The scholar Alhazen and his relationship with the rulers


Alhazen (Al-Hasan bin Al-Haytham in Arabic language) is one of the most famous Arab scholars in the field of mathematics and astronomy, he was a comprehensive scholar, as most of them are Arab scholars, but his life was subjected to many fluctuations, the most dangerous of which was his relationship with the famous ruling Sultan of Egypt By God’s Fatimid command, it was an example of the conflict between the ruler and the world, what each of them wanted from the other. The dilemma is how can science theories be implemented in practice?

His great project is on his mind

Alhazen exclaimed in amazement:

 What a country and what a river, the Nile did not resemble the Tigris nor Neither the Euphrates nor the small rivers of the Levant, not all of them possessed the power and force of the Nile as it collided with the boulders of rock, then it recedes to reveal the mysterious Pharaonic inscriptions on it, he had spent a year in this place Ever since Caliph Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah assigned him this impossible task, he had loved this place called Aswan, which they told him was the center of the world without any evidence of that, and he wanted to live there the rest of his life would be among these dark, never-smiling faces. If failure had not been chasing him, it would have been there is a pressing motive that makes him not settle in one place, he grew up in Basra where there was nothing Satisfying his hunger for knowledge, he migrated to Baghdad, where the House of Wisdom was established, which was established by Caliph Al-Ma’mun, there he found what he was looking for, the place he dreamed of being in, he wrote about all the sciences from Greece, Persia, and India, and translators who never stop decoding other languages, and commentators, interpreters, and scholars in somatology and chemistry, and he reads, he wrote and discovered the errors found in the books of the first two, he wanted to restore all sciences according to a special mental system With it, until the son of Nestorian came, curse you, son of Nestorian.

The scientist is accused

Not knowing where he came from or how all these followers, enthusiastic to the point of killing, gathered around him, he stood the man is in the middle of the Baghdad Mosque, holding in his hand the manuscript of “The Organization,” one of the books Which Alhazen  wrote about astronomy, exclaiming:

 “This atheist philosophizer wants to share with God In knowing the secrets of the universe, he draws circles and claims that they are the spheres, did he ascend and see, but they are talismans? Magic or divination, they are signs of heresy and atheism.”

The worshipers did not understand everything that was said except the word atheism, which is what prompted them all to leave the mosque and Ibn al-Haytham’s house were stoned. He did not know how to defend himself, a ready accusation for anyone He dares to think and depart from the sciences of Sharia.

The news spread throughout Baghdad, they surrounded him everywhere he went. He could no longer go out home the wisdom, the mosque, the market, all of Baghdad was no longer fit for living, he had no choice but to infiltrate Under the cover of darkness and traveling far to the Levant, he carried only several manuscripts, his works for which he was accused Which he could not abandon, he took refuge in the Umayyad Mosque, but as soon as he sat down at one of the columns until students and those seeking knowledge gathered around him, his fame preceded him, and the likes of Ibn al-Nastouri did not exist, so he felt some Freedom and he began to catch his breath, but that did not last long.

Departure to Egypt

One morning he found the Sultan's soldiers surrounding the mosque, and a huge man wearing luxurious clothes came forward, he said to him: Get up with me, the ruling Sultan, Al Hakim Be-Amer allah (in Arabic language by the command of God), wants to meet you, he kept looking at them confused, what could he want from a fugitive like him? there is no spot on the ground Unless she has a ruler over her, and he has no choice but to walk with them, and outside the mosque there were more Soldiers and horses, the man asked: 

Where are we going to meet the Sultan? the man said simply: in Cairo, of course. We will travel, to Egypt now.

His heart fell to his feet: What? ...He would go with his feet to this terrifying man, who finds it impossible to kill his subjects for no reason, he evaded a trap to fall into a dragnet  with no range, but soldiers surround him, and a convoy Standing up to lead him across the desert, they all walked him, gave him food and cold water, gave him sweets and fruit they housed him in a luxurious tent, but he did not feel safe.

It was his lifelong wish to visit Egypt, the greatest city of Islam, but not in the presence of this Sultan, he fell asleep he woke up and the desert melted him into its maze, but the walk continued until the  sand  receded and the green land appeared, they crossed the river.

 Cairo, with its walls, mosques, palaces, avenues, and markets, appeared to be Cairo in all its splendor, its misery had not yet been seen, they take him directly to the Sultan's palace, they take him to a large building built of stones overlooking the river, the man said:

 Here in the House of Wisdom the Sultan will meet you.

He looked around in amazement and wandered around the house, there was a library larger than the one in Baghdad, a larger number of scientists and students, many measuring devices, binoculars, stargazing, and surgical instruments, and there is a complete chemistry laboratory.

