LAHORE - Who would have imagined that world’s finest astrolabes are made in Lahore.

Dutch Professor Dr Jan Hogendijk, astronomy enthusiastic Umair Asim and Retired Air Commodore Khalid Marwat joined hands to tell the stories of astrolabes, astronomy related scientific instruments, at a workshop on astrolabe making at the Ali Institute of Education on Friday. A large number of students, professionals and teachers of astronomy participated in the workshop.

Astronomy League of Pakistan (ALAP) Chairman, Retired Air Commodore Khalid Marwat, who founded this organization a year ago, aims to increase interaction among all astronomy societies in Pakistan.

“There is a huge contribution of Lahore to the field of astronomy. We are arranging such forums on our own and no government support is available in this regard,” he said.

Umair Asim founded Lahore Astronomy Society in 1995 and he has been actively arranging such workshops in Lahore since. He told this paper that astronomy has vast scope in Pakistan and workshops like this highlight the fact it needs a lot more efforts to sharpen the talent in astronomy aspirants in Pakistan.

“The astrolabe is a centuries old scientific instrument and it was exported to Europe from Lahore because world’s finest astrolabes were made by Lahore’s craftsmen,” he said.

Hogendijk said he has been reading Lahore’s name in astronomy books since childhood. “It has been a great experience in Lahore interacting with people from different walks of life keen to learn astronomy,” Dr Jan said.

Dr Saifur Rahman Dar, former director of Lahore Museum book has written a book titled ‘Astrolabe and Astrolabe makers of Lahore’ in which he highlighted work of Master Allah-Dad who was astrolabe-maker of Lahore dated in 15h century.

Allah Dad’s family was one of the prominent families whose legacy in astrolabe making made Lahore shine on global map. His son Isa continued this profession and later he became royal astrolabe maker.

 

 

FAIZAN ALI WARRAICH