Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi has written a book that has come from his research to bring out the truth on who really showed famed Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama the sea route to India.

Talking about his book at the 19th International Book Fair in the Sharjah Expo Center, Sheikh Sultan said the title was Bayan Lil Muarrikin Fi Barat Ibn Majid about famous Arab voyager Ibn Majid and the truth about whether Ibn Majid guided the Portuguese explorer on the route to India. “It was not Ibn Majid but a man from Gujarat state in India who actually took Da Gama to India,” he said.

“What made me write this book was an incident where I was giving a lecture in Sharjah University and I happened to say that an Indian took Da Gama to India,” Sheikh Sultan said, adding “just then, one of the students said the researchers refused to accept this fact and continued to maintain that Ibn Majid has shown the Portuguese explorer the way to India.”

“Realizing that in schools and elsewhere teachers would continue telling students that Ibn Majid showed Da Gama the way the India, I decided to search for proof that it was not Ibn Majid but another man who had shown the way. Finally, in a very old library in Portugal, I found an old dairy describing the trip of Ibn Majid and Vasco Da Gama. The story revealed how they found the way to India and clearly mentioned that another man – not Ibn Majid – had shown them the way to India.“, Sheikh Sultan added. Da Gama had landed in Kappad, Calicut in 1498.

He said that all money from the sale of his book would go towards the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services.

A special library would be set up for the cause of Palestine and it would be part of the Central Library in Sharjah where all books referring to the Palestine issue would be collectively displayed, he said.

Source : The Gulf Today November 2nd 2000