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Teaching of Astronomy, Hijra, Islamic Calendar, Biblical Chronology, Astronomy and Religion, Al-Khwarizmi, Biblical ChronologyAstronomy and Religion, Ancient Cultures and Astronomy, Dating Ancient Cultural Events
The connections between astronomy and timekeeping are longstanding. One approach to the teaching of Astronomy is it can serve as a unique platform to illustrate the advancement of science from ancient times along with the strong interrelation between science and religion. Here we chose to describe the influence of astronomical measurements that led to the determination of calendars with emphasis on the Islamic epoch: During the second century the Ethiopian Church placed the world’s year of creation (YOC) at exactly 5500 years before the Incarnation, thus expressing the view that it is related to the first day of the second half of the sixth millennium since their believed to be the YOC. The Ethiopian Church also believed that the astronomical visualization of the sky in the YOC which placed the vernal equinox and the newmoon in the same day, repeated itself in the year 5500. In a previous work we showed that “Astronomical coincidence" is a notion originated from Jews who believed that the YOC, Exodus, and the building of the Temple were mystically connected by similar rare newmoon events relative to the vernal equinox. Here we show that the founders of Islam believed in a similar mystical coincidence, explicitly that the 16th of July, 622 AD,- the epoch of the Islamic calendar-, is exactly the day in which the 6000th lunar year started after the biblical creation based on the number of solar years from creation as determined by Eusebius. We show that our astronomical calculations are in accordance with a tradition mentioned by Abu al-Fadl and Badauni.