First Watch 8th century

watch muslim inventionsThe first watch was made by Kutbi, a renowned watch-maker of his time. During the Abbasid period, which lasted between 750-1258 the use of a watch became quite common. Abbasid (Abbasi) is the dynastic name generally given to the caliph of Baghdad, the second of the two great Sunni dynasties of the Islamic empire, that overthrew the Umayyad caliphs from all but Spain.

Harun al-Rashid, whose reign of the Abbasid dynasty brought the “Golden Age” to the Abbassids (Abbasi caliphate), once despatched a watch as a gift to his celebrated contemporary, the French Emperor Charlemagne. At that time a watch was considered a novel thing in Europe and was regarded as an object of wonder. Mustansariya, the well-known university of Baghdad had a unique clock with a dial blue like the sky and a sun which continually moved over its surface denoting the time. Maulana Shibli, the famous Urdu litterateur, has described a watch of Damascus in the following words: “The watch was kept in the door of a wall. It contained copper plates and twelve doors. There was an Eagle standing in the 1st and the last plate. At the end of each hour, these two eagles lay down on the copper plates and hence a sound was produced to show the time. At twelve all the doors were closed. This system was being repeated continuously”. The construction of water clocks was also common in Islamic Countries.

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