Thursday, June 26, 2008


The Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reported by Anas bin Malik

The best charity is to satisfy a hungry person.

-The Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reported by Anas bin Malik

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Qur'an, Al-Nour, Surah 24:20-21

Qur'an, Al-Nour, Surah 24:20-21

If God lacked patience and mercy, all of you would long ago have been punished. If God lacked compassion and forgiveness, none of you would have escaped.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

News From The Red Planet

Is the white stuff in the Martian soil ice or salt? That's the question bedeviling scientists in the three weeks since the Phoenix lander began digging into Mars' north pole region to study whether the arctic could be habitable.

Shallow trenches excavated by the lander's backhoe-like robotic arm have turned up specks and at times even stripes of mysterious white material mixed in with the clumpy, reddish dirt.
Phoenix merged two previously dug trenches over the weekend into a single pit measuring a little over a foot long and 3 inches deep. The new trench was excavated at the edge of a polygon-shaped pattern in the ground that may have been formed by the seasonal melting of underground ice.
New photos showed the exposed bright substance present only in the top part of the trench, suggesting it's not uniform throughout the excavation site. Phoenix will take images of the trench dubbed "Dodo-Goldilocks" over the next few days to record any changes. If it's ice, scientists expect it to sublimate — or go from solid to gas, bypassing the liquid stage — when exposed to the sun because of the planet's frigid temperatures and low atmospheric pressure.
"We think it's ice. But again, until we can see it disappear ... we're not guaranteed yet," mission scientist Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis said Monday.
Even if it's not ice, the discovery of salt would also be significant because it's normally formed when water evaporates in the soil.
Preliminary results from a bake-and-sniff experiment at low temperatures failed to turn up any trace of water or ice in the scoopful of soil that was delivered to the lander's test oven last week. Scientists planned to heat the soil again this week to up to 1,800 degrees, said William Boynton of the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Phoenix landed in the Martian arctic plains on May 25 on a three-month, $420 million mission to study whether the polar environment could be favorable for primitive life to emerge. The lander's main job is to dig into an ice layer believed to exist a few inches from the surface.
The project is led by the University of Arizona and managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The lander was built by Lockheed Martin Corp.;_ylt=Ak5A2XusnXb2IesYJxrgHsYiANEA

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Qu'ran, Al-Inshiqaq, Surah 84:16-19

Qu'ran, Al-Inshiqaq, Surah 84:16-19

I swear by the glow of the sunset, by the night and all that the night brings to life, and by the full moon, that you will move from your present existence to a different existence.

Qu'ran, Al-Inshiqaq, Surah 84:16-19

Friday, June 13, 2008

Qur'an, As-Saff, Surah 61:2-3

Qur'an, As-Saff, Surah 61:2-3

Believers, why do you say what you do not execute? It is most offensive in the sight of Allah when you say what you do not practice!

Qur'an, As-Saff, Surah 61:2-3

Thursday, June 12, 2008

11th Annual International Mars Society Convention

Dr. Alan Stern To Speak At 11th Annual International Mars Society Convention
We are pleased to announce Dr. Alan Stern will be speaking at the 11th Annual International Mars Society Convention, which will be taking place from August 14-17, 2008 in Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Stern recently served as Associate Administrator, NASA Science Mission Directorate, and is currently the principal investigator for the New Horizons mission to Pluto.
Dr. Stern has had a distinguished career as a planetary scientist and author. He was formerly the Executive Director of the Southwest Research Institute's (SwRI's) Space Science and Engineering Division. Prior to that role, he held several other positions at SwRI, including Director of the Department of Space Studies; leader of the Geophysical, Astrophysical, and Planetary Science section in SwRI's Space Sciences Department; and leader of SwRI's Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences group at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. From 1983 to 1991 he held positions at the University of Colorado in the Center for Space and Geoscience Policy, the office of the Vice President for Research, and the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA).
Dr. Stern has published over 175 technical papers, 40 popular articles, and two books - The U.S. Space Program After Challenger (Franklin-Watts, 1987), and Pluto and Charon: Ice Worlds on the Ragged Edge of the Solar System (Wiley 1997, 2005).

Back to where it all began in 1998: University Memorial Center, University Of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.
August 14-17, 2008
Available online
Available online
Do you want to give a talk? Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to
We have an impressive list of knowledgeable, inspiring speakers already scheduled.
Some of our other confirmed speakers and programming include:
Dr. S. Pete Worden (Brig. Gen., USAF, ret.; NASA Ames Research Center Director)
Elon Musk (Founder and CEO of SpaceX)
Dr. Jim Garvin (Chief Scientist, NASA Goddard)
Dr. Carolyn Porco (Cassini Imaging Team Leader)
Dr. Chris McKay (NASA Ames Research Center)
Dr. Carol Stoker (NASA Ames Research Center)
Dr. Bill Clancey (NASA Ames Research Center)
Dr, Matt Mountain (Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute)
Dr. Michael Simpson (International Space University)
Dr. Robert Braun (Georgia Tech)
George Whitesides (Executive Director, National Space Society)
Dr. Robert Zubrin (President and Founder, The Mars Society
Dr. Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11 fame is also tentatively scheduled to speak.
Brother Guy Consolmagno (Vatican Observatory; Curator, Vatican Meteorite Collection)
Dr. Ted Peters (Co-Editor: Theology and Science; The CTNS Journal of Science and Religion)
In addition, we will also be featuring some special programming:
Hubble Space Telescope: Why is it worth the risk and expense to repair HST? We will have speakers to discuss the future repair mission as well as the numerous astronomical discoveries that HST has made over its lifetime.
Mars and Campaign 2008: What will the 2008 elections mean for the future of the space program? We will be holding extensive programming to discuss this topic. We also intend to invite representatives from the Democratic and Republican Presidential campaigns.

