A Brief Essay on the Quadrant Known as Muqantarat


This manuscript on astronomy and surveying describes the sine quadrant and parallel circles. Its author is unknown. The work explains how to measure topographic heights, know prayer times, and determine the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, toward which Muslims pray. The date of transcription is unknown, but was possibly in the 18th century. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a collection of 284 manuscript volumes and 365 print volumes that reflect the development of Islamic civilization from its inception to the early 20th century. The manuscript is item 303 in Jozef Blaškovič, Arabské, turecké a perzské rukopisy Univerzitnej knižnice v Bratislave (Arab, Turkish, and Persian manuscripts in the University Library, Bratislava).

Last updated: May 27, 2016