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Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Tale Before Columbus

Christopher Columbus was credited in modern day history as the founder of the Americas. In October 12,1942, accompanied by 3 ships, the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina, Columbus finally reached an island in modern day Bahamas and named it San Salvador. Altogether, Columbus made 4 journeys to the Americas, colonizing each new land he discovered. Almost through out my life, I've been living with the idea that Columbus was the founder of the Americas.

But a talk yesterday by Dr Awadh about Muslims becoming the real pioneers to the Americas prompted me to do some research on the issue. I've always had the thought before that maybe the Muslims founded this part of the globe before Culombus. With the likes of navigators of Ibnu Batuta and Al-Idrisi (to name a few) calibre, you've got to think that no way not a single one of them couldn't find the Americas. So, after Dr Awadh mentioned this yesterday, I decided to look it up and see what I get.

First of all, this is a picture of the world map made by Al-Idrisi:

It was constructed of pure silver that weighed approximately 400 kilograms and precisely recorded on it the seven continents with trade routes, lakes and rivers, major cities, and plains and mountains. And in a time when Europeans thought the earth was flat, this map obviously shows that Earth is round. Christopher Columbus used the map which was originally taken from Al-Idrisi's work in his quest. Al-Idrisi also reported that a group of eight Muslim sailors from North Africa sailed west of Lisbon. After sailing west for more than 31 days, they landed on what must have been an island in the Caribbean. The intrepid explorers were initially imprisoned by Indians but were later released when a translator appeared who spoke Arabic.

In 1310, Sultan Abu Bakari of the Mandinka kingdom of Mali sent two different fleets of ships, totalling 2,400 ships, sailing west from Africa. The fleets never returned to Africa.

Columbus mentioned there were black skinned Indians in Honduras. There were numerous of these reports actually.

Before that, Abu Hassan Ali ibn Al-Hussain al-Masudi, a historian and geographer wrote in his book Muruj adh-dhahab wa maadin aljawhar (The meadows of gold and quarries of jewels) that during the rule of Al-Andalus Abdullah Ibn Mohammad, a Muslim navigator, Khashkhash Ibn Saeed Ibn Aswad, from Cortoba (present day Cordova), Spain sailed from Delba (Palos) in 889, crossed the Atlantic, reached an unknown territory, and returned with fabulous treasures. In Al-Masudi's map of the world there is a large area in the ocean of darkness and fog which he referred to as the unknown territory.

What was more amusing to me was the fact that there were also many Muslim Native Americas living at that time (and there still are). Some were even chief's of their tribes. Treaty of Peace and Commerce Delaware signed in Delaware River in 1787 bears the signature of Abdel-Khak and Muhammad Ibn Abdullah. Read more here. African slaves that fled from their owners also sought refudgee with Indian tribes. The English colonist, wary of this and concerned about the possible threat posed by the mixed African and Indian population that was arising, passed out numerous laws in an attempt to stop this. In 1726 the British governor of colonial New York exacted a promise from the Iroquois Indians to return all runaway slaves who had joined up with them. This same promise was extracted from the Huron Indians in 1764 and from the Delaware Indians in 1765. Despite their promises, no escaped slaves were ever returned by these tribes, who continued to provide a safe and secure home for escaped slaves.

Other than that, I found out that some native American words were originated from the arabic/turk language. For Example Kentucky is supposedly named after an Indian word (Kain-tuck) that means dark and bloody ground The Turkish word Kan-tok means saturated with or full of blood. Chicago, named after an Indian word meaning a nasty, smelly, uncultivated land originated from the Turkish Chee-kahkahl which has the same meaning. Tallahassee (only a blind person can't see the word Allah in it), meaning He Allah will deliver you sometime in the future. More words here.

Some Native American dress codes share similarity with Arabs. Cherokee men would wear turbans on their head and the women would wear long head coverings. Check this out:

Until when are the Americans gonna hide all these facts? Let's all hope for the the truth to prevail someday.

For a Tale Before Columbus: Part 2, click here

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Recently (over the weekend), we, the Malay Vandy people had to decide where to live for the next academic year. It has always been a major issue, i mean, people have started talking about it since a few weeks back already. But this year, tends to be a bit different.

The tough just got tougher. Vanderbilt thought, "Hey, if we make all the student's live on campus, then we'll get more money."

And that's exactly what they did. Well, the new rule is that only a very small fraction of the seniors are allowed to live off campus. The rest have to stay in. They also opened a new dorm for the freshmen. The problem arises when everyone wanted to stay at one place, the Highland Quad.

I'm currently in Lewis, which is part of the Quad. And next sem, because of this change, I'll be in Towers. Since a lot of applications will be made for Lewis, seniors will have a greater chance at getting it. But thoughtfully enough, our all time 'savior', Doc V, has reserved a certain amount of houses in Lewis and Towers for each batch. My batch got 2 suites (one for guys and the other for girls) and 3 single rooms in Towers and 2 houses in Lewis.

Deciding with who and where to live is not a small issue. You pick the wrong people and everything could go chaos (well that's if you have bad adaptability skills). You might think you pick the right people, but then this guy can't get along well with this guy, and then puff, disaster. Well, actually, I don't see this problem emerging much within the guys (my batch at least), so ladies, sorry to say this, but this is all about you. And then, a person who get's 'dumped' from compatibility problems would surely feel aggrieved. Yet, even after all this roomate things are solved, another problem would arise. Who get's which room in the house? It's just problem after problem. Oh, there's just so many problems that I won't even dare to try to put in this blog.

