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Remembering Samad Rizvi

January 01, 2010


SYED Samad Rizvi died last week. Although he was an electrical engineer by profession, his correct monthly predictions of the new moon sighting since almost half a century were remarkable.

In the 1930s, when Muslims had little interest in utilising science for their religious affairs, he discovered hard to find Arabic and Sanskrit books to help him refine the method of moonsighting (Dawn [Sci-Tech, Oct 13, 2007]). He also discovered and translated hitherto extinct Sanskrit books, discovered Nandana near Rawalpindi as the site where Al Beiruni measured the diameter of the Earth, and described the astronomical and astrological aspects of the poetry of Amir Khusro, among many other contributions to knowledge.

Iranian scholars, who called him Al Beiruni Sani, knew his worth better than we do.