It is related that Ali asked an Egyptian astrologer, called Sarsafil, "Tell me what is the relation of venus to the satellites (tawabi) and fixed stars (jawami)?" Sarsafil could not return answer for he knew only Greek astronomy. The Arabic word for satellites is tawabi means "followers", and truly a satellite is a follower of the planet round which it revolves. Similarly, the word for fixed stars is jawamimeans "gatherers" and truly a sun, or fixed star keeps all the planets revolving round it gathered together. How accurate were the terminologies of Ali?

Once a person asked Ali, "What is the distance between earth and the sun?" Ali said, "Suppose a horse runs day and night without any break from earth to sun, it would take 500 years to reach the sun." While making its calculation, it should be known that the speed of an Arabian horse is normally 22 miles per hour. The horse thus would cross 95,040,000 miles in 500 years, indicating a distance between earth and the sun. It must be remembered that the same distance between the earth and sun was commonly accepted in Europe during Renaissance. The western scientists expounded the same distance during 18th century under another notion, that if a jet plane flies from earth at the speed of 10,000 miles per hour, it would reach the sun in 11 years. This method also indicates the distance of 95,040,000 miles, vide "The Book of Knowledge" (ed. by E.V. McLoughlin, New York, 1910). The modern science however shows that when the earth is closest to the sun in the early January, the distance from earth becomes 91,400,000 miles, and when the earth is farthest in early July, the distance becomes 95,040,000 miles. It is therefore safe to conclude that the person would have asked the above question to Ali most possibly in the month of early July.

Once a person asked Ali, "What is the distance between earth and the sun?" Ali said, "Suppose a horse runs day and night without any break from earth to sun, it would take 500 years to reach the sun." While making its calculation, it should be known that the speed of an Arabian horse is normally 22 miles per hour. The horse thus would cross 95,040,000 miles in 500 years, indicating a distance between earth and the sun. It must be remembered that the same distance between the earth and sun was commonly accepted in Europe during Renaissance. The western scientists expounded the same distance during 18th century under another notion, that if a jet plane flies from earth at the speed of 10,000 miles per hour, it would reach the sun in 11 years. This method also indicates the distance of 95,040,000 miles, vide "The Book of Knowledge" (ed. by E.V. McLoughlin, New York, 1910). The modern science however shows that when the earth is closest to the sun in the early January, the distance from earth becomes 91,400,000 miles, and when the earth is farthest in early July, the distance becomes 95,040,000 miles. It is therefore safe to conclude that the person would have asked the above question to Ali most possibly in the month of early July.

Imam Ali (AS) was endowed with a quick, sharp, incisive, mathematical mind. Here are a few interesting stories in which the Imam's mathematical brilliance revealed itself.

This answer is in fact the result of a long analysis with a number of steps. Ordinarily, we have to decide on the original share of each of these heirs, in the following way:

- The wife takes one eighth, in view of the presence of an inheriting child.[see Quran 4:12]

The deceased's father and mother take one sixth each. [Holy Qur'an 4:11]

The two daughters take two thirds of the inheritance. [Holy Qur'an 4:11]

So the total will be :

1/8 + 1/6 + 1/6 + 2/3 = 3/24 + 4/24 + 4/24 + 16/24 = 27/24

This means the share becomes less than 1/8 in view of the increase of the total of the shares which are so fixed and prescribed. So the one eighth, the original share due to the wife out of twenty-four total shares, has become three shares out of a total of twenty-seven, which is one ninth.

The Imam's mind went through this complex mathematical process in a second!

When A and B wanted to divide the 8 dirhams between them, they quarrelled.

A said:

"I should get 5 dirhams and you B, get only 3 dirhams, This is a fair distribution," he added, "as it agrees with the rate of the loaves each of us had contributed."

B refused and insisted on an equal division of the money, each getting 4 dirhams.

Who was right? What was Imam Ali's reply?

**A wifes share ?**The Imam was once interrupted while he was delivering a sermon from the pulpit by someone who asked him how to distribute the inheritance of someone who had died leaving a wife, his parents and two daughters. The Imam instantly answered:"The wife's share becomes one ninth."**How ?**This answer is in fact the result of a long analysis with a number of steps. Ordinarily, we have to decide on the original share of each of these heirs, in the following way:

- The wife takes one eighth, in view of the presence of an inheriting child.[see Quran 4:12]

The deceased's father and mother take one sixth each. [Holy Qur'an 4:11]

The two daughters take two thirds of the inheritance. [Holy Qur'an 4:11]

So the total will be :

1/8 + 1/6 + 1/6 + 2/3 = 3/24 + 4/24 + 4/24 + 16/24 = 27/24

This means the share becomes less than 1/8 in view of the increase of the total of the shares which are so fixed and prescribed. So the one eighth, the original share due to the wife out of twenty-four total shares, has become three shares out of a total of twenty-seven, which is one ninth.

The Imam's mind went through this complex mathematical process in a second!

**A puzzle for you to do**Once two men came to the Imam to settle their dispute.Lets call them A and B. They had had a meal together to which A contributed 5 loaves and B contributed 3 loaves. The problem was that a third person C, shared the meal with them, all three eating equals amounts. After the meal C paid them 8 dirhams and went away.When A and B wanted to divide the 8 dirhams between them, they quarrelled.

A said:

"I should get 5 dirhams and you B, get only 3 dirhams, This is a fair distribution," he added, "as it agrees with the rate of the loaves each of us had contributed."

B refused and insisted on an equal division of the money, each getting 4 dirhams.

Who was right? What was Imam Ali's reply?