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When the Wise Man gets Provoked ..

During delivering a lecture in his capacity as Professor of Modern Gulf History at the University of Sharjah, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, told students that "Vasco da Gama" was assisted by an Indian sailor, named Kana, to move from East African coast to India, and the Arab sailor, Ahmed bin Majid has nothing to do with that", adding that Ibn Majid is completely innocent of this whole story.

After a while, a student at the University interrupted him and said to him, "Sir, our professors have rejected this piece of information and told us that whoever writes it on any exam paper will get zero as a result of his answer!"

This is certainly provoked Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad, who is the President of the University, and he can impose his idea upon all professors, using his authority, as being the Euler of the Emirate in which they work. By  a single word, His Highness can force them to change this information. On the contrary, the provocation of Sultan was not provocation of anger, but was a provocation of passion for researching, scrutinizing, and verifying this piece of information in a scientific way that convince these university professors and others of his conclusion, and convince them of their mistake to correct it willingly, and not forcibly. Here, His Highness told the student: "Inform your colleagues to write the answer that your professors want until I come back to you."

Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi is one of the few Arab researchers who are keen to document every piece of information or to scrutinize any document related to his fields of research and interests through his frequent visits to libraries, research and documentation centers and access to historical references and documents to ascertain or refute the target information. Therefore, the journey of searching for the acquittal of Ahmed bin Majid began after experiencing this situation. His Highness set his goal, which was in the issuance of a Book entitled "Statements of Honorable Historians on the Acquittal of Ibn Majid" in an attempt to add a correct piece of information the historical record so as to refute a wrong piece of information lived for many years and further leaked to the educational and university curricula. His Highness endeavored to gift the Arab world with a historical and documentary product to be an important reference on the history of this region.

When His Highness began his summer vacation in London, he immediately went from the airport to the library to read and search, until he found what he really wanted. His Highness found information about the "Guide" who brought Vasco da Gama to India. In a book entitled "Vasco da Gama", written by Professor Edgar Prestige of the University of London, Prestige states: "By confining the Sultan's private servant, we received an Indian guide whom we considered a Christian." Prestige points out that he obtained this information from the "Diaries", which chronicled the first voyage of Vasco da Gama from 1497 to 1499.

This was the basic thread followed by His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah. He then went then to Portugal, the source of the information, to visit the Public Library in Porto, and found a manuscript that includes the diary of the first voyage of Vasco da Gama, to verify its originality to confirm the correct information to the history and refute the wrong one.

The first official document of Ahmed bin Majid's acquittal is the Book entitled "Statements of Honorable Historians on the Acquittal of Ibn Majid". This book had reference to an original manuscript of the First Voyage of Vasco da Gama, which was in the library of the municipality of Porto, Portugal, as it overlooks the Douro River that reaches the city overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

However, there are still a number of Arab historians who validate the charges against Ibn Majid, and His Highness responded by saying that what he did is not out of his interest in this historical fact and other facts, but rather stems from the moral commitment to the truth that is the property of all.

This is how things are taken, by research and verification not by anger, nervousness and hastening. Thus, results are shown and achievements are guaranteed with patience, carefulness, wisdom and perseverance. By virtue of this, His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah, offered a lesson in wisdom, literature, history and ethics.

Source: Emaratalyoum Newspaper - Sami Al Rayami