Photos Library

View All

Sultan: The Historian is the Conscience of the Nation

It is indisputable that the historical writings of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, provide a rigorous scientific model in dealing with history as one of the most important things that govern the nature of human relations within their past and present.

His Highness is currently one of the most prominent Arab historians who have responded firmly to the attempts to make history a subject for entertainment, without verification and documentation. Since his PhD studies, he has adopted a rigorous approach to dealing with historical truth, in accordance with the principle of ensuring the responsibility of the historian as an author the history of the people, searching for documents that support the given information or even refuting it, to be presented after that to the people as they were in original. This is far away from the methodology pursued by the historians who harness history to their advantage and to the interest of their ideological theses.

In all his writings about the history of the Arab region and the Arabian Gulf, the history of Muslims in Europe, the exploratory journeys of the Portuguese and others, His Highness embodied authentic values in historical writing worthy of study and review by some historians who find facile to deal with historical material and go astray from the fact of historical knowledge without paying attention to the seriousness of history, the sensitivity of dealing with it and the need to be careful with respect of all these matters.

In more than one speech about the history of the Arab region and the history of Muslims and their relation with others, His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah, stressed the fact that the historian who addresses the writing and research of history shall prioritize his spirit of responsibility and sensitivity of the seriousness and importance of what he is doing. It was his last speech in this field when His Highness said, in an interview on the evening of inaugurating the Frankfurt International Book Fair in this year 2018, that writing, for the real writer, should be part of his life, and a piece of his heart, passion and human responsibility towards what he presents to the readers and the present and future generations. His Highness considered that writers, who responsibly deal with disseminating true facts, do justice to history and preserve the future as an inexhaustible intellectual heritage.

His Highness pointed out that there is a lot of ambiguous knowledge that is not supported by well-established facts, provided mainly by writers, authors and historians without any documented evidence or references.

However, it is imperative that the real writer should confront falsehood with truth, and confront the confusing information with the documented information, instead of making decisions or exercising powers.

In a pedantic educational guide for historians, His Highness said that his search for historical facts led him to visit cultural centers and international libraries and to read manuscripts in which historians documented their observations. His Highness did not consider the surface level of the given information because the facts that are easy to obtain, may be fragile, and does not satisfy the passion of truth seekers and committed authors. He further stressed that nothing is comparable to the author's happiness when he finishes writing a book, and the historian's happiness when he succeeds in uncovering the mystery of a historical stage.

In order to address the ambiguity of confusing facts and reveal the falsity of the historical theses promoted by some by means of using brutal colonial power, His Highness dedicated a full book entitled "I Am Condemning!" to reveal what the Spanish did to the Arab Moriscans in Andalusia and expose their breach of all the treaties they signed with Muslims after the fall of Andalusia in their hands. His Highness made his book, which is rich in documents that cannot be denied, nor doubted, an important document similar to legal pleading before being a historical material knowledge. In his book, he presented ten condemnations embodied by ten Spanish documents, which His Highness managed to obtain after careful research and investigation. He said: "I purchased a number of Spanish documents, dating back to the period between 1530 and 1610, the period of the tragedy of the Muslims of Andalusia. After translating them from Spanish into Arabic and studying them, I chose 10 documents that condemned certain groups of the Spanish people in that period, whether a king, a judge, a church or a group of people, because they committed an offense against the Muslims of Andalusia after concluding treaties with them for a period of time, after the Catholic monarchs had signed numerous treaties with Abu Abdullah al-Saghir on securing the worships and properties of the Muslims."

His Highness then explained, in a clear and systematic manner, all of these condemnations supported by their documents, saying: "I have placed these documents in the form of condemnations against all those who carried out such heinous acts against the Muslims of Andalusia. These condemnations are mentioned in points. The first condemnation is enforcing the death penalty for the most trivial reasons. The second condemnation is the permanent insults inflicted upon the people of Granada, after they instigated their armed revolt in the Kingdom of Granada, as a result of the persecution of the Church. The third condemnation is the expropriation of the lands of the Muslim Moriscans by the Royal Palace and their sale to the Christians who were returned to Andalusia. The fourth condemnation is enslaving the sons and daughters of the Moriscans who revolted and who were over the age of ten and a half for the boys, and nine and a half of the girls, by those who caught and arrested them, while the young ones were sent to people who brought them up and taught them the Christian religion. The fifth condemnation is the imprisonment of many innocent Moriscans. The sixth condemnation is the Christianization of the Moriscans, especially their children. The seventh condemnation is the expulsion of the Moriscans from the Kingdom of Spain without mercy. The eighth condemnation is the imposition of surveillance on those who have exceptional statements to some Moriscans to stay on Spanish territories. The ninth condemnation is the punishment of anyone who traveled to Muslim countries, whether for Hajj or for commerce, by separating their children from them, and raising them up with bishops and church men. The tenth condemnation is the expulsion of the Moriscans from Andalusia without guilt committed, so they accused the Moriscans of having contact with the Turks."

From this book, which is one of the models that has embodied the style and methodology of His Highness in his historical writing and his objectives, it becomes clear to readers that His Highness's was keen to reveal the falsity and injustice practiced and is still being practiced by others, by reviewing their historical practices, as it actually happened, not as promoted or intended to be understood. His Highness's commitment to the Ummah is combined through his historic and rational effort, with his academic sense that does not allow the continuation of false and widespread historical claims by some historians who make no effort to verify them. This is what happened in other models of His Highness's historical works, such as his very valuable verification of the Barbosa Dorti, entitled "A Crucial Trip", in addition to his great investigative effort to refute the distorted history of the famous sailor, Ibn Majid. All these are permeated with the conviction of His Highness which he expressed on several occasions whereby he affirms that history is not to be subject to whims.