of this post, both of the above usages are distorted, since the ORIGINAL meaning of  a " lobby " in the English language is simply a "hall, " or a " corridor " in a building. Therefore, the question that one may raise is the following one:

Why then the meaning of the word, " lobby, " has been degenerated, or degraded, or expanded or extended, ( you make your own choice of these words ), to mean " political pressure exertion " and its derivative, "lobbyists " to mean "doers/forces of political pressure exertion " ?  In other words, where such meanings of " lobby " and " lobbyists " have come from ?

It had taken the writer of this post a considerable amount of time to find an answer to the above question and would like to share what he had find with the readers of this website:

After the American military General, Ulysses Grant, became President in 1864, ( that was after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln ), he used to set in the lobby of the Willard Hotel, in Washington DC, and receive some of the citizens who wished to meet him, in person, in order to submit their requests or complaints. And he did such an admirable act of listening to their requests or complaints, in the LOBBY of Willard Hotel, on regular basis. Hence, he was the person who "coined the term lobbyists," although the English dictionaries had no place in their listings for the word, " lobbyists. " In other words, It was President Ulysses Grant who actually introduced the word " lobbyists " to the English language.  For further information, please check the following link:


What the Arabic language has to do with all of this ?

Well, as the writer of this essay reviews some of the Arab World's mainstream media, he has noticed that an increasing number of Arab journalists, reporters and forecasters have fallen into the same trap, or rather in the same trench, as their American peers who have fallen into, for sometimes by now; and it seems almost impossible to persuade them to refrain from emulating their American peers who have their own reasons for distorted usage of the word, " lobby " to mean, " act of political pressure exertion, " on members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States of America. The intent of such a distortion could have been innocent in nature, but it was/is still an act of distortion, regardless how one might have wished to be accommodating to such an intent. 

Moreover, the word " lobby " sounds so un-understandable by those Arabs who are illiterate  in the English language. So is also the case with the word, lobbyists. "  To those people, who know no English, such strange words mean nothing to them.. And there are millions upon millions of such people in the Arab World, today.

Why not calling the " ACT of Political Pressure Exertion, " what it actually is, " Al-zught Al-siyasi " and the " Doers of the Political Pressure Exertion " what they actually are also, "Quwa Al-zught Al-siyasi," instead of " Lobby " and "Lobbyists, " respectively. In doing so, a degree of respect is maintained towards those Arabs who know no English and the abuse of the Arabic language is avoided.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

What is Fitna in Islam's Narrative ?

By Sodium

Fitna is an Arabic word, derived from the Arabic past tense verb, " fatana. "   With very few exceptions, all words in the Arabic language are derived from their respective past tense verbs, made of only three corresponding alphabet letters which make the past tense verb. In other words, the ROOTS of every word in the Arabic language is its respective past tense verb which must be made of only three Arabic alphabets. To make this point clearer, the English word, " ate, " is an excellent choice to comprehend what has already been said about the ROOTS of the Arabic words. Just for the sake of simplicity, let us assume all English words have their ROOTS exactly as in Arabic and the English word, " ate, " fits beautifully for serving our purpose, here:

~  Because " ate " is a past tense verb in the English language.
~  Because  " ate " is made only of three English alphabets: a, t and e.

Now, let see what can be derived from this word, " ate " as the real ROOT for all English words that can be derived from " ate "

*  Eatery: is a derivative of  " ate " as long as it is assumed that the language rules in English and Arabic are the same.

*  Eats: like in, " he eats " is a derivative of  "ate " as long as it is assumed that the language rules in English and Arabic are the same.

*  Eating: like in, " he is eating " is a derivative of " ate " as long as it is assumed that the language rules in English and Arabic are the same. Of course they are not.

Since we know now the " ROOT " of  the word, " fitna, " let us try to define it:

Most people, in the know, would define "fitna " as a " civil war, " especially among groups of Muslims. I have no disagreement with such a definition because it is a civil war. However, I prefer to dig in the Arabic-Arabic Dictionary and find out what " fitna " really means. And I have found the meaning of " fitna " in the AL-MUNJID which is a huge Arabic-Arabic Dictionary. According to AL-MUNJID, "fitna " means the following:

FITNA: " Ekhtilaf  Elnas Fi Al-Ara'e Wama Yaqa'o Bynahom Min Al-Qital. "


FITNA: " Difference/disagreement in opinions among people and what results among them in fighting/killing."

In other words, when people allow their disagreements/differences in opinions overwhelm their common senses and rationality and become passionately and emotionally captives to their opinions, whether such opinions  right or wrong, people get involved in fighting and killing, which really means a civil war, when such disagreements and differences take place among people who follow the same religion or belong to the same ethnicity or citizens of the same country. Examples:

*  When Aisha's forces and Ali's forces fought near the city of Basra, Iraq and what had/has been known in history book as the Battle of the Camel, after Ali ibn Abi-talib was declared the Fourth Caliph and Aisha bint Abi Bukr Elsidiq and widow of the Prophet Muhammad did not like the idea of Ali becoming a Caliph.. That was a bloody battle which Ali won and gracefully took good care of Aisha after he defeated her forces soundly. Muslims fighting Muslims was truly a FITNA.

*  The Shii-Sunni split in Islam is profoundly a FITNA, since both Shi'a and Sunna practice the same five pillars of Islam and follow fundamentally the same tenets of Islam, but have originally political disagreements, as to who should have been the Caliph after the Prophet Muhammad's death.

*  In the 21st century, what have been going on in fighting, in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen are horrible three FITNAS, in three Muslim Arab countries. All three FITNAS seem to be instigated by a regional and international geopolitical struggles for hegemony, some of it has been instigated regionally and some of it has been instigated by big powers competitions to make sure such big powers' interests are protected and served in a region rich in natural resources.

* The American Civil War in which the citizens of the same country fought each other with profound passion for what they believed in. As a result of that war, there were more than six hundred thousand dead, ( 600,000 ), and perhaps as many wounded. That is the largest number in human lives loss America has suffered in all its wars, including the First and Second World Wars..

As it may be seen, FITNA is a terrible and horrible thing, for any country or a group of people, to endure.