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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


Najmuddin said...

You should read this book: 1421 The Year China Discovered The World

In the book, the author Gavin Menzies, the Chinese admirals under Emperor Zhu Di, lead by the great Admiral Zheng He (Cheng Ho) has discovered the whole world, as early as 1421-1423.

His claimed is supported by abundance of evidence; ancient maps, ship wrecks, DNA analysis etc.

I believed him! :)

Hubab Al Munzir Asmawi said...

Ya, china was also a major force back then. They might of as well explored various places too.

I would've believed him also.

mudin001 said...