Cartography, a word from Greek origin, is the science and art of mapmaking and is an endeavor paramount in the intellectual development of human being. When the Muslims of 9th century Baghdad decided to preserve the totality of classical Greek science in Arabic, the new language of civilization, they discovered Ptolemy. His Geographia was a guide to mapmaking and enormously important for all Muslim mapmaking. Over the next five hundred years, Muslims increased their knowledge of geography and perfected their mapmaking skills, eventually producing maps of great complexity and beauty. Modern cartography has its origin in the many breakthroughs made by Muslim scientist, centuries ago.
This book is not meant to be a history of maps, but a celebration of some of the achievement of Muslim master mapmaker. Insha’ Allah, readers of this book will be encouraged to view maps of all kinds with greater appreciation, knowing the great amount of labor and learning that have facilitated their production.