Time Out

Islam led Muslims to taking the lead in making things like mechanical clocks (for Salaah times), compasses (to find Makkah), Musallas (carpets) (for praying Salaah) and public baths (for cleansing for prayer). When Muslim armies moved into Syria, they came into contact with sundials and water-clocks. Muslim scholars devised almanacs to determine the precise hours of prayer according to the degree of longitude of each area. Most mosques used this system until the 16th century when mechanical clocks came into use, although there was a clock in the main minaret of the mosque in Damascus in the 13th century.
Arab scientists like al-Jazari, who furnished detailed drawings of over 50 mechanical devices, including clocks, and astronomers like Taqi al-Din provided the basis for Ottoman Turks making the first mechanical clocks.
During the reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, mention is made of a clock that strikes the hours, which he sent to Emperor Charlemagne along with several waterclocks. These clocks may have been the first ever in Europe.