The Name Asturlab
This name was chosen by our founder, Dr Mohammad Abu Dalu, Dalu, after listening to his favourite podcast which happened to be called Asturlab. The astrolabe is an ancient hand-held device, invented during the Hellenistic period of Greece and used to make many different astrological and astronomical calculations.
Many centuries later, during the Islamic Golden Age, Muslim scientists and mathematicians made further developments to the astrolabe to aid with navigational and surveying calculations; finding the direction of Mecca and determining correct times for prayers. In fact, the astrolabe is said to have around a thousand applications. Astrolabe is pronounced more like ‘asturlab’ in Arabic (al’iistirlab, الإسطرلاب) and this word began to resonate in Mohammad’s mind and he recognised that the ancient device’s uses are in alignment with the ethos of our cultural centre.
The analogy fits well, especially in terms of the device being developed during the Islamic Golden Age, when time honoured Muslim traditions and values flourished and because it was used as a navigational tool to guide people’s way and assist them in carrying out their customs and traditions. It is a device that best embodies how we envision Asturlab Cultural Centre to serve our ethnic Muslim communities.