Religion and Space Exploration: What impact will space exploration have on religion (if any)? What would the theological implications be of finding life on another planet? What has been the history of religion and space studies? We will be discussing these topics and many more aspects of this profound topic.

Web Advocacy for Mars and Generation Y: There has been much discussion lately about why members of "Generation Y" are not excited about space exploration. We will have in depth discussions on this topic and have presentations on how best to utilize the web for space advocacy.
Mars Project Challenge: Finalists in The Mars Society Mars Project Challenge (MPC) will make presentations explaining why their proposed project should be The Mars Society's next big project.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Latest News From the Red Planet

Clumpy soil on Mars has further hampered the Phoenix lander's attempts to obtain samples for analysis by the spacecraft's test instruments, mission experts said.

"Virtually none of the material made it down into the oven" after the probe dug up new soil clumps from the Martian permafrost with its robotic arm, William Boynton, an investigator for Phoenix's thermal and evolved gas analyzer (TEGA), said during a press teleconference Monday
It was a further setback for Phoenix, whose TEGA analyzer at the weekend was not able to obtain smaller, testable bits from the Martian landscape which researchers hope will provide clues to whether the planet was once habitable for microbial life.
Between 20 and 30 milligrams of soil is necessary for analysis, but Boynton said less than one milligram of matter passed through the screen into one of the probe's test facilities.
The screen is designed to allow through it particles measuring one millimeter (0.04 inch) or less. Inside the port there is an infrared beam which determines if particles enter the machine.
Once it gets a sample, the TEGA instrument spends several days analysing its content, first testing for the level of water content, and then heating it gradually to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 Fahrenheit) to better assess the mineral composition.
Phoenix, which landed on the stark terrain of Mars' north pole region on May 25, collected the first sample on Thursday.
The team aims to try the procedure anew in the coming days. Should that fail, mission scientist Doug Ming said, they will attempt a "sprinkle test" in an attempt to jar smaller soil pieces free.
"We hope to deliver a sample in about two sols," or Martian days, Ming said.
Boynton, who is a scientist at the University of Arizona which is coordinating significant elements of the mission, said the team was not urgently pressed for time.
"It will be at least a week or two (of failure) before we start to get terribly concerned," he said.
Phoenix has a total of eight "ovens" that can be used to test separate samples from the Martian surface.
If need be the team can also employ an alternate delivery mechanism which would grind up the sample. "So we are still pretty optimistic that one of these techniques will work for us," Boynton said.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Ibn Ishaq The Life of Muhammad

Ibn Ishaq, "The Life of Muhammad"

Muhammad now felt compelled to speak openly about the divine revelations he had received. At first people were friendly, listening attentively to what he said; and some were quickly convinced by him. But when he disparaged their ancient gods, most took grave offence; they resolved to regard Muhammad as an enemy, and to treat his followers with contempt. Muhammad was distressed at their reaction, but refused to be deterred from obeying God's command. And Abu Talib, Muhammad's uncle, tried to protect him.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Martian Daily News from Mars

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander successfully scooped up a sample of Martian soil with its robotic arm, mission scientists said on Friday.
This is really an important occasion for us, to be poised to make a measurement for the first time of the Martian arctic soil," said Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona.
The $420 million mission aims to dig down through the soil to the layers of water ice thought to lie underneath the surface, and to analyze soil samples to determine their composition and see if the ice might once have been liquid water, potentially creating a habitable zone for microbial life at some point in the past.
Phoenix retrieved its sample Thursday from a site dubbed Baby Bear, which lies just to the right of the trench the lander dug out in its practice digs. The practice digging locale is called Dodo

Mission controllers will send instructions to the lander to dump the sample into one of the TEGA ovens tonight. The TEGA ovens, which are about an inch long and the diameter of a pencil lead, will heat up the soil samples and use a mass spectrometer to detect the gases that come off the samples, which will shed light on some of the materials in the soil, specifically those formed by the process of liquid water.
"The TEGA system is particularly sensitive to water in its oven ... water is the first thing that's cooked out," Smith said.
Mission scientists must be careful when delivering the sample not to overload the instrument and contaminate other ovens. Once the sample is delivered on Friday, Phoenix will image TEGA to make sure the sample has been delivered and that the oven door is shut. The instrument is will then begin its four-day analysis (which may not occur in four consecutive days); the team will report each day's results as they become available. Any water present in the sample should be the first thing to vaporize from the soil, Smith said.
The sample also contains some of the white material seen in the scoop after Phoenix's first practice "dig and dump," which scientists think could be ice or a type of salt mineral.
Of course, they can't be sure that any of the white material will make it through the oven's entry screen. "We're hoping that some of this goes in and that we get a hint of what it is," Smith said.
Some science team members think that the whitish material can't be ice because it has been too easy to scrape up — the ice layers under the soil will likely be difficult to scrap because ice is so hard at the brutally frigid temperatures on Mars (which have so far reached a high of only -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 Celsius)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillan

Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani, "Fayuz E Yazdani"

Once a person said to a dervish, "All I ask for is a small dwelling in Paradise."
The dervish replied, "If you displayed the same contentment with what you already have in this world, you would have found ultimate bliss."

Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani, "Fayuz E Yazdani"