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18 May 2024

Sharjah Ruler refutes fallacies about Ahmed bin Majid

By Wam

H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, affirmed that the renowned Arab historian Ahmed bin Majid’s lineage dates back to Al Qassim Region, and he lived in Jalfar, refuting historical fallacies about the biography of this great man.

This was stated during a lecture titled "Ahmed bin Majid" by the Ruler of Sharjah on the evening of Thursday, 2nd November, at Expo Centre Sharjah, on the sidelines of the 37th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair, SIBF 2018, in the presence of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs.

During his lecture, he presented the results of scholarly research and many studies. Over a span of 18 years, he conducted research and investigations at several of the world’s major libraries and the study of dozens of rare and important manuscripts that revealed the true home and history of the travels of Ibn Majid, his offspring and his kinsfolk.

During his lecture, Sheikh Sultan followed an interesting historical narration in which he used a number of ancient historical maps of the Arabian Peninsula to clarify old places and link them to their names today, with evidence, the origin and genealogy of Ahmed bin Majid who, as the Sharjah Ruler said, was done grave injustice.

He also revealed his preparation for writing a book that speaks of the heroic acts of Muqrin bin Zamil bin Ajwad, King of Bahrain, at the time of the invasion of the Portuguese to his region in 1521 AD, and his extreme courage in defending his homeland to death.

In his narration, the Sharjah Ruler said that Ahmed bin Majid was not the one who guided the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama. The one who did so was a Christian person named Kana, from Gujarat.

The Sharjah Ruler said that during his visits to libraries, he found the manuscript of the ship's book which was the diary of the main ship of Vasco de Gama, at the Municipal Library of Porto. There he found the subject of bin Majid. The diary clearly stated, "We asked the King Malendi to provide us with a guide. The king gave us a Christian guide. ...he travelled with us." The guide could not be Ahmed bin Majid, the Sharjah Ruler commented.

In another manuscript, which Dr. Sheikh Sultan found in a French library, it also proved that Ahmed bin Majid was not the one who guided Vasco de Gama. He made use of several documents including maps and other material to refute the fallacies about bin Majid.

In response to a question by Dr. Mostafa el Feki, Director of the New Library of Alexandria, on the importance of striving to bring culture and politics closer together, Dr. Sheikh Sultan replied, "Leave culture and intellectuals alone because the origin of the truth is culture."

In a statement, Algeria's Minister of Culture, Ezzeddine Mihoubi, thanked the Ruler of Sharjah for his relentless efforts in rectifying history’s tyranny off Ahmed bin Majid through research, references and studies.

The lecture was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Head of Sharjah Central Finance Department; Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council; Sheikh Khaled bin Essam Al Qasimi, Chairman of Department of Civil Aviation of Sharjah; and Sheikh Salem bin Abdulrahman Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Ruler's Office.

A host of senior officials, dignitaries, intellectuals and literary figures also attended the lecture.