Hassan is a resident of the city of Kufa on the rather desolate planet Lam, a colony established over a century before his birth when many people fled the turmoil and religious persecutions which followed the great rebellion on Earth. The rebels sought to violently overthrow what had become a military dictatorship in all but name, and the military retaliation was severe and bloody.
The rebellion failed to achieve most of its aims, but did lead, after several years of bloodshed and turmoil, to a long period of civilian rule which brought stability and prosperity to most of the citizens of Earth. During this period, Lam concentrated on building trading links with nearby colonies and star-systems, and on developing new technology, particularly that related to Space travel.
The Earth Government slowly ventured back into Space, establishing military outposts and regaining control of several nearby colonies which had declared their independence from Earth control. Growing more confident, and eager to maintain its new prosperity, the Earth Government began a policy of expansion, driven by the ever expanding power and influence of the military many of whose idealistic young Officers dreamed of an Empire centred on Earth and who took as their model the ancient Earth Empire of Rome. The President of the Earth Government was concerned about growing divisions on Earth itself, and within the military, and believed that by encouraging expansion, and spreading the idea of a new Earth Empire, he could unite its people.
At the same time, the President and his military advisors were becoming
increasingly occupied with the growing influence of Lam, and particularly
about the new acausal star-drive which Lam had invented which Earth believed
would give Lam an overwhelming military superiority. With Presidential
elections near, and with his personal popularity decreasing, the President
decided it would be an opportune time to plan and then launch an invasion
of Lam and so gain control of Lam's new Space technology. As part of this
plan, Martial Law was declared in the territories around the city of Najaf
on Earth, for the peoples in these territories follow the culture, religion
and customs of the colonists on Lam. Many of those who founded the colony
on Lam were from this area of Earth.
A new type of starship technology, developed on Lam 3 over a period of many decades, which would revolutionize Space travel and is far superior to the common StarDrive.
The elite squadron set up by the President of the Earth Government and under his direct command. One of its principal aims is to plan and execute an invasion of Lam 3 and so destroy what the Earth Government and its military regard as the threat from Lam.
Name of the Islamic lunar calendar, used on Lam. It took its name from the early Muslims who migrated from Makkah to Madinah, and commences from the date of the Prophet Muhammad's Hijra which he made with his companions in the year 622 of the Christian Era on Earth. The months of the Islamic calendar are:
(1)Muharram; (2)Safar; (3)Rabi' al-Awal; (4)Rabi' al-Akhir; (5)Jumad
al-Awal; (6)Jumad al-Akhir; (7)Rajab; (8)Sha'ban; (9)Ramadan ; (10)Shawal;
(11)Zul Qi'da ; (12) Zul Hijjah.
The Muslims of Lam and Earth say or write this when talking about events in the future. It means - "If Allah wills it" - that is, "God willing".
The city on the rather desolate panet of Lam 3 occupied by the Muslim migrants from Earth who took with them their Islamic way of life and their Islamic culture. It is the only inhabited part of the planet, although the surrounding area has been irrigated and brought under cultivation. The whole terrain of Lam 3 is desert-like, and not unlike the Arabian desert on planet Earth, although the star around which Lam 3 orbits is brighter and hotter than Earth's star, the sun. This makes the terrain desolate and inhospitable, and there is no surface water, although there is underground water in a few places. The city was established near one such place.
Historically, Kufa was a city on Earth in the early days of Islam, situated in the then country of Iraq, not far from Najaf which became one of the greatest centres of Islamic learning and where the shrine of Imam Ali, the sucessor of the Holy Prophet, was built.
Recently, a new government was established on Lam, one of whose declared aims is to liberate the territories around Najaf which are under Martial Law, declared by the Earth Government.
A rare mineral found deep underground on a planet in a star-system near Eridani. Used as currency by steller traders.
The person who calls the faithful to prayer (Namaz - also called Salah). The Muezzin recites the Azan - the Muslim call to prayer - the words of which have remained unchanged since the time of the Prophet and Imam Ali.
Namaz refers to the daily prayers of Islam. All Muslims have a duty to offer daily prayers at set times, and these acts of prayer are regarded as one of the foremost, one of the most sacred, and the one of the most honourable duties a Muslim has. The prayers are said in Arabic, and have remained unchanged from the days of Muhammad.
A Muslim is required to offer the prayers wherever they are, and it is regarded as dishonourable and shameful conduct to miss even a single prayer.
Ritual ablution (washing) before Namaz. It involves washing the hands, rinsing the mouth, wiping the face, the top of the head, the arms and the feet with clean water. If water is not available, Tayammun (dry ablution) can be performed. This involves touching a dry object such as a stone with the hands, and then symbolically washing the hands and the forehead.