I for one, really feel that the real problem causing all the trouble is the lack of toleration, cooperation, and those alike, among us. And more, selfishness. Man, that's a major hickup. People would tirelessly come up with different and 'unimaginable' (sometimes) reasons to support their demand, their crave for this and that, why I should get the single room, and you can't, those sorts of things. Of course, during the conflict, there would be some faint cries urging people to be tolerent, but then again, these cries sometimes come from people who would only want other people to be tolerante, and hell, not the other way round. Where's the sense in that?

I liked the way the guys in my batch settled the housing things. We got together in Amar's house, discussed a bit about the situation, got everyone to know how they each stood, and buala! Problem solved. Of course there was more to that, but I don't think it's even worth mentioning. There was no tense involved. Azlan was even making his jokes, lame as they are(sorry lan,haha), but that was just a glimpse of how we settled things up. I'm not saying that we didn't take seriously the housing thing, it's just that it's not worth the fuss, conflict, and arguements we're getting ourselves involved in.

But lets just say that's how life goes in this world.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Perihal Sekolah Menengah Sains Dungun

For those interested in reading the ghost story that recently occurred, click here.

Sekolah Menengah Sains Dungun is one of I don't know how much bestari schools in Malaysia. A top from that, it's also one of the 54 sekolah berasrama penuh (SBP) under the federal government of Malaysia. It has all the ingredients of a very good school.
Wanna see it's 'official' website? Just click here.


It's really sad come to think that a so called 'bestari' SBP to just have a msn groups thingy as the official website. Where's the bestari yg digempar gemburkan selama ni? Setakat ade 30-50 komputer kat sekolah doesn't make it bestari. I mean, rata2 budak2 tau gune kom ntuk main game and chatting je.

Budak2 yg terer komputer lebih skit drp org lain plak terus pikir like thy're on top of the world, berlagak poyo sume. I recalled this group of students in school dulu who call themselves the 'Briged bestari'. Kinda funny.

Well, anyway, back to pasal website smsd ni..huhu.. dah la pakai groups, only god knows when it was last updated. It's already the middle of the second month of schooling, and I don't see any thing different since I opened it a few months back. Not a single news about the school's acheivment (except the 2005 SPM and PMR results)through out last year. Nak harapkan ade gambar lagi la. User friendly? That's totally out of the picture. Frankly speaking, the website's had microimprovements since 2000, and I bet 'ya that nobody could see the difference between that time period.

I'm not really the type of guy that goes about criticizing things. But this is way beyond the limit. We were even promised a 'laman web sendiri yang terbaru dan canggih dalam 2/3 bulan lagi'. That was posted on the website on 9/8/2005. Ya I'm waiting.
I don't know what the 'guru cyber' and his team of 'briged bestari' are doing, but seems to me, not much. OK, the guru cyber ada lah ajar a few computer classes. But with all his assistants, he should have ample time and work force to at least update the website.
Here in the US, almost everything has it's own official website. Restoran2 cikai pun ade website sendiri. And better, bnyk yg boleh order online je. Even my x-elementary school's website is much better.

I'm not asking for a state-of-the-art website or anything, but at least let there be monthly updates. Biarlah nampak usaha untuk majukan skit website sekolah.

SMSD was officially a sekolah bestari in the year 2000 (the year I entered). They even made us wear blazers kononnye nak bagi nampak ke'bestari'an tuh..haha..I don't know where's the sense in that. Kalau betul2 nak bagi title bestari tuh, the schools should live up to expectations. There's more to bestari than wearing blazers to school and having computers.

Of a Broken Heart.....NAH!!

Ya right! It would most likely take a hell of an effort to make me heart broken..haha..

Well, I was wondering what I should write about to kick start my 'blogging career' again, and then since it was valentines day, i thought i should just give this a topic a go.

Here goes nothing.

Valentine's Day is put out as a 'traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other; sending Valentine cards or candy. It is very common to present flowers on Valentine's Day. The holiday is named after two men, both Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished'. I got that from wikipedia.

From what i know, this celebration has become so common in the world we live now (the U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide). The sad part is the fact that it's also starting to become synonym amongst us Muslims. Come on people, we know better than that.

For crying out loud, Feb 14 was originally a day to remember and honour a priest of his sacrifice in spreading Christianity during the Roman Empire. Valentine died on Feb 14 after being tortured and sentenced to death by the Roman King himself. Why in the world, should we honour that?

'For Christians, Valentine is a symbol of true affection between God and mankind. This is why Christians make February 14 as a day for love and affection to commemorate the death of the priest.'

We Muslims, encouraged to live with love and affection among the Ummah, according to Islamic guidelines. Such affection is forever and should not be observed only on a certain day. The Prophet, PBUH, said: "You cannot enter paradise unless you become a total believer and you won't become a total believer unless you love each other."

Sure, some might say what hurt can it bring to give your girlfriend some flowers and candy on a day when everyone else is doing basicly the same thing. Well, firstly, there isn't even actually the bf/gf relationship in Islam. And then again, all these silly things would just lead to 'maksiat'. Those who would prefer to be more romantic with their partners would certainly go the extra mile and probably drag them to go beyond the limit and even engage in promiscuous activities.

And finally, to wrap things up, the main reason why I think that we should not celebrate this occasion is becasuse Allah has stated clearly,'Say: O ye that reject Faith!.............I shall not worship what you worship. Neither will you worship what i worship. You have your own religion and I have mine.' -Quran 109-

If that doen't summon things up, I don't know what will.

hello again

i've noticed i've haven't even opened my blog for some time now. I don't know, lately just felt like a lack of interest in blogging. I had a few things lately that i felt where worth blogging about, so let's just see whether i'g gonna blog them or
my birthday's around the corner..hehe