As if his lost paradise in Baghdad had been replaced by something better, he stopped, panting, perhaps he was wrong, a ruler rises, with the work of this scientific complex, he cannot be a serial killer, watching a strange map of the world hanging on the wall, he approaches to look at it, but finds a person standing in his way, a short, stocky person with a pointed beard and eyes, two windows, contemplating his movement with a slight smile on his face, Alhazen immediately realized that he was standing in the presence of The Sultan quickly bowed before him, he did not want to accept his hand, and the Sultan did not extend it, he pointed to him, to walk together, he simply said:

 I wanted to meet you here so that you can see with your own eyes how interested I am in scientists.

Alhazen  explained his happiness with this, this was the best part of his trip, the Sultan said:

 Your natural place In this house, but I did not summon you for this reason, he turned to him and said very seriously:

 I summoned you Because of what I said about the Nile and how we can benefit more from it, this river is a soul Egypt, but it is fickle. Sometimes it floods and everything drowns, and sometimes it floods and everything dries up, twenty-four years. I rule this country and I do not understand the reason for the fluctuations of this river, I want to know the reason and whether it is there a way to prevent these deadly fluctuations?

Alhazen  said:

 I have heard a lot about this great river, but I must see it.

The Sultan said: 

I will prepare for you a small ship containing the most skilled craftsmen in Egypt, and you will sail to the place you see. Suitable, and I will provide you with all the materials you need.

Departure with the river

An offer that could not be refused, that is what Alhazen  was thinking, he never imagined that he would have the opportunity to this country and with this Sultan, he only had a little rest, he took a quick glimpse of Cairo, but  preparations for the trip were being made quickly, and the Sultan himself was supervising them, and even when the moment came for departure, he was the Sultan bid them farewell, certain that the river problem was of concern to him, and  certain that he wanted to show him the face the other of his rule.

The ship's journey was not easy, the river was swollen and they were sailing against the current, driven by the force of the wind Sometimes it let them down and stopped blowing for several days, and there were also mud fords they had to go through they avoided it, but Alhazen  was fascinated by the river, the greenery on the banks, the compact villages, and the brown faces that  looking up at them with their hands raised in salute.

Despite the length of the journey, he did not find the place he was looking for except in Aswan, where he found the point that expanded in it, then it narrows to become like a bottle neck due to the boulders of rock.

He looked at the place and then came up with the idea of creating a dam at this neck, behind which a large amount of water would be stored until the time of need, openings can be made from which the necessary water can be obtained, this is a great idea, but it requires A great effort too, fortunately the river was receding, and the rocky  ground was visible, he felt like he was racing time.

The river seemed unusually calm, surrendering to them. Alhazen  - due to his lack of experience with the Nile - did not notice that the color of the water has changed and become more red, and the planet Sirius appears bright and sparkling across the sky, and that there was a sound like a heartbeat running between the waves of water, and one night he fell asleep and woke up to find that there was a flood everything has been swept away.

The deceptive calm of the river suddenly changed, and it seemed as it really was, mighty and strong, the flood came where no one could to stop him, Alhazen  stopped, realizing that subjugating such a river was greater of his potential, greater than the potential of all builders and architects.

Those who built all these temples and mosques were unable to tame this river, there was no escape from returning to Cairo, the treasury representative said to him in horror:

 The ruler would be merciful to us if he is satisfied with Just by killing us.

Running away and hiding

He felt defeated, he had spent so much on this failure, and the ruler would probably never forgive him for it he was disappointed.

 What should he do when he was a stranger in a strange country? He remained silent throughout the journey, and upon arrival from the ship he sneaked to Al-Azhar Mosque.

Maybe this was the only safe place, he would stay hidden there until he found a way to escape this country, would the ruler take the risk and break into the mosque to arrest him? he did not want to know the answer, he was sleeping next to someone the pillars, and he ate from Jariya bread, and from the food brought by some benefactors, and he did not have money to buy on a horse or to join one of the caravans, he had no choice but to wait, but one day he was surprised by Al-Hakim, bi-Amr Allah. 

Standing before him, neither luxurious nor adorned with gold, but in modest clothes, he said: 

Do you think If you are like this, I will not be able to arrest you? he rolled his eyes as if he did not see anything and started shouting as if he raved: Water... water... flood... flood. Al-Hakim said: And you also pretend to be crazy? Ibn Al-Haytham shouted: Rocks, rocks... Al-Hakim said:

 He is not imagining I have to call you crazy, the guards are at the door and I can summon them with a signal, but I don't want to discredit you, the mosque that my ancestors built, but Ibn al-Haytham kept insisting: 

The sky is the sky... the air is the air... he said Al-Hakim: It's okay... Keep it up. You could have become the greatest Muslim scholar, but you... from now on, you will live on Jaraya bread, he left and went on.

 Alhazen did not live on Jariya bread for long, as fate intervened and al-Hakim was killed, by God’s command, on top of rocks Mount Mokattam, and his body was never found, and some still believe that he is alive, but it is It was an opportunity for Alhazen  to leave the mosque and escape with his life away from the shadow of the ruler.

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