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Monday, August 6, 2012

Posted: 22 Jul 2012 04:10 AM PDT
Claude Louis Berthollet was born in Talloires, near Annecy, then part of the Duchy of Savoy, in 1749.
Berthollet, along with Antoine Lavoisier and others, devised a chemical nomenclature, or a system of names, which serves as the basis of the modern system of naming chemical compounds.
He also carried out research into dyes and bleaches, being first to introduce the use of chlorine gas as a commercial bleach in 1785. He first produced a modern bleaching liquid in 1789 in his laboratory on the quay Javel in Paris, France, by passing chlorine gas through a solution of sodium carbonate. The resulting liquid, known as "Eau de Javel" ("Javel water"), was a weak solution of sodium hypochlorite. Another strong chlorine oxidant and bleach which he investigated and was the first to produce, potassium chlorate (KClO3), is known as Berthollet's Salt.
Bertholett first determined the elemental composition of the gas ammonia, in 1785.
Berthollet was one of the first chemists to recognize the characteristics of a reverse reaction, and hence, chemical equilibrium.
Berthollet was engaged in a long-term battle with another French chemist Joseph Proust on the validity of the law of definite proportions. While Proust believed that chemical compounds are composed of a fixed ratio of their constituent elements irrespective of the methods of production, Berthollet believed that this ratio can change according to the ratio of the reactants initially taken. Although Proust proved his theory by accurate measurements, his theory was not immediately accepted partially due to Berthollet's authority. His law was finally accepted when Berzelius confirmed it in 1811. But it was found later that Berthollet was not completely wrong because there exists a class of compounds that do not obey the law of definite proportions. These non-stoichiometric compounds are also named berthollides in his honor.
Berthollet was one of several scientists who went with Napoleon to Egypt, and was a member of the physics and natural history section of the Institut d'Égypte.
In April, 1789 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. In 1801, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1822.
He died in Arcueil, France in 1822.

Posted: 22 Jul 2012 01:46 AM PDT
We have already discussed the great status which Islam gives to Mary. Islam gives her the status of being the most perfect of women created. In the Quran, no woman is given more attention than Mary even though all the prophets, with the exception of Adam, had mothers. Of the Quran’s 114 chapters, she is among the eight people who have a chapter named after them, the nineteenth chapter “Maryam”, which is Mary in Arabic. The third chapter in the Quran is named after her father, Imran (Heli). Chapters Maryam and Imran are among the most beautiful chapters in the Quran. In addition, Mary is the only woman specifically named in the Quran. The Prophet Muhammad said:
“The best women of the world are four: Mary the daughter of Heli, Aasiyah the wife of Pharaoh, Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid (The wife of the Prophet Muhammad), and Fatimah, the daughter of the Muhammad, the Messenger of God.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
Despite all these merits which we have mentioned, Mary and her son Jesus were only human, and they had no characteristics which were beyond the realm of humanity. They were both created beings and both ‘born’ into this world. Although they were under the special care of God from committing grave sins (total protection - as other prophets - in the case of Jesus, and partial protection as other righteous persons in case of Mary, if we take the position that she was not a prophetess), they still were prone to make mistakes. Unlike Christianity, which holds Mary to be faultless[2], none are given this quality of perfection except God Alone.Islam commands the belief and implementation of strict monotheism; that none have any supernatural powers other than God, and that He alone deserves worship, devotion and adoration. Even though miracles may have occurred at the hands of the prophets and righteous people during their lives, they have no power to help themselves, let alone others, after their death. All humans are slaves of God and are in need of His help and mercy.The same holds true for Mary. Although many miracles occurred in her presence, all this ceased after her death. Any claims people have made that they saw apparitions of the Virgin, or that people were saved from harm after invoking her, like those mentioned in apocryphal literature such as “Transitus Mariae”, are mere apparitions made by Satan to steer people away from the worship and devotion to the One True God. Devotions such as 'the Hail Mary' praised upon the rosary and other acts of magnification, such as the devotion of churches and specification of feasts to Mary, all lead people to magnify and glorify others besides God. Due to these reasons, Islam has strictly forbidden innovations of any kind, as well as building places of worship over graves, all to preserve the essence of all religions sent by God, the pristine message to worship Him alone and to leave the false worship of all other besides Him.
Mary was a maidservant of God, and she was the purest of all women, specially chosen to bear the miraculous birth of Jesus, one of the greatest of all prophets. She was known for her piety and chastity, and she will continue to be held in this great regard throughout the ages to come. Her story has been related in the Glorious Quran since the advent of the Prophet Muhammad, and will continue to be so, unchanged in its pristine form, until the Day of Judgment.
Here the story of Mary’s upbringing and girlhood, as related in the Quran, ends.
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